Slab Foundation: Advantages and Disadvantages of Houses Built With Slab Foundation

Slab foundations are very common in areas where the soil is mostly comprised of expansive clay. They are also cost effective and therefore can be found in tract housing. Homes that are built on slab foundations are generally less expensive. There are many advantages and disadvantages of houses built with slab foundation which will be discussed in this article.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Slab Foundation

There are many pros and cons of using slab foundations. Here is a table below showing the advantages of slab foundations and the disadvantages of slab foundations to provide a clear idea about the topic.

Advantages of Slab Foundations

Disadvantages of Slab Foundations

  • Labor, excavation and forming costs are lower since the concrete slab is built on grade over undisturbed soil.
  • All normal systems and duct work including heating, ventilation and air conditioning will have limited access. These systems are typically located beneath the floors of a house in the basement or crawlspace.
  • Projects are completed more quickly since there are no extensive excavations required. The topsoil is removed and if the soil underneath is stable enough, the slab is poured directly without having to dig further.
  • Slab removal is usually required to repair any utilities such as plumbing or electrical. This can become expensive and also lessens the integrity of the foundation.
  • Rats and wild vermin are unable to nest under the house since the house sits on a concrete slab. Crawl spaces are notorious for housing wildlife and feral cats as well as rodents.
  • If the concrete slab is not poured correctly or the finishing on the slab is not correct can create un-level floors.
  • Leaking plumbing will not affect a slab the same way that a traditional timber structure will rot. An overflowing toilet will not cause floor joists to become rotted and need replacing.
  • Tree roots from poorly designed landscaping can grow into the slab and cause it to buckle or crack. This causes the slab to become weak and not able to hold the weight of the home.
  • Slabs are also great insulators and keep heating and cooling bills to a minimum.
  • Moisture is able to rise through any crack in the slab. This moisture can damage floor finishes.
  • Homes will have easier access since they are generally built close to the ground. There will only be one or two steps to the entry doors. People with disabilities find this to be very convenient.
  • Since concrete slab foundations are considered to be cheap, this will have a negative impact on the house’s resale value.
  • There is less risk of flooding, unless the home is near a floodplain. There will be less mold and mildew because there is no dank basement or crawl space to grow mold. Gas leaks are less likely as well since the pipes will be located outside the home.
  • Houses with slab foundations will have significantly more damage from earthquakes than other homes and buildings. They are also prone to insect infestations since the home sits directly on the ground with only a layer of concrete between.
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Dave Anderson
5 years ago

I appreciate the list of advantages and disadvantages to having a concrete slab as the foundation of your house. I think that it would be important to make sure that the foundation that you use for your house ensures that your house will be sturdy and that it will last as long as possible. If there are vermin that are getting into your house, that can definitely make it so that your house is not as strong, so concrete slab foundations definitely are a great option.