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The difference between a slab, crawl space and basement?

Posted By: Brian Hunt In: Architectural Features
Date: Tue, May 18th 2010 12:11 am

What is the difference between a slab, crawl space and basement?


There are 3 basic types of foundations;  A slab, a crawl space, and a basement.

  A slab is usually the most affordable type of foundation when building a new home.  A slab sits directly on top of the final grade of your land.  There is no space between the earth and the lower level floor of your home.  With a slab, most of your “rough-in” plumbing is non-accessible from below and you must chisel into the concrete floor to do any repairs if necessary.  It sounds a little scary, but a good plumber can handle this task with ease.  Also, the electrical and HVAC will be run through the walls and ceiling/attic space unlike a crawl space where you can access them from beneath your home.

  With a crawl space the approach is very different.  Most of your maintenance issues can be handled by crawling into the access door below your home.  A crawl space allows access around the lower level of your home.  The floor of your home is built up on foundation piers.  In South Carolina wood construction is a popular construction material but you will sometimes find steel is used.  Since wood is the most popular building material you will able to modify and repair your system easily.  Many times the HVAC ductwork, plumbing and electrical will be housed here also.  This is very common in Columbia SC.  One of the biggest drawbacks is moisture, which leads to potential termite damage, rotten floor joists, and/or mold.

  A basement is a mixture of both. You will find basement homes on many of the waterfront homes in SC because the rolling topography.  Walkout basements are similar to a set of steps, where you would step down a hill, but with a much larger scale in terms of rise and run.  This adds some flex space on the lower portion of the home and should save some money on the grading of the property or building up the curtain wall.  It is very common to find a walkout basement with the main floor being at the finish grade (usually the street side) and a walk out basement on the back half (on the lakeside).

  With new home construction in Columbia SC you should always explore your property to make sure that you are building the right style of home.  Building a home that fits the natural elements of your estate will simplify your construction process and could decrease maintenance of your home.

  If you are searching for land around Columbia SC Midlands area be sure to contact any of our professional land specialists.  Get it right from the beginning!