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Residential building in NC

Old 10-11-2019, 06:19 AM
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Default Residential building in NC

We're looking at new construction in Raleigh and noticed almost all of the homes are built on a crawl space. All but one plan which we found, single story, which is built in a slab. Being from South Florida, this is what I'm more familiar with. However, not wanting to be ignorant, and having a desire to know purposes, I'm curious what the reason is that most homes up there are built on a crawl.
Inversely, would there be some reason to avoid a home built on a slab?
Old 10-11-2019, 06:24 AM
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Is "basement" not an option? When I retire and move up to the Great White North, my house is going to have a full walkout basement.
Old 10-11-2019, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Is "basement" not an option? When I retire and move up to the Great White North, my house is going to have a full walkout basement.
Unfortunately, basements seem to be rare in the Raleigh area.
Like you, I would love to have a basement. But, no, the builders aren't offering them.
Old 10-11-2019, 06:29 AM
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https://homeguides.sfgate.com/advant...ace-36388.html

This site offers several pros and cons of both types.
Old 10-11-2019, 06:31 AM
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You're awesome! Thanks!
Old 10-11-2019, 08:42 AM
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The farther you get from the coast in NC, the more you will see crawlspaces and basements.

There are some positives and negatives to both here, you will just need to do some research.

Think types of flooring options, termites, cost, maintenance, ability to run electrical/plumbing/etc......

Depending on what you have owned in the past, many will vouch and swear for what they know....just know that neither are perfect.
Old 10-11-2019, 08:53 AM
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I've always built my houses on crawl space.. never quite understood the desire of having one built on a slab.. you can't get under the house for reparis, broken water pipes, ect.. You're hardwood flooring sounds like you're walking on cheap plastic flooring... I would never build on a slab..
Old 10-11-2019, 09:38 AM
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I personally would not want to have a slab for any reason, whatsoever. Something about having to jack out concrete to access plumbing doesn't sit well with me. Also nice that you can put all your HVAC stuff down there and out of the way.

With that said, not all crawl spaces are built equally. Moisture can be an issue, and they either need proper ventilation or be sealed up with a dehumidifier in them. Also I personally like a fairly tall crawl space simply for ease of maintenance. The downside is you can have more steps/elevation to get from ground level up into the house. Ideally if you can find one built into a slight hill with ground level or nearly ground level entry on one end, that's the best of both worlds.

Finally, in many markets, I believe including where you are looking, slab houses are for the most part cheap tract house neighborhood developer houses. This gives even well built houses in the area a stigma of also being cheap. Sure it's possible to build a nice house on a slab, just not common in a lot of areas.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:49 AM
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My market in southeastern NC was once dominated by crawl space construction. High lumber prices and the drive for lower costs/square foot drove the slab revolution in this area. Slabs are now the norm in low to moderately priced homes.

As a builder friend says, slabs have no squeaks, no moisture issues and they're significantly cheaper ($5,000 or more depending on lumber prices). They appraise the same as a house built on crawl space, so for a speculative builder the choice is easy.
Old 10-11-2019, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
I personally would not want to have a slab for any reason, whatsoever. Something about having to jack out concrete to access plumbing doesn't sit well with me. Also nice that you can put all your HVAC stuff down there and out of the way.

With that said, not all crawl spaces are built equally. Moisture can be an issue, and they either need proper ventilation or be sealed up with a dehumidifier in them. Also I personally like a fairly tall crawl space simply for ease of maintenance. The downside is you can have more steps/elevation to get from ground level up into the house. Ideally if you can find one built into a slight hill with ground level or nearly ground level entry on one end, that's the best of both worlds.

Finally, in many markets, I believe including where you are looking, slab houses are for the most part cheap tract house neighborhood developer houses. This gives even well built houses in the area a stigma of also being cheap. Sure it's possible to build a nice house on a slab, just not common in a lot of areas.
I'm in the industry, and can tell you that raised slab homes are absolutely not an indicator of value or quality....in ENC.

