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Old 09-04-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Crawlspace/Basement ???'s


Hey Guys

We are in the process of moving our single story wood framed cottage [24x35 approx] 150 feet closer to the water on our lot. The Island the cottage is one is basically one giant slab of Limestone. The cottage is now sitting on footings with no crawlspace or basement.

Initially, we had planned to put a foundation under the "new" location with a crawlspace since we can only get down about 2-3 feet before hitting solid Limestone [the other option is to air hammer the rock, which is cost prohibitive] So, we had planned on having a 2-3ft crawlspace, just enough room for some plumbing and water filter[s]

I spoke with a hobbiest builder/contractor/builder who is quite knowledgeable and he suggested we build the block foundation for the crawlspace as intended, then go up "a course or two" with block and then install a 4 foot "knee" wall? This would give us enough height for a "basement" but, be much cheaper than building up the full 7-8 feet with block work, since the cottage has vinyl siding, we could just side to the block work and it would "look" right.

Any input or experience? I have priced building a 4 foot wall using 2x6's and it was quite a bit less than doing it in concrete. We are also planning at installing a 2nd floor [3rd floor counting "basement"] sometime in the future, so, the frame work would have to be able to support the added weight, the floor is going to be poured concrete with an engineers "stamp" allowing us the ability to add the 2nd floor when we decide to do so.

ANY input or opinions are appreciated and encouraged!

Thanks Guys!
Michael

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Crawlspace/Basement ???'s


would give you additional space ....

have to climb stairs to enter as your main living level would be elevated, not that is an issue, unless you have mobility difficulties or plan on aging in place

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:54 PM   #3
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Crawlspace/Basement ???'s


As you are on an island and I assume close to the water, are you in a flood zone? My experience is with coastal flood zones and may not apply to an island in a lake or river. Some concerns are elevating the building to or above base flood elevation, using flood resistant materials below base flood elevation and anchoring the building to prevent floatation. Concrete block is a flood resistant material I do not consider wood to be so check with the local authority having jursidiction. You may also wish to elevate the building to a height where you benefit from a discounted flood insurance rate. If there is an elevation requirement make sure it will suffice for your future second story and, if possible, not require a height variance if you have zoning regulations.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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Crawlspace/Basement ???'s


Yes, stairs would be located in the sunroom, had planned on putting the stairs roughly where the crawlspace "hatch" would have gone

Flooding isn't an issue, we are on a bay on the St Lawrence River, there is no tide, just high water in the Spring, which is a good 15-20ft below where we are building, sadly, the water level [Great Lakes] has been dropping rather quickly, and I dont see that changing in my lifetime ]-:

I planned on using pressure treated 2x6's or 2x8's on 16 O/C for the knee wall

Thanks for the input, and PLEASE keep it coming!

Michael
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Crawlspace/Basement ???'s


I think that the idea of the concrete block extending above grade a few courses and then wood frame construction above that is the more economical way to go and should adequately support the load above, future loads (2nd story) and also any lateral (wind) loads. I imagine that you can get strong wind off the lake. I assume that you are having an engineer or architect draw up the plans and a building dept. review them so structually you should be fine, the design professional will specify the anchoring and the exterior wall frame and mid-span girders as necessary to support the load above. Remember that your Building Code is a minimum standard and many design professioanls design to meet the Code and when a Building Dept. approves a plan they are determining that the plan meets the Building Code, which is a minimum standard. So you may want to construct a bit better. Good Luck with the project, it should be a nice view from the second floor.
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