Up to date information on the Colorado Springs Real Estate Market!
Here at â€śBoylan and Companyâ€ť, we are fortunate enough to work with a lot of home buyers. There are a lot of hidden benefits to being involved with so many home buyers. The most valuable is the first hand knowledge you gain about what buyers are looking for and why. You also get some great questions, one of my favorites usually comes from people relocating from warmer climates, â€śWhy does every house have a basement?â€ť.
In warmer climates, Texas, Florida, California, etc... Homes are built using a method called â€śslab on gradeâ€ť. This method consists of a concrete slab poured into a mold, directly onto the prepared dirt, much like a sidewalk or driveway. This method is very cost effective due to the lack of excavation costs.
Unfortunately, we arenâ€™t able to use this method here in the Pikes Peak Region. The primary reason is Frost and associated Frost heaving. Frost heaving occurs when ice forms in the soil surrounding the foundation walls and expands, actually cracking or heaving foundation footers and walls.
When you build a home in the Pikes Peak Region the preferred choice of foundation is either basement or crawl space. Both of these options allow the builder to get the mostimportant parts of the foundation and home below the frost line, eliminating frost heave at the foundation. This means we have to build using the more expensive â€śSpread Footing Foundationâ€ť. This method consists of pads or footers of concrete, poured well below the frost line, in the Pikes Peak Region this means at least 4 feet below grade. These pads in turn transfer the loads from the foundation walls and house to the soil or bedrock below.
Footer forms set well below frost line
Now we get to the crux of why we have so many basements here in the Pikes Peak Region. Crawl spaces have to be at least 4 feet deep and cannot be counted as square footage in the home. Basements on the other hand, range in depth from 8 to 10 feet and are counted in the total square footage of the home. Both a crawl space and a basement require excavation (digging). This is expensive but a good portion of that cost comes from getting the equipment and operator to the building site. Once the digging starts, the cost of going from 4 feet of unusable crawl space to 8 or 10 feet of usable basement isnâ€™t much in the big picture. On the up side, by paying a little more on the front end, you add a large amount of cost effective square footage to the home.
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