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Old 03-26-2016, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia (East Falls)
66 posts, read 77,327 times
Reputation: 67

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We have had an offer accepted on a house we like. Its a ranch with a slab foundation...no crawl space, nothing. For anyone who has had a house like this, did you have any particular issues? We have some concerns about cracks, inability to access pipes, and bugs.
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,267 posts, read 25,865,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKE8244 View Post
We have had an offer accepted on a house we like. Its a ranch with a slab foundation...no crawl space, nothing. For anyone who has had a house like this, did you have any particular issues? We have some concerns about cracks, inability to access pipes, and bugs.
Many years ago, my father told me to never buy a house on a slab or anything with a high retaining wall. He said that sooner or later they'd cost me a lot of money. I've always avoided those properties.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Center City
7,084 posts, read 8,214,674 times
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Houses in Houston lack basements. With the exception of a handful of houses raised on piers and beams, houses there are built on slabs. I lived in a house with a slab foundation for 15 years and never had any problems. In fact, when we bought it, the house had a cracked foundation under the garage which had been professionally repaired with support piers. The repairs had a lifetime guarantee which we never had to use and which we passed onto the new owners. Despite what Gerania's dad said, slabs are ok. After all, there is no guarantee that a house of any style is sound if it isn't properly engineered.

Your realtor should be able to guide you on this and you are getting the house professionally inspected before you agree to purchase it, right? If your inspector claims they are not qualified to inspect slabs, find another inspector or find an engineer who is. Regarding access to the pipes, no two houses are alike so you'll have to see how this house is constructed. Finally, I'm not sure what you've heard about bugs and slab homes, so I can't comment. Since we lived in Houston, bugs were a fact of life whatever the construction.
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Old 03-28-2016, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,267 posts, read 25,865,265 times
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Houston does lack basements. Quite a few places do, but if you live in an area where basements and crawl spaces are common, a house on a slab isn't as desirable.

Pine is Vine is right, though. I depends on how (and with what material) the foundation was laid and how the builder handled the pipes and wires.

How old is the house?
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:03 PM
 
11 posts, read 19,482 times
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The house with slab foundation will be very cold during the winter. If you don't mind cold, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:15 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
4,614 posts, read 6,271,014 times
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I had a house on a slab in the 80's and the kitchen floor was FREEZING in the winter. The rest of the first floor was carpeted but that house was cold. To make matters worse, it was built when electric heat-pumps were the rage, and as everyone found out, they are not cut out for Philadelphia winters. North Carolina, maybe, but Philly, no! After that experience, I would not buy a house on a slab and I would not even consider one with a heat pump.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:33 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
I had a house on a slab in the 80's and the kitchen floor was FREEZING in the winter. The rest of the first floor was carpeted but that house was cold. To make matters worse, it was built when electric heat-pumps were the rage, and as everyone found out, they are not cut out for Philadelphia winters. North Carolina, maybe, but Philly, no! After that experience, I would not buy a house on a slab and I would not even consider one with a heat pump.
Yes, this ^^^
I owned a house built on a slab (in NC, and even there the un-carpeted floors were cold). The problem I experienced with it was that if you wanted to run wiring/cable through the house you didn't have the option of using a crawl space or basement. Also, when we had a burst water pipe it was expensive - the workers had to literally tunnel under the house until they found the break in the pipe. Very expensive, and it tore the hell out of the bushes in order to make room for the excavation equipment.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:48 PM
 
26 posts, read 18,386 times
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More bad than good. Unless there is something very special about the house, being on a slab would cause me to keep looking.

How old is it? Many ranches built in the 50's-70's have radiant heat in an uninsulated slab. Not only is it inefficient but copper pipes in concrete deteriorate and leak over time. Is there at least a vapor barrier? What are the floor finishes?

Plumbing repairs can be difficult. If the attic is unheated they can't run pipes up there and cutting concrete is expensive to fix pipes underneath.

Also, check the foundation for cracks especially around the edges where freeze/thaw will have an impact.

Sorry to be negative. But if the plumbing and heating aren't issues and the slab is in good condition, you'll be fine.
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