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  1. #1

    Default post and or peir foundation

    I am a general contractor here in Ca. The wife and I are going to start building a vacation house in southern Colorado. I have never used a post or peir foundation but I am considering using it in Colorado. Does anybody have any thoughts and or info that would be helpfull.
    Thanks Pete

  2. #2
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Here's a thought -- Why not ask a question? Then we're more likely to provide useful information.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    It reads like a question to me, MH. Just without that curly line with a dot at the bottom that generally signifies an interrogative sentence.

    OP, are you referring to a pad/pier (or crawlspace) foundation? I'm in FL, and we have quite a few of those here. I have a friend that did foundation work in CO for a while, and he said they had to do a lot of caissons or piles with pile caps and grade beams, really I guess it just depends on the lot you're building on. A crawl is a fairly inexpensive foundation to build, and much less than the money you spend on seismic engineering in CA. You also have a lot of flexibility with insulation, and the ability to service your plumbing.

  4. #4

    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    my question is, will this type of foundation work as well as a perimeter foundation w/crawlspace. I am thinking of using post and peir because I can do it myself and a little bit at a time if necessary. Our lot is flat and it drains very well. Pete

  5. #5

    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    our lot is flat, I would like a crawl space for all the above mentioned reasons. where we are in colorado there are no building codes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by builditslow View Post

    I am a general contractor here in Ca. The wife and I are going to start building a vacation house in southern Colorado. I have never used a post or pier foundation but I am considering using it in Colorado. Does anybody have any thoughts and or info that would be helpful. Thanks Pete

    San Luis Valley? Somewhere between Wolf Creek and Cortez, or Walsenburg and Springfield? When people talk of 'Southern Colorado', it's usually a stone's throw from US 160...

    No building codes, eh? How about a well permit? Surely the county will want a record for tax purposes. And surely you mean caissons vs footings under a crawl space foundation. What type of foundations do you use in Cali?
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  7. #7

    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    we have a septic permit a well permit and a road permit. we do have to get a permit but no building codes exceptthey require a 45lb snow load and a 90 mph wind load. we are just outside fort garland which is in the san louis valley. most foundations ia cali are 24' x12' concrete stem wall foundations

  8. #8
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    I have family in nearby Alamosa. Did you buy ranch property - Trinchera, Smith, Antelope, or another?

    Are you contemplating caissons because of expansive soil?
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    I would not prefer a post/pier foundation. Unless you want the house completely open underneath you will have to add skirting, which usually means wood in contact with soil. No skirting means plants and animals will try to live under the house. The wind will try to blow thru, knocking down your insulation. Without a good stemwall or ponywall you will have a harder time freeze-protecting the water pipes under the house. Piers are a lot less stable if there's an earthquake (never say never). Find a concrete crew that needs a job and have them put in a conventional concrete foundation.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    I agree with Dave on that one. Spend the extra $$$ and get a perimeter foundation....

    Many houses here are on post and beams with an open crawlspace. Our house was originally one a similar type foundation. We moved it over a full basement.

    As said, skirting would be an issue; especially if the ground moves like it does here.

    If you have an open floor assembly, plastic and chicken wire help with critters and wind. However many places here can not accept a regular concrete foundation - the underside is finished in this manner...

    Finish floor, Sub floor, FG insulation, vapor barrier, 2" EPS foam, 1/2 or 3/8" ply screwed to the floor joists.

    Make certain your piers are deep enough and belled (frost) and make certain the ground will accept these loads. Also make certain that water does not drain and pool under the house.

    I would not go above a single level, otherwise you will be rocking and rolling in the wind. No matter how much bracing you do in between the posts.
    “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
    Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

  11. #11

    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Overbuilders View Post
    I have family in nearby Alamosa. Did you buy ranch property - Trinchera, Smith, Antelope, or another?

    Are you contemplating caissons because of expansive soil?
    We have 10 acres in sdcr elevaation 8200' We where considering caissons because I thought it would be something we could do our selves. But after everybodys help I believe we will spend the $ and do a peremiter foundation. Thanks pete

  12. #12
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by builditslow View Post

    We have 10 acres in sdcr elevaation 8200'.
    Nice. I love the eastern side of the valley up against the Sangres. Seems like most development around there is named after Malcolm Forbes.
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Post/ pier foundations are popular there because they are cheap, because they dry out easily, and many homes are summer homes, andnot used in the winter.

    The drainage and soils in South Central Colorado are different than in california, and you should have an engineer familiar with the area plan your foundation.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Steele View Post

    Post/ pier foundations are popular there...
    They are...?
    Richie Poor

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, value engineer your unit prices.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: post and or peir foundation

    What exactly is a "caisson" used in residential foundations?

    I understand the caissons used to do bridge foundations in the middle of water, but never heard the term used in residential.

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