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Old 08-18-2008, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Nothing could be finer... I'm in S. Carolina!!
1,294 posts, read 6,167,609 times
Reputation: 419

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I've done some searching and saw a few threads on slab foundations. It seems as though the major concerns are hard to access pipes, cold floors, and mildew. Along with ants in some places.

My husband and I like a house that is on slab foundation. The house is about 15-20 years old, rock fireplace, great neighborhood, etc., etc.

My dad is adamant against slab, saying they're what cheaply built houses are built on (we live in upstate, SC) and it's not the way houses are built anymore. He said he wouldn't pay any amount for a slab house - well this frustrates me because he's stubborn and I like this house! I trust my dad and want to go w/ what he says but he is a little skewed sometimes (as we all are) in believing what we wants to believe (we're just alike).

So, I need to find out what the REAL story is behind slab/ crawl space foundations. Is it bad owning a slab foundation home? Horror stories? Benefits?

This house would more than likely be a starter home and we'd probably stay in it for 4-5 years, maybe longer. Would it sell b/c it's on slab or would we have a hard time getting rid of it - for that fact only (other factors not considered)?

Thank you all!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:04 PM
f_m
 
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Well in California that's a pretty typical way to build. Obviously the disadvantage is not being able to fix things in the concrete without breaking it up. However, if it was built properly then it should last awhile.

One issue though is the area, if you have a lot of water and/or humidity then it may be an issue. Water pouring into the areas around the foundation will cause problems as concrete absorbs water.

If you have a fair amount of rain, then you need a good drainage system.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Nothing could be finer... I'm in S. Carolina!!
1,294 posts, read 6,167,609 times
Reputation: 419
we do have a fair amount of rain, that's something i will have to look into. thank you!
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:44 AM
 
3,627 posts, read 13,514,702 times
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We currently own a slab house and I do prefer a foundation but have not had any problems with the home on the slab.

My parents have a slab house in Florida and had to tear up the floor when the house was about 30 years old because the water supply lines failed --That is the only problem they have had and the house was built in 1967 - but in MY house only the drain lines run in the slab. It is the cheapest way to construct a foundation. I would not worry if it was done by one of the big tract builders like Ryan homes etc.

If the house is 15-20 years old, you may find that fishing internet cable and adding phone lines is more of a challenge - no simple through the floor thing - have to go into the attic and through the walls.

My bigger concern would be how close the sill is to the ground and if it is clear of dirt because that is where bugs can get in. We only have a few inches in some parts and we keep that area scrupulously clean and dry. We have one spot where the land is not optimally graded for draining and we have intentionally carried downspouts and condensate lines away from the house.

Another thing with a 15-20 year home is it probably has polybutylene plumbing - you may want to do some searching on that and assess your comofort level.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 54,255,095 times
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If done with proper drainage slabs are OK. If not done properly they are expensive trouble.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,308 posts, read 36,205,686 times
Reputation: 7130
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisher33 View Post
I've done some searching and saw a few threads on slab foundations. It seems as though the major concerns are hard to access pipes, cold floors, and mildew. Along with ants in some places.

My husband and I like a house that is on slab foundation. The house is about 15-20 years old, rock fireplace, great neighborhood, etc., etc.

My dad is adamant against slab, saying they're what cheaply built houses are built on (we live in upstate, SC) and it's not the way houses are built anymore. He said he wouldn't pay any amount for a slab house - well this frustrates me because he's stubborn and I like this house! I trust my dad and want to go w/ what he says but he is a little skewed sometimes (as we all are) in believing what we wants to believe (we're just alike).

So, I need to find out what the REAL story is behind slab/ crawl space foundations. Is it bad owning a slab foundation home? Horror stories? Benefits?

This house would more than likely be a starter home and we'd probably stay in it for 4-5 years, maybe longer. Would it sell b/c it's on slab or would we have a hard time getting rid of it - for that fact only (other factors not considered)?

Thank you all!
In Texas most construction will be on a slab foundation. It isn't exactly an antiquated practice. Some of the drain plumbing will have to be involved in the slab, but all of the supply pipes will run through the attic and walls. Slab foundations can crack, they can settle unevenly, sometimes they sink and shear the drain pipes. All of these can create issues, but having pier & beam / crawlspace doesn't exactly guarantee that you will not have similarly expensive problems.

There is a major upside to buying house on a slab that is older. If the foundation is 20 years old and has not had any repairs and you don't see a lot of cracks in the house, that is probably a good indication that the slab is sound. It's hard to beat the test of time. Ask your inspector for a recommendation about the slab, he or she will probably know better than you, me or your dad.

