The cost of a slab versus a raised foundation varies based on the size of your home, the design and where you live. You can save money with a concrete slab, but a crawl space or basement may be worth the extra cost.
It has stronger floors without rot, sagging or creaking. These homes are faster to build, as well. These are better, and much more typical, in cold climates. Slabs are much cheaper if a crawl space or basement must be carved out of solid rock, which can be very expensive. Slab foundations make it less likely that radon gas will leak into the house. They protect a home from termites and other insects.
The risk of flooding is higher because these homes sit on the ground. They are not as comfortable to walk on, and some people find them unattractive because there is no break between the house and the ground. The raised foundation makes it easier to access plumbing and wiring beneath the home. This will mean cheaper costs in the future.
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Also, floors are made of wood, which is softer and more comfortable to walk on. But they cost more. These take longer to build, but they protect the house against flooding. Crawl spaces require about the same amount of time as basements to build.
A crawl space, unlike a basement, can also be conducive to water and humidity buildup, causing rot and fungus to grow. Also, termites and other wildlife can infest the area. Crawl spaces, like concrete slabs, offer your home little to no protection against bad weather. There are steps you can take to prevent some of these problems.
You can close off the crawl space or install ventilation areas. These are the most expensive, but offer more return on your investment. Excavation and grading are some of the highest expenses.
Factors include cinder block versus poured concrete, drainage systems, insulation, sealers and waterproofing. Cinder block basements can leak as they age. Poured concrete walls offer better structural integrity and moisture protection.If you have ever visited the Louisiana Lowcountry or another Beach or Coastal area, you may have seen house designs that appear to be on "stilts.
Plans for houses on stilts have a grid system of girders beamspiers, and footings to elevate the structure of the home above the ground plane or grade. The piers serve as columns for the structure. Lifting the pier house plan well above the ground in a beach or coastal region or Lowcountry region is wise to prevent possible flood damage.
This type of foundation is economical to construct. But, keep in mind, floor insulation is critical when building home designs like these. House Plans and More has a wonderful collection of house plans with pier foundations. We offer detailed floor plans that allow the buyer to visualize the look and feel of the entrie house.
With a wide variety of pier home plans, we are sure that you will find the perfect house plan to fit your needs and style. All Rights Reserved. Quick Search. Pier Home Plans View this Plan. Compare up to 4 plans. Heated square feet:. How many floors? How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? How many garage bays?
What type of architectural style? View this Plan. The has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The Monita Mediterranean Home has 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths. The Evangeline Plantation Home has 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths and 1 half bath. The has 7 bedrooms, 8 full baths and 2 half baths. The Watervista Vacation Home has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath. The Beaverhill Raised Vacation Home has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath. The Berrybridge Country Cabin Home has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath. The Greeley Cove Vacation Home has 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath.
The Harborville Florida Style Home has 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths.This hurricane-proof piling stilt house built on the Gulf Coast of Florida is elevated more than ft to keep it safe from storm surge and to provide magnificent panoramic views.
Click HERE to see more photos. Pilings also referred to as stilts or piers may be the perfect solution for building or rebuilding after hurricanes like Irma and Harvey near the coast and in flood plains.
Their flexibility in height also makes them ideal for uneven terrain or where elevation is desired to enhance views of the natural surroundings. In some locations building codes will specify the height and type of piling or stilt foundations. This is especially true in hurricane and severe weather zones like Florida and its Keysthe Gulf Coast to Texas, the Carolinas, New York and New Jersey, as well as in places like California and Hawaiiwhere sloping terrain, seismic activity and land slides must also be taken into account.
Elevated hurricane-proof piling houses like this one built in the Florida Keys are ideal for coastal high-wind and flood-prone areas. Click HERE to see this floorplan. Piling and stilt home heights typically range from a few feet above ground to as much as 10 to 20 feet or more in coastal, hurricane and flood plain areas. Some Topsider stilt houses have been designed on steel pilings that are more than 25 feet tall.
Pilings may be constructed of wood, concrete, steel or even composite materials. And they are usually driven, augured or jetted into place. This ocean front house foundation has stabilizing pilings below grade with a reinforced concrete block ground level area for parking and storage. Easily built on a small footprint, it is naturally structurally resistant to hurricanes.
Some coastal and beach front locations require living areas to be elevated ft or more above ground like this multi-level Florida Gulf Coast hurricane home, built on poured concrete pilings anchored on top of below-grade stabilizing pilings or caissons.
This is a great example of hurricane proof two-story piling or stilt house design built in the Florida Keys. It provides nearly degree panoramic views from both levels. In some areas it is common to install below-the-surface pilings, cap them at ground level and build reinforced poured or concrete block piers to support the structure above.
