Canadian Contractor

Do you really want to go cheap?


March 18, 2020
By Rob Blackstien

In August, Paul Duffy wrote the second of his three-part series about code changes that could really help save money, in this particular installment focusing on slab on grade.

It’s taken some time to get any reaction to this piece, but finally, Jay has responded with the following missive:

With the amount of money invested in homes, do you really want to cheap out on the one item that could destroy the equity in that home? I think not. Frost heaving is an issue in Canada almost everywhere except a few places like Southern Ontario or Vancouver Island. I live in Fort McMurray and the winters here can be brutal. I had a neighbour who had frost heave problems simply because there was a slope at the back of his lot. Even worse is people pushing this design add extreme amounts of insulation to reduce heat loss. What keeps the ground from freezing?

By the way, yes, I’m an engineer.

He raises an interesting point. What do you think, Contractor Nation? Do you agree with Jay in this instance? What are your experiences in terms of slab on grade and the current code requirements?


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1 Comment » for Do you really want to go cheap?
  1. Casey Edge says:

    Duffy is correct when he says “…there are huge opportunities here to build more affordably and better aided and encouraged by better Code language.” Also “builders and designers need to speak up.” And “This isn’t just a technical discussion best left to housing researchers and engineers.”

    But the National Building Code & BC Code development are closely controlled by regulators and bureaucrats with minimal builder input. Those in control, like politicians, are always happy to spend other people’s money.

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