Home Buying in Raleigh>Question Details

Marie Scheur…, Real Estate Pro in ,

Would like to hear the pros and cons of slab construction in NC.?

Asked by Marie Scheuring, , Thu Oct 4, 2012

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The Pros are that it allows for no steps into the house which for many older clients suits their needs well. In my opinion in our area that's the only real benefit. The Cons are that in our area our soils are heavy clay which is know to move around it absorbs and releases moisture. This movement can lead to the slab cracking and in addition while it's possible to waterproof a slab, I've seen very few builders in our area do so. Concrete is porous and so the interior floor covering can and will be subjected to moisture making the use of carpet and hardwood inadvisable.

Slabs are ideally suited for use in dry arid regions and can also be used if desired when building on bedrock. In our area I don't think their the best option unless the buyers really require no steps into their home. In our area I prefer crawlspace foundations as the best alternative.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Thanks for posting about these. It sounds like slab construction would be the way to go for me. I don't live in an area where I have to worry about heavy soil. I want to find someone who can help m with the construction process. http://www.allconnsw.com.au/services
Flag Thu Nov 20, 2014

Both of the preceding answers are correct however, I would like to point out that I have seen termites with slab homes and sometimes they are harder to spot. Since with a slab home there is very little of the "slab visible it is a short trip for the termites to create their tunnels and access the actual walls of the home. Once inside they will destroy a home from the inside out. Now the same can be said of any home slab or crawl space. If you simply have a pest control company come out and give you a termite bond you can protect your home and they will periodically come out and inspect and treat if necessary your home thereby maintaining the value.

A slab home is less expensive to build but will give you or any other owner some problems if you chose to renovate or change any part of the home with plumbing. Since the drains are all in the slab that you mean a contractor would have to come in and break up the slab to access or change any drain lines.

Hope this helps,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Hello Marie,
Slab construction and crawl space construction.
The most important thing with a crawl space type foundation is to make sure it was installed properly to begin with. Different types of soils and grades of lots make it important to waterproof properly, prep ground under home and getting the grading right is a must. Some crawl spaces provide some storage. Not for wood though. Lol.
Termites are active in NC. Easy access under the home is the best part of a crawl space and the height if the home off the ground. Some older people may prefer a lower entrance door.
Slabs seem to be very energy efficient but can seem hard with out correct flooring and padding. But, no moisture issues under home like a crawl space could have. As long as the slab was installed correctly and has no major cracks after settling, it is a good set up. There are many different types of slabs like raised slabs and slabs with brick or stone veneer.
I have been in real estate for 17 years and personally had a building company. I represent Lats of buyers when building new homes.
Call or email if you have more questions.
Both types of foundations are common and good construction. They do have some cost differences.
David Owens. 919-291-4167
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Slab construction versus building a foundation to create a crawl space is a area where builders can save money that can be passed on to the buyers. In todays economy where new housing has taken a hit, keeping costs down counts.

As far as from a build point of view, I find that people who suffer from any kind of foot, hip or knee ailments prefer crawlspace construction as they claim walking on a concrete based floor bothers them more. From any type of repair issue, being able to get to your water or septic pipes without breaking through a floor is easier with crawlspace construction plus crawlspace allows a home to breath better. Crawlspaces if large enough also add storage space for items such as lawn & garden tools, window screens during the winter months, bicycles and items not prone to being damaged by moisture.

The plus side of slab besides saving dollars at purchase is that in NC, we are known for termites. I don't see as many termite issues with slab as I do with crawl spaces mainly because all areas accesible to wood products of a home are more easily viewed. Very few people take the time to have their crawl spaces inspected on an annual basis.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
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