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fishandfly 01-23-2008 07:59 AM

Foundation guidance
Where did you all find your guidance for depth of foundation? I'm in atlanta, so frost line is not really an issue.

Acoma 01-23-2008 08:10 AM

Re: Foundation guidance
I found out from several sources: Les, whom lives in same region. H.D. pro desk, and a local builder that needs to know the frost levels for building homes. All said that extreme freeze is what one looks to get below. For us, the extreme cold can get to 18 inches, therefore I went to 2 feet.

For you, contact a contractor or two, your local H.D. or Lowes (pro desk) and local FB friends. Take all information and you will know the proper depth.

Les 01-23-2008 08:45 AM

Re: Foundation guidance
To add to this; the type of soil is very important. Iím sitting on D.G. so there is very little, if any, soil heave. If youíre sitting on clay I would dig down a bit. Like Robert suggested, contact someone who is in the know for your area. It will probably be overkill but whatís the harm.


fishandfly 01-23-2008 03:36 PM

Re: Foundation guidance
I've got a frost line of 2 to 4 inches. The thing that is killing me is that the building inspector is telling me I need to be 12" deep, as he says that is the minimum allowed for by the IRC (international residential code)

Les 01-23-2008 03:54 PM

Re: Foundation guidance
You're not pulling a permit for this are you? Going down 12 inches sounds pretty reasonable for the footings. You donít need the entire slab to be 12 inches thick.


fishandfly 01-23-2008 04:18 PM

Re: Foundation guidance
I'm on the fence about the permit. I spoke with a structural engineer who was surprised I would consider going through the permit/inspection process.

It is an outdoor kitchen with power, gas, and a fireplace.

I called up the permit office and generically asked them why if I can just proceed without a permit or inspection and they mentioned that it could cause hassles when I try and sell my house some day.

RTflorida 01-23-2008 05:02 PM

Re: Foundation guidance
Not a bad idea to pull a permit and go through the inspection process for what your planning, unless you have personal experience with utilities. Gas and electric are both dangerous if done incorrectly. If your hiring out the job, an even bigger reason to have it inspected - I've learned to trust no contractor here in FL, even the best sub things out to cheap and inexperienced labor.


dmun 01-23-2008 05:31 PM

Re: Foundation guidance
Generally speaking, once you start installing utilities, you need a permit.
The actual rule, from memory, is less than 50 square feet, less than 10 feet tall, no utilities: no permit. It's a shed exemption, which also covers things like backyard barbeques and pizza ovens.

For the foundation, either one of two things. Either you pour a slab on a base of well drained crushed rock, where the structure in essense floats over the soil, or you dig down below the frost line and pour footings directly on the undisturbed sub-soil. If you do footings, it's only around the edge, the whole slab doesn't need to be that thick.

And I second RT's suggestion, that if you're using a contractor, you want the inspection before you make the final payment. That's the law here, and it's for your protection.

DaveHI 01-24-2008 04:26 AM

Re: Foundation guidance
What's a frost line? (kidding). While we pay 3X for firebricks having the annual temps 60-92 ain't all bad.

That shed exemption varies by area as well. Ours was 100 ft2 and was increased to 110 or 120 IIRC so that people didn't have to pull permits for garden sheds.

Neil2 01-27-2008 11:01 AM

Re: Foundation guidance
Get a permit.

You may void your house insurance if an accident is related to an un-permitted structure. Send a fax or email of what you are building to the building inspection staff. If a permit is not needed, then you will have a record of that fact as well.

The permits cost next to nothing and you can also get good advice from your local building inspection staff.

If you are ever told by a contractor that "we don't need no stinking permit" - get another contractor.

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