The influence of the growth conditions on the 3C-SiC layer quality in terms of crystallinity, morphology and residual strain was investigated. In dependence on the chosen growth conditions the stress state can be varied between inhomogeneous and homogeneous strain. For the reduction of the residual strain an alternative route for the improvement of the epitaxial growth of 3CSiC( 100) on Si(100) was developed. It consists in covering the silicon wafers with germanium prior to the carbonization step. The achieved improvement in the residual strain and crystalline quality of the grown 3C-SiC layers is comparable to SOI substrates. These beneficial effects were reached by using a Ge coverage in the range of 0.5 to 1 monolayer with respect to the silicon surface.