Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-08-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17
Share |
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


Hi,

I am looking at a 25 year old house. The house is supported by piers made from 55 gal drums filled with concrete and on top of these sit I beams.

The house is a three bedroom ranch in upstate NY and would get plenty of snow.

The house and floor seems straight and does not seem to have sagged.

Seems to me this form of construction is very make shift or make do. I was wondering has anybody used this concrete pier drum method or seen it? Is it absolutley crazy?

The house has a half basement. These piers support the house about 3 feet on one side and about 5 feet on the other. The I beams run the full length of the house. They are big I beams seems to me. Maybe 12" or 14"

Thanks,

Dean

DeanPk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2008, 11:04 PM   #2
Registered User
 
Termite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


Well, those are some honkin' big piers. The fact that they're in 55 gallon drums doesn't concern me. That's not really any different than using cardboard sonotubes. What concerns me about this is how is the craftsmanship? Seems to me that someone that uses barrels for piers is either super-creative or super-redneck.

Are the piers situated deep enough to avoid frost heave? Here that is 36" and I assume it is much deeper in upstate NY.

Whether or not the size of the piers and the quantity of piers is adequate is something we can't tell you for sure. An engineer should be retained to do that. Variables such as the soil's bearing capacity, compaction, drainage, and the actual loads of the structure all must be considered to tell if this is any good.

Things that would turn me off would be very few piers, or lack of burial depth. It takes a lot of piers to support a home, and large piers spanned by steel beams isn't necessarily better than numerous piers and smaller beams of steel or wood.

If there aren't signs of settlement then that is a good thing.


Last edited by Termite; 08-09-2008 at 11:27 AM.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
Whatamess
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 423
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


If it has been there and not settled or sagged for 25 years why worry? Seems like the man knew what he was doing.
__________________
I may go home hungry, but not tired and hungry.
TazinCR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


My vote: it's crazy.

That is not a general practice in the industry. As KCT stated; in the redneck industry...maybe.

If you are serious about the house, you should consider hiring a foundation engineer to look at it first.
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


Thanks I appreciate the views and the information. I will get a house inspection if I decide to procede further. I did not look at the foundation and beams long enough to check the number of piers or the depth of the piers. It would be useful for me to do even that. The house looks and feel very firm and the surrounding ground is stable and not built up. I'll take another detailed look. Thanks again I appreciate your thoughts.
DeanPk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #6
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,707
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


If your main concren is just the foundation/piers, get an engineer and not just a home inspector.

A home inspector is a generalist looking for problems when a specialist (structural, roofing, electical, heating) is needed to assess a specific are of concern. Few home inspectors are qualified on special areas.

I am a home inspector and an engineer, so I can say that. If you look at structural adequacy, you look at the details differently than a home inspector.
concretemasonry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2008, 01:17 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


Got it.
DeanPk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 08:17 PM   #8
Extreme DIY'r Adk's, NY
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 293
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


So there's no basement, just a crawl space? Otherwise how would you know about the barrels right? Upstate NY should be 48" min below ground level for frost line. I have seen movement even at that depth in clay soils up here. Also crawl spaces are bad for cold air infiltration and frozen pipes up here.
crecore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


It's a half unfinished basement that then becomes a 3-4 feet crawl space following the slope of the land.

I realize that in theory the drums that form the concrete piers could work fine and the I beams are probably sufficient.

BUT I did not get enought information. I did not see how deep the footing for the pier is, I did not count the piers and the distance the I beam spans. Nor did I get the size of the I beam. I really did not get enough information.

So I will have to take another look and probably get a professional opinion. The house needs a lot of work. I am trying to determine if the work is worth doing on the foundation that exists.
DeanPk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 567
Default

Concrete piers in 55 gal drums support I beams


we used empty ge silicone 55gal steel drums for forms when we built our asphalt plant in binghamton 30 yrs ago & its still there w/o any troubles,,, down here in ga, they'll stack conc blocks for piers then fill 'em w/conc,,, i wouldn't worry.

yesitsconcrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Concrete piers for post & beam foundation jpecor Building & Construction 1 08-01-2008 12:27 PM
Replacing support beams Annimal76 Remodeling 1 09-10-2007 10:12 AM
where to get support beams elementx440 Building & Construction 5 03-21-2007 05:19 PM
help with support beams on porch falcon802 Carpentry 3 06-24-2006 10:00 AM
Reinforce concrete piers? Neil_K Building & Construction 8 11-21-2004 06:53 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.