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Black Locust Pilings

 
Posts: 16
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So....having to recover from back surgery is not good for me. It gives me FAR too much time to think, rethink, and second guess all of my plans for building our new house in the coming years. Thus, this thread. I thought I had everything worked out and planned, but then my mind got to wandering and wondering. These are just some thoughts I had concerning the possible use of wood pilings for a foundation, and how it might/might not work with other elements I've been considering. Here's the elements:

  • Black Locust (would have to be bought as I have none on my property), 8-inch minimum diameter, 6-8' spaced grid, charred and soaked in some sort of natural preservative, buried a minimum of 4' into the ground (holes back filled with tamped gravel) and providing a minimum of 2' elevation for the house frame.
  • Timber frame consisting of hardwoods available on my property. These are admittedly NOT rot resistant, but as the frame of the house would not be directly exposed to the elements.
  • Plastered strawbale in-fill for outer walls


  • And here are the questions:

  • Is it stupid to trust my future home to sit on a wood piling foundation, even if it is "treated" Black Locust?
  • Will the 2' of elevation be sufficient?
  • Any concerns using the non-rot resistant timber for the frame as long as it is not exposed to the elements?
  • [list]What about the weight of the strawbales? Will pilings be able to handle this?

    Sorry for all the questions, thanks for indulging me, and thanks to all for any input you can provide.


     
    Tom Phillips
    Posts: 16
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    I think I'm going to stick with my original plan. I've got to stop second guessing everything. Like I said, too much time to think, impatient to get out there and "DO"!
     
    gardener
    Posts: 3135
    Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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    I don't know who "they" are, but I know that my father built an outdoor table in rocky ground by our creek, supported on 2-3" locust legs. At least one of the legs was still there and solid 40+ years later, decades after the rest of the table had rotted away.

    I think that 6-8" locust piles will be good for a century or more, especially with good drainage.
     
    Posts: 26
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    I'm told there are locust posts in the fencelines around me over 50 for sure... why not sit it on plinths though? There are threads with detail a great answers on the subject
     
    Glenn Herbert
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    Posts: 3135
    Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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    Given the option, I would use stone plinths or piers over even locust piles, for a structure I wanted to last a century or more.

    There are locust fenceposts in what is now moist woodland near my creek which have to be around 50 years old and are still 75% solid.
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