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Old 04-17-2008, 08:11 AM
mfiore's Avatar
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Default It begins!

Well here we go! 50 posts, and I've yet to begin. I guess it's time I start inquiring and time to start building.

I started my foundation dig today. As you will quickly learn, I have know masonry or construction experience. For those following my build, I hope you are patient. As I have a full time job and three small boys, I do not anticipate this going quickly. Much more of a weekend endeavor.

I am also not ashamed to admit that as a beginner, it is almost certain that I will contribute no new ideas to the forum. I am much better at copying and following directions. Leave the innovating up to those who know what they are doing.

I appreciate all of the help so far. This forum is great.

Mike
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: It begins!

I live in the middle of Michigan, where cold climate and frost heaving are problems. After numerous inquiries (both on the forum and with local builders), I've decided it is important for me to dig below the frost line. I plan to build my foundation like "theBadger" and "dbhansen" (see, told you I was good at copying!).

Attached is a photo of the WFO location, on the side of my lot next to our tomato/basil garden (should be convenient). I used a cardboard footprint to layout where we would place the oven. I found this to be useful, as the original potential location was clearly too small. These ovens are big.


I have nearly completed the dig. What a pain. I didn't anticipate all of the dirt I would be left with. Here, the frost line is 48 inches. I plan to dig down that deep, put a 12 inch deep, 16 inch wide concrete footer, then build a block foundation up to grade. A reinforced cement slab will go on top of that.

Questions.

If I need to go 48 inches deep, does that include the cement footer at the bottom of the block foundation, or does the foundation need to be 48 inches deep, with another foot below that for the footer?

When building a block foundation, should I dry stack and fill the cores, like the block stand, or mortar the joints (or both)?

Thanks again.

Mike
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It begins!-wfo-009.jpg   It begins!-wfo-004.jpg  
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2008, 08:28 AM
Ed_ Ed_ is offline
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Default Re: It begins!

Oof, that looks like a lot of work. I'm in the midst of trying to make the same decision about whether to do footings below frost line. Seeing pictures from you and others who have dug foundations, I'm more and more inclined to go for the slab on grade.

But then, there's that little voice in my head saying, "But Ed, what if it heaves...then what?"

I'm suffering a case of analysis paralysis.

I'll be watching your build with interest.

-Ed
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: It begins!

Quote:
If I need to go 48 inches deep, does that include the cement footer at the bottom of the block foundation, or does the foundation need to be 48 inches deep, with another foot below that for the footer?
The 48" is to the bottom of the excavation. Your footings are poured on the bare earth, not crushed stone.

Quote:
When building a block foundation, should I dry stack and fill the cores, like the block stand, or mortar the joints (or both)?
I'd be a little leery about dry stacking under grade, but I think if you fill every core, you'll be fine. I mortared my blocks, but I excavated my center so I had a place to crouch to work.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: It begins!

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Originally Posted by dmun View Post
The 48" is to the bottom of the excavation. Your footings are poured on the bare earth, not crushed stone.

That's what I wanted to hear! The thought of another 12 inches makes me (and my back) cringe.

I considered excavating the center too, but I already have way more dirt than I know what to do with.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: It begins!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_ View Post
....

But then, there's that little voice in my head saying, "But Ed, what if it heaves...then what?"

I'm suffering a case of analysis paralysis.

I'll be watching your build with interest.

-Ed
Ahhh, but you can't wait until next winter to see what happens. :-)
James
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:04 PM
Ed_ Ed_ is offline
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Originally Posted by james View Post
Ahhh, but you can't wait until next winter to see what happens. :-)
James
Ah, no, you're right about that! After we wrap up a couple of other small projects, we'll be diving into this mess ourselves!
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed_ View Post
.... we'll be diving into this mess ourselves!
Building an oven is a lot of things, and messy is definitely one of them.
Enjoy!
James
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2008, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: It begins!

I've finished digging out that foundation yesterday. 48 inches deep, 16 inches wide. I now need to decide how to best pour the concrete footing in the bottom. There is not a lot of room to work down in those trenches. I'll either have to put some forms down below, or see if I can set up some level frames above like THeBadger did.

I've started a Picasso photo album, but I'm not sure how to link it here.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: It begins!

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Originally Posted by mfiore View Post
I considered excavating the center too, but I already have way more dirt than I know what to do with.
I was skeptical myself about building a foundation wall in a 16" wide trench, but it was quite do-able (though hard on the back). I'm VERY glad I didn't excavate the center; my leftover dirt has become a major headache. I'm thinking of making a new berm around my oven just so I don't have to haul any more dirt away!

One hassle I had to deal with was the center "island" collapsing on me while I worked, because it got very dry. I solved that with plastic wrap, using a borrowed pallet wrapper. Worked like a charm.
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