Advantages and Disadvantages of a Slab Foundation

Feb 16, 2017

Categories: Foundations

As foundation repair experts in South Carolina, we know that the foundation on which your home is built has a serious impact on the structural integrity of your home. Some houses do not have a basement or crawl space and are simply built on a concrete slab. This could be the case if the home sits on bedrock or a high water table. In this article, we’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of a concrete slab foundation.

Advantages of Slab Foundations

A slab foundation is created by digging about a foot into the ground, pouring concrete into the hole and reinforcing it with steel bars. The house is then constructed on top of this concrete foundation. Slab foundations are common in South Carolina because of the warmer climate; the ground is less likely to freeze and cause the foundation to crack.

Why should I build my home on a concrete slab foundation?

  • It takes less time for a concrete slab to dry so the contractor will not need to wait the several days for the concrete in a poured basement to cure and dry. This also allows construction to continue without a delay.
  • A slab foundation minimizes the risk of damage from flooding and gas leaks such as radon from a basement or crawl space into the house.
  • A slab foundation can protect a home from termites or other similar insects. Insects have no open spaces beneath the house that would give them access to wooden joists.
  • A slab foundation offers a cost-reducing advantage. Homebuyers can save as much as $10,000 from the cost of the house if it is built on a slab foundation rather than a crawl space or basement.

Disadvantages of Slab Foundations

Despite the advantages of slab foundation construction, it is not for every house. There are several disadvantages to slab foundations:

  • Although termites and other pests cannot gain access directly beneath the house, they may be able to burrow through the walls. This is especially true if the siding is made of wood and sits on the ground.
  • An air-conditioning unit and furnace may also have to be installed on the ground floor, which means that they will take up room that might otherwise be used for other purposes.
  • A rather significant disadvantage is the slab foundation cracking. This can substantially compromise the structural integrity of the house and difficult and expensive to repair. Slab foundation cracks result in a slab cracking are tree roots, soil displacement, earthquakes or frozen ground.

Final Thoughts

There are good reasons for and against a house built on a slab foundation. There are several factors to consider such as where the house is located and your budget, two of the biggest factors. If you have found your dream home on a slab, consider the advantages and disadvantages.  Let the experts at CNT Foundations walk you through these advantages and disadvantages and find the right foundation for your home. Call CTN Foundations for a free consultation.