We had originally planned to use a simple pier block foundation but three things conspired against us. The first is the soil. Ours is pure clay, like for making ash trays. Clay doesn't support as much load as other soils so our piers got bigger. Then we had snow load. Increased due to the heavy snows of 1996-97 we had to support 89 lbs/sq ft or approximately 180,000 lbs. So the piers got bigger. Finally, the Kittitas County Building Dept. now considers it important that a house is built to support its snow load during a magnitude 5.6 earthquake. This made the piers too large to pour by hand.
We changed our design to a continuous foundation plan with short plinths where the pier blocks would have been. Because of the increase in complexity we decided to hire out the work of digging, forming, framing and pouring the foundation.
This is a picture of the foundation hole (which was dug in late June in a complete downpour).
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This page was last updated on 13-Jan-2001