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  1. #1
    Senior Member kevmk81's Avatar
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    what the heck is a 'slab on builders pier'?

    Looking at houses in my area, and there is a house for sale with a 'slab on builders pier' foundation. What on earth does that mean? I googled it, but it seems that nearly all of the search results are from housing in Texas. Anyone familiar with this kind of stuff? The house is on top of a hill, slight downward grade in backyard. I'm sure it has something to do with that... but would like more info. I can't seem to find anything on the internet about it though.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [URL
    http://www.concreteconstruction.net/concrete-articles/pier-slab-system.aspx[/URL]]Edward R. Carr, big scale Washington area developer, saves $12.50 a house and eliminates slab cracking and settlement problems through the use of a residence foundation design called "intermediate pier floor slab construction." The new ground slab design has been required by FHA's District of Columbia office for approximately the past 5 years, with nearly 5,000 installations to date, many of them by Carr. The important difference between the new floor design and conventional slab-on-ground construction is that the concrete floor, in combination with welded wire fabric, is a semi-structural slab somewhat similar to a bridge deck. The weight of the slab on its residential load actually is borne by the foundaton walls and the intermediate supporting piers which penetrate to undistribed soil. In contrast the conventional slab-on-ground is floating and in theory is supported entirely by the soil upon which it is poured. The first construction step, after determining the floor level of the house, is to run up footing walls in the usual manner, and build piers to the same height of solid concrete block on 6 to 8 foot centers in each direction of the floor plan. The next operation, using available material, to with in 6 inches of the tops of the piers. Transite heating ducts are then placed, leading off from the furnance base which has been previously poured, and plumbing is roughed in. The final operation is placing the ready mixed concrete. Here care is taken to be sure that the welded wire fabric is properly positioned in the 4 inch thick slab, about one inch from the bottom. The reinforcement must be near the bottom of the slab to lend tensile strength in the area of greater deflection.
    Google told me this...

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    Rather that being a slab on grade, where the slab simply floats on the base materials on which it is poured, the slab is attached to a foundation. Here, we typically do a footing, lay block on that, then pour the slap so that it terminates on that footing/masonry assembly. The use of the word pier is odd. That could just be a poured concrete cylinder.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    I always thought it meant that the piers were drilled and poured, then the slab was laid later. If you have good soil for that, that is okay. If you know someone in the home inspection or engineering business, ask about that sort of construction in your area. Seems to be a term local to Peoria and Central Illinois. I think you've got pretty stable soil in Western parts of Peoria, your results may vary. I drive a bus for a living, but knew folks in the building business when younger.
    midlifecyclistblog.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/bill.midlifecyclistblogger

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I've been a structural engineer for a long time and I've never heard the term "builders pier", so this could be just about anything. People build houses in lots of different ways and most of them manage to work until they have collected their money and moved elsewhere.

  6. #6
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    it also could be real-estate-ese for: this house is a concrete slab on some rocks.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
    it also could be real-estate-ese for: this house is a concrete slab on some rocks.
    I like that. Sounds about par for the course.
    midlifecyclistblog.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/bill.midlifecyclistblogger

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