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bayoudonnie 12-29-2005 06:31 AM

foundation question
I finished a home in August and I'm planning another here shortly. I am the carpenter on the house and feel very comfortable from the sill plates up. My question, I built the home with a crawlspace using a concrete subsurface chain wall foundation. Why was I required to muck out the entire footprint to the depth (24") of the footing and replace that with red clay? We still dug the trenches down to the existing dirt. Seems we could have just dug the trenches, set the rebar and poured letting the dirt be the form. Waste of money or required by code? I relied on my excavation contractor to do the right thing. Was it over kill or is it required and why? Thanks

inspectorD 12-31-2005 09:24 AM

Could be organic?
Sounds like they want you to get rid of any organic material under the crawlspace. This is nesessary due to the decay factor that you encounter with organic stuff such as wood, grass, loam or even bugs. Replacing with red clay is the best for your area.
Here in the north we usually use crushed stone or sand.
Another thing you can do to help your building last longer is to lay a 6 mil. plastic over the clay to create a moisture barrier so the humidity does not build up in the crawl space. Not doing this leads to dryrot or mold conditions.
The plastic is cheap insurance to head of problems later.

Good luck on your project, ;)
The Inspector

the dude 01-13-2006 01:29 AM

Here in Texas leaving anything under the house that is even remotely termite edible which is quite a bit is a huge no, no. Termites are a nightmare so clear anything under the house out without question.

bayoudonnie 01-18-2006 11:18 AM

Thanx, guys. Was just curious.

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