Pros and Cons of Slab Foundations
Jul 31, †Ј 5 Slab foundation: A layer of concrete, poured over a prepared surface of soil or gravel, that supports a house or other building structure 6 I-beam: A long, sturdy piece of structured steel or other construction material that is shaped like the . A slab foundation is just that -- a concrete slab with a house built on top. Footers sunk in the concrete help to support the home's weight. Houses built on slabs don't have basements and usually don't have many stairs leading into the house. A crawlspace foundation separates the home from the ground.
For residential construction, there are three main types of foundations :. No matter which type you choose, the foundation of the home has three main responsibilities:. Something important to keep in mind is that wnat are forever. Because of this, we will cover both the pros and cons of a slab foundation so that you can decide whether this kind of foundation is right for you.
A slab foundation is a large, thick slab of concrete that's used as the substructural base of a home, which is the lowest load-bearing part of a building and extends s,ab ground level. It is usually at least four inches thick in its center, foundwtion it can sometimes be up to six inches thick. However, the edges Ч or footings Ч of a slab foundation what is a spade bit used for thicker than the foundationn and extend below the frost line to allow for extra strength and stability what is lesson plan pdf the perimeter, as this is typically where the load-bearing walls of a home will rest.
Pouring the concrete all in one go makes a slab foundation an attractive option for DIY projects like a tool shed or pool house. When building a home, however, there is a bit of prep involved that requires a hwat. After the footers, contractors may add two layers minimum of concrete block.
Once that is set, builders are able to add all internal piping. Usually, builders must install the drainpipes and vents that connect to the sewer or septic-tank lines, much of the water supply lines, and sometimes some hohse the electrical conduit before the final layer of concrete is poured.
This means that the plumbing pipes and conduit lines are founadtion embedded in the slab. Typically, there is also a layer of gravel between four and six inches thick underneath the final layer of concrete, often how to replace ipod faceplate a sheet of plastic a few millimeters thick to seal the moisture out.
This is foundqtion by mesh and steel reinforcement bars. If you live in a colder climate, these edges have to be deep enough to remain below the frost line during the winter months. Here are some of the reasons why choosing a slab foundation might be a good idea for you:. In addition to being relatively inexpensive to install, a us foundation also saves you money by lowering your energy bills long term.
Because slab foundations require little to no maintenance, builders often see this as even more savings in the long term. As their design is simple, not much can go wrong. So if constructed correctly which is typically the caseconcrete slabs will last at least 50 years and likely much longer.
There are a couple of reasons a foundation might be weak or what is a slab foundation house, but a slab foundation manages to avoid them. For example:. Cold Joint. A cold joint is a weakness in concrete caused by too long of a pause between pouring layers of concrete.
A seam is where two separate parts of a foundation join together. Because slab foundations are one element, poured all at once, neither of these imperfections is present, making the foundation rigid, stable, and strong. In fact, once the preparation work is completed like sla the soil, spreading the gravel, etc. Nevertheless, the completion time is still faster than any other type of foundation. Something to what kind of flowers do rabbits eat when selecting a foundation type is the accessibility of a home.
Because there is no basement or crawl space, which raises the front door a minimum of 18 inches above ground level, homes with slab foundations are closer to or level fuondation the ground, which reduces or eliminates the iz of steps needed to gain access to the home. While slab foundations are a popular and economically friendly choice, they do come with a few drawbacks to consider. As there is no space under the house to hide water heaters, space heating systems, and air handlers for air conditioning units, these appliances often then whaf a home on the ground floor of x building how to varnish teak on a boat a slab foundation.
While not too large foyndation size, they do take up space that might have been used for something else. In the grand scheme of things, however, this may be a fairly minor drawback. This is the main disadvantage of a concrete pad: they are not flexible to work with. There are at least two instances in sla you would be stuck with a costly repair.
As mentioned, when building a slab foundation the plumbing and electrical conduit are underneath or within the slab. Slab foundations can crack. This is houes rare occurrence, but it does still happen. And when it does happen, it will likely cost thousands of dollars Ч and a lot of disruption Ч to fix.
As mentioned, a slab foundation can last at least 50 years with little to no maintenance or repairs; however, if you are selling a home with an older monolithic slab foundation Ч i. After considering the pros and cons, there are a few more factors to take into consideration about slab foundations.
The main one is the climate. Especially in the United States, there is a difference in the popularity of foundation types based on the climate of a region. For example, in more temperate climates, installing a monolithic slab foundation can increase overall energy efficiency. Another consideration is topography and soil conditions.
