Author Topic: Micropile foundations  (Read 5341 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 12:38:38 PM »
I think it's more just expense.  Slab-on-grade is cheaper and people do plenty of it here in the mid-west.

In some instances, you can get sale-able square footage by putting in a basement and maximize the value of the land (duplex condos) but with today's market those days may be behind for some time.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 12:41:03 PM »
I think it's more just expense.  Slab-on-grade is cheaper and people do plenty of it here in the mid-west.

In some instances, you can get sale-able square footage by putting in a basement and maximize the value of the land (duplex condos) but with today's market those days may be behind for some time.

depending on the square footage of the structure if you do slab on grade without some major drainage work in a climate where the ground freezes deep it will heave uneavenly and cause problems down the line. Slab on grade in cold climates often have pilings going below frost level. That being said I am NOT a construction engineer so I could be talking completely out of my a$$ ::)
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Online tschmidlin

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2011, 12:52:31 PM »
I wish we had a basement.  I have no idea why we don't, there's no flood risk.  They just don't seem to be done much in this area.

I think what it often comes down to is expense v. necessity. I would guess that frost line where you live is only a couple feet deep at worst. it's a lot cheaper to sink some pilings (of stem wall) a couple feet than to excavate and pour a true basement foundation. I grew up in new england and the front line there is down around 5 feet. once you are digging down that deep you might as well put in a full basement. Here in southern NorCal the frost line is somewhere above grade so you get a lot of slab on grade or pilings on grade as the real concerns are seismic and termites.
That totally makes sense, I hadn't considered that.  Apparently here it's 12 inches.  This page has a wealth of information:
http://www.redmond.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=27271

Ground Snow Load    15 pounds per square foot
Wind Speed    85 miles per hour
Seismic Design Category    D2
Winter Design Temo    27º F
Ice Shield Underlayment Required    No
Flood Hazards    FEMA Flood Hazard Map = FIRM 1999
Air Freezing Index    113
Mean Annual Temperature    52º F
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2011, 12:54:04 PM »
I think it's more just expense.  Slab-on-grade is cheaper and people do plenty of it here in the mid-west.

In some instances, you can get sale-able square footage by putting in a basement and maximize the value of the land (duplex condos) but with today's market those days may be behind for some time.

depending on the square footage of the structure if you do slab on grade without some major drainage work in a climate where the ground freezes deep it will heave uneavenly and cause problems down the line. Slab on grade in cold climates often have pilings going below frost level. That being said I am NOT a construction engineer so I could be talking completely out of my a$$ ::)

I can only speak to my experience here in Iowa.  You have to put in footings below the frost line for anything over 120 sq. feet and all structures with running water or buried electrical.  The natural frost heave will break pipes and tear off power lines if you don't.  Footings in Des Moines need to be at least 48" below grade and bell out at the bottom. The required length/width varies by load.  Municipal Codes are different for every city/county though.  Listen to you engineer's advice for your specific location.

If everything checks out, the location sounds like a beautiful place to have a home.

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 01:03:52 PM »
I think it's more just expense.  Slab-on-grade is cheaper and people do plenty of it here in the mid-west.

In some instances, you can get sale-able square footage by putting in a basement and maximize the value of the land (duplex condos) but with today's market those days may be behind for some time.

depending on the square footage of the structure if you do slab on grade without some major drainage work in a climate where the ground freezes deep it will heave uneavenly and cause problems down the line. Slab on grade in cold climates often have pilings going below frost level. That being said I am NOT a construction engineer so I could be talking completely out of my a$$ ::)

You are correct.  The "slab-on-grade" construction I'm referring to still requires a foundation wall, excavation and compacted gravel within the footprint.

Regardless, it's significantly cheaper than excavating and building a basement.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline euge

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 01:07:55 PM »
Is this venture for a home or a business? Maybe a brewery...?

Just sounds risky and potentially expensive and the bulk of the land unusable. Maybe the French don't have the American knack for making things happen! I'd pass for something more conventional but for real estate investment some of my friends aren't above getting clever and making junk property valuable again.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2011, 01:31:32 PM »
just get a couple of double wide trailers and chain them to a tree.
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2011, 02:24:47 PM »
just get a couple of double wide trailers and chain them to a tree.

There's an area around here that historically floods pretty badly. In Floyd and Irene, homes in the Valley were flooded up to the second floor. FEMA keeps buying lots and turning it into park land, but not all of them.

I'm tempted to buy some of that very, very cheap land and put a trailer on oil barrel pontoons on the lot. Either that or just park a houseboat, but that's not nearly redneck enough.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2011, 02:25:25 PM »
just get a couple of double wide trailers and chain them to a tree.

Here in Hawaii we just use Matson 40' containers...   ;)
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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2011, 02:46:57 PM »
just get a couple of double wide trailers and chain them to a tree.

Here in Hawaii we just use Matson 40' containers...   ;)
I would love to get a 20' or 24' and half bury it in the hill in my backyard.  I don't think I'm allowed though, because of the co-homeowner.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2011, 03:03:48 PM »
Ha!
Instant walk-out basement.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2011, 03:10:38 PM »
just get a couple of double wide trailers and chain them to a tree.

Here in Hawaii we just use Matson 40' containers...   ;)
I would love to get a 20' or 24' and half bury it in the hill in my backyard.  I don't think I'm allowed though, because of the co-homeowner.

"Bomb shelter"   ;)
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2011, 03:41:12 PM »
I wish we had a basement.  I have no idea why we don't, there's no flood risk.  They just don't seem to be done much in this area.

I don't think there's much of a frost line in the Puget Sound area, more likely because of high water table.
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Online tschmidlin

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2011, 04:09:44 PM »
I wish we had a basement.  I have no idea why we don't, there's no flood risk.  They just don't seem to be done much in this area.

I don't think there's much of a frost line in the Puget Sound area, more likely because of high water table.
We're at !500 ft elevation so the water table doesn't really play into it - the frost explanation makes more sense to me.

I'm pretty sure they design for a bad winter, not just the average, which is probably why the frost line is 12" for Redmond.  It might be even deeper where I live, we're about 4 miles from Redmond itself (closer to the mountains), and >450 feet higher in elevation.  We've seen 13F here in the 5 years I've lived here.  I have no idea what this translates to in frost depth or if there is an elevation correction, but it's interesting.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Micropile foundations
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2011, 04:28:49 PM »

We're at !500 ft elevation so the water table doesn't really play into it - the frost explanation makes more sense to me.



You may live above a perched water table.

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