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Houses built on slabs

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moonlithaze
LIF Adolescent

Member since 5/06

667 total posts

Name:

Houses built on slabs

I hope this isn't a dumb question but my dh and I have been looking at a lot of homes built on slabs.

Yesterday two family members told me to be careful because all the pipes for those homes are under the floor and if we ever needed to have a pipe replaced the floor would need to be ripped up?

Is this true? Have the houses that been updated possibly changed where the pipes are located?

Thanks in advance this has me worried.

Posted 6/19/14 7:35 PM
 
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alli3131
Peanut is here!!!!!!

Member since 5/09

18388 total posts

Name:
Allison

Houses built on slabs

I am on a slab. Yes pipes are in the slab. You don't have access to them because there is no basement. It's not that big of deal IMO.

Posted 6/19/14 7:42 PM
 

seba83
LIF Zygote

Member since 9/13

23 total posts

Name:
Sebastian

Re: Houses built on slabs

As most things in life it depends… As a first time home buyer I bought one like this nearly a year ago. Not telling it is a deal breaker, but think twice… I am not an expert, but as far as I know most of the houses here in LI built on slabs are called Levitt homes. Be aware that they are famous for very poor workmanship (if not updated they are very drafty, if you take walls down, you will most likely find warped studs and other problems). Not saying that other houses are much better... Just telling you. As per slab itself… The pipes in the slab (not really in it, but underneath it in the ground) are not a problem until they start leaking. You may end up demolishing a floor and jack hammering 5-7 inch thick concrete to fix an issue. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION to house perimeter inside. Nearly ALL of these slabs crack around the perimeter and sink (foundation stays in place so your house is ok, but your floor sinks! ). Definitely check on that. You do not know what is underneath it, you do not know why it sinks and so. Just be careful. And of course if price is right it still might be worth it.

So here are my two cents. I might be biased a bit, as I bought one like this last year, with floors well covered with carpets and did not realize that slab has cracked around the perimeter and in some places sank as much as three inches (yes I had an inspector, as discussed here inspection is VISUAL, so do not expect too much…). Now I am having very hard time fixing it for less than $20K-25K (cost of jack hammering the old and pouring a new one). Trying to find someone to level it from the top, but it is not easy... Maybe my case is extreme, or maybe I am extreme. All my neighbors have similar problem and nobody seems to care (did not check sizes of their cracks), they just put carpets down and they are fine… I am sure there are many happy people living in Levitt houses. Sorry for a wordy post, had to vent a bit, send me a PM in case you need more info. And… do not buy a house on a slab : -).

Message edited 6/19/2014 9:46:27 PM.

Posted 6/19/14 9:34 PM
 

ISpoilHim
I think I got this

Member since 11/10

1523 total posts

Name:
K

Houses built on slabs

I lived in Levittown for about 20 years. House was a slab as all houses in Levittown are. Our home was updated and the pipes in the slab were abandoned and everything was out of the slab. Most people I knew had the same thing.

As previous poster mentioned yes sometimes the slab sinks. We did have some sink age but just leveled from the surface and installed laminates with no problem.

Posted 6/19/14 9:46 PM
 

alli3131
Peanut is here!!!!!!

Member since 5/09

18388 total posts

Name:
Allison

Houses built on slabs

It's completely normal for the slab to sink a bit. And you can never abandon all pipes in the slab as plumbing still needs to be under. My guess is people are talking about the radiant heat that is in the actual slab.

As far as leveling floors we did our own and put down hard wood. Was def not a 25k issue.

Also there are plenty of slab houses that aren't levitt houses.

Posted 6/19/14 9:57 PM
 

MrsO
Big Brothers to Be

Member since 1/07

4521 total posts

Name:
Maureen

Re: Houses built on slabs

Our house is on a slab and all the pipes are in the walls. I grew up in a slab house and never had any issues on with the radiant heating once. My parents got rid of that. There are 1000's of homes on long island on slabs. I wouldn't let that sway you if you like a house. Just like basements can get water and flooding problems - you just never know

Posted 6/19/14 11:09 PM
 

moonlithaze
LIF Adolescent

Member since 5/06

667 total posts

Name:

Re: Houses built on slabs

Thank you this is very helpful!

Posted 6/20/14 10:58 AM
 

Elbee
Zanzibar

Member since 5/05

10767 total posts

Name:
Me

Re: Houses built on slabs

When we ripped up the 2 layers of carpet/linoleum on our cement slab we discovered a leak in the old copper pipes. We abandoned the 1st floor heating system and ran radiant heat instead.
Pipes in cement floors are leaks waiting to happen --- the pipes erode eventually and it's $$$ to fix, so we started over and ran radiant.

Posted 6/20/14 11:04 AM
 

Hofstra26
Love to Bake!

Member since 7/06

27915 total posts

Name:

Re: Houses built on slabs

I'm on a slab and yes, when there is a leak they may have to rip up your floors and break through the foundation. It's happened to us four times in nine years of being in our house. We have abandoned certain runs of plumbing but not all.

Honestly, I would never buy on a slab again.

Posted 6/20/14 1:35 PM
 

tara73
carseat nerd

Member since 11/09

3669 total posts

Name:
Buttercup

Houses built on slabs

ALL foundations settle. I've seen my fair share of houses with cracks in the basement from the house settling (or sinking). The house I grew up in had a huge crack in the foundation that was caused by settling, it was a basement. I had a friend growing up that lived in a house where the foundation (basement) sank about 1 foot in the back.


Posted 6/20/14 5:19 PM
 

Hofstra26
Love to Bake!

Member since 7/06

27915 total posts

Name:

Re: Houses built on slabs

Posted by alli3131

It's completely normal for the slab to sink a bit. And you can never abandon all pipes in the slab as plumbing still needs to be under. My guess is people are talking about the radiant heat that is in the actual slab.

As far as leveling floors we did our own and put down hard wood. Was def not a 25k issue.

Also there are plenty of slab houses that aren't levitt houses.



Technically, you can abandon ALL of the underground plumbing. We spoke with our plumber about it. However, the problem is the pipes need to be run up the walls and through the attic and it's extremely difficult to hide the pipes everywhere in your home since they are exposed. Where we've done it you would never know there are pipes running up the wall in our house, they are boxed in and surrounded by drywall so you would honestly never notice.......they just blend into the wall. If I could figure out the hiding of all the pipes I'd abandon everything in the slab.

We also did hardwood floors with no issue. We have a special vapor barrier underneath to handle the slab moisture. They've been in place almost ten yrs. with no issues. We were always afraid of a slab leak in the areas of the hardwood so we abandoned the plumbing running underneath all of it. I would die if they had to tear up that floor so after four leaks in other areas we decided to just get rid of that plumbing run, now I don't have to worry.

Posted 6/20/14 9:44 PM
 
 

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