Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What is a Foundation Pier?



Standing at the edge of our seawall on Sunday, the view was serene and the breeze was lovely.
Of course, when it's over 100 degrees any breeze is appreciated! This is one hot summer in the Lone Star State!
The lake was full in April, but now it is down six feet, revealing a sandy beach. When we first saw this lake several years ago on a windy spring day, with whitecaps breaking and the horizon blending into the sky, it seemed immense. And improbable - all this water just an hour south of Dallas. Richland Chambers Reservoir is a big lake - the third largest in Texas, with 330 miles of shoreline.



John and I spent the morning marking trees: pink tape on those to be removed and green tape on those to be protected. Some were in the way of the house, some were crowding out the growth of others and some were too damaged to be saved.



Why am I sharing this photo of a hole in the ground?
It's were the core sample was taken - step one in the pier process.
What is a pier?
It is the support structure for the slab the house will rest on. Basically a pier is a hole in the ground, about 12 inches in diameter, and filled with rebar and concrete. The depth of the hole is determined by the soil structure on the site. Some soils make good supports and others, like sand, do not. Our house will require more than 40 piers, laid out in a grid pattern, and extending down 15 feet.



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