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Open Foundation vs. Closed Foundation

Professional Real Estate Inspection Services

Open Foundation vs. Crawl Space vs. Closed Foundation (Slab and Basement)


large sectional house on stilts near beach

Open Foundation

 (A Large Sectional House on Stilts Near Beach)


The foundation of your home can change your insurance eligibility and rates. There are three main types of foundations in home construction:

  1. Open Foundation – includes piers & pilings, posts, stilts, elevated
  2. Crawl Space
  3. Closed Foundation – includes slab, basement, walkout basement

Here are some visual examples of what each foundation looks like in the wild.



Open Foundation

An open foundation can be 20 feet in the sky or just a foot off the ground. Open foundations can also be called Piers & Pilings, Posts, or Stilts.  The critical characteristic of an open foundation is there is visible open space beneath the dwelling’s structure. The extra space is intentional — to prevent floodwaters from entering the home.

Beneath the house structures: open air.

three houses on beach raised on stilts
house raised one foot in air on blocks



Crawl Space

crawl space is not visible from the outside of the house, but you will likely see a small door that provides access to the air gap below.

Beneath the house structure: air gap and dirt.

man with flashlight in crawl space under house
tiny door to enter crawl space from outside



Closed Foundation

A closed foundation means a basement or slab of concrete is beneath the house structure, and then the home is affixed directly on top of that concrete foundation.

Beneath the house structure: concrete.

newly laid concrete slab foundation

*Note: When it comes to home insurance, most insurance carriers accept either a closed foundation or crawl space. If you have an open foundation, it will be harder to find coverage.