Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

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Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Basement Remodeling 101

We all have a favorite room in our home. For some it’s a warm cozy kitchen. For others it’s a sumptuous living room or a comfortable bedroom. When is the favorite room ever the basement? You can transform a boring basement into a getaway room and create a new favorite place. Upgrade that lost space and get more out of your home’s square footage.

Did you know that the cost of remodeling your basement is significantly cheaper than adding on an extra room? The savings are even higher if you are able to start with a dry basement. With the average cost of a basement remodel at about $20 per square foot, basement transformations are a real space solution for some. There are a few things to consider before starting a basement remodel. If you are unsure about where to get started, it’s wise to consult a local general contractor. Estimates are usually free.

The Official Basics

Most city and county regulations require basements to have 7-foot ceilings. Without the right ceiling height, you might have a difficult time getting a building permit. If your ceilings come close to that height, check with a local contractor. They will be able to offer you some ceiling solutions that can help you find more head space. Don’t be too concerned about overhead pipes and wiring. Pipes and wires can be moved or drop ceilings can be hung. It’s also great to have a qualified contractor who can educate you on building codes for your getaway room. He’ll be familiar with what’s important to local inspectors.

Damp or Dry?

The next concern should be basement dampness. Some older homes have significant dampness and even occasional flooding. Of course, it would not be wise to remodel your basement without addressing these serious issues first. Flooding occurs mainly because of runoff problems. You’ll have to reroute drainage away from your basement. You may also have to make gutter repairs to keep water away from your home. Any foundation cracks will have to be addressed as well. Cracks in your foundation will allow rainwater to accumulate in your basement. Repairing and installing drains are important too. Also have your contractor check for radon before building. Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that can be found in settled water like underground pipes. It would be a good idea to check for radon before beginning a basement remodel.

Ventilation in Your Getaway Room

Ventilation is a must in your newly remodeled basement. You’ll need cold air returns and heating. Your contractor will be able to run ducts, set registers and adjust any outflow piping. Or you can purchase a basement ventilation system. Check with your contractor about which is right for your situation.

From Dark to Light

Your getaway space will need some light! With windows out of the question in many basements, recessed lighting is a great way to fake natural light in your new room. Check local stores for lighting fixtures that best suit your overall decorating scheme.

Fabulous Flooring

To fight a damp feeling in your new room, you may consider installing heated flooring. What a cozy way to keep your feet warm! However, there are tons of great flooring choices available from hardwood to tile. Even carpet is a great accent and brings a level of coziness to your new room.

Which Room?

You can change that dead space into a busy family room or create a home theater. Underground game rooms and party rooms are also popular choices! You should also consider a workout room, an extra guest room or just your very own artist’s retreat. Whatever you choose, your getaway room will be perfect with a little help from your local contractor.

Mimi Bullock is a copywriter for Yodle Local, a business directory and online advertising company. Find more home remodeling tips and info at the Granite Transformation Blog

Author: Mimi Bullock
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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