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Hi. What is an easy but sturdy, do-it-yourself foundation for very small cabins? From, say, 10x10 to 12x18. I'm thinking of something 2 people can do with a pick up truck and no electricity or running water. (I could get a commercial cement mixer out to pour something, but it seems a bit much for cabins that tiny.)

Thanks for any and all ideas.

A in NE TX
 

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Having seen the scary results of ad-hoc foundations I'm doing mine the right way. I'm using pressure treated posts buried down to the gravel bed and secured with big concrete footings. Your cabin is only as good as its foundation. Plus, a cruddy foundation leads to cracks and insulation problems come winter.
 

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That size cabin is no bigger than a Do-It-Yourself garden shed kit. If you're looking for an easy way, just use treated 4by4's laid across cement blocks. Check level every year and use pieces of 1" boards as shims to re-level if necessary.
 

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..................Depending upon soil \rock conditions you could dig down a foot or so and you could use 8x8x16 concrete blocks that interlock and maybe come up 3 or 4 layers high to give yourself some crawl space . This would be for each corner , not a solid wall. then depending upon size and Span you could take 2 2x12's an add a piece of 3\4 inch cd plywood between them for outer perimeter wall supports kinda like a poorboy truss and then use 2x8's for your floor joists . Besure and shim each corner to bring everything into "Plumb".... . When you build your outer 2x12 trusses be sure and check each 2x12 to see if there is a slight curve , edgewise , if so put the "Crown" facing UP so that the weight will be pushing Down on the outer ends and you'll have a stable support......fordy... :eek: :)
 

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If I need a Shelter
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Cheap easy! Dig out holes about foot deep 16"X20" on your corners and a couple in the middle just set it on Blocks.

Or do like I did pour your Concrete in your holes,bolt you some Brackets for 4X4 post,go up with your Floor and Frame Work.2/3 of my place was done like this its held up real good the last 10 years.

big rockpile
 

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If you are willin to haul water in a couple 50 gallon barrels that you would probalby use later anyhow to haul water with, you could use the pierblock in concrete method, dig hole, add some rock for drainage, put in 4x4 or 4x6, go to next posthole until all are completed, add a couple sacks qwik-crete [tm] to each hole up to level with the ground, slowly add water and tamp with a piece of rebar to get it wet all the way down, cut off the pierblocks after adding your rim boards for setting on your florr joists.

another simple way is to use five gallon buckets, set in the ground and add your simpson [tm] 4x4 or 4x6 brackets after filling with concrete and rock, this works ok if you have good base to set up on.

A friend has had his 30x40 2 story cabin setting on just plain ole red fir blocks of wood for over 25 years now, all off grid, and after 20 years he plumbed water into his house as he was getting older [near 60 now]. His cabin is built over some pretty solid rock though and has not rotted the blocks away, however i believe that not all places could be so lucky.

4x8 beams running lengthwise [18 feet of your 12x18] set just on concrete trailer house blocking [solid 16"x16"] might be sufficient and set 0, 6,12 feet would be very strong and would allow a 2x6 floor joist although a 2x8 would be better.

Can a cwement trruck get into where you are gonna build? have you considered a solid floor, a 12 x18 floor with a 4 inch thickness would only take a little over 4 yards of concrete figure 4 and a half plus any door steps you might want to add in. An 8 sack mix around here is $75 per yard so that would be just over $300 plus the 2x4 form boards and stakes a couple housrs to float it out and finish it off , and it would be good for years.

William
 

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a rubble trench foundation is pretty good for a level site. You don't have to go to the frost line, you just dig down 18-24"and 18-24" wide, place a drainage tile and cover it with rubble rock (fist sized). Place your grade beam right on the rubble. Check the book section of your local big box hardware for a book on foundations.
 

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People, people he said 10 x 10 to 12 x 18. My brother's kids have a playhouse this size, it does fine sitting on patio blocks! And that's in Minnesota where we can get frost heaving in the spring. Sheeeeesh!
 

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BrushBuster said:
we have many, many buildings , barns, sheds and even houses just setting on rocks around here. and they've stood the test of time to.
Yeah, but my guess is nobody lives in the playhouse, barn or shed year-round. I'm assuming we're talking about a cabin for homesteading. If it's just a cabin for a vacation lot or for periodic hunting use, then certainly a minimal block foundation is fine. My point is, if you're going to LIVE in the cabin, however small it is, build it like a house not a cabin.
 

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Cosmoline said:
Yeah, but my guess is nobody lives in the playhouse, barn or shed year-round. I'm assuming we're talking about a cabin for homesteading. If it's just a cabin for a vacation lot or for periodic hunting use, then certainly a minimal block foundation is fine. My point is, if you're going to LIVE in the cabin, however small it is, build it like a house not a cabin.
i did say even houses. and they've been living in them longer than i've been alive. alot of things may be better but not many cheaper. and if properly done will outlast a lifetime.
 

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Thanks for all the help and ideas!

It's true I don't want to get too carried away for such a small building. This is an area that gets high winds and even tornados at times, so I am keeping that in mind too.

I am eager to get started!

A
 

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Another American Patriot
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MartyPalange said:
Similar to last post but you could use sonotube forms instead of blocks if you preferred. Foundations for small buildings discussed on this forum

http://www.countryplans.com/bbs/countryplans1.html
Thanks for posting the URL. Looks like quite a lot of information ... I'll check it out further.

Peace and smiles,
doohap
 
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