Are you planning to enclose your pier and beam foundation, and do you want to know how to do it? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
You can use concrete blocks or bricks to enclose the pier and beam foundation. You can even use pressure-treated plywood to serve as a skirt to enclose the area. Keep in mind, however, that different states and cities have different codes regarding this, and it is best to check your local building code about your options.
However, if you want to learn how to enclose your pier and beam foundation with pressure-treated plywood, we have the steps to guide you in the succeeding sections. Additionally, we have tips on how to decorate your enclosure once you’re done! Read on!
How to enclose a pier and beam foundation with pressure-treated plywood?
The advantage of this method is speed. This is easy to install, and you do not need to wait for the concrete to dry. Additionally, pressure-treated plywood is cheaper than concrete bricks.
Here are the simple steps to do this:
- Dig a channel between two beams that is at least a foot deep.
- Measure the distance between the two beams. Measure the height from the top of the rim joist to the depth of the channel.
- Trim your plywood to match the measurements that you have taken. Ideally, use plywood that is the same thickness as the wall sheath.
- Position the plywood into the channel. Nail the top of the plywood to the rim joist.
- If the soil in your area is clayish or you have a cold local climate, pour gravel an inch from the bottom, then install a drain.
- Fill the rest of the channel with gravel up to grade level.
- Repeat the same process to install the pressure-treated plywood until you have enclosed the entire pier and beam foundation.
- You can install the same siding that your exterior walls use to cover the plywood.
How to decorate your pier and beam enclosure?
There are many ways to decorate your pier and beam enclosure after you’ve completed it.
You can always opt to simply paint it or install a similar siding that you have on the walls of your house. Or you can choose from these ideas. Some of these decorative ideas can be used on any house—not only those with pier and beam enclosures.
Hedges And Flower Beds
A hedge is a wall of plants with dense leaf systems. A low hedge or a flower bed can decorate your exterior wall as easily as your pier and beam enclosure. You can even choose flowers in colors that complement the color of your walls.
Hedges and flower beds serve the secondary purpose of adding a layer of privacy to your home if you let them grow tall enough.
They also make sure that the ground around your foundation is never too dry. If the ground is too dry, it could cause the ground to sink under your pier and beam.
An Important Reminder
Keep in mind that the ground where you plant your hedge and flowers should be lower than the ground going to your pier and beam foundation. You don’t want water to flow towards your pier and beam. Water that finds its way around your foundation can cause damage and weaken the foundation.
If the ground around your house is even, add a layer of soil around your foundation and under your crawlspace. This will ensure that water will flow away from your foundation.
When you start tending to your plants, always check the water flow and make sure the water does not flow towards your foundation.
A lattice is a decorative layer that is made from thin strips of wood. The pieces of wood make diamond patterns similar to how a chain link fence looks. Lattices will give your house a relaxed country feel.
You can paint your pier and beam enclosure black and then install latices around it. You can then paint your lattice in a color that matches the color of your exterior walls.
This decoration is relatively cheap and easy to install. Additionally, you can use the diamonds in the lattices to hang small decorative lights during special occasions.
Stucco is a concrete-based mixture. It is commonly composed of Portland cement, sand, lime, and water. It is a thin layer of finishing material that is applied to the outer walls of residential and commercial buildings.
A stucco finish makes your pier and beam enclosure fire and insect resistant. Plus, it creates a classy exterior finish.
You can apply stucco on the enclosure. Install a layer of felt and wire mesh to the plywood before applying the stucco layer. The wire mesh layer will give the stucco a better grip on the plywood.
Corrugated Metal Sheets
Metal sheets are a common DIY material for outdoor projects. They are light, cheap, easy to trim, and quick to install. They also come in different colors that you can match your walls' color.
Metal sheets add an additional waterproofing layer to your enclosure. They are also easy to repair.
When you install metal sheets, you do not need to bury them on the ground. You can screw it—with galvanized screws—directly on the enclosure. Position it under the rim joist when you’re installing it.
The Colorado Steel rustic corrugated metal wainscoting is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Stone veneers are also known as faux stones. They are made from Portland cement, aggregates, and pigments.
Stone veneers on your enclosure will bring with it the beauty of natural stone without the same price tag. This doesn’t mean that stone veneer is cheap, however. It is cheaper than natural stone, but it is more expensive than the decorative options that we’ve discussed so far.
You can install it on your enclosure or as a skirting layer on your house, even if you do not have a pier and beam enclosure.
The Ekena Millwork cascade stacked stonewall panel is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.
Natural stone comes in different sizes and shapes that you can choose from to match your house and landscaping. A stone layer will give your house an expensive look.
The downside to natural stone is that it is expensive and can be a challenge to install. Fortunately, natural stone is a durable material. It needs very little maintenance once installed.
Natural stones that are commonly used in houses are marble, limestone, quartzite, flint, travertine, granite, and sandstone.
Brick Or Brick Veneer
A layer of brick will add life to an otherwise boring enclosure. And it doesn’t even have to be real bricks.
Just like natural stone that has a faux stone in the form of a stone veneer, there is also faux brick called brick veneer. You can install it over any material that you decide to use for your enclosure.
Alternatively, you can choose to use bricks for the enclosure, and this will save you the time to install a brick veneer later. However, brick is more expensive than pressure-treated plywood.
If you have an enclosure that is not that high, you can use pebbles of different colors stacked on top of each other to decorate the enclosure. It will not completely cover the enclosure, but it will help keep water away from the area surrounding the foundation.
You can also use pebbles to decorate the surrounding area around the enclosure to give it a more refined look.
Decorative concrete blocks are also a nice way to cover your enclosure. You can combine it with pebbles—the concrete blocks will cover the enclosure while the pebbles will decorate the surrounding ground.
Concrete blocks are also easy to install.
The appearance of natural wood gives a warm look to your enclosure. You can use wood with natural stains and line them up horizontally on the plywood.
Alternatively, you can paint the plywood black—like with the latices—install a vertical strip of wood every few feet, and then install the horizontal wooden strips with a small space between them.
What are the common problems with pier and beam foundations?
Damage to your pier and beam can lead to instability throughout your house. Look out for signs of problems with the foundation so that it can be fixed right away. Unfortunately, most pier and beam repairs require professional work.
Piers can collapse or sink to the ground. The rest of the foundation becomes unstable once the piers become uneven.
Natural aging and poor materials can lead to pier collapse. Shims and pier stabilization are the most common fix for this problem.
Beams can also shift due to aging. If you notice some of the floors starting to sag, shifting beams can be the reason behind it.
The installation of shims is the most common solution for this problem. Sometimes it is necessary to install new piers to prevent the problem from happening again.
There are many ways to enclose a pier and beam foundation using different materials to match your skill level and budget.
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