Foundation Now or Later?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by texican, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I'm building a new home, a post and beam timberframe. I'm doing the footers first, and then will pour the interior portion of the slab. I'm doing the exterior footing first, because of multiple levels on a sloped site.

    My quandary is...

    I'm going to be using the front end loader on the tractor to assist with some of the huge beams. If I pour the slab now, I'm thinking I might risk cracking the slab driving the tractor back and forth with some 40' 12" sq. beams...

    If I pour the interior later, I'll have some issues with moving the concrete around, through the upright beams, but I know my floor won't be ruined.

    I'd rather get the slab finished and out of the way. I'm using 8x20 mesh, with lots of extra rebar, in the cement... I'd like to think it'd hold the tractor, under all circumstances... But... there are very few books that deal with this situation... Anyone wrestled with this issue before?
     
  2. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Be sure to use the industrial mix on your pad, and add fiberglass to it as well.

    Also...if you can drive in and out on the same "Track", you could dig an extra foot or so deeper, like you were making "Ruts" that match the wheel-base of your tractor.

    Add some extra re-bar to the "Ruts" and then pour it all. That will give you 12" of extra reinforced concrete under the path you'll be using to drive on.

    That should be enough to hold anything you drive on it. Might add another yard or 2 of concrete, depending on how far you need to make your reinforced "Tracks", but might be worth the money to save repairs or wheelbarrow work later.
     

  3. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    It depends on whats beneath the concrete . If the concrete wasnt there would it be a good firm surface that you wouldnt leave a rut on or would it be soft sand that you would leave 6inch tracks in?

    Where ya getting 40 foot 12" square beams?
     
  4. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    thanks Boleyz, I'd already figured on extra large footers under supporting beams, but I hadn't thought about reinforcing the track area where the tractor might have to run. I've got a 13'x30' foyer that splits the house... may just go gung ho on that central area and deepen/reinforce it...since the tractor'd be pulling some of the main beams through there, and the longer beams could be lifted from the edges...

    fantasymaker... got a barn full of beams, lots of 20' stuff, unfortunately my local bandsaw miller's rig won't cut longer than 20, so I'm cutting pine logs and will be chopping/hewing with a broad axe to get em down to size. Got some 50' beams, but the ends are in the 10" range. My 20' beams are mainly red oak. We grow some big tree's hereabouts...
     
  5. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    is a pump truck an option in your area?

    [​IMG]

    But making it sturdy enough to support the weight of the equipment may be the easiest answer. We drive our heavy stuff (tractor, skidsteer) in and out of the shop all the time, and the cement is holding up just fine. Previous owner had even heavier equipment than we do.

    Cathy
     
  6. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Well you feel free to send any of those little ol sticks ya dont want up thisaway.......
     
  7. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Rebar and all is great, but the thickness of your pad will have some bearing on the load capability as well. Boleyz gave some good insight. You could make the whole pad thick enough (6" or more) or you could just make a grid of 10" - 12" deep by 10" - 12" wide "beams" or "tracks" that will make the whole slab more capable. The fiber mesh is good for minimizing small cracks that tend to be a part of concrete, but will not add enough strength by itself to overcome the extra loading.
     
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    By the way.....your bandsawmiller CAN saw lots longer beams than 20'.....he just has to 'sneak' up on 'em.....ahahahahaaa.....

    Mine has a 20' limit too......but if I want to saw a 30' beam, I set the first 20' on the saw, support the 10' end with a sawhorse temporarily, and run the carriage down as far as it will go, taking off the first slab....then back the carriage up a bit ( if the slab binds it, drive a wedge in to open the cut enough to back the blade/carriage off ) and chainsaw off the slab. Now, move the log down the sawbed, and support the other end with the saw horse.....finish the 10' of cut. Now you have a 30' log with one side slabed off......repeat the process until you end up with the beam you want.

    PITA, but it can be done for special occassions.

