Open or Closed Foundations on Long Island. Which is Easier to Repair Cracks?

There are two main types of home foundations seen by Long Island foundation contractors: Open Foundations built with metal or steel piers or beams, and closed foundations, often enclosing crawlspaces or basements.


Open foundations are typically found near the shore. In this type of foundation, the lowest livable space of the home is several feet above the ground. To some, it looks like a house on stilts. In these cases, the usual type of house foundation repair that occurs in Long Island is replacing wooden piers with steel or a stronger grade of wood. Over time, these beams can crack under the weight of the home or just wear out from the elements and need to be replaced. In the past several years, contractors have begun to replace wood with steel, which is stronger and lasts longer than the older, wooden constructs. Many people prefer the aesthetic appeal of the wooden stilts or piers. Some even lattice around the outside of the foundation, enclosing the space underneath the house for the purpose of a car-port or other outdoor construction.

These matters of personal preference should not be taken lightly. It is necessary to not only pick an option that is appealing visually, but also practical. A poorly structured open foundation can lead to serious problems, up to and including a complete collapse of the structure. Open structure homes are attractive and fun- but they also require a lot of maintenance. It is vital that you conduct regular checks on the foundation and reach out for help immediately when you spot trouble. Don’t ever try to repair an open foundation yourself.

A closed foundation is found when the home is close to the ground. In these situations, the foundation runs along the “load bearing” walls of the home providing added support to the entire house. Usually, a closed foundation runs around the perimeter of a basement or crawlspace, although occasionally it will only cover a patch of soil found under the slab of the home. Basement repair in Long Island is not an uncommon need, considering the moist climate of the area and he ever-shifting ground. In most cases, beams are put in place to support certain areas of the home while concrete is chipped away and replaced in the foundation. Once the concrete is treated and fully hardened, the bonus support can be removed and the house will once again sit on a strong foundation.  It is important to maintain your closed foundation to ensure that all ductwork and plumbing has room to move and work effectively. If a house begins to settle or lean, it could not only mean problems for the structure of the home, but also for anything that is attached to the structure. Maintenance is key.

House foundation repair in Long Island is a diverse and complicated industry. It is crucial to take your time researching experts in the area to determine which contractor is right for your individual needs.