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billinak 04-09-2007 11:28 AM

Building a workshop.
I'm in the early planning stage of building a backyard workshop/sauna. I live in Anchorage, the area is fairly well drained, but this winter the frost penetrated to 8+ feet. A slab is out of the question, so I thought of using sonotubes to build the structure on, but I think pier blocks would be easier to use and manipulate. What do you think? Pier blocks vs sonotubes?

warnerww 04-09-2007 02:09 PM

8 feet WOW. How far down do they require footings for new construction up there let me say it again 8 feet WOW. I am in Eastern Wa and our frost line is 2 feet so that is how for we need to go down.

billinak 04-09-2007 02:16 PM

We had frost-jacked fire hydrants and broken lines all over town this year. I think they said on the news that frost went down to 10 feet in some areas because November was very cold with no snow to insulate.

warnerww 04-09-2007 02:25 PM

If you want it done the best way possible I would do a pole barn style and get tubes down as far as you can. Saying that I am building a 12 by 12 playhouse for my daughter and I only went down 6 inches. But for where you are at I would go down deep if you can. The ground moves a lot up there does it not? I think I heard that somewhere.

gary 04-09-2007 04:34 PM

If this workshop/ sauna is a stand a lone building, do and an Alaskian pour, slab will raise and fall when frost heave, You either have to below frost line or on top of it.

warnerww 04-09-2007 04:40 PM

Just curios what is an Alaskan pour slab. It does not get that cold in most places? Does the thing just float on top of the perma frost?

billinak 04-10-2007 11:36 AM

The municipality of Anchorage recommends a slab, sonotubes set to 5 feet, or building on on railroad ties. I'm looking at a 14' x 20' building, so slab is out of my price range. I could get the sonotubes down to 5 feet, but I'm thinking the easiest solution is to build it on raised railroad ties. Has anyone ever done this?

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