Piers vs. block foundation - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Piers vs. block foundation

We bought an old (very old) cabin on 14 acres. Not in great shape but not too bad. Our plan was to renovate and add on. Existing structure is only 15 x 17. Originally our contractor was going to put in a footer and a few courses of block under addition. It's going to be hard to get cement truck in. He now suggested using piers or Sono Tube under addition which will be about 16x20. Bags of concrete instead of hauling in block and trying to get cement truck in.

What am I losing by going on piers instead of block?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 03:22 PM
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I don't think you lose anything. Part of my first camp was on piers and they never sank or shifted. And with piers you will have good ventilation under the building.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 03:31 PM
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You will not be losing anything, if you make the piers high enough you will get rid of any rising damp if you insulate the floor well and you will have a storage area under the cabin.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 03:43 PM
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I've had experience with 2 cabins on piers, never had any problems. One was on telephone poles, the other on block piers. As Buckskin said, superior ventilation - no musty smell or mold issues. For this reason I would prefer pillars. If you can I would insulate and run any plumbing work you need under there right after framing the floor and before the sub floor goes on. Makes it much easier. We always put chicken wire over the exposed insulation on the underside of the cabin to keep the insulation in place. That too is much easier to do before the sub floor goes on.

Be sure the piers are well below frost line and on good footers. I'm sure your contractor will know all about that.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 05:54 PM
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I built mine on poles never had a problem and that was 39 years ago no shifting or sinking at all
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for input. Contractor is very reputable and I've known him for over 30 years. So I trust him and he thinks the piers will work fine. I was just hit by surprise and really didn't know anything about piers.

Certainly could solve issues getting large trucks in a long lane after a very wet winter.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncool View Post
Makes it much easier. We always put chicken wire over the exposed insulation on the underside of the cabin to keep the insulation in place. That too is much easier to do before the sub floor goes on.
Oh yeah, you have to seal it good or the red squirrels, mice and whatever will make a real mess. The mice will get in any way. I'm convinced those things can pass through walls.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
an old First Nations saying
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckskin Dave View Post
Oh yeah, you have to seal it good or the red squirrels, mice and whatever will make a real mess. The mice will get in any way. I'm convinced those things can pass through walls.
Yeah, critters are going to get in no matter how well you think you may have it sealed. We always went with plain chicken wire to keep everything in place and left it at that. Seemed to work fine.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 08:43 PM
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if you go with piers cover your bottom of the floor with pressure treated lumber to seal the bottom because of critters . if you go with cinderblocks you can put your water tank hot water tank and other plumbing under there to save space up in the addition .good luck in your decision
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 08:55 PM
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I wouldn't cover it, you'll choke choke off the air flow , greatly increasing your chance for having mold problems. You'll have mice either way. Chicken wire will keep out the larger critters and still allow good ventilation and keep the insulation in place.
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