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Building Foundations

  • Permanent Wood Foundations

    Pressure-treated wood foundations (also known as permanent wood foundations, or PWFs) have been around at least since the 1940s, and my own experience with them dates back 20 years or so.

     
  • Seal Seams In Crawlspace Liners

    The crawlspace of a home was consistently wet — in spite of the 6-mil poly liner. Here's how a builder fixed it to assure long-term durability of the foundation and floor frame.

     
  • Replacing a Slab Foundation

    When the original builder flubs a foundation, someone else has to clean up the mess.

     
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    TVA-ORNL Project Provides a Window on the Payback of Energy Upgrades

    Study finds that modest upgrades in insualtion and HVAC equipment dramatically reduce energy use in warm, humid climates.

     
  • Extreme Temperature Formula Low-VOC Subfloor And Deck Construction Adhesive

    Liquid Nails’ new Extreme Temperature Formula low-VOC subfloor and deck construction adhesive can be gunned by hand at temperatures down to 22°F, and will stick to wet, frozen, and treated lumber readily and won’t dissolve foams and plastics.

     
  • Super-Insulated Slab Foundations

    Compacted drainage stone and a thick layer of foam prevent frost damage and keep the heat inside the building.

     
  • Foundation for a Problem Site

    A carefully engineered foundation and alternative septic system add value to a bargain-priced lot.

     
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    Dry Wall

    Cosella-Dörken’s three-ply Delta Footing Barrier keeps groundwater out of walls by providing a waterproof break between a building’s footing and its foundation

     
  • Tree Roots and Foundation Cracks

    Can the roots of a tree actually dry out the soil beneath a foundation enough to cause the concrete to crack?

     
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    Framing a 16-Sided Addition

    Accuracy in laying out and building the foundation helped keep the rest of the job on track .

     
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    Attaching Deck Ledgers to I-Joist Cantilevers

    When I-joists are cantilevered over the foundation wall rather than directly supported at the sill plate, can a deck ledger be safely attached to the engineered rim joist?

     
  • Mudsills and Out-of-Level Foundations

    Recently we contracted to do a house with precast foundation walls that were set out of level - up to 3/4 inch over 30 feet, in some places. What's the best way to shim and air-seal the mudsill?

     
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    Replacing a Stone Foundation

    The trick was holding up the roof while leaving plenty of room to work.

     
  • Installing an Egress Window in an Existing Foundation

    With the right equipment, you can cut the opening and install the well in a day.

     
  • Block Foundations for Small Additions

    If your crew has the skill and you own the right equipment, it may make sense to lay your own masonry foundations.

     
  • Are Windows Required in Basements?

    Q: We’d like to start building basements with precast concrete panels, but we’ve been running into resistance from local code officials. Are basement windows required when a house is built with a full foundation?

     
  • New Deck Footings Near an Old Foundation

    Q. Plans for a freestanding deck call for new piers about 2 feet from the house foundation. Is it necessary to dig down to the bottom of the house's footing to reach undisturbed soil, or would the dirt around the foundation of a 60-year-old house be compacted enough to be con sidered undisturbed -...

     
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    Concrete Houses for the Coast

    Hurricane Katrina taught a valuable lesson: the only houses likely to survive the ravages of a major hurricane are made of concrete. Dave Pfanmiller, a custom-home builder in Gulfport, Miss., uses Wall Ties aluminum concrete forms to build these homes on the Gulf Coast. Pfanmiller and his friend...

     
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    A Pier-and-Beam Foundation For a Coastal Site

    Where unstable soil and periodic tidal flooding are a concern, helical piers topped with a concrete stem wall rise to the challenge.

     
  • Do Precast Foundation Walls Need Waterproofing?

    Q: Are precast concrete foundation walls subject to the same dampproofing or waterproofing requirements as cast-in-place and block foundations? I've heard that because these walls are made of a high-strength concrete that's virtually nonporous and impervious to water, they don't require extra...