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  1. #1
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    Default Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Just had a home buyer tell me the house has a "California Slab" foundation, Built in 1958.

    Never have heard the term before. I assume it is a precursor to the monolithic slabs common to this area but after 21 years I guess I need a little schooling. I have seen some strange stuff in this area and era of homes but the term is a new one for me.

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    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    I did a Google search on "california slab foundation" and several things came up.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Just had a home buyer tell me the house has a "California Slab" foundation, Built in 1958. Never have heard the term before. I assume it is a precursor to the monolithic slabs common to this area but after 21 years I guess I need a little schooling. I have seen some strange stuff in this area and era of homes but the term is a new one for me.
    Hi Jim,

    I have lived in California all my life (well... not yet) and I have never heard of a "California Slab" either. I googled it as well and the only thing I found was noted below.

    http://www.contractortalk.com/f48/fe...at-they-76606/

    Last edited by Gunnar Alquist; 11-17-2016 at 03:49 PM.
    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    This is the other reference I found in the Google search:
    http://forums.finehomebuilding.com/b...-what-are-they

    Both sources sound like they are describing the typical monolithic thickened edge slab with intermediate footings where load bearing walls/columns are to be placed.

    Amazing how something as simple as a monolithic slab has been claimed by some to be a "California Slab" ... we've been doing that in Florida (that I know of, could be even longer) for 45-50 years and I've never heard it referred to as a "Florida Slab" ... just "monolithic slabs" and "thickened edge" slabs.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Can't say I have ever heard of a "California Slab" in my 40+ years living there. California hip roof? Yes, heard of that. Slab? No.
    Interesting that a Texas person was referring to a California slab.
    We had very few slab homes in my area anyway.

    By the way, you have not lived until you have been in a crawlspace DURING an earthquake.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ... we've been doing that in Florida (that I know of, could be even longer) for 45-50 years and I've never heard it referred to as a "Florida Slab" ... just "monolithic slabs" and "thickened edge" slabs.
    Jerry,

    Clearly, the "Golden State" has better PR people than you folks in the "Sunshine State".

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    By the way, you have not lived until you have been in a crawlspace DURING an earthquake.
    I'll pass on that, Jack.

    I venture to say that anyone who may have been in a crawlspace during a flood would pooh-paw the earthquake thing ...

    ... then again, anyone who was in a crawlspace during a flood must be trying out for the Darwin Award ... whereas being in a crawlspace during an earthquake - well, $hit 'just happens' ... and that'd be more of a Murphy's Law type event.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Thanks, I'll be inspecting it soon and will check back with an update.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Jim, I believe your buyer is referring to a screeded slab. I've also have heard of them as California slabs.
    It has raised perimeter and about a 4" space under the floor for the air return. There are floor joists suspended under the flooring. If you were a mouse it would look sorta like a pier and beam thats missing piers.... If you look in the AC closet you might be able to see down the hole where the AC condensate drain goes into the slab and stick a screwdriver down there. Should be 4 to 6" down. Normally these have floor vents for return and supply vents at the ceiling or upper wall. These are nice to walk on (like a pier & beam) but can hide water leaks and termites pretty well. Most of them I've seen were built by Dave Fox pre Fox and Jacobs in the North Dallas area.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    Jim, I believe your buyer is referring to a screeded slab. I've also have heard of them as California slabs.
    It has raised perimeter and about a 4" space under the floor for the air return. There are floor joists suspended under the flooring. If you were a mouse it would look sorta like a pier and beam thats missing piers.... If you look in the AC closet you might be able to see down the hole where the AC condensate drain goes into the slab and stick a screwdriver down there. Should be 4 to 6" down. Normally these have floor vents for return and supply vents at the ceiling or upper wall. These are nice to walk on (like a pier & beam) but can hide water leaks and termites pretty well. Most of them I've seen were built by Dave Fox pre Fox and Jacobs in the North Dallas area.
    You nailed it. That is exactly what I expected and what I found when I got there, complete with extensive water damage, termites, and rat infestation. Add on the excessive foundation movement, and I have another name for it. Instead of the "California Slab" lets just call this one a "pusher" as in push it down and start over.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Wouldn't have been on Flair Drive in Dallas would it?
    Those were some of the original Dave Fox homes. Later after they became Fox & Jacobs he built three types of homes. They were the Today (smallest) Accent (mid size) and Flair (big, two living areas).

    I've probably done 7 or 8 over the years but they all have been in good condition.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    Wouldn't have been on Flair Drive in Dallas would it?
    Those were some of the original Dave Fox homes. Later after they became Fox & Jacobs he built three types of homes. They were the Today (smallest) Accent (mid size) and Flair (big, two living areas).

    I've probably done 7 or 8 over the years but they all have been in good condition.
    Coral Gables, just under 2000', a couple of streets north of Flair.
    I had done another one in the same general area a few years back, about the same shape. I think there is a reason they quite building these!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Definition needed - What is a "California Slab"?

    Interesting. I believe I ran into something similar in Texas which had post-tensioned slab on grade with below slab ductwork. The house ended up having a water leak for an extended amount of time because a pipe froze and flooded the house and all the ducts. I was going to guess a CA slab was a post-tensioned slab which are sometimes designed when you have highly expansive soils.


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