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Old 01-29-2016, 07:49 PM   #1
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Lateral Beam Support on Concrete Masonry Piers


I am working on several plans to install girders in my crawlspace under my 18' by 32' single story cottage. Currently the pier supports are ad hoc at best - random CMU placed endwise, sewer pipe filled with concrete, no footings anywhere. I'm trying to put a plan and drawings together for the building inspector, hoping to get to work on this this spring.

The plan is to run two 2x2"x10" bolted beams down the long dimension of the house, separated laterally by 6', each beam supported at 6' intervals with a pier.

I need a minimum bearing area of 4 sq. ft. for each footing. I was looking at using Bigfoot / sonotube type concrete footings with a 6"x6" timber column with column caps, but the required burial distance to prevent uplift during the pour means a lot of digging, and a lot of concrete, and a complex cribbing schedule to prevent undermining.

The crawlspace is conditioned so I don't need to get down to frost depth. So an alternative to the Bigfoot type footings would a 2' by 2' by 8" square footing on undisturbed soil, 2x2 crossed rebar, and concrete block piers. Height is less than 36" inches, but I think I still want to do double stacked to spread the load over the footing. Blocks would be mortared, vertical rebar in the footing running up through each of the block channels, blocks filled with grout, caps at the top, shimmed < 2" as needed. Like so:



The detail I am struggling with is the top of the pier and how to support the beam laterally. The perimeter foundation was a dug trench pour and there are no lintels or pockets, so I am looking at putting piers near the walls at the end of the beams. I'm looking to see if there is an accepted way to fasten the beam to the tops of the piers, some sort of special block or a column cap fitting, etc. Strong Tie shows the following product:



But the offset support bugs me, might be fine but seems goofy. Also, I'm worried about getting the height exactly right with the masonry and the potential need for shimming. I'm sure I can get the masonry to within the 2" shim allowance, but I don't know about getting it close enough to use these particular embedded ties without shims.

Any thoughts for this detail? I'm basically concerned that there is little dimensional leeway with this arrangement. The Bigfoots are a lot more concrete and digging, but I can cut a 6'x6' to the exact height needed.

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 01-29-2016 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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You might want to look at Akron Products Mini Columns. They are load rated, and the company claims they're IBC and IRC compliant. Just make sure you install them correctly, per their instructions. And get your township's 'ok' to use them. That would save a lot of hassle on installation. That's the route I'd go.

Dean Column has a similar system, also.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
You might want to look at Akron Products Mini Columns. They are load rated, and the company claims they're IBC and IRC compliant. Just make sure you install them correctly, per their instructions. And get your township's 'ok' to use them. That would save a lot of hassle on installation. That's the route I'd go.

Dean Column has a similar system, also.
I've seen these and they do look attractive. What I didn't mention is that I have two bearing walls running across these girders, which will need to be supported by cross beams between the girders, so I am going to have four of the piers with 4 beam ends on them. Perching that all on a steel post won't work. These might be nice for the mid span piers, but then again concrete and CMUs are dead cheap.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:58 PM   #4
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this pic is pretty much how all the new houses i have built are. other than we use pressure treated instead of redwood.
we will usually show up and the concrete pads will just be six inches above the grade in the crawlspace area. then we snap lines across them where our beams run and use simpson drill in adjustable post bases.
if you dont have to worry about frost line i dont see why you cannot just dig a square hole however deep you need for you footing compact the soil use 2x6 for form above hole and pour concrete to top of 2x6 float it off place your post base where you need it.



sweat found it.


this is what it looks like finished except we use proper post bases and caps.


below is the hangers we use on the foundation walls usually we tell a qualified local steel fabricator which simpson hanger is called out by the engineers and they will spec the equivalent. we use 5/8" titen bolts to bolt it to the foundation. then 1/2 through bolts for the wood.


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Old 01-30-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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I've seen these and they do look attractive. What I didn't mention is that I have two bearing walls running across these girders, which will need to be supported by cross beams between the girders, so I am going to have four of the piers with 4 beam ends on them. Perching that all on a steel post won't work. These might be nice for the mid span piers, but then again concrete and CMUs are dead cheap.
you can also get these custom made for what ever configuration you need at certified local fabricator.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:08 PM   #6
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Hmm. The IRC specifies the dimensions of the footings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRC 2009
R403.1.1 Minimum size.

