Types of Foundations

Greetings, I was wondering if someone could explain to me the advantages and disadvantages of poured foundations vs. block foundations. I am interested only in building on a full basement but will likely build a garage on a slab as well so please include info. about slabs as well.
How accessible are each type to the inexperienced owner-builder?
What are some of the options available for forms?
Which provides greater structural stability and long term durability?
Which has greater potential for insulation?
Which provides better moisture protection?
Any recommendations for masonry books, websites suppliers?
Thanks, JH
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In a previous post Joseph Handy wrote...

Neither system is very easy for an inexperienced builder.

You may be able to rent them, but I think you should subcontract out the concrete work to someone with experience. This is something you don't want to screw up.

Depends on climate, soil moisture content, chemistry of the soil. In general, a properly poured concrete foundation will be stronger and will outlast a masonry foundation.

Same. In either case you will need to furr out the inside, unless you use something like ICF, which could be a good choice for habitable space in the basement.

A properly moisture proofed wall of either material with proper drainage will work just fine.

Not unless you want to learn to be a structural engineer.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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Foundations and concrete flat work are two things best left to pros - they have to be done right the first time.
If you are located in the eastern half of the US, take a look into this system http://www.superiorwalls.com/ - they offer a complete service that includes engineering, soil analysis, design, and installation. Precast, Pre-insulated, and installed in one day after excavation is completed. Cost competitive with CMU and cast-in-place.

slab
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v8z wrote:

I agree with this! I have worked with concrete crews and have nothing but respect for the hard work and skills they bring to the job site. I'm not afraid to do most any building skill but leave this to the pros.
Once you order the mud and them trucks start lineing up you want to make sure that it gets poured fast and right.
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