Foundations for your butt and pass log home

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Foundations for your butt and pass log home

When you are  considering foundations for your butt and pass log home you can use any type of foundation for your log home as long as it is appropriate for the scale of home you are building. You can even build directly onto grade, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Some examples of the foundations you can use for a butt and pass log home:

  • Daylight basement
  • Slab
  • Concrete block
  • Insulted concrete forms (I.C.F.’s)
  • Pier blocks – (easiest / cheapest and in my opinion the best)
  • T footer

As mentioned above, pier blocks are by far and away the easiest and cheapest foundations to build and I will give you a brief overview on how to build them.

Pier blocks are basically, four sided pyramids, with a flat top that sit below the ground (grade) and rise above the ground around 18 to 24 inches. The depth of your blocks will be dependent on your local frost line. You can ask your neighbors or your local authority for guidance on the depth needed for your foundations.

See diagram below:

butt and pass pier block diagram for foundations

Side and top view of a pier block foundation with rebar

We can call these foundation blocks, corner and wall blocks. Corner blocks are in the corners and wall blocks are a long the walls. Have a look at the diagram below to get the idea of how they should be arranged.

See diagram below:

foundation layout wall piers butt and pass

Block positioning for your corners and walls

When you are planning your home / foundations I suggest that you space the blocks 7.5 feet on center. You can consult your design engineer or local authority if you are in any doubt.

When you are planning your wall blocks they will face inwards and will offer support for your floor.

You will have a minimum of two blocks that will also support your ridge pole support poles and these will have an extra piece of rebar for the ridge pole support poles to fit on to.

See diagram below:

rebar location pier block foundation butt and pass

Rebar location for your foundation blocks

The pier block foundations are formed inside the holes that you have dug for the foundations. Forget digging these holes by hand unless you consider several days of back breaking labor to be fun. Instead get a excavator to dig these holes for you in an afternoon. You can mark out the land using string and pegs to locate where the tops of the foundations should be according to your plans and you can mark the basic outline with chalk, so you have a better idea of what they will look like.

You will need to build pier block forms for the concrete to be poured in to. The size of the forms will depend on your engineers specifications for your pier blocks. Once you have dug the holes, you can check again that you have the tops of the forms level and in the correct places.

Concrete is poured into the forms and you then insert rebar into the top of the forms, making sure the rebar is about 6 inches from the bottom of the form base and sticks up long enough to go through your first row log and be bent over.

Tip: Line the insides of the pier block forms with plastic to help remove them when dry

Once the concrete is cured, you can remove the forms, fill in the holes and you have completed your foundations.

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