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Old 05-10-2011, 10:54 AM   #16
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Newbie needs to build a deck addition


For example, books say to dig footings/piles to below the frost line. My local codes call for minimum 8 feet and strongly recommend 10 feet because I live in very gumbo type clay where frost puts so much side pressure on footings that frost heaving can suck the footings up (and leave a holly below the footing). By going 10 feet I would have 4-5 feet below the frost which would stop this heaving due to side pressure. I went 12 feet.

10 feet below the frost line?

dpach ..where are you located? ...please..just curious

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:58 AM   #17
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Newbie needs to build a deck addition


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Originally Posted by SteelToes View Post
For example, books say to dig footings/piles to below the frost line. My local codes call for minimum 8 feet and strongly recommend 10 feet because I live in very gumbo type clay where frost puts so much side pressure on footings that frost heaving can suck the footings up (and leave a holly below the footing). By going 10 feet I would have 4-5 feet below the frost which would stop this heaving due to side pressure. I went 12 feet.

10 feet below the frost line?

dpach ..where are you located? ...please..just curious

Not 10 feet below frost line....10 feet deep footings because the frost line gets to 5-6 feet deep and they recommend a good 4 feet below the frost line here. I'm in Saskatchewan Canada. We get 5-6 feet of frost here in a lot of winters.

There are people in the city here who have gone down 6 -7 feet with footings and still get heaving due to the sideways pressure the frost and gumbo soil puts on the footings. The heaving, combined with the pressure actually sucks the footings upward and it leaves a hollow void below the base of the footings. That's mainly due to our heavy clay gumbo soil that expands so much when wet and frozen. It cost me an extra $25/footing to go from 8 feet to 12 feet, so worth it to know they will never move.

I went 12 feet because that gets us into a solid base and since half of our city was originally backfilled 4-6 feet before building on it, it gets me about 6 feet into virgin soil. Plus, we have shallow oil here and though I might strike it rich!

A lot of people forget to think about how their property was built. If it was backfilled 4-5 feet for proper grading before the house was built, digging piles/footings 6 feet down only gets you into 1-2 feet of virgin undisturbed soil for a solid base.


Last edited by dpach; 05-10-2011 at 12:03 PM.
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