FoundationWorks vs COLD Climates - Posted by Laura(MT)

Posted by Laura(MT) on March 19, 2007 at 22:14:35:

Thanks Steve…will do!

We had planned on getting the engineers certification, before we ever proceed with trying to sell, so that if it was questioned we could hand the banker/appraiser/whoever the certification and have all of our ducks in a row (and hopefully get the “Good 'nuf” response as well)! I just wanted to make sure I didn’t cause the engineer to burst out in hysterical laughter if we presented a system that wouldn’t pass muster in MT.

I just read the MT A.R.M. guideline and it doesn’t even sound like it comes close to a system like the magnums…but it’s similar to several other states I’ve found by Googling so there must be a way around it (obviously!)…guess we just have to manuever the system!

One good thing…we are engineer rich in our family. Everything from hydraulic to computer firmware (missed out on the structural for some reason)…but they do have a lot of other engineering buddies in the network so hopefully we’ll be able to hook up with one that we can work with.

I’ll give a call tomorrow…and much appreciate your offer to help out!

All The Best -

FoundationWorks vs StoneSkirt…in COLD Climates - Posted by Laura(MT)

Posted by Laura(MT) on March 19, 2007 at 19:38:42:

First post here…although I’ve been reading for quite some time (and have read both Lonnie books).

I’ve searched the archives for all the info I can find regarding using systems like StoneSkirt and FoundationWorks systems for permanent foundation solutions but have a couple of questions that I thought someone might be able to help with (I am waiting for callbacks from the appropriate people at both companies…got impatient and thought I’d try a post here from people that have actually used the stuff!).

Being located in Montana our frost line for “permanent” foundation walls is rated at 48". FoundationWorks does seem to address the issue on their site but StoneSkirt doesn’t.

Has anyone in a colder climate like MT used either product? And did you find that you had to jump through hoops to make what should be a simple system work to meet specs/code?

FoundationWorks seems to work out of the box to 40" but it appears that anything beyond that has to have a number of special considerations met with extra material/installation/etc…par for the course that in Montana we’re a measly 8" away from a simple solution.

Unless I’m reading the info wrong and anyone out there has some actual hands on experience using either product in an area that has a 4 foot frost depth!

All The Best -

Re: FoundationWorks vs StoneSkirt… - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on March 19, 2007 at 19:50:18:

isnt StoneSkirt just a cosmetic skirting? Even the website says its “underpinning” - which is not a foundation, e.g., what is required by a financer

depends on what your application calls for - if its skirting that looks like a foundation, then SS is it - if its a foundation, then Magnums are it, but they aren’t skirting

unless I am completely off the mark, and you’re referring to the concrete skirting product that FW has . . . and I suspect that I am completely off the mark - but you did mention “permanent foundation solutions”

BTW, my retailer says that he is not impressed with the concrete skirting material form FW - I havent used it, jsut passing that along - he says he wouldnt recommend it, but he didnt say what he did recommend

Re: FoundationWorks vs StoneSkirt… - Posted by Laura(MT)

Posted by Laura(MT) on March 19, 2007 at 20:21:22:

I’m sure it’s me confusing the issue! Actually Steve, your posts in the archives were where I got most of my info…so glad to see you respond!

What we are in need of is an affordable permanent foundation solution (as in, NOT a 4 foot poured foundation wall) for an older double wide (1980) which will be placed on a city lot.

I’ve seen StoneSkirt referred to as a permanent “block” foundation that will qualify the home for conventional financing. Can’t quite figure out how though…guess I’ll find out sooner or later when they get back to me!

The FoundationWorks system looked like a good package deal with the magnums for foundation and the concrete skirting for a concrete perimeter foundation. From your response though I’m thinking that I’m way off on thinking that the concrete skirting does anything more than just add a durable, more stick-built look skirting option?

But that brings me back to the main issue here…how do the magnums under the home qualify as a permanent foundation if they just sit at surface level? And, the FW site says they’re engineered for 40" frost depth…doesn’t make much sense to me that for an extra 8" you have to lay down insulation on the ground and up against the skirting, backfill, etc. (from info I found on their site). If the frost depth is 40" I’m sure you’re going to get about as much heave as 48"…so if it works at 40" why not 48". And I’m sure if anyone will question that it will be an engineer/appraiser/banker/etc. here in MT!

From what I can see on the site (and from your pictures) the magnums really are sitting on top of the ground anyway…so how do they qualify as permanent and what difference does it make at that point what the frost line is? Guess I should have pursued an engineering degree…then I could answer my own questions!

Has anyone had success getting the magnums to pass with a frost depth greater than what their stated 40" rating is…I hope?

Not sure if you’re in eastern or western WA? I think in many parts of eastern WA the frost line requirements are similar to here though…maybe? Yes? No?

Leaving a wake of general confusion wherever I go…

All The Best -

Re: FoundationWorks vs StoneSkirt… - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on March 19, 2007 at 21:34:48:

im in western WA

the magnums are accompanied by an engineers certification, so a local engineer will cover the frost depth issue, I’m sure.

Inspectors and banks both look at the engineers report, and say, “Good 'nuf”, and for me, that’s good nuf.

I dont think the look of a rock foundation will do the same as an engineered solution

BUT - I am doing a refi where the local small bank didnt even ask , , ,

go figger

call me tomorrow, 360-265-1619, and i’ll give you the name and number of my magnum guy - he should be able to hook you up with somebody in your area