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cjking

10:13AM | 10/05/05
Member Since: 10/04/05
2 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Greetings! I am a REALTOR in Missouri and I am working with a builder who is building slab foundations for his new construction homes.

I am completely unfamiliar with slab foundations, but I do know that they are not "usual and customary" in our area. In fact, I haven't come across ANYONE building new construction with slabs other than my builder. I suspect that we will meet with resistance because (1) slabs aren't used here and (2) most people here don't know much about them and (3) people usually resist the unfamiliar.

So, in order to effectively market my client's homes, I need to have a decent understanding of what makes a slab foundation a good choice and what the benefits are to the buyer.

Can anyone help me out here? If you have any professional training or certifications that would qualify you as an "expert," would you please be sure to let me know that as well?

Thanks in advance. Have a great day!

Billhart

12:01PM | 10/05/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Actually in MO there should not be any slab foundations, unless they are Frost Protected Shallow Foundations.

I suspect what he is building is slab on grade floor with stemwall foundation on footing below frost level.

What part of MO are you in. I am in the KC area and they are here, but not the most common.

The main advantage to them is low cost.

The main disadvantage is lack of realztively low cost space that you get from a basement.

Also it makes it hard to repair or upgrade utilities as some are under the slab.

Another advantage of slab on grade is that house can be lower to the ground and they are often used for retirement home "patio homes".


cjking

12:41PM | 10/05/05
Member Since: 10/04/05
2 lifetime posts
Hi, Billhart, and thanks for your response. I'm in Springfield, MO and my builder hails from St. Louis where "all they build is slabs." I noticed you said that there should not be any slabs in MO. Why is that? Is it too cold here or something? Again, I'm an ace REALTOR but know zip about construction... :-)

Billhart

03:08PM | 10/05/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
A true slab FOUNDATION the slab is poured on prepared ground with the edged thickend around the edge for the footing.

I am guessing that the frost depth in Springfield is 24-30". That would be too deep for typical methods. Although there might be some way for it to be done with one pour.

There is a process called Frost Protected Shallow Foundations that puts foam insulation aroune the outside of the footers to artificially decrease the frost depth. If that is used them a true slab foundation could be used where the outter edge of the slab and footer under it will be supporting the house.

With slab on ground and stemwall foundation trenches are dug below the frost depth for the footers. then stem walls are poured (or built with concrete block) to bring the wall out of the ground.

Then ground with in the walls is graded, filled with gravel, insulation, and a vapor barrier.

Then the slab is poured. The slab does not support the house (except for possibly some interior walls). Thus it is not a true slab foundation. The foundation is the stem walls and footers.


narrador

04:57PM | 11/07/05
Member Since: 11/06/05
1 lifetime posts
In 1967 my family moved from Texas to Bolivar, MO. In 1969 he built a house outside of town. It was on a slab foundation, the first one ever to be built in the area. A builder from Arkansas who had also moved to Bolivar laid the slab. Of course those who found out what my dad was doing thought he was off his rocker.

Fast forward to the present. In 2002 I visited that house for the first time in 25 years. It looked as good as, if not better than, ever; well-kept, solid, everything one could want in a house that age. The owner was completely happy with it, which tells me that there had never been a single problem with the foundation. If it's done right, it lasts, including any and all plumbing within it.
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