Hello, I am in the beginning stages of planning to build a 16 X 20 cabin on our remote property. We bought some property out in the Lake Louise area. I know the ground is discontinuous permafrost. I am planning on building my foundation above ground by pouring gravel over the organics and then first building a pad with railroad ties or some type of treated lumber, and then laying pier blocks on top of that. Then I am going to be using adjustable brackets in the pier blocks to attach to the beams that will support my floor joists and floor package. My question is about the gravel that I will be using underneath the railroad ties or treated lumber. Does anyone have any recommendations on what type of gravel to use for this application, and how much of it I should use. Also, should the gravel just be placed underneath the lumber, or should it be continuously spread over the whole entire area underneath the floor?
Also, another question I have has to do with the insulation in the floor. Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to insulate the floor? I was thinking about using some type of metal strapping or bracing (or chicken wire etc.) to hold or support the insulation between the floor joists. I would think it would be unnecessary and actually detrimental to sheet underneath the floor, because you would want any water that leaks through the floor when the cabin is being built to drain away and dry out. If you sheeted the floor, I would think any rain water would accumulate in the floor and mold and rot.