foundation. It is in central VA near SMLake. I have bought into a new development and so far am the only person to request a full poured basement. The builders are telling me that they do not use rebar in a 10"pour. The county states it is only nesc. if over 7 ft of backfill. They are using 6,all heavy clay soil. I have told the builder, which I do not want to do, no rebar, no house. What is your input on this, also, what is the minimum size and spacing for a 10"poured. thank you in advance.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by nep0312:
foundation. It is in central VA near SMLake. I have bought into a new development and so far am the only person to request a full poured basement. The builders are telling me that they do not use rebar in a 10"pour. The county states it is only nesc. if over 7 ft of backfill. They are using 6,all heavy clay soil. I have told the builder, which I do not want to do, no rebar, no house. What is your input on this, also, what is the minimum size and spacing for a 10"poured. thank you in advance. The house is being built on top of a hillside, not on the bottom of a slope.
Your State building code (IRC 2000) requires rebar for 10" foundations, but it depends on the overall height of the foundation wall, the height of the unbalanced backfill, and the soil type.
Unbalanced backfill height is the difference in height between the interior and exterior grade surfaces measured from the top of the concrete slab on the inside to the level of the ground soil on the outside.
But presuming a 10" thick wall with an overall 8 foot wall height in type CL soil (heavy clay) and an unbalanced bakcfill height of 5 feet, you would need #4 rebar spaced at 48" on center. At 8 feet of unbalanced bakcfill height the minimum requirements rise to #7 rebar at 56" on center.
Without knowing your precise soil type and actually height of your unbalanced backfill, it is not possible to give you the exact requirements.
Your building code inspector can.
Generally speaking no reinforcing steel is required for unbalanced backfill height for any type fo soil if that height is less than 4 feet for 10" thick walls.
Alternative methods can also apply.
If you can tell us what the unbalanced backfill height will be in feet, we may be able to give a more precise answer.
Thanks. The backfill he stated is 6 ft, clay. The county is using the worst poss. soil as the rating. The height is 8 or 9 ft, they have not told me yet. The county states that anything over 7 ft of backfill needs rebar. I am having rebar in no matter what. What size and spacing do you recommend?
i do not always agree with this Tim Carter guy but do here in regards to using reinforcing bars for basement walls. See following article http://www.askthebuilder.com/569_Backfilling_a_Foundation_Wall.shtml
I would also want all peastone/gravel for backfill and waterproof walls with Thick tar & visqueen, damproofing is basically nothing . And using equipment near ANY basement walls can Crack walls,gl.
Virginia's Uniform State Building Code 2000 (USBC) requires your builder to use rebar in this application. There is no refusal he can make about it by law.
For 10" thick walls 8 feet high with an unbalanced backfill height of 6 feet using the worst soil case, the IRC 2000 Code/Va USBC requires no less than #5 rebar at 56" on center.
For the same wall but 9 feet high with unbalanced fill of 6 feet, the Code requires a minimum of #4 rebar at 32" on center.
This comes directly from Table R404.1.1(4) of the 2000 IRC/Va USBC 2000.
Note also, that the Code states in section R404.1.3 that an engineer's design is required when the walls are subject to hydrostatic pressure from groundwater, which may be your case depending upon your soil/water conditions on the lot.
This means you would need an engineer's stamp on your foundation plans before you can get it past the plan reviewer and get a permit.
If your builder is refusing to follow the State Code on this matter, frankly, you should look for another builder.
But I'm concerned that your County is saying that anything over 7 feet requires rebar because your State Code insists that any unbalanced backfill over 4 feet requires the foundation to be reinforced.
All the more reason to contract a structural engineer at this point in your negotiations.
Seems like your County Officials aren't up to speed either.
Thanks guys. Like I said, I feel like I am dealing with Stevie Wonder and Helen Keller down there. The state code is moot when the county has its own code that the state says supercedes their basic code. Yeah right, I will let you know what comes about in the next week or two when the dust settles.
But your county Code does NOT supercede your State Code in this case. Local codes must be more strict than State Code for the local code to supercede the USBC. Your State code is not moot. Your county code is moot because it does not "meet or exceed" the requirements of the State Code.
In the case of your county stating that they do not require rebar unless the unbalanced backfill is more than 7 feet, this regulation is weaker or less restrictive than your State's code and therefore the State Code prevails.
Va. State Code requires reinforcement of foundations for any unbalanced backfill more than 4 feet and this is the Code your builder and local code office must observe and enforce.
From the Virginia USBC website:
"101.5. OTHER CODES. As provided in the Uniform Statewide Building Code Law (ss36-97 et seq of the Code of Virginia), the USBC shall supercede the building codes and regulations of the county, municipality, and other political subdivisions and state agencies.
The USBC also supercedes the provisions of local ordinances applicable to single-family residential construction that (i) regulate dwelling foundations or crawl spaces."
Your State Code prevails.
Your builder and county code officials need a detox unit....and new lines of work
I am sending that on to the builder. We will see what the outcome is soon. As I said, Hellen Keller and Stevie Wonder are working there.
Homebild is correct in their interpretation to the VA-UBC2000/IRC2000. As a contractor from Central VA it is required that rebar be used and it should be #4 @ 32" OC. If it is being run horizontally for lateral support it should be spaced every 16" OC preferrably with an additional run 8" from the top of the pour. Many counties don't require rebar unless the unbalanced soil is above 7 ft. believing that the floor framing and backfill will counter balance each other, however when it comes to foundation walls, whether poured, block, or even pressure treated timber, MORE IS BETTER. The clay laden soil we have in VA can easily ruin a basement or cause a foundation to fail. It is the ideal soil for concrete forms but it provides for very little drainage and even though the common practice is to backfill the area adjacent to the foundation with gravel and landscape fabric with a drainage tile at the footing to reduce the hydrostatic pressure exerted on the ground water and limit infiltration and breaching of the foundation, it still does happen. As a customer, you have the right to have additional reinforcement in your home's system whether it's the foundation, framing or anything else and being in compliance with the building code should have been taken into account when the bid was submitted, not what they can usually get by with because usually when a dispute such as this arises, it's not that the builder won't do what's asked it's that they won't do it for the original price. Lets face it, work is work; but lets say just for hypothetical conversation you were to offer them an additional $2500 they'd be glad to fulfill your request. The question is: What's listed in your contract with the builder? Is it specified that they will adhere to the VA-UBC? If so you have room to manuever and pressure them into doing the right thing. Do you have an opening where if they don't comply with building codes or inspections that you have the right under the contract to void the contract without fear of penalty? Stick to your guns. You also have the right to contact DPOR (VA Dept. of Professional & Occupational Regulation) which is the agency that governs contractors and sets the regulations that we practice under.
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