Homebuyers are rediscovering the classic elegance that a raised floor design adds to the look of the American home. Drive through the older neighborhoods of your community. The homes with ageless grace and beauty are usually raised. Visually, the raised foundation functions as a pedestal, enhancing curb appeal regardless of architectural style.
Inside the raised floor home, there are special qualities that nurture the body and soul. The feeling is warmer, more intimate. Raise the floor above the ground and the visual perspective changes. The feeling is more secure. An ordinary view from the window becomes a vista. There is calm and quiet above the din of street noise. The subtle “cushion” of a wood floor system provides a more comfortable walking surface, putting less stress on the back, legs, and feet.
Ups & Downs of the American Home
Since Colonial days, the foundation of the American home has experienced its “ups and downs.” Today, homebuyers are rediscovering the classic style, comfort, and practicality of the wood-framed raised floor system.
Georgian — The strong stature of this Georgian style residence is enhanced by raising it above ground. The portico is transformed into a ritualistic entry process with the addition of a few steps. It punctuates the building’s facade versus yielding a mundane transitional space. A more evocative entry concedes to the prominence of the raised residence.
Caribbean — The dual-pitched roof form envelopes the expansive, wrapping porch space of this rural abode. By raising the structure, one becomes more contained in this space producing a welcoming, social feeling. Sometimes adding height to a structure can be overpowering but here it is celebrating.
Bungalow — The simplicity of the interaction of two masses, the entry porch and the house, creates this Bungalow style. The porch mass maintains a presence in both the slab-on-grade and raised-floor versions, yet competition develops with the house in the slab-on-grade version. The slight elevation of the raised Bungalow amplifies its simple design. A small gesture such as this keeps one form from overpowering the other.
West Indies — The exposed piers of the raised residence elongate the narrow, linear porch columns, in turn, stretching its height beyond its physicality. The heavy, flat presence of the slab-on-grade model can be contrasted to the strong, welcoming air of the raised model. Raising the design simply allows the West Indies style to visually own its site instead of weighing it down.
Building Professionals Speak
“Usually my clients are asking for traditional houses. A raised floor provides architectural proportioning that is much more enticing than slab-on-grade. Then I explain the flexibility that a raised floor allows with adjustments and changes to plumbing and other mechanicals.”
“With a traditional style, such as a Williamsburg look or a raised cottage, the elevated first floor adds something to the overall aesthetic of the project. Typically, people like to have that raised front porch.”
“A conventional foundation benefits from the aesthetics and the function of the house. You have tremendous flexibility to make modifications with a raised floor. On slab, you’re cast in concrete. With a raised floor, you can adjust the construction schedule to meet your trades. We can get the house underway and not have to wait for the plumber. With slab, you can’t pour until the plumber finishes.”
“I have a little saying that has always served me well with clients, ‘Good home building should be a marriage between practicality and aesthetics.’ The raised floor works in both respects with homes of all sizes. Homebuyers are discovering that truly wonderful and aesthetic spaces can be built on a smaller scale with quality lumber, adding nice amenities and finishes. A raised foundation enhances their investment.”