20x30 cabin need foundation advice

Started by atomicskier, August 01, 2012, 06:36:38 PM

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We do both recognize that was incomplete. My posts have related to lateral design and yours sandwiched in between was not. We're getting into why Steve should have an engineer design his foundation rather than bits and pieces from us. If it is conventional those issues fall away.

alex trent

I am all for getting an engineer. I do realize that without one there is a certain reliance on luck that may not be wise. My comments are not to imply otherwise and as I have said if I could have, it would have. All you anti-pier guys still gave me the advice I needed to do the piers...at least in a sane,  if non-engineered manner...and I appreciate that a lot. My point here is that if you are going to do piers without an engineer, do extra homework and overbuild.


We're almost there Alex. If you do piers without an engineer... well, look at what we've seen here. One part is overbuilt and another part is totally ignored. The failure will not be the overbuilt part, it'll be what you neglected.  I readily admitted this is not something I'm competent at, my advice to you was to keep you from hurting yourself, you're now using that little bit of knowledge to encourage others into the same predicament. You've taken a little bit of information and decided to champion a cause. I'm not at all comfortable with this approach. These foundations were common in the past, built by carpenters' best efforts according to their knowledge, much like those here. After many failures they are now an engineered foundation type, that is the empirical knowledge we have gained.

I'm actually not anti-pier I'm pro rational design. You have not solved the bracing problems as these houses are being built. You have more bracing than you were first inclined to do. My current thoughts on how to do this type of foundation revolve around a rigid moment resisting connection between a one piece pier and a stiff girder. This would probably not be a cheaper foundation but would provide for a smaller footprint on the land without requiring the digging that I think is part of the turn off for many of you. One engineer described what he saw typically done here as a collapse mechanism. My comments about competency are a pretty direct quote of another when we were discussing these foundations on the inspectors forum.

We are attempting to build a braced foundation under a braced frame. You can build the house stout but if the foundation fails that doesn't much matter. You've mentioned that the connections between support and bracing members need to be done correctly. With a typical foundation there are many connections and much soil interaction, the forces per unit area are relatively low. When those same loads are concentrated on less area and fewer connections the force per unit area and per connection is far greater. Although the loads may be the same, the stresses within the materials are indeed higher with this foundation. Getting things right becomes much more critical because those members and their connections are loaded much more heavily vertically and horizontally. We touched on that recently talking about timberframes, the members are quite large but there are fewer of them, they collect and concentrate loads. All of us that are used to conventional construction have been used to uniformly distributed loads, modern framing spreads and distributes the loads out to lower stresses on any one part. In conventional construction spreading out the loads over larger areas and the greater number of smaller members provides a level of redundancy, if one member or connection fails the members around it can probably handle the load that is thrown on them. If a member or connection that is collecting and supporting a large area fails, can the surrounding members handle a significant overload? It takes a good bit more thought.

alex trent

What have I neglected, or ignored, as you put it? 

You also seem to have a problem with overbuilding..not sure what that causes you concern, a to of what we see done on here is "overbuilt".

Last, and it is my last comment on this, as this  now has become  a silly exchange, is that I am not championing any cause. I simply posted some information, considerations and examples of calculating the pier size needed for a person already decided on the type of build they will do.


Alex, you may want to go back and re read what Don has posted.
You seem to have missed a few critical points. Namely the bracing
in your structure needs to be re examined. It's your house and you
are free to do what you want where you are, but if it was my house
and someone was alerting me to a potential problem, I would really
try hard to understand what he was trying to tell me. I still might do
it my way, but I'd at least be aware of the potential problems.

Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

alex trent

I have reread and must be missing a post or two as I see nothing about my bracing in any recent post.

Earlier ones, as I asked for advice were great fully accepted and followed and nothing there either.
I'd be the first one who wants to hear any critique...if I choose to work on it, you are correct, that is my choice, but I have not seen. Coming from DonP I would likely give it very serious consideration.

What I have seen is another round "of piers are bad an will kill you" posts in response to my posting some advice on how to calculate solid capacity and relationship to piers and footings. That is my point about "enough already'...it's been said and said again and not that repetitive advice on something someone feels is so important is out of place, but now it spills over to those who give advice about it. As I said, enough already..be specific so I (we) can judge the reality of what is said.


