So it looks like pier and beam it is

Started by 1201, April 22, 2020, 04:50:38 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Our property is lake side but we are building about 800ft from the lake. I have ordered the soils test but the two neighbors who built closer to the lake have both had to have piers dug as the soil is straight expansive clay for the first 20 ft.
One used the tella firma system which raises the concrete slab off the ground about 10 inches to allow for soil movement.

The other drilled 57 piers 22 ft deep and will have the slab sit on that.

So I'm thinking I'll be in the same boat. I know pier and beam is not favored around here but here is my question.

I want to do a raised wood floor about 4 ft from the ground, with no skirt eg

I feel that there will be plenty of airflow, no radon, easy access , and not hospitable for varmints since it's so wide this a good idea? Or are there any downsides of an unencapsulated foundation that I need to be aware of?


Let's qualify that. The objection to pier and beam is actually to non engineered shallow piers. What you are describing is an engineered deep pier foundation. That is a whole different animal. Simply describe your desires to the engineers and carry on with what they design.

Ah your pic, Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth house, I've got a model of it floating around here somewhere.


ok great. thats the plan( i already have a structural engineer ready to go. Im just waiting for my soils test results.)

but I guess the bigger question is - is there any downside to not encapsulating it? my friend thinks that critters would make a home there but others say if its wide open they wont be safe there.

how about wind? will I need to superinsulate? just wondering.

farnworth house- I dont know why it gets all the respect but I prefer phillip Johnson's glass house - both were equally UNLIVABLE - but what else do you expect from architects :D


On those houses, pretty much   ::):D
Encapsulating it, if up north, or in a wildfire area it is better to have a perimeter wall. In the deep south letting the breeze blow through has advantages.


Thank you. That is great to know as I am in the deep South. I will soldier on with my plan


It was sounding like the old big pond down there.



So far over 4k paid to engineers.

First design was slab on grade. 2070 sq ft. Shopped it around best price 23k. Plus 4k for plumbing rough in.

Oh no thank you.

So I paid for a pier and beam design and my engineer specified 25 piers. Concrete piers are around 230 each, all the way up to helical piers around $500 each.

So I'll likely go with concrete and in my estimation I'll save more then 10k compared to the slab, even after beams, joists, sheathing, and insulation etc, I'll have a foundation that doesn't move and one with easy access to repaid in the future.


I am building a small 12 x18 cabin and wounding is a slab cheaper then piers?