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Skinny Stem Wall

 
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:18 PM   #1
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Skinny Stem Wall


So the code says 6 inch minimum on stem walls so I know what it's supposed to be.

The question is how stable would a 3 and 1/2 in block on edge be as a stem wall, doweled in of course.

I have a slab on grade repair that is sort of below grade and radiant heat was poured inside to the plates so I only have three and a half inch of surface to work with.

There was triple 2x4 but was thinking some kind of stem wall would be better.

Whatcha think?
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
So the code says 6 inch minimum on stem walls so I know what it's supposed to be.

The question is how stable would a 3 and 1/2 in block on edge be as a stem wall, doweled in of course.

I have a slab on grade repair that is sort of below grade and radiant heat was poured inside to the plates so I only have three and a half inch of surface to work with.

There was triple 2x4 but was thinking some kind of stem wall would be better.

Whatcha think?
I sorta did that on my shop. Just the areas flanking the garage door so I could get the most depth possible. A dowel per cell, 2x4 wall on top of single course. Worked fine. I wouldn't go more than a course high though. Lay the block upside down to make it easier to fill.

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Old 05-16-2019, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


A course of block would help my calls against termites and grade challenges but at the same time I don't want to compromise the frame with the three and a half inch block in the event somebody bills the 2nd floor on this one day.

I guess that's equally a concern
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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A course of block would help my calls against termites and grade challenges but at the same time I don't want to compromise the frame with the three and a half inch block in the event somebody bills the 2nd floor on this one day.

I guess that's equally a concern
It can take the weight equally as well as any other block. It's more that it's fragile when building on it. Once everything's in place I don't really see a problem assuming you don't have any sideways forces. Biggest problem probably is that it's unconventional.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:00 PM   #5
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


BTW, they are 3 5/8" if it matters. Nominally called a 4" block.
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Old 05-17-2019, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


What to do.....I guess I could drop threaded rod in place of anchor bolts. The grade is up to the slab then they poured a 3.5 slab on top for radiant heat so they used 3 2x4 plates.

A block on edge brings me off grade and above the slab.

Im also concerned about doweling rebar because of the sewer main is running across the area
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:00 AM   #7
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


I have to delve deeper in the code book. I find 3.5" curtain walls acceptable with brick as long as you have spaced piers. No need for piers with 8" of height. Thats a plus but bricks are not as tall as on edge block.....still may be ok.

Next I have to look for dowel spacing and see my risk around pipes below....

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Old 05-17-2019, 07:10 AM   #8
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


Its a repair. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Put that code book back in the outhouse.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:16 AM   #9
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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Its a repair. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Put that code book back in the outhouse.
And what is it your would do? I know your position on wood foundation so I'd have to say you would put a block of some kind of matter what.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:27 PM   #10
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


Only thing I'd be concerned about with block is sideways expansion from floor. Especially with radiant heat. Maybe isolate with some thin foam or such.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:48 PM   #11
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


I Think you are laying some 4" CMUs on TOP of a "SOG" that is actually BELOW grade in some areas= need for masonry to avoid dirt on wood......

Use a 3/8"(glued/poured ~2-3" into SOG) dowel in epoxy in every block, or even every cell....

Avoid drilling next to concrete edge, angle pins and dowels inward, if necessary, cut out the cavity more on the bottom of the blocks for steel clearance. Breaking off a chunk of the SOG won't gain anyone anything.

better yet pour/epoxy some all-thread rods made into J hooks that extend into knee wall sole plate, instant post tension block when nuts tightened, for truly nutters, pin and grout every other cell also.

Knee walls in general aren't a good thing....

Why not use 2x6" walls and start with a 6" CMU stem wall? Go 24" centers and call it a "green" wall......My first choice for large garages with masonry stem walls, 8" walls on the door elevation for stronger piers, and a garage door wall that can handle a 100 mph wind gust.
Building anything at or below grade in any climate that might get 12" of rain in 24 hours is silly IMHO.... See recent Houston Flood.
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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 05-18-2019 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:04 AM   #12
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
And what is it your would do? I know your position on wood foundation so I'd have to say you would put a block of some kind of matter what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fouthgeneration View Post
I Think you are laying some 4" CMUs on TOP of a "SOG" that is actually BELOW grade in some areas= need for masonry to avoid dirt on wood......

