What’s the difference between Monolithic and Stemwall foundations?

Monolithic slabs are foundation systems constructed as one single concrete pour consisting of typically a 4 inch thick concrete slab with interior thickened portions under load bearing walls and thickened at all perimeter edges. The advantages of monolithic slabs include:

  • faster overall construction time (typically)
  • quite strong, especially with the addition of steel and fiber-mesh reinforcement
  • can be further reinforced on lots with poor soil with the addition of Post-Tensioning (see section in FAQ’s)
  • Monolithic slabs are used in our homes built in the BRONZE and SILVER package

Stem-walls are foundation systems constructed in three components; a spread footing to transfer load to the underlying soil, a (typically) masonry foundation wall, and a poured slab.  Advantages of stem-wall foundation systems include:

  • less fill required for sloped lots (the foundation wall can built at different heights to accommodate a sloped lot)
  • a greater free-board distance from the top of slab to the surrounding grade of the lot can be accomplished giving the home a more pronounced appearance.
  • Less movement of slab edge and more accurate location of items stubbed up through the slab.
  • STEM-WALL foundations are available as upgrades in our BRONZE and SILVER packages, but are INCLUDED in homes built in our GOLD package