Slab or Crawlspace?


Slab Negatives

Some plumbing is under concrete, making repair more difficult.  Problems with lines under the slab are very rare, however, and can almost always be fixed without having to go through the concrete.

If a slab house is two-story, the first floor heat & air ductwork will have to be accommodated.  One way to do so is by running the ducts through open-web floor trusses (increased cost).

 

Another way is to “box-in” the ducts by dropping them below the ceiling level and them framing around them. (more about these methods later)

 

Some heat & air contractors will place ductwork under the poured concrete floor.  This requires metal ductwork and more labor, increasing your cost.

 

Even with these extra expenses, slab foundations remain much less expensive than crawlspaces.

 

Slab floors sit lower to the ground than crawlspace floors and you may not like the look.  They may also have a harder feel than a wood subfloor, though most people notice no difference.

Slab foundations generally require a fairly level lot to be most cost-effective.  Slabs can be built on sloped lots, but doing so requires expensive dirt work to build a level pad for the concrete, possibly negating the savings.

 

Crawlspace Foundations

crawlspace foundation

This is the more expensive foundation option by at least several thousand dollars.

The look of the elevated floor provided by the crawlspace is generally preferred by most home buyers.

 

Read more about Slabs or Crawlspace foundations

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