Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation

fragasaurus

11:54AM | 06/09/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
When a footer is used in conjunction with a basement or crawlspace, a drain is certainly required. In the case of a footer used in conjunction with a frost wall and slab (for a garage for example) is a drain required on the footer? In my situation, putting the drain on the footer is not the problem however running it to daylight presents several issues. Curious as to what function the drain would serve in the case of a footer set at 42" below grade and a slab foundation on grade.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

homebild

07:22PM | 06/09/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Code says an exterior footing drain is only required when the finished floor is below grade.

Put another way, if the finished floor of the crawl space or basement or garage floor is above the exterior grade, no footing drain is required.

Or put another way, if the finished floor of the garage floor, or crawlspace, or basement is below grade, you must have an exterior drain system.

Exterior drains systems should be preferrably gravity sloped to daylight or mechanically emptied as required.

fragasaurus

05:24AM | 06/10/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
Thanks Homebild. Makes sense.

Glenn Good

09:32AM | 06/10/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
homebild,

It would be a great help if you would let everyone know which code and for what local you are referring to. The building codes do vary a great deal across the country.

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

homebild

10:02PM | 06/11/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
The ICC (International Codes Council) IRC (International Residential Code) used in most US States.

If you know of any code that contradicts my advice then post it.

Anonymous

09:30PM | 06/12/04
homebild,

You are incorrect in the statement that "building codes don't vary much any more". The local building codes vary a great deal around the country. This is due mostly to geological conditions (prone to earthquake, mudslides, high water table, etc), severe weather activity (areas prone to tornadoes and/or hurricanes, temperature range, etc.), and many other factors that do not remain constant across the country.

While the National Building code is followed by most states and locals it is only a starting point. The local building codes can and often are altered to take other local factors into account. Generally speaking they are more stringent. The IRC is mainly used as the base line code and is often added to.

I would also appreciate it if the tone of your future replies to my postings does not contain the challenging tone of the one above. I will not allow this board to be turned into a contest. When I post something on this board it is for good reason. I did not challenge your post I only asked you to clarify your statement by including the code you were referencing. It is very important that all code issues be kept clear and concise on this board so there is no misunderstanding.


Glenn Good

09:34PM | 06/12/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
homebild,

You are incorrect in the statement that "building codes don't vary much any more". The local building codes vary a great deal around the country. This is due mostly to geological conditions (prone to earthquake, mudslides, high water table, etc), severe weather activity (areas prone to tornadoes and/or hurricanes, temperature range, etc.), and many other factors that do not remain constant across the country.

While the National Building code is followed by most states and locals it is only a starting point. The local building codes can and often are altered to take other local factors into account. Generally speaking they are more stringent. The IRC is mainly used as the base line code and is often added to.

I would also appreciate it if the tone of your future replies to my postings does not contain the challenging tone of the one above. I will not allow this board to be turned into a contest. When I post something on this board it is for good reason. I did not challenge your post I only asked you to clarify your statement by including the code you were referencing. It is very important that all code issues be kept clear and concise on this board so there is no misunderstanding.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

kirkussent

11:09AM | 06/15/04
Member Since: 05/03/04
8 lifetime posts
The UBC is used in California

Piffin

06:54PM | 06/15/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
"Curious as to what function the drain would serve in the case of a footer set at 42" below grade and a slab foundation on grade."

I have spent most of my thirty some year buildfing career in areas not covered by codes but where builders strive to do the best work possible without govt oversight.

Codes serve as a minimum guidline in many instances and as Glenn noted, they vary considerably according to local needs.

There are a great many unstable soils in the world which are made more so by water as it comes and goes. Rising water tabn;les can cause hydrostatic pressure from under a dwelling that can heave slabs, add moisture to interiors, lift flooring finishes, etc. The best solution is prevention.

I understand that in many midwest areas especially, that ground water can and does often rise and fall in cases such as you describe. A grid of perforated drains is laid within that leads to a sump pit where water can mechanically be removed from the soil and sub-slab so as not to allow it to damage the home.