Minimum sizes for concrete and masonry footings shall be as set forth in Table R403.1 and Figure R403.1(1). The footing width, W, shall be based on the load-bearing value of the soil in accordance with Table R401.4.1. Spread footings shall be at least 6 inches (152 mm) in thickness, T. Footing projections, P, shall be at least 2 inches (51 mm) and shall not exceed the thickness of the footing. The size of footings supporting piers and columns shall be based on the tributary load and allowable soil pressure in accordance with Table R401.4.1. Footings for wood foundations shall be in accordance with the details set forth in Section R403.2, and Figures R403.1(2) and R403.1(3).
I need a 24" x 24" bearing area (WxW). If I use a nominal 6"x6" wooden column, the projection is 9.5", and so my footing depth would need to be at least that thick. That's 5+ 80 lb bags of concrete to haul into the crawlspace, but the posts are dead easy to install. 400 lbs.

If I use concrete block, that's a 16"x16" column, projection is 4", then I am required to have a minimum footing thickness of 6". That's three+ 80 lb bags of concrete for the footing, plus six 27 lb CMUs, plus three 80 lb bags of concrete to fill the CMU. 650 lbs of masonry, plus rebar, and fiddling with get the right height. that.

I'm liking the wooden columns.

I guess my final question is the setting of the footing. I plan to have a rat slab poured when this is all said and done, guessing 4". The IRC says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRC 2009

R317.1.4 Wood columns.
Wood columns shall be approved wood of natural decay resistance or approved pressure-preservative-treated wood.

Exceptions:
1. Columns exposed to the weather or in basements when supported by concrete piers or metal pedestals projecting 1 inch (25.4 mm) above a concrete floor or 6 inches (152 mm) above exposed earth and the earth is covered by an approved impervious moisture barrier. 2. Columns in enclosed crawl spaces or unexcavated areas located within the periphery of the building when supported by a concrete pier or metal pedestal at a height more than 8 inches (203 mm) from exposed earth and the earth is covered by an impervious moisture barrier.
I'm assuming that I'll use pressure treated regardless, and so I should be able to set the top of the footing at the final floor elevation, 4" above the soil level. I don't know what constitutes "impervious moisture barrier", but I am assuming 6 mil vapor barrier isn't it.

Anything else I should be thinking about?

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 01-30-2016 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:54 PM   #7
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yes 6 mil is "it" lol. if you dont have a problem with burrowing rodents in your area then a rat slab is a not needed but its still optional.

this link will be of interest to you.
http://web.ornl.gov/sci/buildingsfou...ction3-2.shtml
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mingledtrash View Post
yes 6 mil is "it" lol. if you dont have a problem with burrowing rodents in your area then a rat slab is a not needed but its still optional.

this link will be of interest to you.
http://web.ornl.gov/sci/buildingsfou...ction3-2.shtml
Yeah, the rat slab isn't required, but way down the road I might do it. Then again I just might put new 6-mil down and call it good. I have 10 piers, 400 lbs of concrete per to haul down there. I wish I could afford to jack the whole place and get them pumped all at once, but not going to happen.

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:51 PM   #9
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Yeah, the rat slab isn't required, but way down the road I might do it. Then again I just might put new 6-mil down and call it good. I have 10 piers, 400 lbs of concrete per to haul down there. I wish I could afford to jack the whole place and get them pumped all at once, but not going to happen.

Thanks!
you could jack the whole place at once with pretty low cost using old railroad ties as temporary posts they are pretty cheap

i have spent a lot of time in crawlspaces and would recommend using a fine pea gravel instead of concrete if rat slab is not needed. this makes it easier to dig down for what ever reason in the future also much more comfortable to crawl/lay on/ work in.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mingledtrash View Post
you could jack the whole place at once with pretty low cost using old railroad ties as temporary posts they are pretty cheap

i have spent a lot of time in crawlspaces and would recommend using a fine pea gravel instead of concrete if rat slab is not needed. this makes it easier to dig down for what ever reason in the future also much more comfortable to crawl/lay on/ work in.
I'd probably have to get some steel under it to lift it without breaking anything, which means I'd have to punch holes in the perimeter foundation, etc.. This is pretty manageable doing it footing by footing as I can actually install several of these without disturbing any of the existing supports. Hardest bit will be wrestling the sacks of concrete down there. I'm thinking of buying something like a Radio Flyer wagon with fat wheels to help haul stuff in and out when I am crawling around.

