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Block Foundation vs Poured – What are the Differences

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A block foundation is a foundation with good load-bearing strength that is made with cinder blocks. It is one of the prevalent foundation types in the 1970s owing to the high compressive strength of the block which makes it support heavier structures.

On the other hand, poured concrete foundation uses a wooden wall form based on the foundation footing which gives support and strength to the foundation wall. It shows resistance to underground lateral pressure from the water and soil making it one of the strongest types of foundation.

If you have been looking forward to knowing the differences between these two types of foundations, their pros, cons, and some differences, then stick to the end of this guide.

What is a Block foundation?

A Block foundation is a type of foundation that is built from a cinder block using the CMU techniques (Cinder Mansory Units) that can take on a large amount of load. It has hollow blocks and the footings are coated with mortar. Mortars are a mixture of fillers, water, and sand.

Block foundations are formed after the foundation’s bed is stacked with cinder blocks on top of the mortar. Due to its nature, it is usually reinforced with a vertical steel bar to solidify the concrete.

What is Poured concrete foundation?

Poured concrete foundations are foundations with no joints between blocks except for the cove joints found where the floor joined with the wall. The wall is built on the foundation beds and acts like mold to shape the foundation wall. It is less prone to leaks which is why engineers and architects place it in the front row when choosing foundation type.

Block foundation VS Poured concrete foundation

1. Flexibility

Block foundations are simpler since no special equipment is required but not flexible, once it’s done it is hard to change while Poured concrete foundations offer more design flexibility for builders.

2. Cost

Block foundations require less capital to construct compared to a Poured concrete foundation which requires equipment and much transportation cost.

3. Resistant to lateral water pressure

The poured concrete foundation offers high resistance since there is no joint in the walls and therefore does not leak easily while the Block foundation has low resistance and is prone to bowling.

4. Strength

When it comes to strength, Poured concrete foundation has a higher amount of comprehensive strength than a Block foundation.

Pros and Cons of Block foundation


1. Simple process

Constructing block foundations follows a simple process. It requires minimal effort and little or no mistakes are recorded due to the laying of one block at a time. Special equipment and facilities are also not a necessity.

2. Easy transportation

Transporting cinder blocks from place to place is easy due to their lightweight compared with poured concrete. This makes it more suitable to use as a result of the fast mobility.

3. Provides great strength

This is one of the reasons why it is highly preferred, it offers great strength to structures, and it supports heavier houses especially if it is reinforced with rebar.

4. Not reliant on concrete

Concrete is mainly used to fill the cinder blocks and vertical steel bars. Its effect is to enhance solidification, however, concrete is susceptible to air pocket and cracking which is detrimental to its strength.


1. Leakages

Block foundations are more prone to water leakage due to the number of joints in the cinder blocks. If the core inside the block is filled with water and spread around the block, it will create dampness in the foundation.

2. Buckling and Bowling

Lack of lateral strength or poor construction may also lead to bowling and buckling of the block. The damage caused by the effect is huge and requires more capital for repair.

Pros and Cons of the Poured concrete foundations


1. High lateral strength

Compared with block foundation. Poured concrete foundations have more lateral strength because they don’t have multiple openings.

2. Less prone to leak

Poured concrete foundations are less prone to water leakages because they offer opposition to lateral pressure from the water.

3. It takes lesser time

The process is predictable and therefore takes lesser time to complete.


1. Difficulty in transportation

There is difficulty in transport owing to the heavy nature of concrete, and larger wooden forms.

2. Requires sophisticated equipment

It requires specialized instruments to make the process faster. Pouring concrete, moving heavy loads, and inserting wooden forms are better done with machines than using manual methods.


Both Block and poured foundation are excellent depending on your choice, specs, and budget. However, poured concrete offer more merit than the Block foundation.