Crawl space or slab? That’s a great question! And it’s one that I researched for a while before making my decision.
Back in the day, building a new home meant beginning with a crawl space or full basement. These days, slab foundations have become more popular.
When I purchased my house plans, they came with a slab foundation. On my plans, a crawl space is considered an upgrade so I started researching.
First, I asked my dad. We all know that dad reigns supreme when it comes to knowledge about, well, anything. He told me to go with a crawl space. My smart husband agreed.
Then, I asked my brother-in-law, Glen, who is a licensed contractor in Georgia. Unfortunately, he’s not licensed in SC so he can’t build my home. Boo! He also prefers a crawl space.
Then I started researching for myself because there are pros and cons to both. And, just so you know, a crawl space is more expensive.
What Is A Crawl Space Foundation?
A crawl space foundation is an elevated foundation that uses footings and exterior walls to support a house. This elevates the house 18 inches or higher off the ground. In other words, a crawl space foundation separates the house from the ground.
What Is A Slab Foundation?
A slab foundation is just what you’re probably thinking it is – a concrete slab with a house on top. Footers are sunk into the concrete slab to help support the weight of the house. Slab foundations are usually about half the cost of crawl space foundations because it’s less work.
Crawl Space Vs. Slab Foundation
Ah, the million-dollar question! We will look at the pros and cons of each.
Crawl Space Pros and Cons
- Best for sloped lots
- Comfortable for standing and walking
- Accessible wiring and plumbing
- Easier insect inspections
- Great for dryer climates
- Also recommended for flood-prone areas
- Better with certain soils
- More expensive
- Construction takes longer
- Less energy efficient
- Prone to moisture
Slab Foundation Pros and Cons
- Less expensive
- Better for moist climates
- Strong and durable
- More energy efficient
- Cracks easily if soil shifts
- Floors are hard on your feet regardless of floor coverings
- Floods easily
- Repairs are more expensive
- Plumbing and ductwork are less accessible
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each.
Crawl Space or Slab – What Did We Choose?
We decided to go with a crawl space foundation. Yes, it’s more expensive but daddy is always right.
Actually, what made the ultimate decision to go with a crawl space is simply aesthetics. Yep, I love the way a modern white farmhouse looks on a crawl space foundation.
Some homes look great on a slab foundation and I’m definitely not knocking slabs at all. But, for me, it would look like my house is growing out of the ground. Does that even make sense?
With a slab foundation, there’s no separation between the slab and the house so you don’t have many steps walking onto the front porch. That’s a pro for many but a con for me.
So, I bit the bullet and paid more for the house plans and paid more to have my beloved crawl space. Since we live in the sandhills of South Carolina, I don’t think I’ll ever have to deal with moisture. Fingers crossed!
When it comes to picking a crawl space or slab foundation for your custom home build, weigh the pros and cons, and go with your gut. It’s your home, your choice!
P.S. – DOT put in the culvert for my driveway last week.
Stay tuned to see the brick I picked out for the brick veneer/rowlock. Once the house is framed, the fun really begins! Decisions. Decisions.
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