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Old 01-12-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
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Pier and Beam Foundation


We are building a small home around 26 by 34 foot with a loft. We are going to do a pier and beam foundation. We have sandy soil, (sandy loam) in not finer for several feet. We live in an area that frost is not an issue. This soil is great for piers because of lack of expansion and contraction and excellent drainage.

My question is how deep should I put the piers and do I need to use 12-14 inch diameter sono tubes? We will have lots of piers, nearly 30 or so, one every 4-6 foot.

Thanks yall!

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Old 01-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #2
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Pier and Beam Foundation


HI ms, I guess then that you do not have plans for this house or do you have them but they are not for a post & pier foundation?

It is hard to answer your question with any authority without having a soils report though.

Andy.

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Old 01-12-2011, 08:34 PM   #3
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Pier and Beam Foundation


ms66cadillac,

I am building a 24' x 48' on piers. Mine has 4 rows of 9 piers, total of 36. The piers are 10" diameter at the top and about 18" diameter at the bottom. They are 3" above ground and go 18" below ground. The soil is extremely rocky; I had to use a pointed steel bar along with the post hole digger to bust up the rock.

The way I did mine was:
I bought (3) 10" x 48" sonotubes and cut them into 3" lengths on my table saw. Then I took an 18" square of 5/8" plywood and cut it half. Put the halves back together, placed one of the sonotube pieces in the middle, scribed a line, and used a jigsaw to cut the half circles out of each piece.

After digging a hole, I stapled a 3" piece of sonotube to the cutouts of the plywood, then through predrilled holes in the corners of the plywood, I nailed the assembly to the ground after making sure it was level.

This assembly held the bottom of the 3" piece of sonotube at ground level and made the concrete shape into a nice 3" x 10" above ground.

After the concrete set up some, I could just pull the plywood off of the sonotube and use it to pour the next pier while the concrete was finishing it's hardening in the sonotube.

I then put a 5 gal. bucket over the piers to slow down the drying while the concrete set up (it was about 100 degrees when I did this).
I also made sure the top of the perimeter piers was slightly convex so water would not puddle there.

Arky
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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HI ms, I guess then that you do not have plans for this house or do you have them but they are not for a post & pier foundation?

It is hard to answer your question with any authority without having a soils report though.

Andy.
I don't have plans and most likely will be modifiying the plans I do find, if I even use plans... The soil situation is my concern, I probably need to get a soil evaluation and just bite the bullet on that. I looked up the soil survey of Milam county and know where i fall into and my soil has all the qualities of that particular type, but I know that it can vary and that soil survey of Milam county is just a general knowledge not used for building.

Who does the soil tests? Guess I need to get one done. I need to research this more....I was going to go 5 feet deep and at least 2 foot about ground with 14 inch sono tubes and footings. The foundation is where I don't need to use any guess work.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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Pier and Beam Foundation


Hi again, that is Milam county Texas right?

So do you have to have building permits there? I know some places do not require them.

You should be able to find a soils engineer in the area somewhere. I have to seal with them all the time here in So. Cal.
So you happen to know what code requirements have been established in your local?

Andy.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:10 PM   #6
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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if I even use plans...
Send us pictures when you're done
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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Originally Posted by ms66cadillac View Post
I don't have plans and most likely will be modifiying the plans I do find, if I even use plans... The soil situation is my concern, I probably need to get a soil evaluation and just bite the bullet on that. I looked up the soil survey of Milam county and know where i fall into and my soil has all the qualities of that particular type, but I know that it can vary and that soil survey of Milam county is just a general knowledge not used for building.
.
Brilliant!!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #8
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
Hi again, that is Milam county Texas right?

So do you have to have building permits there? I know some places do not require them.

You should be able to find a soils engineer in the area somewhere. I have to seal with them all the time here in So. Cal.
So you happen to know what code requirements have been established in your local?

Andy.
I am out in the country and no we don't need a permit luckily. Of course for insurance purposes It needs to pass inspections and just want a solid home of course. I will start looking for a soil engineer.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:12 AM   #9
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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Brilliant!!!

Of course its brilliant! Who needs plans to build a sugar shack!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:15 AM   #10
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Pier and Beam Foundation


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Send us pictures when you're done
I surely will. Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #11
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Pier and Beam Foundation


If you do not need a permit, then what inspections do you need to pass for insurance? I have never had a structural inspection any time I have gotten homeowners insurance, all they seem to care about is that my dog is not a pit bull or otherwise ornery.

As for the soils investigation and foundation design, that would normally be done by a geotechnical engineer.

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