As far as a selling point is concerned, I'm not terribly familiar with the South Carolina market, but you would be hard pressed to find someone in my neck of the woods who would not be willing to purchase a home on a slab.

I think that if all signs point to "We Like This House" except for your father, you should probably buy it. There will be a lot of people like you who want to buy an attractive house with a rock fireplace in a great neighborhood, slab or not, and a lot of people who do not have their father telling them that slab is no good.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Nothing could be finer... I'm in S. Carolina!!
1,294 posts, read 6,167,609 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by grannynancy View Post
We currently own a slab house and I do prefer a foundation but have not had any problems with the home on the slab.

My parents have a slab house in Florida and had to tear up the floor when the house was about 30 years old because the water supply lines failed --That is the only problem they have had and the house was built in 1967 - but in MY house only the drain lines run in the slab. It is the cheapest way to construct a foundation. I would not worry if it was done by one of the big tract builders like Ryan homes etc.

If the house is 15-20 years old, you may find that fishing internet cable and adding phone lines is more of a challenge - no simple through the floor thing - have to go into the attic and through the walls.

My bigger concern would be how close the sill is to the ground and if it is clear of dirt because that is where bugs can get in. We only have a few inches in some parts and we keep that area scrupulously clean and dry. We have one spot where the land is not optimally graded for draining and we have intentionally carried downspouts and condensate lines away from the house.

Another thing with a 15-20 year home is it probably has polybutylene plumbing - you may want to do some searching on that and assess your comofort level.
Thank you for the response. I've started my to do list and have written down the things you have mentioned. I know a house inspector would be able to tell me all this, but we live far away right now (Dallas) and would like to ask the realtor some questions before getting serious. We actually looked at the house last fall and we both loved it - but dad said eh, no way and we weren't really ready to buy (and turns out we moved half way across the country for a year) so it was a good thing (if you like being half way across the country) and now i'm looking again for our move back (still a ways off, but i love to look) and yesterday i saw the house listed again. it never sold and before it was fsbo and now he's finally listed it w/ an agent. it's pretty hard to not get excited, but we don't move for a while yet and i have a lot of questions to ask. i'm one of those...haha. Thank you again!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,955 posts, read 12,566,415 times
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I beg to differ with your Dad, but I understand his concerns. Not all slab foundations are created equal. I have seen thin slab foundations in the Orlando area and would never consider buying a home on a thin foundation. We live in south Florida and our foundation is also slab and about 18" thick (maybe more) and we have never had a problem.

Now when it comes to pipes and such - yes, there are challenges, but pipes can be re-routed through the attic. I would not worry one bit, but make sure you do your homework.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Nothing could be finer... I'm in S. Carolina!!
1,294 posts, read 6,167,609 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
In Texas most construction will be on a slab foundation. It isn't exactly an antiquated practice. Some of the drain plumbing will have to be involved in the slab, but all of the supply pipes will run through the attic and walls. Slab foundations can crack, they can settle unevenly, sometimes they sink and shear the drain pipes. All of these can create issues, but having pier & beam / crawlspace doesn't exactly guarantee that you will not have similarly expensive problems.

There is a major upside to buying house on a slab that is older. If the foundation is 20 years old and has not had any repairs and you don't see a lot of cracks in the house, that is probably a good indication that the slab is sound. It's hard to beat the test of time. Ask your inspector for a recommendation about the slab, he or she will probably know better than you, me or your dad.

As far as a selling point is concerned, I'm not terribly familiar with the South Carolina market, but you would be hard pressed to find someone in my neck of the woods who would not be willing to purchase a home on a slab.

I think that if all signs point to "We Like This House" except for your father, you should probably buy it. There will be a lot of people like you who want to buy an attractive house with a rock fireplace in a great neighborhood, slab or not, and a lot of people who do not have their father telling them that slab is no good.
Thank you for the response! It's hard to ignore daddy - any problems we have will be a "told you so", not in a mean way but in a dad sort of way. But I'm glad to hear slab isn't antiquated and that others like it. Thanks again! I like your thinking!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Nothing could be finer... I'm in S. Carolina!!
1,294 posts, read 6,167,609 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhlcomp View Post
I beg to differ with your Dad, but I understand his concerns. Not all slab foundations are created equal. I have seen thin slab foundations in the Orlando area and would never consider buying a home on a thin foundation. We live in south Florida and our foundation is also slab and about 18" thick (maybe more) and we have never had a problem.

Now when it comes to pipes and such - yes, there are challenges, but pipes can be re-routed through the attic. I would not worry one bit, but make sure you do your homework.
I have added thickness to my list too! We'll definitely do our homework - thank you for your help!
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