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Shack/Cabin Footings?

mtholton

5 year old buck +
Just purchased a 12x20 cabin to be used as our warming house/changing area and an occasional spot to sleep (live an hour away so overnights aren't too common). Curious on your opinions on what to set it on. Crushed rock pad? Rock pad then cement blocks? Footings? Something else? Just curious if anyone has any strong opinions on one option or another. Would prefer to do it right in the most economical way.. Located in Western WI. There are four treated skids that run the length of it.

cabin1.JPG
 

ChadS

A good 3 year old buck
I have a number of sheds just like it and just put driveway fabric down and then 8-12" of crushed stone.

Level out and either tamp down or let settle for a week or 2.

Keep end open to let air flow underneath to keep from rotting.
 

35-acre

5 year old buck +
From time to time you may have to re-level it depending on various factors (tree roots, freeze/thaw, etc.). My cabin is up on 5 foot sections of telephone pole (sunk in the ground 3 feet or so) and every few years I have to break out the jack and put some shims between the pole and the boards of the cabin but it's lasted this way in my family for over 60 years.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
It may depend where you are located and how much ground movement you have between seasons. If you have an auger on your tractor, it doesn't take much to auger holes below the frostline and fill them with cement. I do that for 6x6 and 6x8 elevated box blinds I build in the field. You can get cement form tubes and cut them in sections. You don't need them to go much below the ground. These let me level the forms by placing 2x4s across them. I then fill them with cement.

Thanks,

Jack
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
I'm a geotechnical engineer. It depends on what you're settlement tolerances are. A stone pad is fine as long as a little settlement is ok with you. A wooden shed will flex and it won't really affect it too much. As ChadS and 35-Acre said, you might have to shim it up occasionally if it starts to get too far out of level. If you plan on ever plumbing it and running water to it, then you might not want it to settle, then I'd go with yoderjac's advice. Dig/auger a few piers, probably the 4 building corners and 1 in the center would be enough. The porch you could support with a couple of 4x4's concreted down to frost depth.
 

mtholton

5 year old buck +
I'm a geotechnical engineer. It depends on what you're settlement tolerances are. A stone pad is fine as long as a little settlement is ok with you. A wooden shed will flex and it won't really affect it too much. As ChadS and 35-Acre said, you might have to shim it up occasionally if it starts to get too far out of level. If you plan on ever plumbing it and running water to it, then you might not want it to settle, then I'd go with yoderjac's advice. Dig/auger a few piers, probably the 4 building corners and 1 in the center would be enough. The porch you could support with a couple of 4x4's concreted down to frost depth.
Always impressed with the resources you can find on here! Thanks all
 

bwoods11

5 year old buck +
I think I saw that cabin on Craigslist?
looks nice
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
I'm just happy there is a topic I'm confident in contributing to. haha
 

mtholton

5 year old buck +
I met with a local excavator that has sold/setup hundreds of smaller amish built cabins. He is going to clear out a spot for this shack. He was pretty adamant that a rock base was all that was needed for this setup. With four sleds, he said 16 footings would be needed and a bit overkill. Side benefit for me is if I sell or need to move it down the road, I will have less investment into it... Very sand soil, so should have no problems with drainage...
 

PatinPA

5 year old buck +
Ya I'm sure the stone will be fine.
 

spaniel

5 year old buck +
This year I put in a 12X30 Amish built cabin. It was on the bottom of a hill so I had to put in a retaining wall that went from the hill to 3ft tall on the downhill side of the cabin. Once I had it filled with crushed stone I put a fill dirt berm all around; the wood retaining wall can rot away now and the pad won't go anywhere.

Due to the depth of the rock, the slope underneath, and the fact I put in a tile drain to empty any water inside the retaining wall under the rock out on the downhill side, the building inspector said he would waive the requirement for a vapor barrier. If you have 6-8inches of rock on flat ground, a vapor barrier isn't a bad idea.
 

mtholton

5 year old buck +
Quick update, excavation started yesterday. They removed about 10 truck loads of earth. I wanted it closer to the road for accessibility in the winter and to minimize impact on hunting. There aren't any flat areas which means moving earth... Once done, it should be tucked away and out of sight of the hunting area and just about 75 feet from the main road. They are finishing up today. They need to dig in a bit more, then take the edge down a bit. Then they will bring in the rock base. Working on figuring out my plan to get some ground cover established to mitigate erosion. Expecting delivery of the shack next week.
 

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