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Old 02-21-2014, 06:41 PM   #1
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


For a little place in central Texas country I would like a 10x20x8 DIY cellar, walls made of wood. I'd connect it to the house via stairway, probably build a workshop or greenhouse on top of it.

If I used those concrete pyramid shaped supports at the big box for the walls I wouldn't have to mix any concrete at all. I would like to leave the floor plain dirt, or maybe wood, as its primary use will be food storage if I can get some ventilation in there. Wonder if anyone has some building ideas that would help this project get legs.

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Old 02-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #2
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


Been done before. You will need a floor to keep the walls from pushing inward.

http://www.canply.org/english/products/pwf.htm

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Old 02-21-2014, 09:47 PM   #3
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Been done before. You will need a floor to keep the walls from pushing inward.

Would 4x4s laid between the concrete post supports do the job? Upon reflection, I guess I'd need to put some in to protect the other two sides, as well. The floor might be tricky.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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Would 4x4s laid between the concrete post supports do the job? Upon reflection, I guess I'd need to put some in to protect the other two sides, as well. The floor might be tricky.
Ayuh,.... At a Minimum, I'd think ya need a poured footer to build off from,...

Yer precast concrete fence post bases, Ain't gonna work,...
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


do a search for permanent wood foundation.. their more common up north where conditions make it too cold to place concrete
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:50 AM   #6
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


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Originally Posted by puttster View Post
For a little place in central Texas country I would like a 10x20x8 DIY cellar, walls made of wood. I'd connect it to the house via stairway, probably build a workshop or greenhouse on top of it.
The work and expenses involved aren't much (if any) less than what it would take to build forms for concrete. If you were to rent those forms or to use one of the rigid foam board methods... have you priced it out?

20' +10' x2 x8' high x .75' thick... /27 = 13 yards (+ footing)
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:57 AM   #7
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Ayuh,.... At a Minimum, I'd think ya need a poured footer to build off from,...

Yer precast concrete fence post bases, Ain't gonna work,...
Yeah, I am thinking that now. Besides, I couldn't visualize how the concrete base/cross bracing/ posts /sill plate/studs/header would all come together. Would RR ties do the job? I could just nail the studs directly to them.

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Old 02-22-2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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Ayuh,.... By definition, a Foundation is a solid stable base in which to build yer house on,...

I ain't seein' anything solid, nor stable in yer plans,...
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


Here's a link you can take a look at, the exterior foundation walls I seen were covered with 30# roofing felt b4 backfill.

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Old 02-22-2014, 02:07 PM   #10
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ehhh... I dont know about a wood foundation. Something about that doesnt sit right to me. For this guy it would be alright but a house? not mine. I have replaced enough PT decks to know it doesnt last forever.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:32 PM   #11
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


Looks like you just lay in some gravel, lay 2" sill plates on top of ther gravel, then raise up the walls. No piping for a drain system that I could see, though they do lay poly over the gravel. Then hang floor joists and a floor over that.

A two man job, really. The trickiest part is making sure the sill plates are laid right.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #12
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If you insist on a wood foundation that was touted as "The best thing since sliced bread" back in the 1960's and 70's, but the system has become a failure except for short term jobs that can be hidden. The biggest problem is putting wood in the ground along with moisture and soil that is a bad recipe for long life or future value.

Even in the period, they required wood that is not longer available and the foundations were not allowed to be put on concrete footings (2x6 CCA treated wood plates), but had to be placed on gravel beds that were also used for moisture collection. They did require a poured concrete floor to keep the walls from sliding inward.

I always thought it was an ides that came out of bar meeting/argument with members of the wood steel industry regarding foundations/basements. Only one guy tried to really promote a system that has flopped.

Dick

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:58 PM   #13
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They did require a poured concrete floor to keep the walls from sliding inward.
Ha Ha Concretemasonary, not surprised you are recommending a concrete floor!

Seriously, I am building a root cellar on a plot of land 100 miles from a Home Depot. Looking for practical advice.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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I have been in one wooden basement that had a two story house moved in. All pressure treated and heavy 2x10 wall studs. It was only a few years old and the walls were already bowing inwards to the point that failure was not far in the future.

Don't underestimate the force that the earth will push on those walls! It's a bad idea all around.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:29 PM   #15
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Anyone built a wooden basement?


York -

The bowing in of the walls were a common problem with wood basements. You could usually pull a string across a wall at ground level and it was obvious.

It also could be from the bottom plate rotating/tilting or the lack of making a decent rigid connection to the floor system for lateral support.

puttster -

Concrete is the only way to get a decent floor in a below grade space that is touted as being insulated (if the fiberglass does not absorb any moisture). It is cheap and easy - just open a window and pump or dump. the soil under the floor is not that cool.

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