The slab is probably the easiest foundation to build.
It is a flat concrete pad poured directly on the ground. It takes very little site preparation, very little formwork for the concrete and very little labor to create.
It works well on level
sites in warmer climates -- it has problems up north
because the ground freezes in the winter and this
freezing can shift the slab at worst and at least lead to cold
floors in the winter
A house with a basement starts with
a hole about 8 feet deep.
At the bottom of the hole is a
concrete slab, and then concrete or cinder-block walls form the
outer walls of the basement.
basement is poured in three pieces in most cases: the "beams," then
the walls, and then the slab inside the walls.
helps keep the basement waterproof.
A crawl space has
several advantages over basements and slabs:
It gets the house up off the ground (especially important in damp or
It is a lot less expensive than a basement and comparable in price
to a slab.
Duct work and plumbing can run in the crawl space, meaning that they
are easy to service and move over the lifetime of the house.
Most of the time, a crawl space is made of
cinder block with a brick facing.