Homes need a firm foundation on which to stand to last through the decades, so let’s talk about two of the most common house foundations, slab and crawl space.  There is a misconception that a slab foundation is not as good as a crawl space, and you may wonder what the difference is between a Slab Foundation and a Crawl Space. First, here are the definitions of the two: a slab is a thick layer of concrete that is poured over stone to use for the base of a house; the stone helps with the drainage under the home.  A crawl space is an open area roughly, 1-3 feet high, that separates the first floor of your home from the ground. Which one is better on which to build your house?  Below are the pros and cons of each, and you can decide which you prefer.

 

Slab – Pros:

 

-Lower cost to build

-Generally used on flatter lots

-No microbial growth or potential maintenance that a crawl space might have

-Straight forward product

-Faster to build, so for new builds, it means an earlier move-in date

-More Energy Efficient

-More Durable

 

Slab – Cons:

 

-Less forgiving on body, especially children who fall since the foundation is hard

-Extra cost to reach pipe/plumbing repair if clogged drain is an issue (rare)

-Less easy to change downstairs configurations in home (bathroom locations, etc.)

-Simpler elevation (less stone, etc)

-Radon levels can be higher if a home has radon issues (not as much buffer between living space and foundation)

-Shifting soil and tree roots can damage concrete slabs

 

Crawl Space – Pros:

 

-Easier to reach plumbing and HVAC ductwork

-Easier to make changes to downstairs configuration

-Easier on the body and softer falls for children

-Sign of a higher level of construction (overall cost is more)

-Crawl space can house the hot water heater if you want to avoid a third floor or interior location

-Easier to add gas lines (grill, range, etc.)

-Good for flood zones

-Can be used for storage

 

Crawl Space – Cons:

 

-Potential maintenance needed to avoid fungal growth or water penetration from lot grade or drainage. Even if sealed and conditioned, you want to check for leaks or system failures.

-Higher cost of construction (average increased cost of $8,000)

-Easier for a builder to avoid grading the lot well – most sloped lots will only have basement or crawl space foundation, so check the builder while under construction, especially if certain lots can only have a crawl space, but others are slab

-More difficult access for those mobility challenged

 

No foundation is foolproof – foundations can settle or have issues, and there can be potential builder error or lot grading issues, etc. If you are still up in the air about choosing what is best for you, call Team Anderson Realty at 919-610-5126, and we can lead you in the right direction.