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Thread: How many sona tubes should I use for cabin?

  1. #1
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    Question How many sona tubes should I use for cabin?

    Hey, guys. This is my first thread and I was wondering if I could get some help with building the foundation for my cabin?

    The cabin is going to be 24x24 and is gonna be a 2 bed 1 bath small home for me, my fiance and our 1 year old. The house is going to be located in STERLING, AK and I am going with a sona tube foundation because that is what my older sister has on her house which is roughly 30x30 and it has worked out nicely for her so far.

    Price IS an issue as I am trying to save money where I can and assemble this place as quick as possible.

    SO haha what is the rule of thumb when it comes to sona tube foundations on the kenai peninsula (sterling area) as far as:

    How many will I need?
    How far spaced each way? (obviously I will know if I just get a number lol)
    How long of sona tube?

    If this gets awnsered I will be very happy as I have been trying to find the awnser for a week now lol, thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    The reason you can’t find your info is that sight and soil conditions are the important factors in foundation design far more than what you build on top. If you are in sand you need more footing and lateral support than if you have gravel. Sometimes you have good soil at one end of a sight with junk on the other, there are people that make entire careers out of rating what loads the soil on building sites can support.

    All that said too much foundation is always better than not enough so without engineering overkill is the name of the game. If it were me here in the MatSu the overkill I would do 16 pears, 4 rows of 4 to give me an 8’ joist span then I could get by with 2X6 floor joists but would likely go 2x8). They would be at least 4’ deep with a 24x24x6 foot or the plastic bigfoot forms. They would have rebar in the foot as well as up the tube so I wouldn’t need to worry about the post poking through the foot or the post cracking in a quake. The bigfoot forms are more money and more concrete but are less likely to frost jack if you get that in your area. Welcome to the forum, good luck and have fun.
    Andy
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for the response. I was also thinking 16 sono tubes 4 rows of 4 but thought that might be too much, but like you said, more is better. I was wondering if those big foot tubes are the plastic ones with the upside down funnel at the bottom of them? Those seem like a very smart choice. What diameter would you make the tubes?

  4. #4
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    The only advantage of more tubes would be to reduce spans and spacings so you could use smaller beams and joists. I'd rather use larger structural members and have fewer posts. The more points of contact, the harder it is to maintain level floors. There will be no snow under the cabin to insulate the ground. Posts under the cabin will be subjected to frost to a greater depth than posts on the perimeter, which will have some insulation from snow.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    The only advantage of more tubes would be to reduce spans and spacings so you could use smaller beams and joists. I'd rather use larger structural members and have fewer posts. The more points of contact, the harder it is to maintain level floors. There will be no snow under the cabin to insulate the ground. Posts under the cabin will be subjected to frost to a greater depth than posts on the perimeter, which will have some insulation from snow.
    Wouldnt it make sense to have the spaceings 8' apart though each way? seems like that would be the ideal space apart, the building is only 24' each way. what do you reccomend? who should I call?

  6. #6
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    With 4 rows of piers you'll use 2x8s for joists; with 3 rows you will need 2x10s. I'd write it up both ways, and then decide.
    "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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