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One of the concrete guys I am getting a bid from for my shop/barn suggests I go with a monolithic type slab rather than a stem wall foundation. ( footer poured, with blocks on top and slab poured between the blocks.) He says it is cheaper and stronger. Not being an expert on foundations is he correct? What are the drawbacks to monolithic versus more traditional foundations?
 

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Monolithic pours, here in the south reffers to placeing form boards, pouring footer and slab as one piece. Anything useing seperate poured portions and/or blocks is still stem wall by the definiation from my days as a building contractor.

Go to google with 'monolithic pours', click the 'images' mode, there is about 1,800 articles displaying mono pours.
 

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i'm not sure how my husband did it, but his shop is a flat slab, but is much thicker around the edges to hold the walls better and prevent shifting and cracking of the floor. he explained that a flat slab will buckle and crack more with changing temperatures. i pay attention, but i am not a carpenter. he builds homes for a living, so actually has a clue.

an idea: he has placed a bunch of pvc conduit under it before the concrete so he can have simple radiant floor heat. then, his equipment won't freeze, but it won't take so much effort to bring the temp up to a working level with the wood stove.
 

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Almost every cabin, many homes and every unattached garage in central and northern Minnesota are built on "slab" foundations.
 
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