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Old 07-12-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


I assume that joists resting on stacks of concrete blocks resting on dirt does not constitute a legitimate foundation as far as a bank is concerned. This describes the construction of our house which we bought last year on land contract.

Since buying it, we have been implementing plans under permit to replace these stacks of blocks with triple 2x10 beams attached with simpson brackets to 6x6 posts which are attached with simpson brackets set in concrete spread footings. (plans are from a licensed structural engineer)

Will this be recognized as a foundation if the house was inspected for refinancing to a mortgage by a bank?

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Old 07-12-2011, 10:22 AM   #2
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


no and they dont like pier foundation , same with insurer

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Old 07-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


That sounds legit to me. Why no tpolk? In flood zones the structures are almost always on "stilts". New Orleans is a "celebrity" example of it. They are insured, maybe pricey due to the flood factor, but none-the-less they are insured.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


Well, I wouldn't say we've had no trouble insuring the house, but the trouble we've had related to the driveway - which is part of the backstory of why I'm asking.

The original plan was that we'd implement post and beams to get a more stable support structure in the short term, pay-off the land contract in 4 years and then we'd be able to fund the installation of a proper foundation.

However, the sewer pipe to the city sewer main is under the driveway and had problems with roots and collapsed joints. Cleaning out the pipes got us through the winter, but we decided replacement had to happen sooner than later. So we had the pipe replaced, the driveway removed and have a gravel driveway until we can get new concrete.

We have to hold off on a concrete driveway because it is right next to the house, and so we need to get the foundation at the same time or else we'd have to have the driveway removed and get another new driveway again with the foundation wall.

So we're in a catch-22, we need the financing to get the foundation, we need the foundation to get the financing.

The only hope, and hence my question here, was that I could refinance and roll credit cards I paid for work already done into the loan and then use the credit cards to pay for the foundation wall.

I'll just have to tell my wife to be a little more patient, we've only rewired, replaced sewer, reroofed, replumbed, insulated and rewalled the house over the past year.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


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That sounds legit to me. Why no tpolk? In flood zones the structures are almost always on "stilts". New Orleans is a "celebrity" example of it. They are insured, maybe pricey due to the flood factor, but none-the-less they are insured.
sorry just going by where he lives, your right they should check and see if allowed. almost could'nt get my current house on piers until found one insurer who would cover us altho my dogs almost blew that
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


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That sounds legit to me. Why no tpolk? In flood zones the structures are almost always on "stilts". New Orleans is a "celebrity" example of it. They are insured, maybe pricey due to the flood factor, but none-the-less they are insured.
I worry about whether it's legit because foundations, as I understand it as a lay person, involve going to 42" depth to get below the frost line and being permanently attached to the structure. My spread footings go to a depth of 12" and do not go below frost line, but are not required to do so because they are enclosed within conditioned crawlspace.

As purchased, the structure was not permanently fastened to anything, but my post and beam project does remedy that issue.

I'm not personally convinced that the conditioned state of the crawlspace keeps my spread footings from being subject to frost heaving. Low spots in the crawlspace definitely flood in heavy rains and snow melts.

I'm sure it is possible an inspector might miss the absence of a foundation, it's not at all obvious from outside the house and I've had contractors not believe a foundation was not present until they got into the crawlspace to look. I also don't want to be in a position where I depend on an inspector missing something, I want to only proceed when I have enough confidence to do so.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


Ah ha...post and beam issue now makes sense.

Would a grade beam be acceptable in your area? Link below has a generic one, but you'll get the idea. It might be an easier job than having to dig the full depth all the way around. Only need to dig deep for the piers, which you already anticipated.

http://www.wet-basement.net/images/log-cabin_4-29.jpg
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


A lot of it is going to have to do with the financial institution itself, the ever changing criteria they use, how thorough they do their job, and whether or not they would accept the fact that it was approved by your local jurisdiction. Just because a person at one of them tells you it is fine, does not mean that it will be fine next week, or that any other institution would view it the same. Tpolk mentioned insurance, and that may be one place to start, becase if they are aware of it, and accept it, you may have something more significant to show the bank On the other hand, if the insurance company scoffed at it, you maybe should be prepared to install a full footing and foundation.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Will a bank count post and beam as foundation?


For reference, I checked with my bank and confirmed they do require a "proper" foundation to mortgage.

I discussed financing with a personal loan with a local credit union and it sounds like that might be the best option for financing the foundation and driveway project, and once the project is complete that would be the time to refinance the land contract and roll in the personal loan at the lower mortgage interest rate.

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