Slab foundations and crawl spaces are two of the most ideal types of home foundation, especially if you live in a place that has a warm climate. To determine which of these two will best suit your home, consider factors like the type of soil, frost line, depth of water tables, slope, and even water drainage in the area where you will build your house. Take into account the building codes in your state or locality. Here’s a basic comparison of these two types of foundations to help you decide which one is appropriate for your home.
This type of foundation is created using an 8-inch thick concrete slab. The slab is where the house will sit, while the utility and piping systems will be set underneath the slab. Installing drainage pipes and electrical wires should be done correctly because it will be hard to fix and repair such systems once the house has been constructed above the slab.
One of the advantages of slab foundations is their low cost. Compared to other types of foundations, they are the most inexpensive. Since there will be no excavations and the slab will be laid out together with the footing, this type of foundation will not take a lot of time and effort to construct. There will be no need for a support system for the floor, which means you get to save more money and time if you use a concrete slab.
The main disadvantage of using a slab is that it can be difficult to repair subsurface piping and wiring systems if drainage problems arise in the future. You could spend a ton of money to have such problems solved. In order to minimize the risk of having drainage woes, make sure to use a concrete slab only if the soil around your home has high clay content.
If you want your home to have ample space between the ground and the flooring, then you should have a crawl space foundation. Crawl spaces can be achieved by either digging approximately 3-feet of dirt out from underneath the house flooring or by creating a flat space under the building with the use of stem walls around the perimeter of the house. Stem walls are designed to raise and support the structure. Crawl spaces are ideal for homes that are located in areas with high moisture content in the air and soil.
The main advantage of having a crawl space beneath your home is that it provides a room for easy access to utilities and to the plumbing systems below the house. In areas where there is a history of flooding, a crawl space will prevent your flooring from being exposed to water and moisture intrusion. This type of foundation can be very affordable, even if it costs a little more than a slab foundation.
One of the main disadvantages of having a crawl space is that it may not be sturdy enough to withstand certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes and gales. Another problem with this type of foundation is that it can be prone to mold, insects, and rodent infestations.