I have seen homes moved by hydrostatic pressure when drainage is neglected. There are few locations, in my opinion where it is wise to totally ignore drainage when there is any possible way to do it. Daylight drains are not the only option. Sumps and drywells can help also..

Excellence is its own reward!


fragasaurus

09:18AM | 06/17/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
Piffin,

Thanks once again for your insight. We are building on ledge and it is likely that we will pin the footings so hopefully the soils will not come into play negatively in this case. The water table for most of this site is over 300 feet so hopefully a rising table is also not a problem. I think we are just looking at ground water.

Thanks again,

Jonathan

Anonymous

09:03PM | 06/18/04
Glenn,

All due respect but you did NOT post any code reference or section that contradicted my initial advice nor is YOUR advice sound about different "codes" in general.

It IS true that the national goal of most major US model code agencies is to move toward the universal adoption of the International Codes Council codes for all of the US if not some other national universal code.

At present this goal is orchestrated and official US Federal Government policy implemented thru FEMA.

That a local jurisdiction can amend a State adopted national model code to suit their own special needs goes without saying, and is not the issue nor ever has been in this thread. It is here you confuse the topic.

What IS at issue is that drain tiles are not needed for slabs. If you'd like me to cite the sections of the ICC-IRC that plainly states this I will be more than happy to comply.

The PROBLEM is you have challenged my advice but offered no objecting code evidence at all.

Is there any objecting code evidence?

If so please then enlighten us.

To date you have not shown any.

-----------

As for your remarks about my 'tone', I have no intent to be combative or argumentative and I will not make an issue over my self-evident simple statement of code fact....but I will also not let stand that you have challenged me to present the code that supports my statements (which I have)....and yet have received no mutual treatment in return but a 'threat' about my 'tone' and an off topic argument about how local communities can amend or apply the national model codes to suit their jurisdictions.

So at the risk of being thrown of this board, but still with all dues respect to you, I am frankly offended by YOUR tone and failure to exact from me what you do not appear willing to exact from your own self.

With that, I will simply drop the subject and even change my mind and be quite thankful for the education "IF" you can provide the code sections that state that slabs indeed need drain tiles under ANY model or local code in the US....

In all humility,

homebild

homebild

09:09PM | 06/18/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
All due respect to Glenn but you have not provided any code reference that suggests what I stated was 'wrong'... nor is the fact that local jurisdictions can amend a model or national code to suit their specific local needs relevant to the discussion.

Unless of course, you can provide evidence that slabs need drain tiles from ANY code.

I am not trying to be combative and there is no problem with my 'tone'.

I supplied the 'code' under which I offered my advice (and will offer chapter and section if necessary)....I am puzzled why we should expect the same in return.

To date you have not illustrtated in any way how my advice was faulty, against code or against any sound building advice.

If you can, please do, and we shall all be enlightened.

homebild

Glenn Good

06:37PM | 06/19/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Homebild,

I never stated that the advice you gave was not correct. If you read over the posts again you will see that I only asked you to clarify which code you were referencing. Being specific about which code you are referencing is very important to prevent misunderstandings on this board. The specific codes referenced should always be included when you are giving advice based on them. There are many DIYrs that are not accustomed to code issues and how they may vary depending on locale. It is my job to insure there is no misunderstanding. I will and do ask ANYONE that gives advice stating it is based on the building code to also include the code they are basing their information on. When the advice is correct it is just as important.

The fact that local officials can alter the code is very relevant on this board. Just as an example: If a member from the Pennsylvania is giving advice on foundation construction to another member that happens to live in California or Florida the advice may well be incorrect. If the member from Pennsylvania states that his advice is based on the Pennsylvania building code the members from other states will have a better understanding and may be more likely to check their local inspections department to find out if theirs is different. The foundation codes in these areas are very different. My intention is to prevent potential problems from happening. This is why I asked you to to be more specific about the code you are referencing.

Even though I had no problem with the information you gave I have to be sure this requirement is met at all times on this board especially on the foundations forum due to the possible structural ramifications of some questions/answers.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

Piffin

06:22AM | 06/20/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Homebuild,

I certainly don't intend to try fanning any flames here but there are somer incorrect statements you have made and some information that falls short of complete. please take this information in good spirit of learning.

