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Why Raleigh Has More Crawl Spaces Than Basements

Together with Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh forms a triangle in the heart of North Carolina. It’s known for its elite universities (hello, Duke, UNC, and NC State) and for being the capital of North Carolina. Falcone Crawl Space does a lot of jobs in this area and it makes sense as it’s a desirable place to live and hence, there are many homes. There are currently 469,124 people residing here and on average, Falcone completes 40 plus jobs here within a span of a year.

People also settle here because the changing of the seasons is more distinctive than in similar cities that are farther south. While this moderate climate can be enjoyable, it results in unique concerns for homeowners.

When Choosing Between a Basement and Crawl Space, Raleigh Environmental Conditions Matter

When a home gets built, the type of foundation is an important consideration. There are certain factors relating to Raleigh’s environment that make crawl spaces more useful and attractive to homebuyers than basements.

The Constructions Costs

Construction costs affect the overall budget of a home-building project. Owners can actually save money on the construction of a crawl space since they will excavate a smaller area. There is also less concrete to pour when building a crawl space as compared to building a full basement.

On average, it costs $10 per square foot to build a crawl space. Building a full basement will come to $50 per square foot, significantly increasing the overall cost of building a home.

The Advantages of a Shallow Frost Line


how a shallow frost line affects a crawl space

When building any type of foundation, it’s important to start below the frost line. In areas where the soil freezes to a deeper level, it’s necessary to excavate more earth to get past the frost line. As a result, it would be impractical to construct a crawl space.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of living in Raleigh is that there’s a shallow frost line. This makes it possible to build a durable crawl space. Raleigh homebuilders can take advantage of the benefits of crawl spaces without sacrificing the stability of the structure.

The Challenges of Building in Clay

The land throughout the Raleigh region consists largely comprised of Cecil soil, or yellowish-red clay. It is fertile clay soil containing decomposed granite and quartz and interesting to note, the official state soil of North Carolina. It’ an expansive soil meaning that they are extremely sensitive to water. Even with the use of heavy machinery, excavating this type of soil is extremely difficult. For this reason, many homebuilders in the Raleigh area recommend building a shallow crawl space rather than trying to dig deeper for a basement foundation.

The Dangers of Living in a Flood Zone

Much like the surrounding cities of Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, and Durham, Raleigh is relatively close to the eastern coastline. If you are actually on the coastline, say in Charleston, basements are virtually nonexistent, largely due to high water table and sandy soil.

The probability of heavy rainfall and the possibility of tropical storms is still relatively high since Raleigh isn’t too far from the coastline. Raleigh averages about 47 inches of rain per year. It is by no means a dry area.

The increased danger of flooding makes the idea of building a basement less attractive when compared to constructing a crawl space. Raleigh homeowners can avoid many future problems, such as cracked foundation walls, by choosing a crawl space. They can also further reduce the risk of water seepage with encapsulation, a service that Falcone is well-versed in.

Homes With a Crawl Space Offer Hidden Benefits to Raleigh Homebuyers

Of course, an obvious advantage of buying a home with a crawl space in Raleigh is the cheaper upfront cost when compared to having a full basement. There are more benefits that a crawl space provides.

Fewer Pest Problems

A home with a full basement sits level with the surrounding soil, creating a more attractive target for insects, rodents, and other pests. However, the crawl space raises the first level of the home. Insects, such as termites and carpenter ants, are less likely to crawl up into a home that sits on an elevated crawl space

Maintenance is Easier

A crawl space provides easy and convenient access to the underside of the home. Skilled technicians can easily access HVAC equipment, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, and other home features. This easy access simplifies maintenance and repairs.

Protect the Crawl Space in Your Raleigh Home

Falcone Crawl Space & Structural Repair can help you maintain a solid, reliable foundation. Whether your home has a full basement or a crawl space, we can provide waterproofing, repairs, encapsulations, and other essential services. To learn more, contact us today!