I can point out what I see Alex and I am not critiquing your build. Since I don't do this and make no pretenses about it I doubt I'll get it all right. I realize it will hone your banter but that will not create a good design. You should develop a relationship with a good engineer as this seems to be something you will do more of. You can come back and prove that I'm full of cookies, but then you'll be doing it from a solid basis. I think I want to see the stamp if it's all the same.

We should probably start with the building code. This is the latest version, read R404.1.9.3. It has moved from engineering implied in previous versions to engineering required.

The RDP requirement should be the end of this discussion and in most jurisdictions by law it is. Continue with that line of thought. Assuming the house is insured, will they pay out on a claim if the house wasn't built to code? Code doesn't say you can't do this, it says there ought to be a stamp in the file backing it up. When you go to sell it and the home inspector spots this will he report it and ding the potential marketability, more than likely.

Now read that section structurally

Do you see  "Sure go ahead and break the support column in half and put a hinge in the middle" anywhere in there or in the surrounding language? Not even for an interior pier with full perimeter walls taking the lateral loads. Notice the max pier heights under exterior walls but do recognize that we are actually talking about foundations under the braced walls.
Notice the minimum pier dimensions, have you been seeing those dimensions here? That is minimum acceptable engineering.
A piece of rebar stabbed into a shallow footing does not develop much tensile strength, look at lap requirements for the hint. A hook bent in the end will develop much better resistance. How many and placement?... engineering. You guessed 2, could be right but it was a guess wasn't it? Stability begins with three members most of the time doesn't it?
The girders need bracing to prevent rolling.

It might be worth thinking about how many of these foundations you are seeing going in professionally. In the industry we're having a hard time getting decks to take their lateral loads when attached to a braced house on one side. People here are putting the entire house on poorly braced legs that hinge on piers that sit on shallow footings, the rest seem to favor unbraced piers. And the code has moved towards requiring professional design. Yeah they're picking on you and its a conspiracy  ::)... cause and effect. People have shut alot of doors that used to be open, do I sound happy?

QuoteThe reason pier foundations require competent design is only partly with their decreased ability to resist vertical loads. Lateral loads must also be resisted, this is where the walls and continuous footing of conventional foundations come into play.

This is the achille's heel of a pier or column foundation. The Main Wind Force Resisting System is comprised of the roof diaphragm, the braceed walls and the floor diaphragms all delivering the lateral wind load to a foundation capable of delivering those loads to the soil. The 5 pictures I can bring to mind posted here of failing pier foundations were all bracing problems rather than vertical load problems.

There has not been a situation or a lack of bracing that I've seen give you pause. This time there was wind in the equation, last time it was a soil type that really needed an engineer. This in the face of knowing what those who are registered design professionals have said about what they see here.

This foundation is a last option not the first. We do not have a set of approved methods to build one. What I've asked for you to post is some form of standard or details that could be approved. Find that hinged post in a drawing from a reputable source. It keeps coming back to, the real way to do it is to hire an engineer. If after many people do this and the engineers keep saying pretty much the same thing, we compare notes, then you have a prescriptive solution capable of petitioning for. Is that such an onerous task? You have admitted the engineering is really needed anyway, is this not the path forward?

I have no problem with overbuilding but it is a tipoff word. When the phrase is used by DIY'ers it invariably means just what I said, one part is overbuilt but another critical area has almost certainly been neglected. They've thrown a bunch of lumber and nails at a problem that is over their head and prayed. The term overbuilt and this foundation cannot really be used in the same sentence, by its nature it is not one an overbuilder would use. Last time we had a dustup you said I lived on a level mountain, this time that I have something against overbuilding. We have over 200 tons of native fieldstone in the current foundation, full perimeter footings, topped by heavy timber oak posts and beams from trees I logged off the property. The connections and braces are fully housed mortise and tennon. This makes something upwards of 50 log and timber homes, don't really know how many conventional and remuddles. I've repaired pier foundations more than a few times. So now we know my topography and resume for whatever that's worth. I guess to say, you've gotten personal with me as well, there is what is staring back across the table.

alex trent

Truthfully, I do not know what your post is about. Not sure if you are telling me I should not have built on piers, should immediately shore up my build, stop giving advice to those who are building on piers, change insurance companies???

The only thing I got for sure is a suggestion that I initiate a perceptive code writing process for piers.  Kidding, right?  Or was it a dig about my inexperience?  No matter.

