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Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Are Form 5495 Liabilities

Instructions and Help about Are Form 5495 Liabilities

Hi Eric here with 30 by 40 design workshop today we're gonna be talking about whether it's time to let basements become extinct should we build basements at all in light of our evolving energy codes and a genuine interest in doing the right thing environmentally it's a question that architects are frequently asking themselves and their clients to properly answer the question it helps to understand the true purpose of a home's foundation fundamentally the foundation is there to support the building and transfer the structural loads from above the ground to the earth in northern climates where frosted is a concern we have to protect the building from heaving in more temperate locations it's the soils or lateral load concerns wind seismic etc that determine the foundation type just as frost creates conditions of movement clay and expansive soils can present problems where I practice in Maine to get below frost depth requires digging four feet below ground building convention has added to that an additional four feet to create the traditional full height foundation and basement space but it's not necessary we can support and transfer building loads by pouring a reinforced concrete slab on grade and protect it from frost and heaving by properly insulating it if an alternative foundation can accomplish all that we need a foundation to do then the question becomes do we actually need the space a full basement provides of course there's plenty of objections to the notion of getting rid of basements but I argue that there are an equal number of solutions to these objections and they can actually cost less than a basement than basement construction so here are the objections and solutions that I've heard most often so the first objection is I need the storage space we're so accustomed to basements that were often loathe to give them up simply out of tradition but ask yourself whether basement storage is actually useful for storing the things you need to keep their would you store textiles their artwork family heirlooms books basements are cool often damp spaces that mark the things we store there with a certain muskiness no matter how well the space is conditioned the solution consider alternative storage areas such as addicts outbuildings and garages or design storage is a part of the above grade building envelope building up when possible is usually less expensive and digging in these spaces are much easier to control and much less expensive to build efficiently and to condition objection number two what about sewer and plumbing connections through the concrete slab the solution is to plan ahead and work with an architect or a designer a concrete slab cast on grade is less flexible than a full foundation in frame floor there's just no getting around that infrastructure like plumbing and electrical must be coordinated prior to pouring the slab but that work isn't necessarily more expensive than the conventional alternative if you have doubts next time you're in a grocery store or any large-scale commercial building ask if there's a basement the reason there isn't one is that there are overwhelming cost benefits to building this way the next objection the basement is the best place for the mechanical systems in the home and the answer to that is while it's true we often use a full basement to house the equipment needed to run our homes we can create a dedicated mechanical space above ground that's easily accessible and sound isolated as our homes become more and more super insulated the footprint that mechanical systems consume as a percentage of our homes floor area is actually decreasing most mechanical systems can fit in a relatively modest closet area above grade designed and isolated properly they can be integrated and hidden in any floorplan arrangement the next injection don't we need to place our foundations below the frost line to keep the finished house from moving the solution designed properly a frost protected slab on grade will not heave at about 20 or 30 feet below the earth's surface the temperature is fairly constant between 55 and 60 degrees historically in northern climates we've addressed the frost heave problem by digging deeper than frost can penetrate and placing our foundation footings there but frost penetrates the ground from the air surrounding the foundation - as it gets very cold in the winter the frost presses deeper and deeper if we keep the frost from penetrating the ground around the slab and warm the foundation by capturing some of the Earth's latent heat the foundation will no longer have to go as deep this is commonly done by extending insulation board outward from the exterior of the building keeping it hidden below the finished ground surface for every foot we extend the insulation horizontally we can reduce the required footing depth by one foot in even exchange and so it follows that four feet of horizontal halation were protect a foundation typically requiring 4 feet of depth there are reasons not to build a basement too basements are expensive the notion that a basement is the cheapest space you can build just isn't true to create a deep foundation one tall enough to stand and store things in requires mobilizing many different trades their site work excavation removal trucking stockpiling of soil back filling compacting rough and final grading there's drainage to install concrete formwork to assemble and disassemble footings walls and slabs to pour followed by more insulating and water proofing and then the first floor framing can begin when you break it down into the individual individual components basement space is actually quite expensive to construct why not convert the floor slab you would have poured in the basement into the finished interior surface of the ground floor instead choosing to forego the full height Foundation and basement will save the cost to the first floor framing and much of the first floor finish.

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