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Brauma 10-07-2007 07:40 PM

After a long talk with an old mason, he made a suggestion that I'm still pondering. After listening to what I wanted to build he told me that he would build it the exact opposite from the way I described.

I have been told to pour a 4" slab (patio) then build the kitchen on top of it. I intend to build the counters/islands with cinder block.

He said if he was building this for himself he would dig down 18", below the frost line, pour footers, then build the counters up from there. Then, after the cinder block structures have been built, either pour your concrete patio or lay pavers around them leaving a small gap.

I asked him why? He said simple: frost. Any slab of concrete laying on the ground is going to rise in a hard freeze. The ground simply pushes it up. When the ground thaws, it'll settle back down. Any structure built on top of it will move with it and this movement is not healthy for a cinder block structure. It will crack.

I told him that I intended to sheath it with stone and have tile on top for the counters. He reminded me that we have had a few mild winters lately but if we start having cold ones again a structure like I described will move and flex with the slab will not look so pretty in 5 years.

He said the movement isn't much; its barely noticeable but it does happen. The islands I intend to build will form a "J" shape so its more than just 1 run of block. It will take 2 turns and all be connected.

This may add to the total cost of my project but I love to do things right and not kick myself later for missing something.


asudavew 10-07-2007 07:46 PM

Re: Footers
It sounds like he is right on the money.............

Probably should listen to him.

Unofornaio 10-07-2007 09:01 PM

Re: Footers
Thoughts..How about this? This is the second time you more or less insinuated I don't know what I am talking about so I "think" you will get no more help from me.

Brauma 10-08-2007 04:38 AM

Re: Footers

Originally Posted by Unofornaio (Post 16734)
Thoughts..How about this? This is the second time you more or less insinuated I don't know what I am talking about so I "think" you will get no more help from me.

Well that was certainly uncalled for. I'm sorry you feel that way and I'm sorry you felt the need to use that tone on this forum. I know you've been around a long time, maybe you can get with James and retract that statement.

I certainly was not trying to insult you with what I said. I was merely conveying what an old mason told me. This old guy is retired and he laid block for 40 years. And he's still doing odd jobs here and there. My dad has known this guy for a long time and he lives in my county.

His way of doing it may be over-kill but I don't think anyone would deny that building an outdoor kitchen using his technique would be anything other than rock solid. And I believe it would be the preferable way to go if you don't already have an existing patio.

Peace Uno. I dont want to start an argument with you. I just like to collect all the data I can before I start any project and then go with what I feel is the best way for me to proceed. Thats why I joined this forum - to gain knowledge and see some things Ive never seen before.

nissanneill 10-08-2007 05:55 AM

Re: Footers
Hi Mark,
guess we here down under, don't need to work around the freezing line/zones as our climate is much more temperate.
I would then consider digging substantial holes and concreting on some stumps, either in a treated pine or galvanised steel, (paintes stell would also suffice if using quality paint or bitumen), and put your top onto that. Being more inert, it would be less likely to react to the moisture freezing and damaging your efforts. It should be very easy then to build the base in with cement sheet or construction ply.

There is also another advantage of being able to easier remove the oven if you decide to shift house.

Just another thought


Acoma 10-09-2007 03:48 PM

Re: Footers
Mark, Uno will step up and offer advice again. He has a lot of pride and experience as well. I am stoked to see that you are ready to step up and get yours going. Like me, you do lots and lots of research, and ask many questions before doing a project of this scale-big for us:) . Well, from reading through this thread and understanding that you have frost in your area, is it really that deep 18"? Les, what are we, a foot? Well, anyways, if you are moving forward and it is not recommended to mortar the dome within 30 days of freezing temps, what is the game plan?

Les 10-09-2007 04:00 PM

Re: Footers

I believe our code is 18 inches for the footings. The important thing is the soil. I am sitting on DG - I have 17 year old sidewalks that have not moved a mil. I dug my island footings 10 - 12 inches. My neighbor put his much less and he is in the business.


Acoma 10-09-2007 04:12 PM

Re: Footers
Thanks Les. 18" footings it is then. How's the dome? Nothing on your thread stating progress, and storms coming.

Brauma 10-09-2007 06:23 PM

Re: Footers
Acoma, I'm not planning on building the pizza oven right away. But I am planning on building the base at this point to accomadate a 42" oven for the future build. I'm still drawing it out at this point so I'm not sure how the big base will marry up to the rest of the countertops. It'll be one big square area of extra counter space I guess. Maybe I'll install a built-in cutting board there for now.

I started the process of getting the building permits today. Well, I talked to the county building inspector. I'll go over and fill out the forms tomorrow.

I may put this question in a separate thread because its off topic to "footers" but here goes: is one 20 amp circuit enough for a basic outdoor kitchen? Besides the mini fridge, I will have lights (low voltage), TV on occasion, and a couple of counter top outlets (GFCI of course) for things like a blender.

I've already run the one electric wire (20 Amp underground Romex), water pipe, and coax out to the site. I actually did this 2 years ago when our house was built. I had the foresight to bury those runs for the this project but I didn't have the foresight to run them thru a big PVC tube. Man, its gonna be a pain to dig another trench.

I think 20 amp will be sufficient. I hope so.

Les 10-09-2007 06:34 PM

Re: Footers
20 AMPS is a lot of power. You may see some static on the TV when you fire up the blender or the fridge kicks in, but outside of that; your golden (that's just my opinion, but I respect it).


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