Contrary to what you say, a lot of things I see and hear "give me pause'....likely have made 20 changes of some significance because of them and probably half of where from comments by you...which made this house a lot better.

If you or the other site honchos do not want me to post my experience because it fosters bad building, I will not do so.  Having to wade through this piers are bad crap each time is irksome...and I stay away from irksome as much as I can...we have enough of natural irksome day to day here.


I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I couldn't help but be reminded of this thread about a 20x30 1.5 story house built on piers about 4 years ago that failed in a big way.  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=4952.200

The link is to page 9 of this thread and shows what happens when a foundation is not properly designed.

Unfortunately Don_P was not registered on this site until the house had already racked from a variety of causes and the discussion was centered on how to fix the problem.  Some here had recommended bracing and the builder did have a couple sets installed, but was just a start and he was more concerned about getting the house done, installing heat and power and talking about chickens and other stuff.

The DIYer even put the insulation in backwards as I recall.  He finally decided to abandon the build and the thread was closed.  A very sad 6 month tale.  This guy made more mistakes than I want to list, and he would have had problems with any type foundation because he failed to properly assess the site conditions.

The post pier foundation just failed sooner than other designs would have.  Site conditions are critical in foundation design.  Don't get me started about the rehab project I abandoned and that house has a full perimeter foundation or the house I grew up in that we added a basement to and had massive problems.

alex trent

I saw that about two weeks after I got on here to ask about my cabin.. Made a believer out of me real quick.  Hard to believe this happened on such a big build in  such a big way. I think there was really no fixing it and he dismantled and built elsewhere.

This did not start with poor bracing or even the type of pier and post construction.  He built it in a poorly drained area and when it go wet, it turned to soup. Nothing, not even a continous foundation would have been right in that place. That is why I always stress that this (soil/drainage) is the place to start  when looking at how you will do piers.

The problem DonP has  (or one, if not the main ones) is the "hinge" connecting the pier to the post. I agree with him. If you look at the three back piers in my build you will see that I have eliminated those by mounting beams right on the pier.  A bit of insurance. But there are other ways to deal with that connection as well as eliminate it.  I considered a one piece pier and after careful analysis and thought decided against it (keeping the picture of the house in question in mind)..

In the house in question, there were no such connections, so that was not the problem...it was built with posts in the ground and terminating at the girder (although I think his method of filling around the post is suspect).   The house did not fail because of the connections or the type of pier/post, but because of the substrate. Additionally, the builder had little (or maybe no) bracing until it started to tilt. I looked back on the comments about that build as it took place and did not see any red flag warning about bracing it.  Maybe a mention or two,

As it turns out, the ground he built it on was so poor, bracing in the best way would have been of little use, as it likely would have sank.

In my house, not only is my footing overbuilt by a factor of two (which is pretty easy to calculate), but my bracing is likely at least that much (harder to do). I do not rely on the Simpson connectors for lateral resistance, just use them to prevent uplift and sliding off the piers.  I have calculated the force necessary to tilt my piers (this would happen if all else held and the piers took all the brunt) and it is 3x what the calculations of 90 mile and hour wind velocity would cause.  If they turn at that point, not match I can do at that. We just has 4.2 quake here and cracked the concrete and block  road. Mine did not quiver, shift or die. Footings still there is monsoon rains...several inched per hour and a couple a week.


Alex, rather than designing and teaching engineering from your level of expertise, which is what you are doing, find a paper, reliable engineering source or hire an engineer to walk us through the entire design process for this specific type of foundation, post it, and refer back to that.  You are not an engineer and provide no way for anyone to check your assumptions against an example or standard for this specific foundation. Clear enough?

I do not agree with the lessons you took away from that failed house, choose to believe what you will. Reality plugs along uncaring of what we believe, houses behave the way we force them to behave. These are the costs of the methods you are choosing. I've mentioned before, the prescriptive path is a whole lot simpler... and better. Do you reckon Jim Walters or Beezer homes would be using this foundation if it was one dime cheaper than conventional methods, you wouldn't see a crawlspace in a bottom end production house. I'm not a honcho here, feel free to foster bad building if that is how you want to spend your time but don't be suprised if others spend their time trying to steer folks clear of potholes.

alex trent

The way to check that this works is to look at the 100s of thousands of homes (millions I guess) built like this and doing very nicely....including many on here. Most of us have the ability to look at what is done, compare to our conditions and replicate with adjustments as necessary.  If you can't that's OK, just don't presume that when others do it it is all wrong or that we rely on voodoo to make it work.

