I'm in the process of building a timber frame home. We own roughly 30 acres of property with good size eastern white pine standing timbers. We have several local farmers that offer high quality straw that I plan on using for the walls with clay we can harvest locally. I would like to build a natural living home for my wife and two kids but I am hitting a road block with the foundation. I have an unlimited supply of rock and large boulders as I run a small excavation business. I thought about using rock and cement but I'm a little nervous building something that is of that high in load bearing. The timber frame home is a 1.5 story home and is 30ft wide by 50 long. I have several quotes for ICF and form basement but the cost is hard to swallow. I love the fact that with stone walling it can be built as time goes on.
Suggestion? Any books on building walk out foundations with stone?
I don't know of any books specifically on building stone foundations, but investigating old houses in your region would probably give good information about what has been found to work with the local material. What area are you in? What is the character of the stone you have? Is it naturally flattish and rectilinear, jagged and irregular, or rounded? I wouldn't try to use rounded stones in a basement wall (or any other, if I had an alternative), but other types can be used with more or less ease and mortar required, depending on the stone.
I have designed Massachusetts-local stone (granite) foundations with hydraulic machines. This is not a sustainable course of action in the strictest sense, but I have been cautioned by senior participants on this forum to follow a course of least resistance, so I demur. (That's how I read the post anyway.)
A hydraulic (bush) hammer will be the best course for this kind of effort because you need to make relatively flat surfaces on the rock you use. You can make superior flat bonding surfaces with hydraulic hammers that will counteract wind and (if applicable) seismic forces when bonded with measured bonding agents for your foundation if you mix the bonding agents competently. (sand and cement 50/50 is a good place to start if you can source finely ground materials that will cohere) If you don't measure and mix you will be rolling Las Vegas dice because the only things we have as a community are the successful measurements we've used before. If this is anathema to you, please do your own thing but record what you do so we can all benefit from your progress. Thanks in advance!
I would suggest ordering a copy of The Stone builder's Primer by Charles Long through inter library loan.
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