What is the Best Method For Building A Small Cabin Foundation?
Today, let’s look at an incredibly economical and effective method for building a rock solid cabin foundation.
This method is proven to provide an excellent thermal break from even the harshest winter blast. If built properly it will easily last the lifetime of the cabin and most importantly will allow you to keep your off grid home both level and rock solid forever.
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Previously we began to lay out the footings to prepare for what lay ahead today.
You can can check out that post here: Hidden Secrets For How To Build The Perfect Level Foundation
Today we finish the footings, main beams, begin to frame the floor joist and finally get an idea of just how “cozy” our 20ft X 24ft cabin is really going to be.
Finishing The Footings
We leveled the 12 spots on the ground with 2 bags each of crusher dust were the 24″ X 24″ cement pads will go. On top of those cement pads we will place 8″ cinder blocks side by side and place the quadrupled beams on top of those. Initially we used 4 cinder blocks on each pad (2 on top of 2) but we found that was a little too high to our liking.
Leveling the ground with sand (crusher dust)
Getting the ground perfectly level is critical in ensuring the remainder of the structure is level, won’t shift, and allows for every beam, board and joist to line up perfectly.
My Wife helping level out the ground. Nothing better than including the whole family in our cabin build 🙂
Below: Laying out some lumber to ensure the pads are all the same height.
Below: Here’s a panoramic view of our build site.
The Floor Beams
We used 16ft 2×8’s quadruped up to make up the three main beams that will support the floor joist.
Below: These are the 9 footings that will support the three main support beams.
A Superior Tool for Speed and Efficiency
Without a doubt THE BEST single purchase we had before tackling this build was this Dewalt Cordless Framing Nailer.
I cannot give this tool enough praise.
You may wonder why spend the money on something like this if we could have simply used a hammer and nails.
To get 100% to the point… TIME.
We saved easily an entire week of nailing, sore arms, busted finger tips and dropped nails with this tool and it will forever be the #1 tool in my arsenal.
If you haven’t looked at one of these please take the time to visit Amazon and find the very best price.
Here is the link to the exact one we purchased.
In the future I’ll do a complete write up on this amazing tool.
Front Deck Footings
3 more pads will be placed between the floor joist and the tent in order to support the 3 6 X 6 posts for the front deck.
You can see we reduced the height by one cinder block on each pad and separated the beams from the cement with a few pieces of pressure treated wood.
Bellow: These are the footings we will use for the three 6X6 PT beams that will support the front deck.
The Floor Joist
We used 2 X 6 16″ on center for the floor joist and we will top the floor with 3/4″ tongue and groove OSB. On top of that we will put down 1/2 pink Styrofoam sheets to act as a thermal break and then top that with 1/2 OSB.
Completed the basic framing for the floor joist.
A sneak peek at the size of that patio left us grinning at the end of another long day!
The front deck will be 20ft long and 8ft wide and have 3 large 6″ X 6″ posts used to support the front edge of the steel roof.
Conclusion… Foundation Complete!
Today we finished up the footings, the main beams, begin to frame the floor joist and finally got to see what 20ft X 24ft of floor space actually feels like.
In our opinion this is by far the best method for building a small cabin foundation here in our environment.
While each off grid build situation is different there are several general considerations to make when building your foundation.
- Ground type (gravel, soil, rocky, slab, tree roots)
- Ease of clearing the land
- Desired foot print size
Next time, we’ll will finish up the floor joist, put in the three 6″X6″ pressure treated front deck posts, complete the floor joist and ensure the entire foundation is level and square before we put down the first layer of OSB.
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