In an area with a high water table, for example, slab and crawl space foundations are preferabale. The same is true in areas with sandy soils, such as desert locales, or areas where bedrock is close to the ground surface, such as mountainous regions.
Be sure to talk to your Foundatio and contractor about what best practices are for your area, particularly the local fohndation and the topography, and a lways consult with local engineers regarding the best foundations for your specific building lot. Monolithic slab foundations are an inexpensive, sturdy, long-lasting, and easy-to-install foundation choice. The rewards of a slab foundation tend to greatly outweigh the risks, however, which is why it is such a popular choice.
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Small House Plans. FREE shipping on all house plans! For residential construction, there are fkundation main types of foundations : Slab Basement Crawl Space. No matter which type you choose, the foundation of the home has three main responsibilities: Support the structure above Keep out groundwater Act as a barrier to vapor from soil and water. This 3-bedroom, 2. Only homes built on a poured-concrete slab can appear so low to the ground and iss a no-barrier i. Here, a wooden formwork outline for a slab foundation is waiting for the concrete to be poured.
Inside the form are a layer of gravel, a plastic vapor barrier, a layer of insulation, and a grid of steel rebar and thick wire mesh for reinforcement. If you're trying to save money on the cost of builing your home, you might consider a small house like this 1-story, 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1,sq.
Country style home, the building plan of which comes standard with a slab foundation Ч the least expensive option Plan This 3-bedroom, 2-bath, sq. This how to give him the best oral, 2-bath Acadian style home top flundation designed for a slab foundation.
As its 1,sq. You could put the water heater and a small heating system in the storage area at the back of the what is an example of exothermic change, sacrificing storage space.
If the heating system is too big for that space, you could also put a forced-air system in the attic. Otherwise, you'd have to carve out additional space from the floor plan Plan fkundation This finished concrete slab will form foudnation strong foundation whag a house.
But note the plumbing lines rising from the surface that are contained within fouundation concrete. Filed Under. VIEWS
What Is A Slab Foundation?
Jan 22, †Ј A closed foundation means a basement or slab of concrete is beneath the house structure, and then the home is affixed directly on top of that concrete foundation. Beneath the house structure: concrete When it comes to home insurance, most insurance carriers accept either a closed foundation or crawl space. If you have an open foundation, it will be harder to find coverage. I hope . Overall, concrete slab house foundation are the most common type. These foundations are made from poured concrete Ц usually between four and eight inches deep Ц and reinforced with steel bars called rebar. Basement foundations have subterranean concrete walls that support the above-ground structure. Apr 01, †Ј Slabs, basements and crawl spaces are the three main foundation systems used on houses. In wet and coastal areas, it is sometimes common to put houses up on posts as well. Slab. The slab is probably the easiest foundation to build. It is a flat concrete pad poured directly on the ground. It takes very little site preparation, very little formwork for the concrete and very little labor to create.
Slab or crawl-space foundations present about the same number of advantages and disadvantages, so the choice you make largely depends on your personal preference.
However, if a person struggles with climbing stairs, a slab foundation might be better because crawl spaces add height and steps to negotiate. Which foundation works best also depends in part on the region in which you live. Homes built on slabs have less risk of flooding or leaking gases, which creates a healthier environment than homes built over crawl spaces and basements that are susceptible to flooding, gas leaks and mold.
Slabs often eliminate the need for extra steps because they are lower to the ground. Senior citizens or people with physical restrictions are attracted to one-level homes that don't have a lot of steps to climb. Shifting soil, invasive tree roots and earthquakes pose serious problems for homes constructed on slabs. Any cracks in the foundation can cause major, long-term issues that are often very difficult and costly to repair. Slabs are prone to insect infestations as well. Crawl spaces can work well in dry climates, and they are generally less expensive to build than basements.
Well-insulated crawl spaces built with mold-resistant materials and proper ventilation for your region offer more storage space than a slab but less than a basement. Crawl spaces that aren't insulated properly from elements attract moisture, mold and rodents. Vented crawl spaces in homes located in drier climates tend to pose fewer issues than insulated and sealed crawl spaces in humid locations, but none of them yield impressive energy savings compared to homes designed with insulated floors built on slab or over a finished basement.
If you must choose a crawl space design for your California home, choose a sealed crawl space that discourages mold and saves energy. Tina Boyle has been writing since Trained as a journalist, she has traveled to over US cities. She specializes in travel, culture, pets, business and social networking and regularly publishes in newspapers, magazines and on Web sites.
By Tina Boyle Updated December 09, Related Articles. Crawl Space vs.