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Old 04-15-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default Permanent Wood Foundation DIY BOL



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Anyone have experience living in or building a permanent wood foundation?

I may be relocating soon as my area is starting to overpopulate, and where I'm looking to go concrete is outrageously expensive. Not to mention, getting a fully loaded concrete truck to the build site would be next to impossible.

Sounds like if built right, a PWF works great. It would be a simple DIY foundation option, and very cost effective in comparison. My better half insists we have a basement, and if she isn't happy well, you know.
Old 04-15-2012, 02:35 PM
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So you don't have enough Stone on the property to do a stone foundation?
Old 04-15-2012, 03:24 PM
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So you don't have enough Stone on the property to do a stone foundation?
Unfortunately, code only allows a stone veneer. There has to be a reinforced concrete "spine" behind it. My state has full code enforcement, so an inspector has to give you a residency permit to move in.
Old 04-15-2012, 04:01 PM
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I built an All wood foundation in Alaska pt 2x8 with 3/4" pt plywood and torch down over that, I believe that I was required to use stainless nails, anyway concrete there was very expensive and that was in"84" worked out real well. JT
Old 04-15-2012, 04:05 PM
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build your structure pole barn style. set poles 3 feet deep in cement (1 80lb bag sakcrete per pole) then frame your structure with the floor joists about 2 feet off the ground. from the joists to the ground, attach t&g pt 2x6's all around the perimeter
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:14 PM
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build your structure pole barn style. set poles 3 feet deep in cement (1 80lb bag sakcrete per pole) then frame your structure with the floor joists about 2 feet off the ground. from the joists to the ground, attach t&g pt 2x6's all around the perimeter
I looked into that too, and code bit me in the behind once again. Code requires concrete piles from frost line (4') to final grade, the sizes and spacing required combined with the cost of bag cement is similar in cost to pouring a slab.

Oddly enough, PWF doesn't even need a concrete footing.
Old 04-15-2012, 04:25 PM
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im not sure how young your back is, but id mix it myself from bags.
Old 04-15-2012, 09:00 PM
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For our cabin I did a rubble trench foundation using stone and pieces of crushed concrete I got on the cheap. Or how about concrete block?
Old 04-15-2012, 09:48 PM
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I use to build treated walls for modular homes so we could backfill against them to make it look like they where on a permanent foundation. Pretty much the same requirements as far as the code is concerned.

Beings you have to deal with inspectors it would be worth the cost to have a local engineer design it for you. Makes inspectors less likely to start interpreting code on your behalf. You must use pressure treated lumber rated for being buried. The normal treated stuff at Home Depot or Lowes generally (at least around here) is not rated to be buried. It is only rated for ground contact. The other thing you will need is stainless nails.
Old 04-16-2012, 05:51 AM
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I've built and lived in two. No problems.
Old 04-16-2012, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFlungPoo View Post
Unfortunately, code only allows a stone veneer. There has to be a reinforced concrete "spine" behind it. My state has full code enforcement, so an inspector has to give you a residency permit to move in.
Sounds like what ever you want to build your going to have to do so according to the building Codes your State requires.

If not you'll never pass the inspection for residency.

how ever that being said usualy there are more then one set of codes....City building codes, County building codes and sometimes even State building codes.
Are you checking the Correct set of building Codes for the area you want to build in ?
Old 04-16-2012, 04:42 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input so far,

Luckily not many counties have implemented code beyond state rules, except for set back and sometimes electrical. The area I'm looking to build in is unincorporated, so Township is about as far down as I need to look.

Fortunately WI has definite code for PWFs, and also allows designs that meet the Southern Pine Council PWF guide book criteria as equivalent. So no structural analysis is needed to prove I meet code.

I'm assuming there is a catch 22 with this system, because PWF hasn't really caught on despite the advertised benefits. Hence this thread.

I checked out block too, the price is competitive if I do not fill cores. Once I start filling cores the cost goes sky high because WI only allows masonry grout for core fill. Crazy!
Old 04-16-2012, 07:26 PM
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"the sizes and spacing required combined with the cost of bag cement is similar in cost to pouring a slab"

I doubt it, run the numbers again.
Don't buy "yuppie" just add water cement, buy gravel and portland.


g
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeasystreet View Post
"the sizes and spacing required combined with the cost of bag cement is similar in cost to pouring a slab"

I doubt it, run the numbers again.
Don't buy "yuppie" just add water cement, buy gravel and portland.


g
Gravel delivery also comes with the issues of site selection just as with a cement truck.

Concrete numbers are correct unfortunately, for my structure size the difference is only 3 yards of concrete to go with a slab. Concrete is expensive up here, but 3 yards is nothing. If my plans were for a small structure, then columns make a lot of sense as the spacing is wide and column diameter isn't too bad.

In case anyone is wondering, it will be a 30x30 A-Frame.

I guess the cost and feasibility differences between slab and column really isn't important at this point, my better half was pretty clear, a basement is not optional. That leaves me in a tight spot for foundation options, as our perfect piece of property requires a boom pump to get the mix where it is needed.

I do appreciate the suggestions however, please keep the ideas coming!
Old 04-21-2012, 12:57 AM
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You'll probably find that you will need to purchase a minimum of 5 yards, or pay an additional fee for less than 5 yards, delivered. Get the five yards, and find a way to use the extra two yards for something useful.
Old 04-21-2012, 05:41 AM
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Get yourself some 2x6s and run sidewalk out of your surplus 'crete. Other alternative is to cast yourself some pavers with it.
Old 04-21-2012, 08:48 AM
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http://larry-darter.suite101.com/con...uction-a195470

This is what I'm going to do if I ever build a house to save money on foundation.
Old 04-21-2012, 09:06 AM
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You could do a rammed earth foundation using old tires which you can usually get for free.



http://www.enotes.com/rammed-earth-c...h-construction

As far as code is concerned, there are ways around it depending on your location. Up in Maine for example, I know someone who built a small cabin on large wooden runners. He mounted a trailer hitch on it, and it suddenly becomes a non-permanent structure. So most codes don't apply.

In our situation, we built a yurt which it not regulated by building codes here, and yet we are full time residents. The only thing the town cared about was the design of our gray water system, so we went through that process.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFlungPoo View Post
Unfortunately, code only allows a stone veneer. There has to be a reinforced concrete "spine" behind it. My state has full code enforcement, so an inspector has to give you a residency permit to move in.
Pick another state? Seriously!
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:27 PM
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I'm stuck here, even if I wanted to leave. I love Wisconsin, and one aspect such as building code wont spoil it for me.

There are ways around code yes, however the inspector will be merciless if you get caught playing games. Even things like stair landings have specific requirements that normally slip by without issues, unless you really tick them off. They aren't ball busters normally, but they are there to do their job in a way that ensures a new contract at the end of the year. Knowing the inspector I will deal with, it would be easier and cheaper to work with him to ensure a smooth process.

I want to avoid doing alternative construction methods that aren't established in code, you have to apply for a variance which involves an engineering analysis to show that you meet or exceed the code's intent. Not to mention that the inspector will have no clue as to what you are doing, which will result in extra scrutiny.

Code is a reality here that I have accepted, that is why PWF seems to have potential. It is well established in code, inspectors are familiar with it up here, it is cheap and easy to DIY, very energy efficient, and is conducive to remote areas.


I do appreciate everyone's ideas and input so far, thanks!
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