First, Almost all codes are placed before the public venue as an option. They are samples, or models, for adoption by whatever local jurisdiction rules. They may be adopted in whole, or in part, or with amendments to suit the locality. The fact that a board of experts writes a sample codes with the suggestion that it is a sercviceable guidline for most of the country does not in any way serve to make it foolproof. Also, as I noted above, many code references are only to satisfy the minimum needs and not the highest standard of excellence in construction.

In some states, it may be at the State level that a code is adopted and put into force. In others, every town or county has their own local control. So most of the codes I have seen adopted almost always have been with local ammendments. I have participated in a board with oversight on some of these, and did quite a bit of review research to compare other places. Glenn made a simple request, not a challenge to your veracity, IMO - but yoiu seem to have taken it personally.

As for being "Wrong" - you can cedrtainly build a foundation that is well within the guidelines of a code, but still be wrong in not having served the client well. Here is a for-instance;

you dig out the garage foundation, removing the clay soil to below frost depth and build the thing to code. You infill with new mineral soil compacting to a specified density. You pour the new slab properly connected to the foundation stem walls. You leave out drainage lines because they are technically not required by the code.

Three years later, your customer wants to know why the slab has heaved up two inches in the middle with cracks radiating from center.

Do you know what you did wrong? Remember, according to the code, you did it right?

Excellence is its own reward!


homebild

06:38PM | 06/26/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
All respect due to Piffin and Glenn Goode but their take on code is wrong.

Code is set in legal stone in all states as of this writing but Wyoming.

Local variations exist ONLY if the local community files a challenge to and a statewide amendment with and to the code that will comply to their locality only and ONLY be accepted if that code challenge meets or exceeds what State Code Law requires.

To say that local code will vary State code is to misunderstand completely what State codes dictate and how State codes operate.

State adopted codes based upon national model codes are nit just good suggestions. They are MANDATORY legal requirements and local alterations are few and very far between UNLESS the variation is much STRICTER than State code follows.

That said, I cannot, accept your erroneous viewpoints that local code oversees state code on the issues of what I have properly stated: that there is NO Code requirement under ANY code that drain tiles are required for slab foundations.

I have stated it.

You two have challenged it yet have provided absolutely NO (ZERO) evidence to dispute my claim.

It is my professional view that neither of you really understand the National Model building codes nor how states adopt and enforce them.

As of this writing nearly 2/3rds of all states in the US have legally adopted the ICC (International Codes Council) IRC (International Residential Code) for 1 and 2 family dwellings and the onus is on the REST of the US States by the US Federal Government to adopt the ICC IRC as code or face loss of FEMA funding if not adopted.

So once again, to claim that codes vary by state and that local codes supercede state codes is faulty at best and completely ignorant of prevailing building codes and where they are going at the least.

The first bottom line is, nobody has countered my advice under any code and both Piffin and Glenn Goode need to retract any objections they have to my advice completley.

The second bottom line is that both Piffin and Glenn Goode need to better familiarize themselves with the current state of 'code; affairs in US States and Nationally since the trend is more towards uniformity than diversity.

And all need to reject both their viewpoints as ignorant of national, regional and local code trends in general.


Piffin

07:34PM | 06/26/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Homebuild, Your assertions are really gettingf laughable.

Let me use for just one example the State of Maine where i am working for the past fifteen years. the State Building requirements are that only communities with more than a year your population as indicated in the most recent census os more tjhan 2500 people are required to have some mewthod of enforcing one of the three most common model buildingcodes and it allows for local modification.

Pennsylvannia is famous for local incongruities.

California is one of the more restrictive states, yet there is a county there where you will be laughed out of the courthouse if you attempt to apply for a building permit because of the local Libertarian attitude.

I read a recent poll that showed that approximately a third of the respondents are building in areas where no standarized buiolding code is in effect.

I know of places where building codes are enfoced more by the homeowner's insurance companies than by ordinances and enforcement officers.

