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More stories about Foundation

  • 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 -...

  • The Natural

    The defining moment of Jennifer Daughtrey Hicks' career in affordable housing happened one summer when she lived on the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Design: Fixing Wright's Wrongs

    Fixing Wright's Wrongs

  • High and Dry

    In the flood-prone Gulf region, an elevated home is a no-brainer. The classic poured-concrete slab-on-grade — a simple monolithic pour with nothing more than a thickened edge at the perimeter — is not enough where floodwaters from a storm surge or rising water levels pose a threat. Using a raised...

  • Hurricane-Resistant Concrete Homes

    Following the 2004 hurricane season, Florida-based Mercedes Homes paired up with researchers at the DOE's Building America program to design and build a truly hurricane-resistant home. But as researchers and builders have come to understand only too well, a home that provides complete protection...

  • Exposed I-Joists

    Q: A client has asked me to build a practical outbuilding with a wood floor system. For simplicity's sake, I'd like to place it on a Sonotube foundation and use continuous-span wood I-joists. The bottom of the I-joists will be about 16 to 24 inches off the ground, and the perimeter joists will be...