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Old 07-04-2017, 03:24 PM
 
996 posts, read 838,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
re: the "cost of fixing leaks when they're embedded in slab": Well, then you couldn't see exactly where the leak is coming from. And have plumbers with jackhammers maybe come in to dig up the slab, & then if they find which part is leaking & repair it, pour new concrete.

And are you sure you want a house-on-a-slab in New england? Those are not popular, to say the least. And kind of an oddity. As is floor heating, at least thru-out.

I don't have time to get into the '50's house-on-a-slab with (leaking) floor heat I owned for years in Mass.......what a nightmare......even before it started leaking, living in a slab house was awful.
That's the scenario I was afraid of. What is the most common structure being built today (rather than slab)?
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:09 PM
 
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In floor heating can also be done with standard floors over basements etc. you use a thin set layer that holds the tubes in place. Reliability, at least as good as baseboard....
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post

I don't have time to get into the '50's house-on-a-slab with (leaking) floor heat I owned for years in Mass.......what a nightmare......even before it started leaking, living in a slab house was awful.
I'm curious to know what is awful about slab construction? My current fantasy house, if I were to build it today, would be on a slab.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:10 AM
 
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Slab construction seems to be the norm in warmer climates. Basements were historically necessary in the north where you needed heating. Before WWII, many furnaces were gravity. Had a house with a gravity boiler about 30 years ago, and it had not been upgraded with a pump. I remember gravity hot air furnaces with monstrous air pipes.

We live in NH now, where you can now find quality slab construction. My current home has two slab areas around the basement. That's where the warm floor is. I'm happy with it. I still have a basement to pump out after very heavy rains (3.5 inches in 48 hours on saturated soil did the trick this spring.)
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
That's the scenario I was afraid of. What is the most common structure being built today (rather than slab)?
*Most* houses in New England have basements; that goes back all the way to colonial times. Unless it's a cabin in the woods maybe. Where did you get the idea to build a slab house? With a basement you have tons of extra storage, & a place for the furnace or boiler, the HW heater, etc.

Nowadays I have a more conventional house with a basement, and (hot water) baseboard heating. Takes less time to crank the heat up in Winter (in NH). And I don't have bubbling pools of water coming from the floor heating pipes like in the slab house. Granted, that was a 50-60 y.o. house with the steel heating pipes buried right in the concrete; the technology is way better now. I still wouldn't want it, except for a bathroom maybe, & then probably electric.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddledidee View Post
My husband and I are considering a move to NH (maybe VT) and would likely have a home built to our specs. Energy efficiency + staying warm during winters is high on our list of requirements for our new home.

With that in mind, any thoughts or feedback from those of you who have either retrofitted an existing home or installed radiant floor heating in a new home? I am leaning towards a hydronic system.

Also, any other energy efficiency and/or heating suggestions you might have would be appreciated.
Everything relates to the foundation and the quality of the foundation.
One would really really have to do some homework on foundations.

The quality of concrete work varies from company to company.

Here in New Hampshire the ground can move with the seasons. The ground has to be prepped by a qualified earth works company before getting into the actual concrete. A quality drainage system has to be incorporated.

I have seen new home construction on high level ground - have the basement fill up with water. That home was constructed 25 years ago and after completion a pump had to be added to the basement just after this new home was completed.

Heating:

If no city gas then propane is needed for any gas (propane) appliances. If using oil for heating then a smaller propane tank is required. The cost of propane is a tier system. The less one uses the more the propane costs.

If installing central air conditioning a duct system still needs to be installed at an added cost. Some use the Mitsubishi type air conditioners in various rooms but this is not whole house.

Homes may become dry in winter with all heating systems unless there is some sort of humidifier.

If I were having a new home built I would put in some sort of redundant system. Such as a kerosene Monitor type heater in the living room in addition to the main heating system. A wood burning stove/fireplace would be my 2nd choice.

Losing electricity is common in New Hampshire. A high quality automatic propane generator would be part of any new house construction.

Lots to consider and to think about.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:41 AM
 
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NH is not alone in losing power, although it thinks it is. When I lived in DC, power went out several times a year
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:46 PM
 
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Basements are built in colder climates so that the foundation is set below the frost line. Natural movements of the ground (stiff in winter and soft in spring) would eventually crack a slab foundation built above the frost line.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
Basements are built in colder climates so that the foundation is set below the frost line. Natural movements of the ground (stiff in winter and soft in spring) would eventually crack a slab foundation built above the frost line.
Yea, forgot that part, but it's not totally true since 1. there are other ways to have the foundation below the frost line, such as piers. 2. you see slab up here in NH 3. The "natural movement " is not soft to hard and back. It's the expansion that takes place when the ground freezes, often called frost heave. It is really hard on piping, such as water and sewer (or septic), because water and sewage can freeze. In Minneapolis, water lines are about 6' below the surface. My water line entered my house almost at floor level.

Note that gas/propane lines don't need to be deeply buried, or buried at all.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:46 PM
 
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I live in Idaho in a 1952 home for the past 6 years. It has the original water radiant floor heat. I have had no problems and like it. The only thing I don't like is that it was set up with only one control for the whole 928 sq ft.
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