Make no mistake. I believe there should be standardized codes enfoced. That would help protect clients from unscrupulous builders and from themselves when theyu try to build their own home in the All-American Trdition, but to claim that such a situation already exists is a stretch of imagination having no connection to facts.

QAnd since there are variances in the different codes, it is good to refer to the code yuou are citing since what is required in one area may be laughable in another.

Excellence is its own reward!


Glenn Good

08:19AM | 06/27/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
homebild,

If you persist in this further I am going to ban you from using this website. What you are saying is only partially correct and it is misleading. The point is that many locales DO challenge and DO CHANGE the building code for their area. You are correct in that they almost always add to the building code making them stricter than the standard. The point is they do vary! If you think that the building codes are the same in Florida, California, Oklahoma, (just to name a few), you are totally wrong out of line. With hurricanes and soil conditions in Florida, earthquakes in California, and tornadoes in Oklahoma, the building codes are substantially different than in other parts of the country. Also the climate makes a big difference in the required depth of foundations to adjust for the freeze thaw line as well as insulation requirements. This is the whole reason this issue about naming the code and location you are basing information on came up in the first place. People that DO live in areas where the code has been altered need to know that the code is NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE! Even if it is the same for 2/3 of the country the remaining 1/3 needs to know that their codes may be different and they should always check with their local inspections office to find out before starting ANY construction.

I have a degree in home inspections and over 34 years experience in construction in several states across this country. For the past 27 of those years I was (and still am) a professional residential and commercial project superintendent overseeing projects in the multi million dollar range. I oversee and supervise the entire construction project from the ground up (all phases).

I have also been the moderator on this board for several years and I do professional construction consulting as well.

My credentials speak for me and I do not have the time or the inclination to get into a debate with someone with as little knowledge as you have concerning building code issues across this country. You seem to think this board is a contest where you can prove you are better than everyone else. This is not the case and if it steps on your toes or hurts your feelings to hear that, then so be it. You have persisted to the point where I have no choice but to say it publicly since you did not leave an email address for me to contact you directly.

I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY FURTHER ARGUMENT FROM YOU CONCERNING THE BUILDING CODE OR MY QUALIFICATIONS OR YOU WILL BE BANNED FROM USING THIS SITE WITH NO FURTHER WARNING!

I think you do know a great deal that can be of help to other members that use this board but as far as the final say goes make no mistake it is mine. The people that run this site have enough confidence in my qualifications that they asked me to become a moderator on this board. Please do not force me into a position where I have no choice but to ban you. I would hate to lose your input.

Consider this is your final warning on this subject.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

aforce

08:35AM | 07/16/04
Member Since: 07/15/04
14 lifetime posts
If there are storm drains as well can the footing drains be tied into them? As a side question, when you put perf pipe in a gravel bed, what is the usual callout for the stone (size, type, etc.) and does it have to have a filter fabric layer over top?

Glenn Good

04:59PM | 07/19/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
It is normally NOT a good idea to tie foundation drains into storm water drains. There is a potential for water to back up from the storm drain and move water toward the foundation instead of away from it.

Size of stone is normally between 1/2" - 3/4" diameter clean washed stone (#57 or #67) Use perforated drain pipe with filter fabric already around it and cover it with at least 12" of clean stone.

Covering the stone with filter fabric is also an option to help keep the stone bed clean. To do this properly you should place the fabric in the bottom of the trench and up the sides of the trench. Place the stone. Finish by wrapping the fabric over the top of the stone.

Glenn

Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com

BV016791

02:25PM | 07/05/18
homebild's original response is definitely correct and still applies in 2018. My state (NY) currently adopts the 2015 ICC Building Code, which in turn is required by my municipality. Section 405.1 states that "Drains shall be provided around concrete or masonry foundations that retain earth and enclose habitable or usable spaces located below grade".

So for anyone else still looking for the answer after reading all the drama above, homebild has the correct answer for me and you if your state adopts the ICC.

BV019739

01:35PM | 07/11/19
u guys sound like a bunch of whiny women


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