Home Buying in Raleigh>Question Details

telsa.wiggins, Home Buyer in Raleigh, NC

I am in the process of buying a house , i was told that it is best to buy a home that has a crawl space instead of a slab . Can you help me?

Asked by telsa.wiggins, Raleigh, NC Mon Aug 20, 2012

i want to make the right decision this is my first home

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My NC Homes Team’s answer
There are three types of foundations any home can have, slab on grade, crawlspace and full basement. All three have areas where they work well. Our soils here in "the Triangle" are all clayand clay shrinks and swells based on rainfall.

I've built homes and depending where in the country the house is being built as well as the slope of the land and clients specific needs I advise my clients that crawlspace is my preferred foundation as w the clay soils can create moisture issues with slabs and basements. Crawlspaces minimize this concern.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012
Good evening, Telsa.
Both types of foundations meet building code standards. People like crawl foundations because there is a little "give" to this flooring structure and it is not as cold a temperature, but crawls are more expensive to build, so you might get less house for the money. Also, in the south, the humidity in the air can sometimes cause problems with crawlspace moisture. Slab on grade is less expensive to build and allows a builder to deliver more square footage. Also, there are few to no steps up into the home, so it is better for accessibility. Slab on grade can have problems with settling, but most newer houses in NC are inspected for proper compaction and we don't often see this issue. Radon can also be a potential hazard.

If this first home is under $200,000 and you plan to stay there 7 years or less, I would not make the foundation type a determining factor. If it is a higher priced home or you plan to stay there a long time, I might lean towards the crawl space and look into making it a sealed crawl to avoid the moisture problems altogether. If you appreciate an answer, please give thumbs up. For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a best answer click.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2012
I prefer a foundation for ventilation, some are used as storage, HVAC may be located there with easy access, better pest control, help with leaks, and ease if you need to work on plumbing and or wiring. Moisture content can be easily regulated with a 6.0 mil plastic barrier and proper drainage. My crawl space is dry as a bone, but vents well for air flow.

I'd hate to bust up a slab to have to get to something that needed repair. JMHO. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2012
This is a personal decision and there are pro's ad con's to each type of foundation.
A slab is a concrete foundation laid right on the ground. Utilities run under the slab
and heating and air conditioning ductwork run down from the attic. There are usually no stairs
to enter the home so this may be a consideration for some. Drainage may be more of am issue
so make sure the property has excellent drainage away from the house. My mother live on a slab
and since you are down on the ground you may get a occasional unwelcome visitor. (she had a local snake invite himself in one evening)

Houses built on a vented crawlspace may handle water better. Any dampness just evaporates.
Hvac systems, plumbing and electrical are easily accessed for repair. They are usually enclosed so no worries about varmits taking up residence. However you will have to walk up more stairs to get ito the residence.
Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 24, 2012
This is a question you should ask your buyers agent, as it is dependent on location and personal taste as well.
Slabs are solid and feel very secure when you move about your home, crawl spaces provide easier access and also elevate your home a bit depending on the height of the crawl and impact the overall look of your home from the street.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2012
Location is a huge factor for this kind of question. I have lived in areas where a basement is the right solutions and where having crawl space is the best idea. Make sure you know what you want and go with that.
Flag Fri Nov 14, 2014
Both of the answers below have very good info. In my experience, more expensive homes are almost always built on crawl spaces, less expensive newer homes on slab. So a lot will depend on your price range. Do not make your purchase decision based on crawl space or slab because it is not the most important aspect of your decision. My houses in CA and TX were on slab, my house here in NC has crawl space, and all of the homes were good homes. The most important decision is location, next is location, then location again. After that you get to price and condition. This is not going to be your "forever" home as you'll sell it at some point. May sure it has good resale value AND works with your needs now.

This is very exciting, good luck.
Web Reference: http://crazyvivhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012

That is purely a personal decision. The foundation of a home can be built different ways. While some builders prefer to build on a crawlspace, many prefer a slab. If you are buying an older home then sometimes buying a home on a crawl space will give you more access to possible needed repairs in the future or for renovations and changes you might wish to make that involve and plumbing. Whereas if you have a slab that will incur costly changes and digging into your foundation. Now in different parts of the country a slab maybe more prevalent then a crawlspace but here in the south in the middle of NC a crawlspace is going to be the larger percentage of homes. It is less expensive for a builder to have a slab foundation rather then a crawlspace. But, when it comes down to it both are done to the NC building codes and are inspected by the local inspectors when built. Of course if you buy a home you will have a home inspector go through it throughly. However with a slab he will not be able to inspect the pipes since they are incased in concrete. Whereas with a crawlspace the inspector will go under the home to check everything they can see.

Either way speak with your agent and get their advice to see about other homes in the same area you are looking at and see if any other homes have had problems. If this is new construction just check out the builder online and ask your agent for any information they may have on them.

Hope this helps,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 20, 2012
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