House Foundations, Crawlspace vs Raised Slab

When determining the type of foundation your house will rest on it's important to understand the two most popular foundation types (Southeastern US).  Our non biased pros and cons are below:

 

Crawlspace

Cons:

  • Crawlspaces are notorious for moisture problems.  (If your project location is in a damp or high moisture climate it would be beneficial to have your crawlspace sealed and conditioned to prevent moisture build up, mold and wood rotting.)
  • Higher labor cost to install. 
  • Termites can be a problem.
  • Higher maintenance.
  • Can be a place for critters to live like varmints, bugs etc.

Pros:

  • Wood floor framing provides some give when walking (easier on joints).
  • Provides access to underside of house for electrical, plumbing and ductwork.
  • Remodeling is much easier with crawlspace. 
  • Air vents can be located in floor.
  • Possible storage space.

 

 

Rasied Slab

Cons

  • Remodeling can be costly due to slab removal.
  • Harder on joints / body.
  • Duct work may need to be located in an unconditioned attic (less energy efficient).
  • May feel colder.

Pros:.

  • Lower maintenance.
  • Can give appearance of crawlspace with out added costs.
  • No moisture issues if installed properly.
  • Can be lower to ground for accessibility. 
  • Can contain radiant floor heating for warmth.
  • Wont harbor allergens.
 

SUMMARY

If installed and graded properly, the crawlspace is a good option if you foresee possible remodeling projects especially moving plumbing fixtures.  It's also possible that your home will have a higher resale value. The best part of the crawlspace is the space under the house, but moisture issues should be considered.  If budget permits we suggest to have the crawlspace sealed and conditioned at an additional cost to prevent moisture problems. In general, a crawlspace will have more upfront costs but more flexibility for the future. 

A raised slab foundation is a good idea if you don't foresee a future remodel project and if you prefer to avoid any moisture and allergen issues typically associated with crawlspaces.   Since there are no under floor space requirements the floor can be lower to the ground if handicapped or accessibility requirements are needed.  If lower construction costs and eliminating moisture problems are a major goal, a raised slab is the way to go. •

 

2015 In Review: 2x4 DESIGNS, Residential Design

As 2015 comes to a close it's a good feeling to look back on a productive year and to begin thinking about whats to come in 2016.  

I would like to thank all my clients for the opportunity to help them bring their dreams and ideas to life.  

2015 has been a good year, lets see what 2016 has to come! 

-Cory Thompson


Below are a few more highlights from the past year:

 

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal wrote an entry about 2x4 DESIGNS.

 

Architectural field trip to Los Angeles to visit Case Study House #22 in Los Angeles Ca.  Also visited but not pictured; Frank Lloyd Wright's Holly Hock House, The home of Charles and Wray Eames, and the Schindler House.

 

 

 

 

Completed the design for a Contempary Beach home to the begin construciton in early 2016.

Eames House Visit, Los Angeles CA

While in California recently I had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles and several homes famous for their history in architecture.  It was a great history lesson and a chance to admire work that still has influence today. 

The first home was Case Study House #8 also known as The Eames House designed by Charles Eames.  This house was #8 of a series of home designs part of a Case Study program which began in 1945 by the Arts and Architecture Magazine and proposed modernized living solutions using modern materials and processes. Charles and his wife Ray Eames lived and worked at the home for much of their careers. Charles Eames was also a well known industrial designer and many of his furniture designs are still produced by Herman Miller.  His house and furniture are considered icons of Mid 20th Century modern design and to visit was a real treat!
-Cory Thompson

A look at the west facing facade. You can even see the pacific ocean from here. (Unfortunately the Eames foundation doesn't allow interior shots, which is why I couldn't convey the interior.)

A look at the west facing facade. You can even see the pacific ocean from here. (Unfortunately the Eames foundation doesn't allow interior shots, which is why I couldn't convey the interior.)

A look at the primary entry to the home.

A look at the primary entry to the home.

Perspective shot.

Perspective shot.

Modern Beach Home

Design is underway on our most recent home.   A custom modern beach house north of Wilmington, NC.  Here are renderings for the first 2 options.