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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Change from Pier and Beam to Slab in Dallas

    Does it anyone know when the transistion from Pier&Beam to slab started in Dallas ? I generally see the transistion was about the late 50's with both types being built into the 60's. I know there are exceptions but I mean generally about the time when Slab started to overtake Pier and Beam as the favored construction method. Also, curious to hear others opinion on what were the causes that lead to the change over from Pier and Beam to concrete slab ?

    Thanks

    Gene

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  2. #2
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Change from Pier and Beam to Slab in Dallas

    Gene:

    I was born in Dallas and have seen my share of foundations since beginning in the construction business in 1975. I have remodeled and inspected homes with slab foundations built in the 40's and early 50's, but they are rare.

    The real changeover began in the early 60's with Fox and Jacobs, Centennial, and their ilk. Slabs were cheaper to build (and still are) than pier and beam foundations. Not only due to lesser material prices, but also because it takes a much more sophisticated set of skills to construct a wooden undercarriage on concrete piers and beams than it does to build a box and dump concrete in it. Any idiot can do that.

    The plot thickened and the price of construction dropped with the advent in the late 60's of the TAMU-designed post-tension slab-on-grade foundation. This took even less materials and the same low level of skill than the steel-reinforced slabs. P-T slabs do not perform any better on these expansive soils, they only cost less. OK, if meticulously designed, installed and maintained, they may do a better job of controlling cracks. But, that's all, and only in a perfect world.

    Interestingly, during the transition period from P&B to slab foundations the builders took to installing planter boxes across the fronts of their houses houses to make them look like the P&B foundations that were using that style. Of course, all of the planter boxes created water intrusion and termite issues that are still being repaired today.

    Aaron


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    McKinney Texas
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    464

    Default Re: Change from Pier and Beam to Slab in Dallas

    Thanks Aaron.

    Gene


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Change from Pier and Beam to Slab in Dallas

    And then there was the wood screed type foundations (never got a confirmation on the exact name) that came in before a monolithic slab was done.

    What a wreck those are to have to deal with.

    rick


  5. #5
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Change from Pier and Beam to Slab in Dallas

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    And then there was the wood screed type foundations (never got a confirmation on the exact name) that came in before a monolithic slab was done.

    What a wreck those are to have to deal with.

    rick
    Rick:

    I try not to think about screeded slabs. Those are anathema, nothing but problems, and should never have been constructed. I've come across a myriad of anomalous foundation configurations that I also won't get into. But, my favorite was a house that was built by placing Tarmac on the ground and then sitting floor trusses right on top.

    Scary stuff awaits one out there. It's only a matter of time before you see something you though not possible. If it is too outlandish for one to even conceive, some genius has already done it, twice.

    Aaron


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