Pier and Beam Foundation

I’m planning on using a raised floor, pier and beam foundation. Most houses in my area are on a single monolithic slab (termed slab on grade). I have several reasons for choosing pier and beam over slab on grade:

  1. Logisitics: To pour a slab the site would have to be accessible to a concrete truck which it isn’t. Alternatively, I could attempt to hand mix approximately 300 bags of concrete and pour the slab within a day. With the pier and beam foundation I’m going to pour 9 small pads that will require about 3 bags of concrete each. 
  2. Difficulty Level: If you start with an uneven foundation it will cause problems throughout the rest of your build. The way I doing my piers should give me a couple of opportunities to correct any mistakes I make.
  3. Access to underside of floor: I’m still working out plumbing details so the pier and beam construction will be forgiving with changes I make.

Here’s a summary of the foundation building process

Install 9 piers. Check the slideshow further on that details the process.

Install grade beams. These will consist of 2-2x12s with 4×4 spacers.

Install 2×6 joists on 16″ centers.

Install 3/4″ plywood subfloor

Here’s what the foundation looks like from the ground level. 3 of the 4  sides of the cabin will have a deck that hides the substructure.

Here’s a slideshow with more detail regarding the building process: