Concrete Foundation Pros and Cons
There are many benefits to choosing a concrete foundation over alternatives such as crawl space or basement foundations. However, no foundation type is perfect. Review the pros and cons of a concrete foundation to determine if it is the right load-bearing material for you and your home.
Slab concrete is the most affordable option when it comes to laying a home foundation. Basement and crawl space foundations are more labor intensive – requiring additional digging, brick laying and the installation of cement footers. Additionally, a concrete slab minimizes the amount of concrete being poured. Combine all of these factors, and a concrete foundation is likely to cost thousands of dollars less than alternatives.
Elimination of Humidity
Moisture is a perpetual problem with basements. Due to their below ground location, humidity becomes a problem that often leads to mold issues. Basement flooding is another common hassle. These issues can easily be avoided with the installation of a simple concrete foundation.
Lower Ground Level
Basements and crawl space foundations are typically elevated off of the ground to make additional space below the home’s first floor. As such, staircases or ramps may need to be built into the home’s exterior. For the handicapped or elderly, this may cause unnecessary hassles when entering and exiting the home.
Lost Storage Space
One of the biggest downsides of a concrete foundation is lost storage space. Clearly, the addition of a basement or crawl space opens up additional room for storing home items that are infrequently used. Additionally, the basement can be used to hide unsightly home necessities such as water treatment systems and washers and dryers. In a concrete slab home, more creative measures need to be taken to hide these home amenities.
Difficulty Accessing Plumbing and Wiring
By necessity, concrete slab houses must incorporate piping, wiring and heating ductwork into the foundation. This can limit access to these items when home maintenance or repairs are required. The added difficulty may result in higher repair costs from contractors in the future.
Hard Surface Flooring
A cement foundation results in cement flooring on the ground floor of a building. Cement does not flex like wood framework used in basement and crawl space foundations. This can cause additional strain on feet and knees over time. However, carpet and other flooring materials can help minimize this problem.