08:49PM | 04/13/03
Member Since: 04/13/03
1 lifetime posts
Hi, I will be putting up a modular log home in upstate NY this summer. I am seeking advise on a foundation system. I was considering using the Superior pre-fab wall system, rather than a poured foundation. This will be an above ground installation on a slab. Would I also need a frost wall for this? What is frost wall and what does it do? Any suggestions/advise/comments would be greatly appreciated.


03:27AM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
265 lifetime posts
In areas of the country where winter brings temperatures below freezing frequently, like the entire upper tier of the country, the cold can and does penetrate into the ground. The further north one goes, the deeper it penetrates. In upstate NY, depending on where you are, in a normal winter, the cold can penetrate 48" or more (the frost line). With the subsoil being moist to begin with, that moisture will freeze. If you've ever filled a ice cube tray with water to the top of the tray, you might have noticed that when the water is frozen it seems to have expanded. That's exactly what happens to the moisture in the ground, it expands when it freezes, and the movement of that expansion has nowhere to go but up. Anything built on ground that moves upward (frost heave) when it freezes, will also move. And those same things will move back downward, to some extent, when the ground thaws and the soil returns to it's previous position. That's the freeze/thaw cycle.

Concrete foundations around the perimeter of a building serve two functions. First, they support the building. Second, if they are constructed correctly and deep enough, they will maintain the soil under the structure at temperatures above freezing, thus avoiding the heaving that comes with unprotected soils.

I'm not familiar with the system you mentioned, but I can tell you that any structure built on a slab without frost protection of some kind may be subjected to movement of the earth during the freeze/thaw cycle. Here in New England (Greater Boston area) we have many homes that were built on slabs in the latter part of the 50's and early 60's. Incorporated into the design of these homes was a poured concrete foundation extending into the ground only far enough (48") to protect the soils under the house from freezing, and not deep enough to provide a basement.

[This message has been edited by treebeard (edited April 14, 2003).]


02:34PM | 05/09/03
Member Since: 05/08/03
3 lifetime posts
We had a modular home built last summer and placed on Superior Walls. At the time we thought they were a very good system and a big cost savings. They only come with an R-5 of insulation so you need to add insulation to bring it up to code. Also, code may require you to drywall over the insulation, depending on what you use. Really think through the choice of only stone under your walls (which is how Superior is set) or a concrete footer as is done with block or poured walls.


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