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Old 02-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


I would appreciate any advice from you experts out there.

I want to build a brick wall about 6 feet long, 40 inches high and 14 inches wide. I will put a 16 inch wide by 3 inch thick by 72 inch stone on top of it.

In the center, I will install my house numbers and address.

Sort of like the one in this link:

http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=addres...t:429,r:18,s:0

As I am in a cold climate, NORMALLY, I would dig below the frost line and build a permanent foundation to support the structure and prevent frost heaving.

However, in this instance the marker would have to be placed slightly on the city portion of my front yard, so that it could be properly seen from the street.

Therefore is is possible that one day, I may have to move it or even remove it

Consequently I was considering building the structure on a concrete slab instead of the below grade foundation.

I would excavate about 8 inches below grade, lay 6 inches of 3/4 crushed gravel, tamp it and then pour an 8 thick inch slab of concrete (with wire rebar)as my base. The Slab would be about 7 feet long and 24 inches wide..........giving a surface area of 14 sq ft. The total weight of the structure would be about 2500 lbs (approx 200lbs per sq/ft)

I am not sure if this will heave. I am thinking this is similiar to a concrete pathway or the foundation of an ashphalt drive: neither of which usually heave, even in our climate.

My thought is that this foundation will simply "float" on the ground surface and water will not be able to accumulate due to the gravel base.

Constructing it in this manner will also allow me to level the structure if it does settle over time (as it can be partially raised by levering up one side).

I would appreciate your thoughts as this will be an expensive and labor intensive undertaking.


Last edited by skitter; 02-23-2012 at 06:40 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


The only way to guarantee that it won't be affected by frost heave is to obviously go below the frostline with the foundation. You're taking a chance honestly, but it sounds like you're aware of the potential risks & willing to work at it to repair it if necessary.

To put things in perspective, and "cloud-up" my response even more, I can tell you that I would never attempt this as a contractor for a customer. That being said, I have a relatively heavy full masonry fireplace sitting directly on the corner of my patio, and I've yet to have any issues with frost in 3.5 years........

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


Thanks for the reply.

Im wondering.............how is it that concrete sidewalks generally do not heave from frost................as they dont go below the frost line?
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:24 PM   #4
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


May want to run this idea past zoning and or the building dept. Build it to close to the road and you may well be told to take it back down.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #5
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


Quote:
Originally Posted by skitter View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Im wondering.............how is it that concrete sidewalks generally do not heave from frost................as they dont go below the frost line?
Alot of times they do & you'll never notice. If the ground surrounding the sidewalk moves simultaniously, how easy is it to tell?
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
May want to run this idea past zoning and or the building dept. Build it to close to the road and you may well be told to take it back down.


its well back from the road. I suspect the city wouldnt say anything. Other neighbours have large landscaping rocks or address markers that are obviuosly on city property.

The marker would look professional and have a small garden around it.........but you never know if a neighbour might complain.............so I dont want a foundation on it, in case it has to be removed.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Alot of times they do & you'll never notice. If the ground surrounding the sidewalk moves simultaniously, how easy is it to tell?


which makes me think that IN THEORY, allowing the cement pad to "float" on top of the soil would allow for ground movement without disrubting the marker.

I guess Im trying to figure out how an asphalt driveway doesnt seem to heave, even though its obviously sitting above the frost line (I have a large circular asphalt drive that is adjacent to the location I want to put the marker, and the drive seems to be stable)

If the driveway can sit on a bed of gravel and not move, cant the address marker do the same??
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


I have a relatively heavy full masonry fireplace sitting directly on the corner of my patio, and I've yet to have any issues with frost in 3.5 years........[/quote]

-thats what I am thinking.............the ground under the address marker can freeeze and thaw, but it cant push the marker up out of the ground and cause the same kind of heaving as a fence post because the foundation isnt IN the ground as a post is.

Also the 3/4 crushed gravel will prevent water from accumulating under the marker. This means ice cant form to move the marker.

I envision it being similiar to laying patio stones or interlocking brick on a tampered level bed of crushed lime/gravel. If the base is properly laid the interlocing brick stays put for years.

But those are only MY thoughts, no doubt some of you have real experience on this topic.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:53 AM   #9
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Advice needed to build a brick address marker


I have seen houses built on a concrete raft, which is similar to what you are thinking of. These were used where the subsoil was shrinkable clay and there were trees close by which could affect the ground. If you remove the trees the ground would heave, but the raft could coe with this.

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