Frost Wall

 
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:14 AM   #1
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Frost Wall


Hi to all, I am new here and firstly want just say this is a great site. I have just about retired and am now planning on building a retirement home in western Canada ( British Columbia ). I have worked in commercial construction for 22 years and but this is probably only my second residential house project. My question is that I am building a house with a footprint of 32ft x 60 ft. We don't need a basement but because of soil conditions and frost issues my concrete sub trade says we need to do 4 ft below grade frost wall with a footing. I am getting different comments on rebar placement within the wall ; horizontal / vertical / or a combination of both ??? Thanks to all who reply. I have already done a forum search but could not find a specific answer.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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Re: Frost Wall


Willie - welcome to CT

Yes, you will need to be 4' below grade with footings of course. A 60' wall will either need a butress or re-bar in it.

You should get an engineer to specify how much bar, size, and location.

You may also need a construction joint in a wall that long.

Will you be on solid ground or bedrock? Too many unknowns for any difinitive answers here.

Best to get the engineer to spec it out. Just imagine what would happen if your foundation should fail in any way - bye bye house.

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Old 02-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Frost Wall


Check with a local building inspector. They may require engineered drawings. But if not they will be the first ppl to point you in the right direction.

What works in some places doesn't in others.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Frost Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie 2 View Post
We don't need a basement but because of soil conditions and frost issues
Please explain this.

If you are just doing a slab on top of frost walls, then then inside of the walls will be backfilled. By rights yo do not need any re-bar size the pressure will be equal on both sides. If it was my house, I would still throw some re-bar in it though.

I would consult a structual engineer
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: Frost Wall


I understand the need for a structural engineer, wish I could find one locally but no such luck so far. The reason why I asked for everyone's opinion is I have two foundation contractors ( both local people working the area for at least 10 years ) and each has given me a drawing with the usual 2 Re Bar in the footing and then one has the frost wall rebar running horizontal and the other running vertical. The local building inspector says either way will be O.K. and he did imply that ReBar is not even a local code requirement in the wall itself, just the footings and yet it is sandy soil. So as an owner/builder ( GC ) I just want to do things the BEST way as it is my retirement home and I don't want any problems. Not trying to save any money here on this project. Maybe I should run them both ways ????
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Frost Wall


I forgot to mention that I want a crawl space of about 30 - 40 inches below the floor joists. I am considering building a wood pony wall on top of the frost wall. The concrete wall will be about 10 inches above finished grade, made up of a 8 - 10 inch footing, 48 inch wall ( easy form size ). The total depth of the finished excavation will be 48 inches deep. Any comments on drainage pipe around the footing would also be appreciated.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: Frost Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by rino1494 View Post
Please explain this.

If you are just doing a slab on top of frost walls, then then inside of the walls will be backfilled. By rights yo do not need any re-bar size the pressure will be equal on both sides. If it was my house, I would still throw some re-bar in it though.

I would consult a structual engineer
Are you kidding? a foundation with out rebar? Sounds like a really bad idea to me.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Frost Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie 2 View Post
I have two foundation contractors ( both local people working the area for at least 10 years ) and each has given me a drawing with the usual 2 Re Bar in the footing and then one has the frost wall rebar running horizontal and the other running vertical.
Rebar in the footing is standard. In the wall is probably overkill.

but if the rebar doesn't blow the concrete budget, why not go the extra?

These are just curiosity questions...
Are you putting windows and ventilation in your crawlspace?
Will it be a concrete floor?
Any reason not to have full basement? The reason I ask is we have found that by the time you dig for a frostwall, go to an 8' wall vs a 4' wall and pour a 4" floor, you've gained a whole footprint of living space fot not that much more money. Say nothing of the ease of maintenance & access to all your systems.

