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Thread: How deep for post in Houston, AK for my cabin??

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    Default How deep for post in Houston, AK for my cabin??

    I think I have decided to buy some land in Houston, AK. I am planning on starting with a 20 x 20 cabin. I can use 6 x 6 treated with post protectors or I can bring up with me some used power company poles. I think either one would work fine. I am planning on having the cabin 24"-36" above grade. Does anyone know how deep I need to go with the post/poles to stay below the frost line? Any advice is very much appreciated.

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    I have built more than 20 remote cabins, most on treated posts. I always went at least 4 feet into the ground. If you plan to have 2 feet or more above ground then you should try to go deeper because of the leverage effect of the amount above ground. Your cabin could soon be leaning. Cross bracing on the posts would be a good idea. When you get down past 3 feet or so, you can make the digging easier by using a long heavy bar to break up the ground.
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    SmokeRoss, Thanks for the advise. I was planning on using my Bobcat with he auger. I can go down 8 feet with that setup. Sounds like that will work out good. Do you think 8 feet down will be below the frost line in that area?

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    I would think 8 ft would get u below the normal frost line however often times the post itself will conduct enough of the cold to freeze the ground all around the post.
    One trick I have employed with success is to double wrap your post with layers (2) of visquene or tough plastic wrap. The theory is that the first layer may grip the post somewhat. And the second layer may grip the ground somewhat. But the two sheets of plastic rubbing against each other slide quite easily against each other. Thus not allowing any leverage between ground and post.
    It seems to have worked for mine.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    I've fixed well over 20 post foundations....hundreds more to go, that's just in my area. It's really not a good long-term solution. My advice would be save a bit more money, do a proper foundation, and never think about it again. You wouldn't believe how stressed out people get when their foundation starts to fail and you tell them the cost to fix it is five times what it would have been just to do it right in the first place.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    I have experienced frost in the 8' plus region in Anchorage/Chugiak. It just needs cold weather and not much snow, and deepest penetration is in May and into June

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    I have set sonotubes down 2-1/2- 3' and not had frost heave problems for my deck.

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    Have you thought of Helical Piers driven into the ground. No digging required. They can be driven past the frost line. They are a bit more expensive but might be worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    I've fixed well over 20 post foundations....hundreds more to go, that's just in my area. It's really not a good long-term solution. My advice would be save a bit more money, do a proper foundation, and never think about it again.
    Concrete posts in sonotubes.

    I'm never using timber posts again, except in the most remote locations.

    500 lb of quick-crete will fill a 8-inch, 10 foot saunatube.

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    I used 3'X3' boxes made from 2X10 put those in the ground level and filled them with concrete and wire. The put pier blocks on top and cemented them in place after the cabin was built. I have not had any movement in the cabin at all. Cabin was built 10 years ago and all doors and windows still shut perfectly. Very little digging and you still have the option of adjustment in the pier block if needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    Have you thought of Helical Piers driven into the ground. No digging required. They can be driven past the frost line. They are a bit more expensive but might be worth it.
    Any idea of cost in Anchorage? I am learning a lot lurking on this thread!

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    I don't know what they would cost in anchorage. I did get a quote awhile back for some piers installed and level around the Talkeetna area. It was about $410 a pier. This is the company that does them... http://tmpalaska.com/


    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Any idea of cost in Anchorage? I am learning a lot lurking on this thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    I don't know what they would cost in anchorage. I did get a quote awhile back for some piers installed and level around the Talkeetna area. It was about $410 a pier. This is the company that does them... http://tmpalaska.com/
    Thank you sir!

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastalgun View Post
    I think I have decided to buy some land in Houston, AK. I am planning on starting with a 20 x 20 cabin. I can use 6 x 6 treated with post protectors or I can bring up with me some used power company poles. I think either one would work fine. I am planning on having the cabin 24"-36" above grade. Does anyone know how deep I need to go with the post/poles to stay below the frost line? Any advice is very much appreciated.
    What are your plans for the building in the future? Is it one or two story? Cabin or full time residence? Since it's just in Houston it may be fairly cheap to do an actual foundation or if you have good gravel a little dirt work and around 10-11yds of concrete and you can have a mono slab. There are many different options for building where you are.


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    Coastalgun, I am in the planning stages of a remote build and entertaining using post protectors. You mentioned them in your post and wonder if you have/still intend to use them?

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