Build without a basement / Guides

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Slab-on-grade vs foundation and crawlspace or basement

...assive solar slab-on-grade construction Slab-on-Grade Construction is best if: Slab on grade polished concrete floor © Bala Structures A slab floor is a fantastic way to start a passive solar home , as your entire floor surface consists of several inches of thermal mass to absorb heat. A slab is a great place...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...a foundation wall. Slab floors also easily accommodate radiant floor heating, which offers a very balanced and comfortable environment, transforming the concrete mass into one big radiator. One of the great advantages of radiant floor heat is that the further you get from anything radiating heat (imagine a woodstov...

Basement Design for walls prevents mold & midlew when renovating & finishing
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...an damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials and can cause health problems - that's why we don't want mold in our basements! Specifically we can prevent damage to buildings and building contents in the basement areas, save money and avo...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...also act as a radon gas barrier to protect indoor air quality, and it will satisfy building inspectors who are not accustomed to seeing a wall without a vapour barrier and may not allow you to continue. Radon gas prevention and remedial insulation in basements © Ecohome Note: the above diagram shows an ideal an...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Crawl spaces

Should I Build on a Slab on Grade Foundation or a Crawl Space?

...ansive clay soil, and by building a raft slab we saved money by not requiring any soil remediation. Read more about our Wakefield house solar air heated slab floor here . What’s cheaper to builda slab on grade or crawlspace? A slab is cheaper . A crawl space is like building a mini (and dysfunctional) basement, ...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...ansive clay soil, and by building a raft slab we saved money by not requiring any soil remediation. Read more about our Wakefield house solar air heated slab floor here . What’s cheaper to builda slab on grade or a crawlspace? A slab is cheaper . A crawl space is like building a mini (and dysfunctional) basement...

Why basements flood and how to prevent that with a sump pump
Basements improvements

Why Basements Flood & How to Prevent Flooded Basements

...a valuable and affordable addition that can alert you to a problem that you may be able to solve easily in time to possibly prevent a basement flood. Many of the smart home automation technologies on the market are very much about convenience, but receiving a smart phone notice of a leak is invaluable, and may afford y...

Future proof your home by preparing and building to for climate change
Planning and Design

Homes built for Climate Disruptions: A Primer for Home Owners and Buyers

...a newly paved jet-black driveway is a heat storage battery that will collect heat during the day, and radiate it back at you at night when you’re trying to sleep. There are water-permeable laneway alternatives to asphalt that will cool the air around your house, and also look cool next to your drought-resistant landsca...

Choosing a building lot
Excavation

Things to look for when purchasing land for building a house

...ay; natural peatlands; building lots that have had fill added. A geotechnical engineer can confirm what type of load a certain soil type can handle. Individual structural engineers may not require a soil test before approving a project, but a municipality might. If a building lot is not suitable for a traditional b...

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

...ab-on-grade floor on a site with a high water table. Images courtesy of Yanni Milon. Drain placement for slab on grade with high water table Drain placing with gravel and geotextile under a slab on grade foundation Placing gravel for draining slab on grade with high water table A raft slab acts a bi...

Frost Heave Prevention Helps Stop Frost Heaving Breaking up Home Foundations
New foundations and slab-on-grade

What causes Frost Heave? Preventing frost heaving is down to good foundation design

...ase. Sand works as well; it takes a layer of about 4 to 6 inches to be safe. As mentioned above, a slab on grade is not at any greater risk of frost heave than a basement, full stop. Read more here – Choosing between a slab on grade and a basement . You can build a basement right or wrong, you can build a slab right ...