I am not designing or teaching anything, I am relating my own experience and viewpoint. I was under the impression that this site was to share experiences and not do engineering consulting, and that one did not have to be licensed builder, or whatever piece of paper you have that says you know more than another person, to share on here.  People can use the info, compare it to what others say and what they see and observe and come to their own conclusions. If anyone built on what one or even a half dozen people say on one site, they should have their head examined.

Get a grip...it is all not that important and people are really smarter than you give them credit for. Your rants on this are really tedious...and now are not so much about building as they are about me.  Don't worry, none is trying to take your spot on the totem pole...but others will have useful information too.  And, unlike you, if someone differs with my advice, that doesn't disturb me.  So why don't you get back to the thread and tell this guy what you think he should do with his foundation? You have not done that yet, but have concentrated on making a point about not believing anyone but you.

You'll have to excuse me if I am a bit terse.  i am on my way up to tear my house down before it hurts somebody.  Tomorrow I will start mo my neighbor's. I am sure your post will convince him to do that. No dynamite here, so it will be a lot of work.


Sorry you feel that way Alex. I can assure you, the honchos place you higher on the pole than me. I'm simply presenting my viewpoint as well.  It would be nothing to climb higher on the pole, I could easily have you singing my praises rather than whining about me right now couldn't I. The reason you feel picked on is you keep coming back with the same thing, "Take my word for it", I'm simply asking for a cite. What I asked for, what the law asks for, what responds to the natural order of things, is rational design. Leave your emotions behind and look up the term. Any of the prescriptive foundations provide that, just follow the cookbook. You keep extolling the virtues of this foundation, why is it non code? Why is it not used anymore? 

The piece of paper in my state does come from study, testing, experience and references from professionals. Something is bound to have sunk in. You've been studying this for something less than a year. I think that's worth consideration but you can dismiss it if it suits you. You've been allowed to present your point of view, no one has silenced you. That would take gorilla tape not paperwork. You keep telling me to shut up. You've made noises but thus far blessed relief has eluded us. I'm not going to stop someone from making their own decision now am I? We are free to weigh the responses and draw our own conclusions. Where is the problem? I actually thought you might spend at least a little time looking for a resource to satisfy both the op and me but waste your time pounding sand if you see fit.

To the op, no we have not found a reliable resource for this type of foundation, the code reference provides the information on how to do this properly, engineering required. I would spend the money on a crawlspace rather than an engineer myself. Even a subpar DIY block job is going to be a good bit stronger than piers. I would not put a post on a pier if you do go that route.

I can't really make out what Alex is suggesting, he seems to say that an engineer is needed but when push comes to shove the truth comes out. I chafe under the bit myself, I understand the frustration.

Does anyone else wonder if Alex can ever allow himself not to have the last word  :D

alex trent

I'd reply in detail, but I cannot.  Going out to blow up some more post and pier buildings.

As to the last word...yeah when it comes to rebutting nonsense and misstatements  it is important or the locos get it and that can mislead the found and fragile minded.

Got to go..booom there goes another sin against mankind...a post and pier. Watch out posties, we are coming your way!


What the heck  ;D
I don't believe I've been talking about your house.
I googled "rational design of reidential shallow pier foundations", I suspect there is something there. This is your puppy.
I've freely admitted I'm not competent to be designing these. You've whispered in my ear that a good bit of what you know came from me. I think I congratulated you on having the best braced foundation I've seen on here. You're now using that information as if it were worth using wholesale. We've all been right here, we've watched this evolve. I'm calling BS. You've got to throw us a bone if you want some kind of credibility at disseminating this type of information repeatedly. What you are telling us is that I can take the kid in the window at burger king and make him an engineer in under 6 months... I'm a carpenter  :-\


I would not usually think of using a pier foundation, if other foundation designs will work.  But there are cases to be made for piers: steep hillsides and beach fronts come to mind.  Pier foundations use to be very popular at beaches, I think the idea was to let occassional ocean ''swells" pass underneath the main structure.  But that same foundation probably is weaker if the water is higher ... a direct hurricane wave for example.  And if the hit is large enough, almost nothing works anyway.

And that brings us to "piles", much more expensive... more effective...than piers.  Think of a large nail driven into the earth.  Vertical support ... up and down, and horizontal shear ...if the pile is steel or reinforced concrete.  More of the large buildings are now using piles.  And I bet the pile is "extended" structurally upward thru the building.

