Foundations, Basements & Slab-on-Grade

When renovating or building a new home in the US or Canada with a Basement or a Slab on Grade, in the EcoHome Foundation & Basement guide section you will find the basics on foundation, basement & slab design, under slab insulation, site selection & preparation, excavation, drainage & radon gas prevention and mitigation

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

One of the first decisions when building a home is what type of foundations to sit your home on - cold-climates, termites, problem expansive clay soils, insulation & vapor & radon barriers all need to be considered...… What is the difference between a slab on grade & a crawl space? A slab on grade, or ‘frost protected…

Preventing radon gas in homes starts with testing for radon - the only sure way
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Radon Gas Awareness - Up to 10% of North American homes tested have unsafe radon levels

Long-term exposure to high levels of radon gas in homes is the second greatest cause of lung cancer after smoking - that's 25000 preventable deaths a year from radon exposure - has your home been tested?… Why is Radon a Problem in USA & Canada? Radon gas is cancer-causing radioactive, invisible, odourless and tasteles…

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces

Removing radon gas from existing basements and crawlspaces can be very effective, here are different options for different situations.… Radon Gas in Crawlspaces & Basements - why is it a problem? Radon gas was not high on the radar of builders and home owners over the last few decades, but as it is the second leading …

Insulating crawlspaces as part of home renovation
Crawl spaces

How to insulate crawlspaces properly as part of renovating an older home

Crawlspaces are very rare as part of a new home construction nowadays in USA & Canada. If you've got one here's how to fix it.… Crawlspace insulation - be careful to get it right A crawlspace comes with all the downsides of a basement, but it is just too low a space to be functional either beyond the folded plastic ch…

Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from well water

High levels of radon gas in the air of your home might be coming from your water and not the floor of your basement.… It is a very wise idea to have the air of your home checked for high levels of radon gas. Health Canada has identified exposure to radon gas as the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, es…

Choosing a building lot
Excavation

Things to look for when purchasing land for building a house

Finding a suitable building lot requires a lot of consideration and research; here are some things to look for.… It is not illegal to sell an unbuildable lot, so buyers beware. Any number of roadblocks can prevent you from building the house you want, or any house at all, so before you make a purchase make sure you ca…

Prefab frost-protected shallow foundation insulated form kit
Slab on Grade

Raft slabs - How to build Insulated Frost Protected shallow foundations (FPSF) on problem soils

How to build on sites with expansive soils, high water tables and poor bearing capacity.… The soil conditions of some building sites are not suitable for a slab-on-grade foundation with a thickened-edge footing without first beginning with extensive and costly soil remediation. Opting for a raft slab in such condition…

Radon Mitigation - Installing a radon evacuation stack in a slab floor
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Mitigating radon gas in homes

Radon gas in homes is a growing health concern. Adding a passive radon stack is always a good idea to prepare a home for better indoor air quality.… Radon gas builds up in homes and has serious health effects. Reducing radon gas in homes is cheap and easy with a slab floor barrier with proper sealing at junctions and …

Slab on Grade

Finishing the exterior of an insulated slab-on-grade floor

Insulating the exteriors of basements and slabs leaves you with needed to finish the exterior. In this video you see an easy fix to have the exterior surface secured by set concrete, while avoiding any thermal bridges in the process.… WATCH MORE sustainable building VIDEOS Once a decision has been made to choose betw…

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

A slab-on-grade home or building is more affordable, more comfortable and more Eco-friendly. Here is a technical guide & design guide for construction of a slab on grade foundation.… Slab-On-Grade Construction - Technical Guide   Deciding to build your home with a slab-on-grade foundation instead of a conventional bas…

Step by step guide for slab-on-grade home construction
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade construction: the ecoHOME A to Z Slab building guide

How to build a slab-on-grade foundation saving money on basement frost walls for home construction with a Frost Protected Shallow Foundation… Slab on Grade foundation, detail design; the basics There are many different soil conditions and corresponding slab designs. This page is about how to build a thickened edge con…

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Foundations and Basements

Building science for foundations and slab on grade options are explained, for example raft slabs as a frost-protected shallow foundation. EcoHome helps readers understand the issues that affect energy efficiency, moisture management, slab on grade forming techniqueshow to choose between a crawlspace or a slab foundation and radon control and removal so you can build more efficient Green homes and better insulated crawlspaces that will last a lifetime.

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