Pier foundation question 24' X 32' Gambrel roof cabin

Started by Ricky J, April 04, 2017, 09:57:28 PM

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Ricky J

The problem with a basement is cost. Need to do another 3 (or more) courses of block, extra excavation costs, extra cost for the concrete slab, sump pump, drainage etc.


Got this from our friends at Green Building Adviser.

QuoteQuotes taken from the book: "From The Ground Up," by John Cole and Charles Wing
"A full basement foundation is essentially a large and expensive concrete-lined well that we try to keep dry."
"It is difficult for me to comprehend how any harmonious relationship with the natural world of your site could lead you toward a full cellar. One does not follow the other."
"There are no two ways about it – I agree with Rex Roberts – the cellar is second-class space. It's naturally dark and damp, and to achieve anywhere near the same livability as above-ground space, it will end up costing as much or more per square foot."



Pretty much why I don't put a whole lot of stock in GBA, they paint with a mighty broad brush.

With a frost protected foundation you can put your footings closer to grade than frost depth, check out section 403.3


Right now in this county there probably isn't a spot 4' down that isn't below the water table. That is one reason to think about sticking with a crawl space or slab.

Actually was in a totally different state today and someone was talking to me about how they had 1-2" of water in their basement because their sump pump went during a rain storm, and that this time they were going to install a backup sump system. That's an expensive storage space especially after throwing out their storage and needing to buy new stuff to store. Don't forget the dehumidifier and the fact that it does add to heating and cooling loads.

Non architect that I am, I also think that spaces should be designed for purpose and not as a catch all. I can see a lot of reasons why not to have a basement. On the same note, if you have mostly flat land and a steep spot, the steep spot could be the perfect spot for a house with two floors with both floors being accessible from ground level. Can't beat that and now the step spot that was unusable is utilized.

Foundation is probably about the hardest thing to design because every building site is going to be different.

Ricky J

Most, if not all homes around here have basements, and rarely get water in them. Just have to be designed correctly and water accounted for. I have never  more than a trickle come in under snow melt or really heavy rain and my basement is from the 1940's. That being said, I don't want one for a seasonal cabin. Too much could go wrong when I am not there.