DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > How to Minimize Frost Heave

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Old 06-10-2014, 03:27 AM  
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Default How to Minimize Frost Heave

Hi Everyone,

What's the best way to minimize frost heave and any cracking in the following situation:

I'm building a shed on a 9' x 10' concrete slab foundation. The frost line here is about 3'6" below grade, but I don't really want to dig that far down.

The "footing" will only be about a foot deep and the slab will be 4" thick. The entire foundation will be poured over 4" of gravel. I've included a picture that shows more or less what I'm planning.

Does anyone have any good ideas?


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Old 06-10-2014, 05:09 AM  
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As far as I know there are two ways to deal with it. The first being get down below the frost line and let the frost hold the building in place. The second is to allow the building to float more suitable for sheds and such without piping. If a structure is to float it will move and in the spring go back into place. The type of foundation you show is one made to float and has to have enough strength with reinforcing to move without cracking. Around here a lot of people build a shed on a base made from treated wood to float almost like a large skid. The other method is pole barn construction where the poles only go down below the frost line. People will pour a floor inside them and will get some cracking normally or pour it in smaller sections or cut it to control the cracking.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:02 PM  
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We have a 42" frost line code requirement in MI.
I usually go 48".
Talked to my well driller and he said he rain into 60" frost lines this year.
You may have to follow local code for the footings as well as the remainder of the build.
Here, anything over 10' x 10', requires a permit.
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