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Crawlspace or slab new construction??

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Crawlspace or slab new construction??

Old 10-24-2020, 07:01 PM
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Default Crawlspace or slab new construction??

So we are going to be building a new home in the next year or so. We are located in coastal VA. The property is very elevated but on the water, no risk of flooding ever. Very sandy great soil per the septic perk test. I have folks saying “you need a conditioned crawl space it’s better”. Then when I google which is better everything seems to point to a slab. My current home is on a slab (cookie cutter home) but never had any issues. Trying to justify the price and all of a conditioned crawl space but having a rough time.

any input is appreciated.

thanks in advance

Last edited by coastalfiberglass; 10-25-2020 at 09:28 AM.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:04 PM
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Plumbing has no place being buried under concrete. Go crawl space all day long. I personally despise slab construction.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:07 PM
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Crawl space. Just leave more room for crawling and ductwork.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:08 PM
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The last three houses I have built have been with a crawl space. Mine are not conditioned. One reason is to elevate the house above grade for drainage, another is for access to plumbing, electric and gas lines. When I built the present home, we insulated the floor area with Fiberglas batting, now that spray foam is prevalent, I would use that instead. I just don’t like a house that sits on a flat concrete slab.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:24 PM
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It seems crawlspace is the way. I have not had one person recommend a slab. It’s crazy tho I have had 3 homes all on slabs, just never had an issue. Still have some time but about to get design rolling next few weeks
Old 10-24-2020, 07:44 PM
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Good Choice, I lived on a slab once Johnny....Just once.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:53 PM
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Everyone thought we were crazy to build on a crawl space a couple years ago. Citing it costs more!!

But we were able to plumb in an additional tub for the wife fairly easily. Then when we sprang a leak because of said tub it was easily fixed.

Point being in my opinion pipes have no place in concrete. Just add an extra block around the foundation to make it that much easier to access.
Old 10-24-2020, 07:54 PM
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I used to do HVAC in coastal VA - middle peninsula to be precise. Conditioned crawlspace 100%. It's worth the extra, especially if the AHU will be in the crawlspace.

Old 10-25-2020, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Plumbing has no place being buried under concrete. Go crawl space all day long. I personally despise slab construction.
Yes this is the best advice
slabs suck in many ways.
Old 10-25-2020, 05:01 AM
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We have a conditioned crawl space. It’s awesome if you want to run new plumbing out electrical. Provides good storage as well. Mine is about 4’ before the joists.

wish they would have dug a bit more for a basement, but this is certainly better than slab should you ever have problems.
Old 10-25-2020, 05:48 AM
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Good better best question. Slab -> crawlspace -> conditioned crawlspace

nothing wrong with a slab but lots of good reasons to upgrade. How much more is a basic crawlspace over a slab anyways? Concrete is expensive, and a crawlspace is just footers, blocks, and floor joists right?

crawlspace house floors feel better on my feet IMO
Old 10-25-2020, 05:54 AM
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Put in a full foundation vs a crawl space . minimal cost increase and doubles your space to have . May have to build a little taller but twice the house , Also can configure wall step to create walk out basement or garage under .
Old 10-25-2020, 06:09 AM
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Production (spec) houses are built on slabs because it’s quick and cheap. Here in Florida, it’s the norm and nobody even thinks about a basement because of the water tables. When I built our present house, I didn’t realize the water table was 16 feet down. Our property is some of the highest in our area and mostly grey sand. Had I known that before designing and building, I would have put in a basement. I’m now considering retrofitting the crawl space by removing the batt insulation and having spray foam added. With a slab, you can’t make any modifications, with the crawl space, it was easy to reroute a 240 line to feed a second oven in the kitchen and remove the water heater from a closet and replace it with an instant gas unit on the outside.
Old 10-25-2020, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by AsurfAholic View Post
Good better best question. Slab -> crawlspace -> conditioned crawlspace

nothing wrong with a slab but lots of good reasons to upgrade. How much more is a basic crawlspace over a slab anyways? Concrete is expensive, and a crawlspace is just footers, blocks, and floor joists right?

crawlspace house floors feel better on my feet IMO
I think the ultimate is a crawl space with a poured floor in the crawl space it doesn’t have to be thick
Old 10-25-2020, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Plumbing has no place being buried under concrete. Go crawl space all day long. I personally despise slab construction.



I agree plus I know this may sound stupid but floors feel different with crawl space when you walk on them

In our neighborhood there is a mix of both, as far as issues only one I know of lady had crack in floor and it showed through her vinyl floor covering

IF you ever have a plumbing issues on a slab house you will quickly spend the money repairing that you saved on original construction

Structurally not a big deal either way, just future maintenance issues IF they ever pop up
Old 10-25-2020, 07:31 AM
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What kind of finish flooring are you using?
Old 10-25-2020, 07:37 AM
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I like the basement suggestion. The extra cost is offset by not having to construct a shed or storage building later.
Old 10-25-2020, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
What kind of finish flooring are you using?
it will be wood plank flooring. Appreciate the info everyone. Looks like crawl space it is, I would also like a basement, need to see how deep we can go around here.
Old 10-25-2020, 07:48 AM
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If you can go full basement go that route. Up here every home has a basement, couldn’t imaging owning a home without one.

My current townhome I dug down 14’ and ended up with a finished ceiling height of 12’. Excluding mechanical areas its finished with a coffered ceiling and 1/2 bath. Cheap way to pick up extra useable square footage that doesn’t take much to heat or cool.

My family has a 4’ crawl space in a mountain home. Nothing worse than trying squat on 3/4” uneven stone while fixing something above.
Old 10-25-2020, 08:30 AM
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If you go crawlspace spend the money and get a concrete floor poured. It makes accessing the space so much easier, and allows you to move around on a wheeled creeper. Also keeps it cleaner down there.

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