Virtually any Topsider Home design can be constructed on piling or stilt foundations. But, what often makes Topsider Homes the ideal choice is that each home is custom-designed to meet the needs of clients, their budgets, building sites and local building code requirements.
Built on short piers stiltsthis pre-engineered and prefabricated hurricane proof house was quickly and easily assembled in its remote location in the Bahamas.
Click HERE to view video. Topsider's in-house design and technical staffs custom design each home and take the technical lead for permitting and approvals while our construction liaison department recruits potential builders and receives bids for local assembly and finish construction.
Call us Toll Free at [outside the U. One-story piling stilt house designs ranging in size from small house plan ideas for narrow beach front lots to large primary homes where elevation is required. Two-story piling stilt house plan ideas for large luxury homes or small vacation homes. All of these home designs provide panoramic views from two levels.
Topsider Homes withstood Hurricane Sandy and many other major hurricanes since Whether a piling, stilt or pedestal home, each Topsider Home is designed and pre-engineered to the highest structural standards.
Topsider's stilt homes are designed to withstand high winds, storm surge and salt-air coastal climates. Topsider Homes were designed to be elevated on stilts and pedestals. TO sq.As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites.
Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College. Many people confuse a pier-supported house with a house that sits on pilings. Pilings are timber, metal or concrete columns driven many feet into the ground to support the house on bedrock, while piers sit above ground.
Building a house on pilings requires the assistance of an engineer to calculate the load and the type, length and diameter of the pilings. Houses are built on pilings where the land won't support traditional foundations, such as flood zones, coastal areas and mountain sides.
They also are used in freeway construction, where their long columns descend beneath soil. Crews use special equipment to insert pilings deep into the ground. They set a large pile-driving crane on tracks on level ground that is or near the construction site.
Pile drivers often count the number of blows it takes to drive a pile into the ground because it often translates to the pile's load-bearing capabilities. Several piling types are available, and an engineer usually recommends which kind to use based on soil type, piling strength and the weight of the structure the pilings will support. Piling types include timber, steel, masonry and a combination of steel and concrete. A region may influence the kind of piling used, too.
For example, timber pilings are used frequently along coasts. Houses in flood zones must be built above grade on pile or masonry foundations, depending on the location's building codes. The design allows the area underneath the houses to flood without damaging the structures. Because pilings are driven deeply into earth, often to bedrock, flood waters do not affect pile-driven foundations.
Driving a pile into the ground involves more than just choosing a location.
Engineers take core soil samples to determine the soil structure and how far down a pile must go. Most piles are driven 20 to 25 feet into the ground for deep rock embedding, and that much piling may be above ground. The more exposed a piling is above ground, the deeper below ground it must go to support the house adequately.
What Are Pilings for House Foundations?The foundation that your house is built on can have a major impact on the structural integrity of your home. A slab foundation is made of concrete that is typically 4"—6" thick in the center. The concrete slab is often placed on a layer of sand for drainage or to act as a cushion. Houses built on a slab lack crawlspaces, and there is no space under the floor. If you are considering building or buying a home on a concrete slab, there are a number of benefits and drawbacks that need to be considered.
The concrete is poured onto the ground all at one time. Some foundations have post tension cables or are reinforced with steel rods called rebar so that the slab can bearing the weight of the house.
The house is then constructed on top of this concrete foundation. Slab foundations are more common in southern states with warm climates, where the ground is less likely to freeze and cause the foundation to crack. Here's a look at the pros and cons that come with a slab foundation. It takes less time for a concrete slab to dry. Less downtime means that construction can move along without delay.
There is no need to wait the several days it takes for the concrete in a poured basement to cure and dry. Slab foundations minimize the risk of damage from flooding or the leaking of gas, such as radon, from a basement or crawl space into the house. A concrete slab can protect a home from termites or other similar insects as there are no open spaces underneath the house that provide access to wooden joists or supports insects could chew.
Cost savings is one of the biggest advantages. If it is built on a slab there is no crawl space or basement to budget for. This is particularly true when a builder has to carve a basement out of solid rock—a very expensive proposition. Slab homes are often built closer to the ground than homes with basements or crawl spaces, thus reducing the number of steps required to enter the home.
Easy access is advantageous for those who are less physically able. The decision to buy or build a home on a concrete slab depends in good part on the climate where the house is located and on your budget.
Despite the advantages of this type of construction, a concrete slab is not for every house site or homeowner. Here are five reasons to consider passing it up:. Although termites and other pests cannot gain access directly beneath the house, they can enter through the walls since the house is typically closer to the ground.
