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Old June 3rd, 2013, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default House on a slab?

I've never known anyone with a house on a slab to be able to ask them question but I'm looking at a house built on one. My current attached garage has a slab that gets damp in the spring and fall and sometimes mid winter if it's not freezing. Will a house on a slab get damp like that? What issues besides cracking do slab houses get that aren't obvious? Are they considerably colder? Cost more to heat? Hard to inspect because of existing flooring?
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:00 PM   #2
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Should not be much different if done correctly. Had a friend that had a house on a slab, the heating ducts were run before the slab was done I believe and with the house over it it should not be like a garage floor that gets wet. If your garage was insulated and vented properly with padding and carpet and a HVAC system it would be fine like a house, but the slabs are colder than a house with a crawl or basement but insulation can help a ton.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:19 PM   #3
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I would think newer slabs would have plastic or foam underneath to insulate somewhat for this reason ?
Where are you looking in Lansing ?
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:22 PM   #4
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My house is on a slab and is mostly tiled. I don't find it any colder and have no issues other than not having a basement to fill with water and other useless shit
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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My house is on a slab and is mostly tiled. I don't find it any colder and have no issues other than not having a basement to fill with water and other useless shit
We had an addition put on at my parents when I was a kid and it was only colder in the cold months, but no idea whether there was insulation under it.

Just a little colder than the rest of the house that had a basement under it. Could only notice if laying on the floor like a kid would do mostly.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 11:42 PM   #6
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My parents house is on a slab, it has in floor heating. There is 2in insulation under the concrete. It does not get damp or do anything that I can tell, the in floor heating is nice. its just a comfortable temp all the time when its colder, doesn't dry out the air or blow dust around. The tiled areas are warm in the winter. I would not have any problem buying a house on a slab or making one.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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my house is on a slab built in 1940 and it also has block walls. its a bomb shelter to say the least but it is also almost sound proof. I have carpet and tile floors and I haven't had any prob with dampness. only thing I can say that is bad is all my water lines were ran under the cement when it was 1st built. in winter it took forever to get hot water. since I completely redid house I ran them in ceiling and that prob is gone. mine is a 2 story house everything updated now and my heating bill is 200 to 300 in winter and is 1600 sqft. hope this helps some.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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oh and my floors arnt heated and the 1st floor the heat vents are all in the ceiling not even in the floors and it isn't that cold in winter.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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Our house is on a slab (built in the mid 1950s). All of the duct work runs through the attic and I've never had an issue with moisture in the garage (or anywhere else). I do like to keep a window in the garage cracked open most of the time for some fresh air but even before I began doing that I never noticed any moisture.

The interior is a mixture of wood, tile, and carpet and nothing seems any colder than any other house I've spent a lot of time in.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #10
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if you pass on this house, and look at a semi-traditional "colonial" you may find that often the traditional family room which is often situated behind the garage is often built on that same slab/pour.

our mid 90s built home is built that way.

chief gripe about the slab? if we're rough-housing with the kids in there, it hurts more if someone falls/gets slammed into the floor

chief benefit of the slab? it doesn't creak, groan like the wood floor areas of all too many houses built in that era.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #11
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It may depend on where in Lansing it is. Most of the south side was swamp so some houses have slabs because they couldn't have a basement. You may want to check on flooding in the area.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #12
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This house is located in Holt. I went and looked at it today. Very, very rough but I was expecting it to be considering its price.

Where the dishwasher would be mounted (if it had one) there was an obvious crack toward the outside edge where the wall met the floor. The crack was about 1/4 inch and it ran parallel to the wall.

In one of the bedrooms (3 total) there was visible mold inside the closet. In another of the bedrooms it smelled strongest of mold and at the outside edge of the house, the slab floor ramped upward in a cup-like fashion probably about 1/2 inch or more. There was carpet covering it so I couldn't see if the slab was poured weird or if the slab broke and shifted upward. It looked a little too deliberate in its upward slope to be breakage. The whole house overall smelled of mold.

It had an Arcoaire furnace that looked to be easily 20+ years old. The air ducts are in the slab.

The soffit in the front of the house was missing a section that they decided to screw plywood up and cover the hole. Maybe they had squirrel issues and used some plays out of the Kickstand guide to home squirrel remediation?

The front picture window looks like some jacknut cut a hole in the front of the house and slapped in one 2x4 on either side and fabbed himself poorly crafted custom window panes. It will need to be removed and properly framed and a new window installed.

Every door in the place was banged up. The front door especially. It didn't look like there was forced entry ever but a 5 year old on a tricycle could break it in.

Every wall looked and felt like the sheet rock needed to be removed and redone. Possibly framing problems hiding behind that drywall.

The house was very dirty but not fecal matter dirty. More like grease and oil on their hands and touched everything. Very ground in though so it's going to take Castrol Superclean and a coat of paint to hide it.

The roof line did not look wavy or sagging and the chimney was not crumbling.

The one bathroom was pretty beat up. Not as bad as some of the places I've seen but not worth salvaging.

I kept asking the guy showing the place "People lived here? Just as it sits?" and judging by the rest of the neighborhood you wouldn't guess it was like it is.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeBread View Post
if you pass on this house, and look at a semi-traditional "colonial" you may find that often the traditional family room which is often situated behind the garage is often built on that same slab/pour.

our mid 90s built home is built that way.

chief gripe about the slab? if we're rough-housing with the kids in there, it hurts more if someone falls/gets slammed into the floor

chief benefit of the slab? it doesn't creak, groan like the wood floor areas of all too many houses built in that era.
Our hosue is like that and the room with the slab is colder than the rest of the floors. It doesn't get damp but the floor is cold even through the carpet compared to the hardwood which is above the basement. I wouldn't think I would notice it as much if the other floor wasn't there and you weren't stepping between the two.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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My first home was on a slab. The floors were colder...always. Just like Kerry mentions. No moisture issues and no flooding issues. Our heating ducts were run through the attic, so that was a big contributor to cold floors.
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