Saturday, November 14, 2009

Firm Foundations

The subject of foundations will bring up heated discussion whenever you get a group of builders together. Block stemwall, styrofoam block, Helical pier, Triodetic, All Weather wood, Steel piling, post and pad, sono tube, wood piling, slab on grade, mono slab and ""just do it right" with poured walls. Of course there are many other types but these are the most common for residential construction in Alaska, we have used each one of them at one time or another.

The truth is, all of these foundations have their place. Not one is right in all applications. Location, conditions, application, availability of materials, time life and cost all go into the equation. Post and pad is a staple in Rural Alaska but you wouldn't use it in Anchorage or hardly anywhere else on the road system. Block and Poured walls are common on the road system but you won't see it in a rural village as the cost for transport is too high.

If you're building a small vacation cabin you are not likely to use poured walls or block as it will bust your budget. You're not going to pour walls, lay block or pour a slab on perma frost either.

There are many foundation systems to choose from based on your location, soil conditions and budget. Whenever I hear someone say they're going to do it the 'right way', I must ask myself, "according to whom".

Never answer an anonymous letter~Yogi Berra

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