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We are an inexperienced couple attempting to build a tiny…

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Hi, We are an inexperienced...
Hi,
We are an inexperienced couple attempting to build a tiny compressed earth block home. The blocks will be make via a small earth block making machine. This is a non standard home. We are in an unincorporated desert area and there are absolutely no building codes to consider.
My husband would like to pour the concrete foundation himself but I would prefer to hire a contractor. We do not have framing experience. He wants to dig the foundation himself with a mechanical jackhammer shovel (time is not issue) and pay to have gravel poured and then pour the concrete layer by layer while allowing it to slightly dry and then tamping it down after each layer. He wants to do this in order to account for the fact that he would be doing it alone and the lack of experience in floating and leveling the concrete.
Can you tell me if this is feasible and what could go wrong? Is it possible for this to work?
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Home Improvement
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1/6/2018
Home Improvement Expert: Susan Latta, General Contractor replied 6 months ago
Susan Latta
Susan Latta, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 142
Experience: Licensed Contractor and Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
OK
Home Improvement Expert: Susan Latta, General Contractor replied 6 months ago

I understand your concerns, I think your husband will build a better foundation than a contractor and if he want's to do it, I would let him. I would recommend doing a Google search on "building foundations for earth block homes." I would check You Tube too. In normal construction, rebar is used in the foundation, so you might want to check out a few sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FRmXkGFNzA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9cDy9XkXPw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLD9aH8Gqhs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ejqXK3kI-0

There is going to be tons more on the internet, and I wouldn't want to go into doing this yourselves blindly. Regardless, it's going to be a lot of work for 2 people, and if at any point it becomes too much for you, you need to say so because this is men's work, it's very hard, heavy work. If money isn't an issue, then by all means use other people, it will certainly get done faster this way.

If you have additional questions regarding this subject, please feel free to ask. Thank you for using Just Answer as your handy, go-to informational resource!

Susan

If you feel I have addressed your concerns, please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; this is the only way I receive recognition from the site for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating, will not end our conversation, should you have additional questions surrounding this topic. Simply click on “Reply” to write back and I am happy to continue with no additional charges.

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Home Improvement Expert: Susan Latta, General Contractor replied 6 months ago

What could go wrong by your husband doing the work? You could end up with a faulty foundation which could devalue your house. The foundation is one of the most important parts of building a sturdy house and one that lasts a long time, but that still doesn't mean he shouldn't build it himself. He needs to talk to experts that build foundations in that soil, and read, watch videos and anything to educate himself.

You have to remember that few contractors have ever gone to class to learn how to build foundations, they either learned it on the job, or by talking to people who knew. or they read books.

Many times homeowners will build it better than a contractor would because they take more care and pay attention to detail.

If you have additional questions regarding this subject, please feel free to ask. Thank you for using Just Answer as your handy, go-to informational resource!

Susan

If you feel I have addressed your concerns, please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; this is the only way I receive recognition from the site for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating, will not end our conversation, should you have additional questions surrounding this topic. Simply click on “Reply” to write back and I am happy to continue with no additional charges.

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Home Improvement Expert: Susan Latta, General Contractor replied 5 months ago

I hope you found my suggestions as helpful.

Did you have any questions?

Susan

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