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  1. #1

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    Aug 2001
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    michigan
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    TC40D,woods M2050 ztr

    Default Wood foundation

    I will be building a garage in the spring, it will not be attached at first but someday maybe. So I want to have a 42" foundation. I would like to do as much as I can myself and am wondering about a wood foundation with cement floor. Can anyone give a point of view?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2001
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    990
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    Winchester, New Hampshire
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    Kubota L3000

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    Wood foundation? I am not sure just what you are refering to when you say a wood foundation with a cement floor. About 15 years ago I wanted to build a garage but didn't have much money to work with. I did have all the lumber I needed provided by a portable sawmill that my family owned.

    I couldn't afford the cost of pouring a cement floor so I decided on a wood floor. I got a hold of some railroad ties for the foundation, which I planted in the ground on end about 4 feet down about 6 feet apart.

    Over the years the ties settled down a little deeper in the ground, a little jacking now and then was needed. At some point in the next year or two I plan to dig around this 24X26 building and pour a cement foundation and then a cement floor after that.

    If I was to do this over again I would have at the least poured cement footings and either a short block foundation or cement.

    My experience with a wood foundation was not all that bad, but I would have saved a lot of work had I made it out of cement the first time.

    Randy

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    Wood foundations, done right, are great. Even for houses. They are better insulators against cold, and done right, will last a lifetime of a house. There are several sites that address wood foundations, they are under Permanent Wood Foundations (PWF). Most wood, in contact with the ground, must be treated. Many houses in WI, MN, IA, have PWF.


  4. #4
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    There are still 200 year old log cabins that were built on chestnut foundations all over the eastern US. I would investigate it, but concrete can be done by yourself. I put in a foundation for a 24X32 garage several years ago. I have never built the garage, but I had the time and funds for the foundation, so I did it. 20" wide footing 10" thick with a four foot high concrete wall 10" thick on top of that. Did it in 5 seperate pours with four 4X8 plywood forms that I reused for all four walls. Took my time and it was pretty easy and cost effective.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Michigan
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    Kubota L3650/AC B210

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    I'm afraid I too do not understand what you mean by a wood foundation for a garage. But, pole barns stand a good long time and they basically just have poles shoved into the ground. (42" is the required depth for pole here). Is this what you are planning? Kind of a pole foundation up to the surface with a top plate and a standard garage built above? Or, are you looking at pouring a footing and using treated wood to build up to the surface, again adding a standard garage above? Either way would be a rather unusual foundation for a garage, which has different stresses than a house and unusual usually means hassles from the Building Dept.

    SHF

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Nowthen, Minnesota
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    Kubota L3600 with cab/Loader

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    I'm guessing that you are thinking about digging down to below your frost line, and building a treated wood foundation wall. then backill, both sides, pour the floor, then build the garage.

    I have a treated wood foundation under my log home, and have researched how to best maintain the wood foundation. I dont think this is the best application for a wood foundation. the wood should be kept dry - even though it's treated it's still only pine and will eventually rot out if it's kept damp. Wood foundations excel if you are going to finish the space on the inside of the wall - easy to insulate, run utilities, and finish.

    Besides, a wood foundation actually costs more to properly build than a block foundation. If you're trying to save costs, teach yourself to lay block - it's pretty easy, just follow directions in a book on installing foundations.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Syracuse NY
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    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    Have a friend whose house has wood foundation and he's happy with it but you still have to excavate a footing trench to put the wood into. By the time you do that it's not too hard to do what mossroad did, just build some forms and pour a solid concrete foundation. I just helped on one for a 40 x 40 garage and that's how we did it. Pretty straightforward. Also probably overbuilt but thats not a bad thing, it is?? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    SW Michigan
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    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    When I lived in the Detroit area there was a large builder using wood foundations. I'm sure they're fine, but I was a bit leary.

    We added a den on to our house a few years ago and did a poured wall on a crawl space all by ourselves. We rented the forms from the place all the contractors use. They told us what we'd need based on our plans. It was remarkably easy though I must admit I was more than nervous when that mixer showed up. I think the mixer driver was more nervous when I mentioned we were rookies [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    michigan
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    TC40D,woods M2050 ztr

    Default Re: Wood foundation

    I have attached a pic of a permanent wood foundation for those of you that have never seen one. I would prefer not to use block as one corner of the garage will be into a bank about 30" and act as a retaining wall, but I may put some more thought into renting/building some forms and pouring cement.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Upstate NY, USA
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    Default Re: Wood foundation

    I explored this possibility a few years ago, the deciding factor - a poured concrete foundation has a minimum life expectancy of 100 years, pressure treated wood below grade is an unknown, (30 years max?). Since I was building a post and beam house, (should last forever), I went with poured concrete.

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