The pea stone actually sounds pretty nice. I basically just want to spruce it up and make it look neat.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:10 AM   #11
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why dont you mix the concrete above ground , I used a harbor freight electric cement mixer, it surprised me it held up and worked great for tons of concrete, I did a complete block foundation with every hole rod and filled, size 26ft x 50ft..then pour the concrete in 5 gallon pails and your wagon idea is great, and just keep wheeling and pouring the footings, if you had a few people loading pails and pulling the wagon, it would make quick work of it, it would be cheaper if you had a load of sand and gravel delivered to sight and just used bags of portland and made your own mix...any gravel or aggregate will not stop rodents on the floor, better off with a poured slab..wheels roll good on concrete not gravel, so you could keep the wagon for future work down there...then you can have a floor pumped in...

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Old 02-01-2016, 08:54 AM   #12
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why dont you mix the concrete above ground , I used a harbor freight electric cement mixer, it surprised me it held up and worked great for tons of concrete, I did a complete block foundation with every hole rod and filled, size 26ft x 50ft..then pour the concrete in 5 gallon pails and your wagon idea is great, and just keep wheeling and pouring the footings, if you had a few people loading pails and pulling the wagon, it would make quick work of it, it would be cheaper if you had a load of sand and gravel delivered to sight and just used bags of portland and made your own mix...any gravel or aggregate will not stop rodents on the floor, better off with a poured slab..wheels roll good on concrete not gravel, so you could keep the wagon for future work down there...then you can have a floor pumped in...
I might be able to throw a concrete mixing party once in a while, but I don't have any local friends or family so most of the time it will be just me. In that case, I don't want to mix the concrete above ground because then I've got to wrestle wet concrete into place without dumping it. Sakrete is $2 a bag and is already in the right ratios, why fiddle with it? It's not all going to get done at once, so buying fresh bags of concrete as needed makes more sense. Whole project involves about $200 in concrete, not a budget killer.

I will be able to cut hatches under my kitchen stove and dishwasher which would allow me to mix and pour while standing up. They are directly over the location of two of the footings and close enough to another two or three that I might be able to angle a gutter chute to them. The kitchen floor is going to get torn up and replaced as soon as I get good beams under it, so I am not adverse to doing that.

There are about 300 other places for rodents to get in if they wanted to; a rat slab wouldn't stop them. We haven't ever had a rodent problem. I cleared a lot of vegetation away from the house when I moved in and there are a lot of neighborhood cats that patrol around, and nothing really to attract rodents in the house, so it's a tough place for a mouse.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
You might want to look at Akron Products Mini Columns. They are load rated, and the company claims they're IBC and IRC compliant. Just make sure you install them correctly, per their instructions. And get your township's 'ok' to use them. That would save a lot of hassle on installation. That's the route I'd go.
FYI - I emailed these folks about sourcing, this was their reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akron Products
You can get our products at any Lowe's, Menards, Carter Lumber, or a Do It Best hardware store. The mini columns are made to order only, so you will not find them in stock anywhere. You will need to order them through their pro desk.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
I might be able to throw a concrete mixing party once in a while, but I don't have any local friends or family so most of the time it will be just me. In that case, I don't want to mix the concrete above ground because then I've got to wrestle wet concrete into place without dumping it. Sakrete is $2 a bag and is already in the right ratios, why fiddle with it? It's not all going to get done at once, so buying fresh bags of concrete as needed makes more sense. Whole project involves about $200 in concrete, not a budget killer.

I will be able to cut hatches under my kitchen stove and dishwasher which would allow me to mix and pour while standing up. They are directly over the location of two of the footings and close enough to another two or three that I might be able to angle a gutter chute to them. The kitchen floor is going to get torn up and replaced as soon as I get good beams under it, so I am not adverse to doing that.

There are about 300 other places for rodents to get in if they wanted to; a rat slab wouldn't stop them. We haven't ever had a rodent problem. I cleared a lot of vegetation away from the house when I moved in and there are a lot of neighborhood cats that patrol around, and nothing really to attract rodents in the house, so it's a tough place for a mouse.
ok gotcha..I keep a bunch of the rat baits around the basement just in case they show up for a meal, they havnt been touched in years, I replace with fresh ones and put the old ones out in the barn and they get chewed up in a few weeks...
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