Just thoughts to ponder......Good Luck on your retirement home
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Frost Wall


Regarding a full basement, I am leaning in that direction because local codes call for a cement floor although a bit thinner than a floor for a basement. Currently we sorta have no real use for a full basement our current house with basement sits empty and we heat the space. I was oiriginally wanting to to a surface grade beam and what we call spreadbore piles where I live now in Central Canada. Here we have a 6 foot frost level and clay soil but in BC this is not the way they do things so when in Rome you do as the roman's do.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:57 PM   #10
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Re: Frost Wall


With a 6' deep frost depth, it is a no brainer!! Put in a basement with a 4" floating slab inside the walls and cast on the top of the footings after the necesary mechanicals are in place. You may have to hang the furnca fron the first floor fo temporary heat, if necessary. Once the foundation walls are in, you can cap the foundation and proceed on the basement mechanicals without regard to the weather.

In some areas, a strip footing does not have to be reinforced longitudinally if the footing overhang outside the foundation wall is less than half the footing depth. The reason for this is that the wall is so much stiffer than the footing, the footing just has a function o providing a good level surface to work off. The soil conditions at the footing level will determine the necessary footing width, but usually a house does not a high load due to it light weight.

With a block or poured basement, the foundation wall steel should be run vertical. There may be some light horizontal steel. Control or expansion joints are not necessary because the wall is below grade with relatively uniform conditions. Drain tile at the level of the bottom of the footing are a cheap investment.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:15 PM   #11
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Re: Frost Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie 2 View Post
We don't need a basement but because of soil conditions and frost issues my concrete sub trade says we need to do 4 ft below grade frost wall with a footing.
You didn't say your frost line was 6'.

That really becomes a no brainer. You can't put in a 4' wall anyway...it's got top be 6'

So if you're going 6, you might as well go 8....no?

If you're worried about not using the space, ......I'll come up and use your basement as my workshop.....no charge!
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:23 PM   #12
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Re: Frost Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
You didn't say your frost line was 6'.

That really becomes a no brainer. You can't put in a 4' wall anyway...it's got top be 6'

So if you're going 6, you might as well go 8....no?

If you're worried about not using the space, ......I'll come up and use your basement as my workshop.....no charge!
Dick is mixing the apple barrel.
Where Willie is now frost is 6'.
In BC where he is going to build,
it is 4'.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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Re: Frost Wall


I may be mixing apples, but where I am we have a 4' frost depth and no one bothers with a crawl space when they can get a full basement instead of a crawl space since a foot or so of the minimum 5' high basement wall is above grade. - Easier to access, work on and modify plumbing, mechanical and plumbing in the future.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:42 PM   #14
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Re: Frost Wall


The way I read it is the op is asking what is the rebar schedule for a frost wall.
Well when I spec a frost wall the footing 10"x20" will have two rows of #5 embedded at least 4" with 4' verticals every 4'.
The walls will have 2 rows of # 5 resting on top of the highest set of ties.
What I really like about this method is the corners.
What I do is take 10' rerod and bend it 90* in the center set these in my corners and then tie long lengths to fill in the remaining.I just like knowing that those corners are reinforced.

As far as your Idea of getting the 30" to 40" of crawl space should work.
And like you say it is a retirement home my guess is you won't be reworking the plumbing in the future if you are at retirement age you probably have a pretty sound plan in-place.
I am not a excavator but my quick calculation is you would require to excavate another 300 cubic yards of material to achieve a full cellar you might want to ask your excavator what that might cost.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:14 PM   #15
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Re: Frost Wall


Jeff, you hit the nail on the head, the NEW build is in BC where the frost is at 4ft. Thanks to all for the help. I am still not clear why you can't just drill 8 foot deep bell piles every 8 - 10 feet and pour a 24 tall, 8 inch wide grade beam and tie it all together with Rebar. BUT that's why I don't do foundations
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:03 PM   #16
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Re: Frost Wall


why even do a crawl space just do a slab on grade, dig your footings pour your 4' walls put 2" insulation board around the inside of the walls, backfill it and laydown infloor heat pour your floor and viola finished!!!

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