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Old 09-29-2010, 12:49 AM
 
3 posts, read 19,795 times
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We are moving to Southlake Texas and come from an area where slab foundations are not an issue. After mush research and reading blogs I am understanding that pier beam is the best foundation option for this area. We have found several homes in the Claridan Ranch subdivision built by the "top custom builders" but they have used slab foundations on all the houses we have and are considering. We would truly appreciate any information about the discrepancy here. I would think that if the builders (Stonebrook/Venetian Homes) are top of the line that they would not use a foundation such as slab if the area was not suited for such. We are not first time home buyers by far but we are first time home buyers in areas other than desert dry conditions. Any information will be helpful on this matter.

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:06 AM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
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I would suspect those high end builders have had soil engineers evaluate the soils of every lot before they build. The engineers will set a standard for that foundation and come back to bless the foundation once built.

That is much more sandy soil (less clay) and should overall have less problems with movement and expansion. I have seen some of the older homes in Trophy Club with movement but not in the newer homes (Claridan). There is not so much pier & beam foundations built in any areas as there were 20 years a go. Today what I see builders doing is soil testing every lot, doing soil preparation / injection and then building where needed a post tension slab foundation with piers. (A Slab & Beam). Even in Las Colinas the builders have been building alternatives to Pier & Beam over the last 10 years.

That soil overall (IMO) is much more solid to build a home. (But I'm not an expert). I would suspect you are good to go with these custom builders. Be sure if you buy a home less then 10 years old you get the 10 year transferable foundation warranty if it exists.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:33 AM
 
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a slab foundation CAN BE a piered-beam foundation as well---some realtors don't always mark the correct foundation type because sometimes the sellers don't always know what type of foundation the house has when the initial listing is done...
so you might want to check--
don't know if you are buying directly from builder or house that is on re-sale--
lots of homes for sale in that area especially if they are 1MM or more--

because of the price of the house and the sq ft most builders will say they did a soils test--
frankly that can be hit or miss--
because the soil beneath the house can vary (depending on location) and have variety of layers--
especially if the lot has elevation to it--
these lots have been graded--you would want to know if fill dirt was used to level and what was done to compact it properly...that can have eventual effect on foundation quality...

if you get home with a piered beam/slab foundation--the engineering/concrete company will be the one who will actually stand behind the warranty for the foundation
it should be state licensed I believe--
there have been cases where engineers have been found guilty of signing off on improperly constructed foundation designs while working for foundation companies--
not saying it is rampant but it has happened...

I would want to know who did the foundation--what type of reputation they have (can check to see if they have been sued/ had lawsuits filed against them--and what type of warrenty the foundation company provided to the builder...

know someone who used to build custom homes that were in the 600 to 1MM range
he said that in modern homes with the high roof lines that most homes have lots of large open rooms
the "modern" design requires lots more piers to stabilize the foundation
he "overbuilt" and used pier for each corner almost--
depending on size of the first floor and the ground condition--
I think he told me his last house has like 100 piers but that might be wrong--seems like an awful lot--
but then there are lots of corners in a 4K to 6K sq ft house....

that being said--most of the high end builders use the same foundation/concrete company from the trucks I have seen in new developments--large part of success of foundation is the attention to detail of the actual pour--

Venetian as a builder has good rep--
shane has managed to stay in business when the market for custom homes was really over built

Last edited by loves2read; 09-29-2010 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 19,795 times
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Thank you for the information. This is very helpful and I certainly will my homework on the foundation before we sign our life away. I know there are no absolutes but I would like to lessen my odds for issues in the future.

One last question. I have read several foundation inspection/repair sites that give basic care instructions for your slab that should help eliminate future problems, any key care suggestions. Also, is it possible to live in North Texas and have a house that never has foundation issues? I read a blog where an "expert" was saying it was not a matter of if but when, any thoughts?

Additionally, the homes we are looking into are between 700K and 860K. One is in the last phase of the Claridan Ranch area and several in the Phase 2 area. There seems to be several homes for sale in this area, not sure if we should be concerned with that or if it is just an economy thing!

Thank you again for information and input
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:01 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
31,736 posts, read 36,414,276 times
Reputation: 38089
If you will learn to take care of your foundation, you normally will not have a problem in that part of the world. That soil is sandy and not clay and has less expansion. (I'm not an expert)

Isn't phase 2 not in the Southlake school district? If so it will be harder to resale. Both NWISD & Carroll ISD are excellent but people who live in SL want to be in SL schools.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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Rakin, I think phase 2 is in Southlake school district. Our daughter is graduating this year and will not be transferring but finishing were we live so I was not paying too much attention to schools for the first time in 17 years but you raise a good point! I agree, I would want my child to go to Southlake if we were having to consider that. I will certainly check into that.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:14 AM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
31,736 posts, read 36,414,276 times
Reputation: 38089
Quote:
Originally Posted by superturtle View Post
Rakin, I think phase 2 is in Southlake school district. Our daughter is graduating this year and will not be transferring but finishing were we live so I was not paying too much attention to schools for the first time in 17 years but you raise a good point! I agree, I would want my child to go to Southlake if we were having to consider that. I will certainly check into that.
You might double check the schools. I do believe many of those homes are not in the Carroll ISD. As I mentioned the Northwest ISD is a great district but being in SL without SL schoools really does affect the resale of those homes.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:03 AM
 
29,965 posts, read 47,143,277 times
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it is correct that Clarenden Ranch spans two districts--and two counties--some of that is in Denton county--
in fact some of the homeowners in that area--not the Ranch per se--were the ones who had to pay double taxes--one to Tarrant and one to Denton when that property area was in dispute

18 houses in Clarenden Ranch listed in the MLS site I use--check probably 9 of them quickly and they all were in Northwest ISD--and Tarrant county--
so maybe that subdivision is all in Tarrant but the ISD seems largely Northwest
one that was in Carroll ISD was in The Cliffs at Clarenden Ranch--if they have sections within the development
another listing on Rancho Laredo was also in Carroll ISD

as a senior --most students who move would be "grandfathered" into their old school if it was driving distance--and I assume your daughter has her own transportation and does not ride the bus...

Northwest IS getting lots of play as being a good district--the latest faux pas where a boy whose father died two days earlier was judged to be on drugs when they saw his red, blood-shot eyes and given 3 day suspension and alt ed--just proved the new Trophy Club high school might have other problems regarding sensitivity and knowing its students--
boy was not on drugs--school did not even do drug test to check if he was--mom finally got them to retract the suspension and all mention of it from his record--and then removed him from school--
school admin and his teachers were totally remiss and just looked so stupid...

Last edited by loves2read; 09-30-2010 at 08:12 AM..
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