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Tom Phillips
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My wife and I just closed on an 8 acre parcel outside of town (roughly 3 acres field, 5 wooded). We are very excited and we plan to use the land to build our new home over the next several years using natural methods. For a number of years, the field has been used for hay, but it has long been used for agricultural purposes. Over the years, masses of stone has been pulled from the field and has been lined up along the roadside and along the edge of the woods. I would very much like to use this stone as the basis for my foundation rather than pouring concrete. Overall plans include using trees from the land to build a mortise and tenon heavy timber frame, infilled with Strawbale, and (hopefully) some sort of clay/ceramic fired roofing tile (but that's for another thread, another time).

A few other important notes is that 1) I live southern Michigan, so I would like to utilize a shallow frost protected foundation to save on time/resources, and 2) this foundation would essentially be built in a trench with timber framed floor over crawlspace. I've read up a bit on the subject of stone foundations, but most of the resources I find have more to do with how to repoint old/existing stone foundations. Does anyone here have experience in stone masonry? Recommendations for type of mortar? Dire warnings that I'm about to do something horrendously stupid? Please, share your wisdom.

Tom


EDIT:just realized there was another forum for this under stonework....any way to delete/repost this elsewhere or otherwise have an admin move it to the appropriate forum? Sorry guys....
 
Burra Maluca
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Tom Phillips wrote:EDIT:just realized there was another forum for this under stonework....any way to delete/repost this elsewhere or otherwise have an admin move it to the appropriate forum? Sorry guys....


There y'go. All sorted.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Tom,

The land and project sounds wonderful...

Over the years, masses of stone has been pulled from the field and has been lined up along the roadside and along the edge of the woods.


This is a great resource, however, check with local and state law. I was a former "Tree Warden" and "Fence Viewer" part of that entails enforcing protecting historic boundary and stone work along fields, and property lines. Many states not are trying to protect this valued historic record and also restore many that have fallen victim to "picking." In some areas, landowners can apply for a "variance" to use the stone "on property" but must clearly "remark" with suitable historic fencing forms the boundary demarcation.

I would very much like to use this stone as the basis for my foundation rather than pouring concrete. Overall plans include using trees from the land to build a mortise and tenon heavy timber frame, infilled with Strawbale, and (hopefully) some sort of clay/ceramic fired roofing tile (but that's for another thread, another time).


Sounds to me like a 100% perfect plan for your location if designed properly and built well...I look forward to following along!!!

1) I live southern Michigan, so I would like to utilize a shallow frost protected foundation to save on time/resources,


I write a lot about "frost" and "frost heave" and the many myths around it. Your concept and plane is very achievable with only resources from the land. I support you 100% in this effort and would love to help out any way you could use my experiences and knowledge. This sounds like a great resource rich piece of property.

2) this foundation would essentially be built in a trench with timber framed floor over crawlspace. I've read up a bit on the subject of stone foundations, but most of the resources I find have more to do with how to repoint old/existing stone foundations. Does anyone here have experience in stone masonry?


Yes, I have extensive experience and have written a great deal here on Permies (et al) locations about "natural foundations" of which you have questions. I would love for you to create a "project post" here at Permies for folks to follow along with and/or a blog. Feel free to contact me, and/or post questions here, and I will offer whatever support I am able.

Recommendations for type of mortar?


Lime, and/or Cob depending on type of stone, and foundation modality chosen. Some stone foundation (most??) do not have mortar only dry lay and/or a plinth/socle system or "raise earth."

Dire warnings that I'm about to do something horrendously stupid? Please, share your wisdom.


So fare...I am greatly impressed with you understanding and goals...

Good luck!!
 
Tom Phillips
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I appreciate the information and positive feedback. With this sort of project there are plenty of negative voices and criticism based on misconceptions and preconceived ideas, so it is nice to hear encouraging words.

I am planning a blog for this project and will post a link to it as soon as it is up and running. However, it might be a while before any appreciable work is done, and this is going to be a slow and steady project. Between work and three kids, it's going to take some time! Also, none of the heavy lifting can even start until Spring as I'm only 3 months post spinal fusion surgery (but making an excellent recovery!)

I'm very impressed with this site/forum. Lots of knowledgeable and friendly folks here. I imagine I'll be spending a fair amount of time here in the coming years!
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Look forward to the blog, and my prayers to your speedy convalescence..I have direct experience with your spinal issues...It will get better..
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