Makes me wonder: if a pier foundation turns out to be the correct choice for the homebuilder, should the piers always end underneath a beam ... or, would it make sense to have some of the piers, perhaps in corners and outside wall-lines, extend upward into the wall structure ....becoming a part of the wall underneath the sheathing.  More "balloon" and less "platform"

Just a thought.


I have never understood why so many people elect to put wooden piers on a concrete footing.  Just seems to me that this approach creates a week point (or two) in the foundation.  Call me old fashion but I prefer mason foundations.  It is not much more labor intensive to erect block or concrete piers, j-bolt or appropriate fasteners to the support beam.  The biggest down side is in remote areas where materials would have to be transporated that these concrete/block require.  But in the same token the same or similar materials are already transported and used when you pour footings, sono-tubes and the like.  Just a little more is all that is needed to eliminate the hinge points that post require.  Don't get me wrong there may be a place for post foundations  but I would feel better living in a house that did not have them.  Am I missing something?  Is it the cost difference?


"Pile foundations consist of deeply placed vertical piles installed under the elevated structure. The piles support the elevated structure by remaining solidly placed in the soil. Because pile foundations are set deeply, they are inherently more tolerant to erosion and scour. Piles rely primarily on the friction forces that develop between the pile and the surrounding soils (to resist gravity and uplift forces) and the compressive strength of the soils (to resist lateral movement). The soils at the ends of the piles also contribute to resist gravity loads." p.39


There are full diagrams and load calculations on what it takes to build an approved pier foundation.  As much as I like math and calculations, I don't have the time to work through them all for atomicskier.  I am also not an engineer, so take that for what it is worth.


Again, I don't have a dog in this hunt, but the OP seems to have been forgotten in all the bantering on things not related to the original question.

Admittedly, I haven't been very active for several months, but as much as I respect all of the folks weighing in on this thread, we collectively haven't helped the OP very much.

The original question about help related to a pier foundation on a 20x30 single story in the grasslands of Wyoming is a question worth answering, but as usual, more info is needed.  We have the frost depth, but we don't know soil type, snow loads, wind loads, site topography, etc.

Whether a pier foundation makes sense for the OP is greatly dependent on conditions we haven't asked about.  So to the OP, I apologize for the collective here, some who seem to be grinding axes for some reason.   :-[ If you are still out there, give us some more info and we will give you advice which will be worth exactly what you are paying for it.  :P

alex trent

1. Poppy...I think we did get the information in his first post. We lacked slope and soil type. By now he has enough to know what he needs for soil type to do it. Where he is should not be a limiting factor to piers (but, yes there may be others). As for concrete all the way up or post on top, we have also hashed that over well. I think if you have no real aesthetic preference (or if you will skirt, as he likely will out there) concrete all the way up, which gets rid of the pier/post hinge is the way to go. Harder to brace with concrete all the way up but can be done.  There is advice on here.  Use J bolts and good connectors to hold beams on.  That too is on here...i got advice on beam mounting and itv in in my build..about midway in.

2. Piers and post vs concrete piers only. Not so much cost for me, but would have been more. Also I could cop out on problem getting the material in, which would have been a hassle (but at a buck an hour you can hire a lot of people to push wheelbarrows). Fact is, while there is not real inspection process there is a permitting process, which is very arbitrary. I am agains the forest preserve and I could not build a typical block and concrete house (or at least not get the go ahead very easily)....so I pitched this as a wood deck with a cover. Passed and now inspector in enamored with it. Even my back piers whci do not have posts, caused some concern as they start to look like a concrete house.

3. Be sure to keep piles and piers separate. Very different. The beach houses are built on piles...driven way into sand (like 20-30 feet). Piers are not the same.

4. DonP..I was going to ask a coupe of times if you had my build and me confused with someone else. I guess you did. I been going over my bracing the last day and wondering "how the heck am I going to ad more"?  LOL  Another topic on that... If you go back in this thread , i think you will see that I never offer blanket advice on piers/post...my contribution here was just on soil bearing calculations...which may be the most straightforward part of the pier process. If you cannot get past that then piers are definitely not for you, so that is the place to look first.  I would not design one and certainly not on line.  I still look at mine and wonder from time to time.  It will fall off in a real quake.


