A little off topic, but think those on this site may be a good
judge. What are the up and downsides of
a slab home other than the obvious storage advantage. My husband and
I are thinking of moving and have found some homes we liked that were
on slab. We have always lived in a house with basement , but now
could live without a basement. We live in metro Atlanta. Thanks
What extra living area? If a slab house is one story and 2000 square feet,
it has the same area as a house with 2000 square feet spread over a basement
and first floor. It comes down to what layout you prefer and what fits the
lot it is constructed on. If the lot has ledge you don't get a basement.
If the lot has a shallow water table, you don't get a basement.
Differences to consider are cost of heating a one level versus a multi level
and cost of roof replacement of a house spread out with a lot of roof versus
one with half the area and stacked. Stairs versus no stairs and privacy of
bedrooms on a multilevel.
No it isn't. A 2000 sq ft house with a slab is considered the same as a 2000 sq
ft house on a basement for tax and MLS purposes. In new construction, basements
are not typically billed at the same rate as above grade construction.
This varies by jurisdiction -- some tax assessments do include the
basement in calculating value, often distinguishing finished and
unfinished basement square footage as well.
The taxable value of a 2000 square foot home with 2000 square feet of
basement (4000 square feet of total living space) will be higher than a
2000 square foot on a slab or crawlspace in many jurisdictions.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
Forget billing and MLS. I'm talking real space to be used, no matter what
you call it. or how you count it Taxes are based on value. You can have a
2000 square foot house worth a million bucks or a dump of a house that is
twice that size. None of that means anything in the usability of slab
versus basement. What does matter is real area that can be used.
I have a 1000sq/ft ranch with a full finished basement. So, in actuality, I have
2000sq/ft of living
space. When the house is sold, it can only be listed as 1000sq/ft. So, I am
being taxed for
I've never seen a tax based on square feet, but that does not mean it does
not exist. Value is what is used in most every town. What does your tax
bill read? There is probably a assessment for $xxx and a mil rate.
There is no advantage to either type of construction as far as taxes. What
does matter is what works for you. When building your dream house, you
decide what size kitchen you want. Then you determine how many bedrooms
you need and how big they should be, how many baths, etc. That same amount
of space can be configured many different ways, many different styles, with
and without a basement.
Look at some older houses versus new. Bedrooms upstairs and laundry
facilities in the basement. Dumb, huh? Seems even dumber as we get older
and have to carry things up and down the steps. Newer designs are finally
putting the laundry near the point of use.
Basements make nice work shops, Unless it is a walk out, you have to get
everything up and down also. That works hop on ground level sounds much
better. Some basements make good swimming pools, but that was never
intended. Dry basements may be nice, but wet ones present problems.
Small lot? Stacking makes a lot of sense. Saves on roofing cost also as
less area has to be covered. Better? Well painting up high is not as much
fun as painting the same house spread out low. Each house has advantages
To just say one is superior to another is silly as we all have different
So what? A 1000 square foot house with basement has the same usable space
as a 2000 square foot house on a slab. A square foot is a square foot,
counted or not. The fact that some of the space is below grade does not
make it any better to use than the same space on the same level. Why would
you want to cart the laundry up and down the stairs when it can be done on
the same level? Why would you want to drag stuff up from the basement when
it can be stored on the same level?
Thee maybe other reasons to prefer one type over the other, but total space
is not one of them. You can build a 40,000 square foot house on a slab if
you want, or you can have a 500 square foot house with a basement.
Many of the pro and con reasons given in this thread are meaningless.
Slabs make cold floors? Not always, they can be built with insulation and
even radiant heat.
Ease of running utilities? Not if the basement is finished or the house is
two stories. OTOH, if there is an open utility area, cable can be run just
as easy and plumbing access is just as simple.
The deciding factor is personal preference for design, cost of construction,
total space that is needed, physical limitations,. I have had both and like
both, but I'd not say one if definitely "better" than the other.
You could say the same thing about an attached shed, or unfinished
attic. You have "occupiable space". Space that you use but lie
to the town about, and non-existant space. Where that space is isn't
usually relevent, it's just a question of where the space will
fit, how convenient it is, and how much it costs.
If you don't have to put in a full-depth foundation, it's
likely to be cheaper to build up or sideways than down.
A 2000 sf house on a slab has only 2000sf of space. A multi level may
have the same 2000 sf of LIVING space but the basement (generally the
same size as house footprint) can add a significant amount of room
that is usually not taxed but is invaluable for storage workshop etc.
A little carpet some wall paint and the basement is a nice rec/play
area without any taxes. A slab is worthless for me. In some areas
its the only choice but here in NJ only a sucker would buy a slab
You mentioned where you live now, but not where you want to move next. If
it's someplace with an actual winter for 3-5 months per year, you will grow
to hate a slab home. Nice, cold floors. They're a blessing in Puerto Rico.
They're a curse in upstate New York.
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