    Also, this is where an Alaskan chainsaw mill absolutely excels !! You use the guide board on top, and simply keep sliding it down the log and it doesn't matter HOW long the log is....I made a 36' long 8x10 main girder for my first barn using an Alaskan.
    Using the Alaskan, as slow as it is, is actually quicker than the bandmill deal....not to mention a whole lot cheaper setup. I wouldn't use an Alaskan mill for much else, since my bandmill has me spoiled, but for long, large beams, it's the trick.
     
  9. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd rather not carry a heavy load on the new slab. Not much more expensive if you pour the slab afterwards using a ground pump and 4 in. line to pump it. If you go that route gives you the chance to raise the building, run mechanicals that you might run under the slab, make any changes to the floor plan ect. before being locked in on the slab. Labor the same with two folks pulling the screed and one running the hose. Also, once the building is under roof you can pour it in bad weather, might make it easier to get the truck and pump since rain won't be an issue for you.
     
  10. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Given that there is no real reason to design this installation for permanent heavy vehicle traffic, I would wait until you are done erecting the frame. Why waste a lot of time and material overbuilding a slab, or chance a failure, if you don't absolutely need to? JMHO, but it isn't worth the risk.
     
  11. Avalon Acres

    Avalon Acres Well-Known Member

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    Texican, I would echo Tiogacounty's post. The cost of concrete here in S.E. Alabama is approaching $100 per cubic yard. Also, having twenty + years of inspection and architectural project management experience, I would recommend cutting control joints in the concrete while still green (as you can walk on concrete and leave little or no footprints). Fibered expansion joint material would also be recommended between different poured areas, i.e. retaining walls, step downs, etc. and around your columns/posts. Put the cracks in the concrete where you would prefer them to be. Concrete will expand and contract so control joints and/or keyways are a must, especially where ceramic or quarry tiles are used. Good luck, sounds like a great adventure!
     
  12. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    In my current home, (1987) I started building in the fall, and it got too wet for a cement truck to make it down, so I poured footers, and had the roof on, before it got dry enough for a truck to make it down... was very educational watching the cement truck chute backing up through window openings and doors and pouring.... So, I know building without the finished slab is a viable option.

    One concern has been the control joints for expansion. In areas where heavy load bearing beams are, I've dug down at least 3' deep and twice as wide as the width of the beams. I'm looking into the material that is put down between the slab and the tiles, to prevent unlooked for cracks from telegraphing through the tiles. Also very worried about the excessive weight that'll be on the exterior footers, since it'll be a foot thick rock wall. Building the footers strong enough, but have read where the main slab should be floating (not tied into the footers) so if the wall settles, the slab won't be damaged around the edges. Cool, I can leave an expansion joint... but I don't want to have a gateway for termites.

    I plan on doing everything possible to keep termites out, and if they do get in, have nothing available for them to eat. KDHT (pressure treated, kiln dried) framing, in between beams (soaking the ground level area of the beams in copper solutions). Cypress cabinets, cedar ceilings, etc... and quite a bit of structural stone supports.

    On the bandsawyer making longer beams... I wish.. unfortunately the best one around, has a shed over his mill, so monkeying the logs around is almost impossible. I don't need but a 'handful' of the 30's, a few 40's and one 50.

    thanks for all the hints... I've done all of these things before, but just on a smaller scale. Thank goodness I'm not on any deadlines... this is just something to do when I get tired of piddling around the farm...

    oh, fantasymaker, I shipped a couple of the beams to you... no cost to HT friends!!! Of course, the Post Office didn't have a stamp that big, so they said they'd just collect it from you when it arrived :p ...
     
  13. Avalon Acres

    Avalon Acres Well-Known Member

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    Just some things to consider:
    - rebar dowels to tie footings to future slab
    - cut control joints at column to column line, at all offsets (diagonal cracks tend to
    occur here).
    - control joints limiting areas to no more than 2:1 ratio lenghth to width, not to
    exceed 20 feet in longest direction.
    - use "Flex Bond" or other flexible non-masonry mortar to allow tile to move with expansion/contraction of concrete. Thinset masonry mortar will definitely crack tile if a crack appears in slab.
    - Again, cut control joints same day as concrete is poured. Shrinkage (sp?) and contraction cracks occur as moisture/water dries out of concrete.