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Looking for information in regards to foundations. Does anyone know what it costs approximately to pour a concrete foundation for a 24 x 32 house? Secondly is there a huge difference in the cost between concrete and foam blocks?  I have read that the foam foundations have more insulating capacity but is it that critical based upon the size of this floor plan? Any info would be appreciated.

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Well you might want to check with your local codes. Here in Michigan the R-value requirements on the foundation require you to have some type of insulation board on both sides to get to the code requirements. In my opinion this almost forces one to go with ICF style. It will also give you a much better end product.

Hi Dave,
Thanks for replying, I am not sure what the codes are up in VT where I would be building. So the blocks are considerably better to use in your opinion? Do you know if there is a significant jump in price with the blocks?
Check out this article for what it is worth. Goto the section on foam foundations.

I saw this construction method for the first time in a large building under construction out West last week. It looked pretty impressive if you need to insulate the foundation walls. The ony thing that I noticed is that for a home you would end up with foam on the inside as well as the outside. I guess you could then use construction adhesive to put firing strips on the inside and then apply drywall or wood to finsh the inside. There may also be a special fastener to accomplish this that I'm not aware of.

There are tons of article on the internet on this with companies touting their systems.

Hi Joe,
Thank you for the link. I have a friend who built an addition and used the foam blocks for its foundation and he loved them because although there is foam on the inside wall, each block had a strip in it that allowed you to put a nail or screw in so putting up siding and finishing the room off was easier and you didn't need studs, you just nail the siding to the block itself. Thanks again.
I have found that the cinder block foundations are always more square and flater on top.This makes the whole job easier.
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply, I'm guessing that cinderblock foundations are much more affordable then the foam foundation blocks and or a poured cement foundation. I'm trying to find out roughly how much of a cost difference there is between the different types for a 24 x 32 size foundation. Thanks again
You might also want to look into Superior precast walls as seen on This Old House.

Thanks Joe for the link, the video is really amazing and I had never heard of that type of basement wall system before. Thanks again for providing yet another option.
Robin, In our area S/W Missouri the foam block cost is higher than poured concrete, or blocks. If you go with foam seal outside walls against water and insects. DO NOT use any method other than what the block manufacturer recommends. Get the paper instructions DO NOT go by words.
Good info and advice, thanks Glenn.
Here in Minnesota a 24x32 concrete block foundation with drain tile, waterproofing and basement floor would be roughly $14,000. Lot conditions and location would impact that cost but that is a close average. That doesn't include any insulation for the foundation. In this area going with ICF (foam blocks) you would add approximately 20 to 25% to that block foundation cost. Keep in mind the ICF has insulation where the block foundation is without. An added cost above and beyond is the exposed foam on the exterior of the foundation needs to be covered. A simple scratch coat of concrete will do even though some go as far as cultured stone. The foam blocks do have strips for attaching drywall or T&G on the inside but the finishing of the basement will be much easier if you add a 2x4 wall around the perimeter. Code here states that you need to cover the interior side of the foam walls. Drywall satisfies code, it doesn't need to be taped or anything, just so it covers the foam. The drawback with that is it forces you to partially finish your basement now rather than spending the money in the future. Superior Walls is another great option but will be more expensive than ICF. A quote from Superior will be between a block and ICF bid but won't include footings and concrete slab for the basement floor. Here in Minnesota block foundations are still the most popular but any option you go with will work just fine.
Hello ,
Thank you for the info, I don't know as of yet what the Vermont building codes require but I appreciate your experience and insight. I'm still a couple of years away from beginning to build but I'm trying to put together a budget for the project in general to figure out roughly what building the house will cost. I'm still amazed that a small size house such as the one I am planning on can cost so much. I would like to be able to build the house in stages and complete the main floor so its livable for under $200,000 with the intention of finishing off the basement and loft area later. That seems to be a tall order as it is. I'll keep working at it and working! I guess that is the operative word here.
Thanks again I appreciate it.


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