This is particularly true if the siding is made of wood and sits on the ground. Ductwork for heating and air conditioning is usually run through the ground-floor ceiling, which means that it must be heavily insulated to retain the proper temperature.
An air-conditioning unit and furnace may also have to be installed on the ground floor, which means that they will take up room that might otherwise be used for other purposes. One of the most significant potential disadvantages is if the slab cracks.Such an amazing houses! House raising is the most common in areas like Brisbane and also in many different areas of Queensland. This is because these are the areas where restumping is the most common.
Some families are doing this in order to take advantage of the space under the house, and some simply raise their homes to improve the views of the surrounding areas.
Read about some benefits house raising can bring you. Sign In Join as a Pro. View All Pros. See also. Australian Style. Appears in. Rebecca Gross 23 December Houzz Australia Contributor based in Sydney.
Design historian, writer and researcher. I study cultural history through the lens of architecture, design and visual culture. Design historian, writer and researcher Save Comment 34 Like 11 Print Embed. Click "Embed" to display an article on your own website or blog. Stilt houses are nothing new, dating back to prehistoric times and seen in a variety of forms worldwide.
But what is new is the innovative and diverse ways in which they are designed and built. They also serve to keep animals or vermin out, provide ventilation under the house, and minimise the footprint of the house on the earth.
Buying a House on a Concrete Slab: Advantages and Disadvantages
Here are 10 houses raised on wooden, steel, or concrete posts or pillars that give good reason why you should take your house to the next level. To build on a sloping suburban site In Brisbane, this neat little one-bedroom granny flat or studio is raised above the ground on steel posts. Plus sitting higher amongst the trees provides a beautiful outlook from the house. Steve Bagnall Homes. To build on an unstable foundation On a sandy dune in Fraser Island, this stilt house makes the most of sea views.
The wooden poles are driven deep into the soil below the sand, anchoring the house to the ground and ensuring maximum stability. A curved roof mimics this slope, while the platforms upon which the house is built imitate the deck of a yacht or cruise ship. Samara Greenwood Architecture. While the house follows the slope of the land, steel posts elevate it above ground. This allows for a minimal footprint on the ground and magnificent views from the house. In corrugated ironthis house is lightweight, strong, durable, and quintessentially Australian.
To build on uneven ground In Scottsdale, Arizona, this minimally modernist house hovers above the desert floor. The steel column stilts are subtle, but, in varying heights, they allow for the natural undulations of the land and the local flora to remain untouched. To build over water Inspired by Japanese architecture and its emphasis on integration with nature, this house in Maine engages both the land and water elements of its lake-side location.
Comprised of three separate sections, the living space of the house jetties out over the water, supported by fourteen structural steel columns. To maximise views In beautiful Margaret River, one section of this house has been elevated on stilts, leaving the hillside and flora undisturbed where possible. The design of this house takes advantage of its site. Jutting out towards the Indian Ocean — with empty space below — enhances the feeling of looking out and over the coast, with large glass panes allowing for panoramic views.
This would allow ventilation and cool air to flow under the house, protect the main structure from termites and other pests, and enable the natural flow of water in times of torrential rain.Steel stilts elevate Narula House, a British dwelling on banks of a River Thames tributary that has been designed by John Pardey Architects to endure flooding.
Architecture studio Space Encounters built a tile-clad office building on stilts in Amersfoort, the Netherlandsabove an existing brick warehouse. Bali-based architect Alexis Dornier has developed a concept for prefabricated homes that could easily be taken apart and reassembled in a new location.
A walkable concrete roof on thin steel stilts connects and shades the textured brick blocks of a training centre in Hanoi by Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Herbst Architects has raised a house in Piha, New Zealandon a concrete plinth and steel stilts to give views through the dense woodland to the beach. RAW Architecture has designed a zigzag roof of thatched bamboo for a school in Indonesiawhich is raised up on stilts to deal with its swampy site in Tangerang city.
Stinessen Arkitektur has built three cabins and a sauna on an island in the remote Steigen Archipelago off the coast of Norway in the arctic circle.
University of Chicago Centre Hong Kong by Revery Architecture is a glazed curvilinear building perched on slim concrete stilts on a steep, wooded hillside.Installing pilings for beach houses
While bungalows are generally considered to be a final home for many, the architects of these seven projects made them worth moving into before reaching retirement age. Some architects raise their buildings up on stilts for environmental reasons, while others are simply seeking the best views. Here are 10 of the most striking examples.
Oil rigs, Maunsell forts and a wading bird provided the inspiration for this artist's retreat in a salt marsh on England's east coast, which becomes inaccessible when the tide comes in.