The foundation is one of the most critical parts of a home. It is what supports your house, bears its weight and provides stability. Without a strong base, structural issues will arise, leading to costly repairs in later years.
There are many foundation types, and choosing one for a structure depends on several factors. This includes environmental elements such as soil conditions, local climate and topography. But of course, the budget also plays a significant role since some base types are more costly than others.
However, the most common foundations in most American homes are concrete slabs and crawl spaces. This is because they provide the best protection and stability while being reasonably priced. But how are the two different? Keep on reading to find out.
What Is a Slab Foundation?
A slab foundation is a structural base made of layers of concrete, usually poured on top of steel or wood formwork. Slab foundations are one of the most common foundations in use today. They are utilized for buildings, bridges, skyscrapers and residential houses due to the durability they can provide. When constructed under the ideal conditions, they often last longer than other foundation types.
What Is a Crawl Space Foundation?
Crawl space foundations are a type of subfloor system that is smaller than basements. They support the entire structure while providing a storage area only large enough to house electrical wirings and HVAC systems. Depending on the local building codes, they can be a couple of feet high, but most of them have 18 inches of clearance, providing just the right amount of elevation.
Comparisons: Slab vs Crawl Space
While the two foundation types are used extensively, each is best suited for specific conditions and situations. For this reason, knowing which areas they excel in and underperform will help you make the best decisions for improving your home. The following are the most significant differences between a slab vs crawl space foundation.
Both foundation types are highly durable if constructed professionally. High-quality materials and a thoroughly prepared lot are integral factors that contribute to the base’s strength. Under the right conditions, both can last about 50 years. However, crawl space foundations are more susceptible to water and root damage.
When comparing the height of slab foundation vs crawl space, the former is much closer to the ground than the latter. This is especially advantageous for residents having mobility issues, like the elderly. On the other hand, houses with crawl spaces are much invulnerable to flooding due to the elevation.
Slab foundations are cheaper because they don’t require much building time, allowing you to save on labor costs. Contrastingly, crawl space foundations require waterproofing and insulation, so they need more materials and manpower to construct. These factors can quickly add up to their final price.
When considering your options between slab foundation vs crawl space, it’s crucial to think of the weather in your area. A slab foundation helps insulate a home since there is no free-flowing air underneath the structure, making it an ideal option for sites having a cold climate. But, a crawl space can provide ventilation which helps regulate temperatures in a house located at a warmer location.
Crawl space foundations provide a storage area that can be immune to the elements if waterproofed and appropriately insulated. These storage spaces are not as spacious as basements but large enough to store your electrical wirings and water plumbing systems.
Work With Reputable Foundation Specialists
If you are having issues with your home’s foundation, there is no other team to call. HD Foundations offers top-of-the-line solutions for your needs. Take advantage of our free estimates and lifetime warranties and contact us today!