FWIW:  Somewhere above a comment was made that the end pier of a per foundation has a much greater load than the others. Not necessarily true. With a line of piers under a side wall the second pier in from the end often has the highest static load of all the piers. When loads from wind are added in things change. Lots of factors to be considered.

It seems to me that the issue of lateral loads (piers to soil and the lateral loads of the building on the piers) is the least understood component by DIY "designers".   I do trust the opinions of a person who has built many structures over many years and who has repaired the work of many others over many years. Those of us with less building experience would do well to listen and take to heart what the voice of experience has to relate. 
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


JRR, what you are describing is post frame construction. This is an engineered method but has a good bit of info online. There is some good info on the nfba.org site. This is deep in the meat and taters section;
Google Dr. Harvey Manbeck and you should be able to find his powerpoint presentation slides.

I've posted these pics before, just clarifying what I mean when I'm talking about lateral forces acting on the foundation and how different foundations react.

Unbraced piers... Anyone that thinks the soil is going to brace a pier laterally without serious reservations needs to go pull on a few 20 year old fenceposts. That farmer owned a tamping bar and had thousands of posts of experience. That is the foundation Alex designed for speedfunk yesterday. Now think about them with a 25' tall house in a 100 mph wind on top. An old test was to measure the force required to move an identical test pier 1" at the top. Half of that amount is the allowable stress. That is still optimistic as moisture changes and time works on them. One form manufacturer is giving the lateral strength of a pier at 13" deflection. Design the foundation as if it were sitting on a parking lot.

Full perimeter foundation walls... there is no comparison

Pier and curtain wall construction is the lightest prescriptive masonry wall, you'll find it in the foundation chapter of the IRC. It's our version of the latino wall Alex described yesterday on the cmu thread. The piers take the vertical loads and the curtain walls take the lateral shear.

You can brace the piers. The members, placement, and connections become critical. Those loads that are so nicely distributed and dissipated along a full perimeter wall are concentrated through the relatively smaller members to the fewer connections. The pier should not have a joint in it, the braces need to go down as low as possible to the footing, the connections need to be well considered. Peoples intuition about force runs out after a few hundred pounds, this is not gut instinct stuff. Attach short braces well to a post and rotate, the braces then jack the girder off the post.

Quoteif you have no real aesthetic preference
We still have a thinking problem.

Atomicskier, has described a site exposure of C, unobstructed, and mentioned 100 mph winds, the lateral loads are not trivial. We have 90-110 mph design windspeeds here. The unnamed windstorm last month hit 95 mph in places.


Aesthetics have little if anything to do with sound engineering. Engineering is required to make some aesthetically pleasing designs practical.   

Every time I go to my optometrists office I see that in action: the building has a front wall that appears to be nothing but glass, very eye catching. Inside we see the steel beams and bars that make it possible, but most people probably don't even really see the steel, if you know what I mean.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


I find it amazing the amount of either sketicism or negativity and depending on where you are on the issue will define which of the words I used to describe the scenaio you will choose. I don't think that anyone is denying the fact that a solid foundation poured is the best followed by a block foundation followed by piers. People have to stop and realize that building on peirs is not the issue or the problem here. Building on peirs then elevating your structure 3+ feet off the pier then in lies the problem. the laws of phyics and gravity and even murphy's law then have to get factored.

I personally see no problem building on peirs if done appropriately with common sense. I have seen houses/cabins built here on patio stones with the most redimentary leveling last 50+ years, not to say it is correct.  My dad built a smal 12x12 cabin 15+ years ago using patio stones and the concrete blocks with the holes for the 2x6 slots groved in the top. That structured hasn't moved an inch over that time frame. 

I can appreciate everyones opinion on this matter cause God knows I have one.  But let's start doing more in a positive light. I feel everytime someone brings up piers they get tromped on and it doesn't do anything to help anybody. Yes there is a fine line between highlighting potential problems and beating people over the head with the IBC.

Lets just work smart and get er done!
Visit my thread would love to have your input http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=12139.0
Feel free to visit my Photobuckect album of all pictures related to this build http://s1156.photobucket.com/albums/p566/ColchesterCabin/

John Raabe

Well said CC,

Enough has been said about the terrors of the pier foundation. At any rate, buildings seldom fail from foundation problems. Fire, moisture intrusion, lack of maintenance and several others are much more of a threat to long-term survival.

None of us are as smart as all of us.