Now slab on grade is a different animal completely, but there are hundreds of homes built here every year, with prices starting at 500k that are raised slab.

It's no different than me hearing folks that would never ever have electric heat.....well that may be true....where they are from, but not where they are coming to.

I'm not trying to sell slabs here, just saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to value and a raised slab.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by abfish View Post
My market in southeastern NC was once dominated by crawl space construction. High lumber prices and the drive for lower costs/square foot drove the slab revolution in this area. Slabs are now the norm in low to moderately priced homes.

As a builder friend says, slabs have no squeaks, no moisture issues and they're significantly cheaper ($5,000 or more depending on lumber prices). They appraise the same as a house built on crawl space, so for a speculative builder the choice is easy.
Depends on where you live. Here even 7 figures and up are built on slabs.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Mooney6959 View Post
We're looking at new construction in Raleigh and noticed almost all of the homes are built on a crawl space. All but one plan which we found, single story, which is built in a slab. Being from South Florida, this is what I'm more familiar with. However, not wanting to be ignorant, and having a desire to know purposes, I'm curious what the reason is that most homes up there are built on a crawl.
Inversely, would there be some reason to avoid a home built on a slab?
Frost line. makes a difference also.

FL footers are generally 18" deep. Up north they can be 3-4 feet.

Doug

Last edited by rdmallory; 10-11-2019 at 12:51 PM.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by thefuzz View Post
I'm in the industry, and can tell you that raised slab homes are absolutely not an indicator of value or quality....in ENC.

Now slab on grade is a different animal completely, but there are hundreds of homes built here every year, with prices starting at 500k that are raised slab.

It's no different than me hearing folks that would never ever have electric heat.....well that may be true....where they are from, but not where they are coming to.

I'm not trying to sell slabs here, just saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to value and a raised slab.
Primarily speaking of slab on grade. See pretty much zero raised slabs here. It's either crawl space, walk out basement, or crap quality slab on grade sitting 10' from the neighbors. See a few in the midlands (Columbia and surrounding area). I personally don't understand the appeal of slab regardless. I get why it's done, but outside of FL where it pretty well has to be for termites, what's the purpose other than cost. Especially given the floor finishes in higher end houses. I just can't wrap my head around ripping out expensive flooring to do any sort of service work. Baffling concept to me that I just do not understand.
Old 10-11-2019, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rdmallory View Post
Frost line. makes a difference also.

FL footers ate generally 18" deep. Up north they can be 3-4 feet.

Doug
Need to define "up north". In northern Minnesota frost depth is 6.5 feet. Footers go in 7 or 8' down. If you're putting foundation walls that deep you might as well excavate the center and have a basement.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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Slab house means minimal steps, which helps when you get older. Can extend your independence in old age without having to build a ramp to your front door.
Old 10-11-2019, 11:57 AM
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That area is in the Piedmont. You have to find the right lot for a basement so it's hit or miss. Go west to the mountain region and you'll see tons of basements. Go east to the Coastal Plain and you won't find any basements. Both have their pros/cons so really it's a personal preference.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:02 PM
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Always had a crawspace home in NC. I liked the ease of running things like speaker wires, fixing or adding on to plumbing and electrical, and the softer floor. I would consider a conditioned craw space if I was to build another home in NC.
Old 10-11-2019, 12:03 PM
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Here's one thing Bad about crawlspaces!!
Old 10-11-2019, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mooney6959 View Post
Unfortunately, basements seem to be rare in the Raleigh area.
Like you, I would love to have a basement. But, no, the builders aren't offering them.
Talk to the builder, maybe they are not set up to pour one. Plenty of options for prefab basement walls


https://weaverprecast.com/homeowners...MaAjhJEALw_wcB



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Old 10-11-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BIRDDOG987 View Post
Slab house means minimal steps, which helps when you get older. Can extend your independence in old age without having to build a ramp to your front door.
Most slabs are raised around here; pouring at ground level seems to be a problem waiting to happen.

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