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Thread: foundations

  1. #1


    I have seen several log homes go up on blocks or piers. IS that okay in most areas or do then need full slab or blocked foundations? It would seem costwise that would be much less expensive and allow for much easier plumbing etc...

  2. #2
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Brickleberry NP
    That is the easiest way to make a log home, however, I would caution you against "cheapest"

    How much more space do you get with a poured (ICF) foundation/walk out basement? How deep is your frost line? Do you plan on doing it all yourself? (Contractors know how to do block/ICF, but piers are not every day projects for them--they'll want to stick to what they know).

    There are lots more considerations to think about for your foundation--Legality being only one. Talk to your county building dept to find out what is "required" in your area.

  3. #3

    Prescriptive Foundation Design in the IFC

    While you're checking with the local building department you might ask if they follow the IRC (International Residential Code.) The IRC is kind of like a building code lite. For single family residences that meet certain guidelines (i.e. area and height requirements) the book provides minimum prescriptive design guides for foundations (and standard light framing as well). Basically, cook book engineering. If you do what they say you are fine by the code. Usually, if you're particular condition is the exception that doesn't fit within the rules of the IRC they will require you to get a licensed engineer to design your exception but you can still follow the rest.

    If they do follow the IRC you might be able to find a copy at the local library or a better shot might be on the city's own website. Sometimes citys will publish the parts they turn into law so they are available as public records.

  4. #4
    ahh, citys, cities. grammer and spelling get me everytime.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Brickleberry NP
    "Code" rarely is good enough for a log home. Logs are much heavier, and a log structure will weigh 10x as much as a "stick built" home. Where you may be legal, you will want to be sure that the structure will be good. code is cookbook for "traditional" construction. It is a good starting point for your construction project, but I would not say "it passes code, it should be OK"

    FWIW, my footer is 30-32 inches wide, with 2 #5, grade 60 bar running the length, ~12 in apart, then transverse bar (#4, grade 40) every 30 inches or so. I read code and it says that my footer only needed to be 16 in wide.

  6. #6
    I have a great alternative to the typical foundation. I have built 2 structures on this type, 1 a 64x32 building and the 2nd my home. Both are in a heavy frost region.

    This is called beam on piers: 1, You place 12" tubes buried to 4' every 8' along the foundation line. 2, Build a 12" wide x 12" high form on the foundation line, over the tues. (the ht. can be higher if you want additional crawl space below. 3, Run rebar down each tube looping to the next and so on. This will give you rebal down each tube and the beam form. 4, Pour your concrete all at once. This ties the piers to the beam.

    This gives you a rock solid foundation to build on. It is also very easy to add on to in the future. Note: The tubes are available with a flare on the bottom. This will give it more hold down, if you feel you need it.

    Drop me a message and I will send you a diagram and pictures if you would like. This was approved by a local architect.

  7. #7
    LHBA Member jrdavis's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    CB, Iowa
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    Stressman -- rock,

    anyone else have any thoughts on this?
    I have a 42 inch frost line here, but I'm not sure this would work...
    but sounds like an option.


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