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Old 01-13-2018, 11:30 AM
 
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We are moving to Wilmington sometime this year (once our house sells) and we will be looking for a house rental before we buy. BUT I was wondering what the pros/cons are for a crawl space versus slab. Up here in CT we all have basements, so I'm not sure what the difference is between the two. Also do most houses use electric or is forced hot air more popular? TY!
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:32 PM
 
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This thread has a good discussion of crawl space versus slab:

Crawl vs Slab

My vote is for crawl space.

"Most" houses have heat pumps, but if natural gas is available, then definitely get a combo gas heat/electric ac unit.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:27 PM
 
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Thanks for the info and the great info from the crawl vs slab discussion!
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrjo View Post
Also do most houses use electric or is forced hot air more popular? TY!
Most houses have heat pumps which blow the air. If you see a house with only baseboard electric heat and no way to blow the air, I would avoid it, as it is probably less efficient.

Some houses have propane heat and many have a propane fireplace. I don't think natural gas is available in Wilmington, although it is in a few parts of Brunswick County. Compared to a heat pump, I would love to have natural gas as it feels so much warmer.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:34 AM
 
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Another foundation type used in the area is a raised slab. That elevates the house up away from the ground, similar to crawl space, but without the open area under the house. You'll see builder's use that type of foundation, and wrap the exterior fascia with brick or stone. During my search when looking for a new home, I noticed those in use in both Pender and Brunswick county.

GL
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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I read a lot of misinformation regarding slabs in that other thread.

Several times it was said that if repairs need to be done to the home systems, ie: plumbing, ductwork etc, that it can be expensive since these systems are buried in the concrete. In the early days of slabs they would occasionally put the home systems in the slab. They figured out really quickly that this is a mistake. I haven't seen a slab home built in the last 45 years that has home systems buried in the slab. There is an exception to this. Most waste plumbing is still in the slab and certain utility mains such as water and sometimes electricity/gas comes in under the slab. The rest of everything is above slab, either run through the attic or through the walls.

I currently own 2 slab homes and one of them only has the water coming in under the slab. Everything else is above slab including the waste plumbing. This is actually pretty easy to do if you put the bathroom on the second floor.

Another problem that I saw in the other thread is the issue of slab construction. It may be in the deep South that slabs are just poured directly onto the soil without footers, but most places now require some site prep work. Here in my county in NC, you are required to dig a footer around the perimeter of the house. First a layer of concrete goes in, about 4" thick. Then you can lay cinder block up to the proposed slab elevation. The top course of block uses a special block called a L block. Then a vapor barrier is laid where the concrete slab is to be along with a layer of rock and concrete steel. Only then can the concrete slab be poured and finished.

There is also another type of slab called a Monoslab. The process is very similar to the regular slab except the cinder block footer is left out. A form is put up around the perimeter of the slab and the concrete is poured as one big slab including the footers going down into the ground.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:51 AM
 
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Thanks for the info Richard. So in your opinion a crawl space vs a slab done as you mentioned above (with the footer and L block) are pretty similar and one isn't particularly different that the other?
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrjo View Post
Thanks for the info Richard. So in your opinion a crawl space vs a slab done as you mentioned above (with the footer and L block) are pretty similar and one isn't particularly different that the other?
No, a crawl space and a slab are nothing alike.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Carolina Shores NC
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In my next life I'm going with the "pier and beam" foundation system
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Martin View Post
No, a crawl space and a slab are nothing alike.
I think he means from a practical matter, is one more desirable than the other? Your post seemed to indicate the answer is "no".
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