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Thread: How deep should posts be in Wasilla?

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    Default How deep should posts be in Wasilla?

    I am getting ready to start building my stick lumber cabin in Wasilla off Church Rd at the end of May. I am wondering how deep I should go with my 6" x 6" support posts that I will have inside what is called "Post Protector II" (basically a sleeve that protects the PT post from rotting prematurely)? I want my cabin raised about 18" off the ground from the bottom of the floor joist to the ground. I will install some sort of siding with a insulated panel around base to keep animals and wind from blowing under the cabin. I will use R30 insulation in the floor. How deep should I bore my holes for the posts? Cabin will be a 16' x 24' with a small loft sitting on 12 of the 6" x 6" PT Posts.

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    How wet is the ground?
    Code calls for 6 feet deep on posts, 48 inches on full foundation.
    My Talkeetna cabin will have 48" deep 8x8 posts on 2'x2' bases on very dry ground and neighbors with similar construction and no movement issues in 15 years. Put the posts on 'undisturbed ground' at the bases.
    Will look at these 'post protectors'on line....have used ice and water shield in the past. In helps prevent and ground water from freezing to the wood post itself.
    Can you drive piles? A great way to go if there is access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otternorth View Post
    How wet is the ground?
    Code calls for 6 feet deep on posts, 48 inches on full foundation.
    My Talkeetna cabin will have 48" deep 8x8 posts on 2'x2' bases on very dry ground and neighbors with similar construction and no movement issues in 15 years. Put the posts on 'undisturbed ground' at the bases.
    Will look at these 'post protectors'on line....have used ice and water shield in the past. In helps prevent and ground water from freezing to the wood post itself.
    Can you drive piles? A great way to go if there is access.
    After clearing the trees around the building site last year and taking the top layer of crap off the ground, the soil itself seems fairly dry now that it is opened up. The area is raised as opposed to the surrounding land which is lower than the building site. I thought about driving piles but it would cost me several thousand dollars more to do so.

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    What about those elephant foot or big foot concrete forms, Lowes or Home Depot. Just clear top cover to good dirt and mix concrete fill and there you go. No frost heave and no digging.

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    What about those elephant foot or big foot concrete forms, Lowes or Home Depot. Just clear top cover to good dirt and mix concrete fill and there you go. No frost heave and no digging.

    George
    Are you saying to just use the Bigfoot on top of the ground and fill it with concrete and set the cabin on those? Have you or someone you know done that? I want to do whatever is most cost efficient and easiest without jeopardizing my cabin structure.

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    On church road I would just do some digging and see if you have gravel. If so I would rent an excavator to clear the area then just pour a slab. A small "house" on church will be worth real money in the long run.

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    I didn't see much gravel last year but I only dug a couple holes maybe a foot or so deep. Wouldn't a slab be very expensive? Unfortunately, I have a fairly limited budget I am working with.

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    If you're on a budget, here's what ya do: have a yard or two of gravel delivered, buy six 6x6x8' treated posts from Home Depot, cut 'em in half. Dig your postholes down 4' or so, start pounding in gravel until you reach about within 30" of grade, then drop your 4' posts in. Total cost should be less than $300. Will it last 100 years? No, it will not, it may last 30-40 with proper drainage, but it's easily upgradable down the road.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    To expand a little on cdubbin's idea on the post. Treat the bottem end if it is cut as the treatment does not get to the center of the post. Also wrap several layers of plastic around the post from the bottem up to the top of the soil. That will help with any frost heaving. After setting all of your post take a transit and leavel up your post using the lowest one for your guide for the rest. You might also think about the skirting that you want to do. If it is touching or real close to the ground and you have any frost heaving under it then it will get jacked off of the cabin.

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    These are the post protectors that I am going to use.


    http://www.postprotector.com/sizes-prices-literature/

    This should give me plenty of protection for my posts.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    To expand a little on cdubbin's idea on the post. Treat the bottem end if it is cut as the treatment does not get to the center of the post.
    Good call, I always put the cut ends up, "factory" ends down. Akman, those "post protectors" look mighty interesting; where do you get 'em, and how much? I've never seen such a thing, been hoping for a product like that.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Good call, I always put the cut ends up, "factory" ends down. Akman, those "post protectors" look mighty interesting; where do you get 'em, and how much? I've never seen such a thing, been hoping for a product like that.
    No one here sells them but I contacted the inventor and he volunteered to ship them to me. He ended up shipping each one through the post office parcel post at a cost of about $12 each postage and the cost of the protector at about $35 each. Amazingly, all twelve actually showed up all at the same time and undated. He didn't even wrap them. Lol. Each one is 6x6 x 60".

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    Cdubbin, I have had some experience with posts in Bristol Bay and my personal opinoin is I would never stick anything in the ground unless I had to. I have had terrible frost heaves moving poles sometimes 4-6 inches. The only frost heaving you should get with something on top is if you let water stand around the footing. I am movin my foundation at my lodge from burried posts to pads and screw jacks and one of the reasons is frost heaving and causing doors not to work correctly. That is just my opinion and with screw tops on top of my suggestion you can fine tune the foundation. I do not have personal experience with the big foot thing but one of my clients used some to redue one end of his cabin in the Willow area and swore by them for ease to work with and time involved. Hope you find what works for you.

    George

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    George, Not sure if you are familiar with Wasilla but they can get winds through the winter that is gale force and not just once but many times. If I was building I would want my place tied to the ground and not just setting on top.

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    BigBend, that is why hilti makes tie-down strapping out of galvanized steel. Pull a stringline and place those accordingly. Tico nails will do the rest. Tie-downs come in many forms, just have to plan before hand. Heck, redheads would work too after the pads were put down.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Big Bend, very good point and one I didn't address. I grew up in Bristol Bay and have my summer place there and we are no stranger to the big blow. I will be driving anchor rods through my bases and guying the tops of my post. and much easier to do before than after you have to straighten... I still hold my thoughts on punching through the ground tho.

    That is why these types of discussions are so helpful, many paradigms to take advantage of.

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    If you're on a budget, here's what ya do: have a yard or two of gravel delivered, buy six 6x6x8' treated posts from Home Depot, cut 'em in half. Dig your postholes down 4' or so, start pounding in gravel until you reach about within 30" of grade, then drop your 4' posts in. Total cost should be less than $300. Will it last 100 years? No, it will not, it may last 30-40 with proper drainage, but it's easily upgradable down the road.
    This is a good method. If you do this and also make your postholes large enough to pound a good amount of gravel all the way around your post up to the surface you should get good enough drainage to take care of most of the frost heave problem, especially if you also use your post protectors. Unless you are digging your holes in pure muskeg all the way to the bottom you shouldn't have much of a problem with settling either.
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    Akman, did you wind up using post protectors?

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