Should I Use a Concrete Slab or Crawl Space Foundation?

When you’re building a new home from the ground up, one of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether you want a concrete slab or crawl space foundation in Tennessee. Having a strong foundation is the key to a well-built, long-lasting home, and each type is suited to different kinds of ground conditions and other factors.

A slab foundation is just what it sounds like: a thick slab of concrete upon which the entire home is built. The slab is usually about six inches thick and poured on top of gravel to foster drainage. On the other hand, a crawl space foundation elevates the home with thick concrete walls. This type of foundation provides a crawl space to access wiring, plumbing and more—usually about 12 to 18 inches tall. They generally require additional support walls underneath the home.

Which type of foundation is right for your home? Read on to find out.

Slab foundations

  • Easier to maintain: Your foundation should last for decades, but slab foundations require significantly less maintenance than crawl space foundations. Solid, thick slabs of concrete offer fewer opportunities for things to go wrong, unlike crawl space foundations, where you need to watch for insects and mold. You won’t need to worry about soil movement, either, but do watch out for invasive root growth.
  • Energy efficient: Since concrete slab foundations in Tennessee rest directly on the ground, they’re more energy efficient than crawl space foundations. Crawl spaces have to be ventilated to prevent mold and rot, which allows cold air to collect underneath your home.
  • Less expensive: Every floor plan and terrain will present different challenges, but slab foundations are significantly less expensive—you can expect to pay somewhere around $7,500 to $12,000, as opposed to crawl space foundations, which range from $12,000 to $21,000.
  • Not suitable for cold climates. The major drawback to slab foundations is that they’re not suitable for cold climates, where the ground freezes. This exerts too much pressure against the foundation and can cause it to crack.

Crawl space foundations

  • Better on sloped ground: If your property is sloped, a crawl space foundation is a much better choice. They require less excavation on a sloped lot than a slab would, and the trenches can be adjusted to fit the grade.
  • Better remodeling options: When you have a slab foundation, plumbing is embedded into the foundation—good luck changing the floor plan with that kind of restriction! Crawl space foundations are more flexible, allowing you to move kitchens and bathrooms to different locations.
  • Good for dry climates: Crawl space foundations are not great if you live in a rainy or particularly humid area in Tennessee, thanks to their ability to collect mold. They’re best suited for dry climates, with one exception: if you live on a flood plain, you should opt for a crawl space foundation.

When you have questions about foundation types and what will best serve your home’s needs, let Warrior Precast LLC help. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

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