Use a 3/8"(glued/poured ~2-3" into SOG) dowel in epoxy in every block, or even every cell....

Avoid drilling next to concrete edge, angle pins and dowels inward, if necessary, cut out the cavity more on the bottom of the blocks for steel clearance. Breaking off a chunk of the SOG won't gain anyone anything.

better yet pour/epoxy some all-thread rods made into J hooks that extend into knee wall sole plate, instant post tension block when nuts tightened, for truly nutters, pin and grout every other cell also.

Knee walls in general aren't a good thing....

Why not use 2x6" walls and start with a 6" CMU stem wall? Go 24" centers and call it a "green" wall......My first choice for large garages with masonry stem walls, 8" walls on the door elevation for stronger piers, and a garage door wall that can handle a 100 mph wind gust.
Building anything at or below grade in any climate that might get 12" of rain in 24 hours is silly IMHO.... See recent Houston Flood.
Didn't mean to ignore you Tom.

About whaat fouth said.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:31 AM   #13
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


If I had room for at least a 6" I would have not asked.
I also have water and sewer crossing through the length of section.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:40 AM   #14
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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If I had room for at least a 6" I would have not asked.
I also have water and sewer crossing through the length of section.
Your first suggestions would have been OK by me (like I'm an expert).

I'm just saying sometimes ya got to punt.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:57 AM   #15
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


Tom, look at the code for NJ

And look at the table R404.1.1(1) PLAIN MASONRY FOUNDATION WALLS

When using a 6" stem wall it must be a solid wall or it has to be minimum 8" CMU (Hollow block)
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:50 AM   #16
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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Tom, look at the code for NJ

And look at the table R404.1.1(1) PLAIN MASONRY FOUNDATION WALLS

When using a 6" stem wall it must be a solid wall or it has to be minimum 8" CMU (Hollow block)
I know I dug through it. I only have 4" between the radiant floor slab and the edge of the building.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:32 AM   #17
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


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I know I dug through it. I only have 4" between the radiant floor slab and the edge of the building.
Sorry, I misread your original post.

If you tie everything together, slab to block and block to plate it should work.
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Last edited by greg24k; 05-19-2019 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:21 PM   #18
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


So I ended up putting treated wood back, twenty feet of this was too much. I had 4" solid block capped on hollow CMU's In some places not even a solid cap so I filled the cells with concrete all the way down till it leveled off and set anchor bolts in some places, epoxy threaded rod in others.

Pain in the ass when doing it in sections, extra nozzles for the epoxy tubes are not readily available.

Any way I dugout the earth in between the foundation and the walk. Im think of putting ice shield against the framing, covering about 8" up with cement board to flush my sheathing then parging it. I can use pea gravel to fill the void and elevate the siding.

I have seen cement board used like this in skirting but never tried it myself
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:27 PM   #19
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
So I ended up putting treated wood back, twenty feet of this was too much. I had 4" solid block capped on hollow CMU's In some places not even a solid cap so I filled the cells with concrete all the way down till it leveled off and set anchor bolts in some places, epoxy threaded rod in others.

Pain in the ass when doing it in sections, extra nozzles for the epoxy tubes are not readily available.

Any way I dugout the earth in between the foundation and the walk. Im think of putting ice shield against the framing, covering about 8" up with cement board to flush my sheathing then parging it. I can use pea gravel to fill the void and elevate the siding.

I have seen cement board used like this in skirting but never tried it myself
Is dirt going to cover the cement board, I didn't think it is rated for ground contact.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:34 PM   #20
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Re: Skinny Stem Wall


I plan on using a drainable fill. Im sure I could make it water proof without mixing materials but Im exploring a better method.

The other thing is having a step in the siding Im not crazy about
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