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Posted: 7/18/2021 6:24:37 PM EDT
Things are coming together for us and we may be setting up near the Homer area within the next year or two.  I know Alaska throws some curve balls at you weather wise and that construction methods are different from GA.
I have questions.
The property will be outside city limits, of course. We plan to set up a couple pre built Airbnb cabins that we'll rent out during peak fishing and hunting seasons.
Here are the questions...
1. What kind of foundation or flooring is recommended for a 20x40 metal pole barn?
2. What kind of footers, foundation or pillars are common for a 20x30 pre built cabin?

Not construction related: can we fish in the chakok river?

TIA!
Link Posted: 7/18/2021 7:09:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: PolishX] [#1]
Yes you can fish it , normal ADF&G Regulations apply. Chakok is a tributary of the Anchor River I think. Regs here: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov

Building Information for the Arctic Homes
https://www.ahfc.us/iceimages/manuals/building_manual_ch_02_special_considerations.pdf
https://www.wbdg.org/FFC/DOD/UFC/INACTIVE/ufc_3_130_04_2004.pdf

On the pole barn most of them have gravel floors here that I have seen if they are concrete its a 4" slab like a garage, also most pole barns dont have footers it defeats the "pole barn" idea if it has a footer its a regular structure not a barn..

I would also say that for seismic since Alaska is super active and your coming from Georgia and you have next to ZERO seismic risk consult the IBC residential code 2015 / 2018 or 2020 as a design code. It's not inspected where you will be but building to withstand a quake would probably be pretty wise idea in my personal and professional opinion. Also consult the KPB flood and fire maps like I mentioned before.

UAF has a whole section of their college in coordination with AHFC on cold climate research and design. Google is your friend all that data is free. Here is a sample of the local building code for reference

Foundation TypeMinimum Footing Depth (inches)
Cold Foundation 60"
Warm Foundation 42"
Cast in Place Concrete Pier : 42" (Warm)
Cast in Place Concrete Pier: 120" (Cold)
Minimum Depth of Foundation in non frost susceptible soil is 60"


Notes:

1. Dimension indicated is from bottom of footing to adjacent exterior grade. Required depth to bottom of footing within a crawlspace shall not be less than 8 inches. Basements or crawl space walls supporting more than 5 feet of differential fill on opposite faces shall be restrained as necessary against lateral movement. 2. Dimension indicated is from bottom of footing to nearest adjacent grade. 3. Exterior decks, landings, and platforms attached to the building and not greater than 72 inches above grade may bear directly on ground. Bearing material shall meet other provisions of this code. The potential for and the effects of seasonal freeze and thaw shall be considered. 4. The minimum footing depths may not be adequate for frost susceptible soils. Cold footings shall be founded below the frost line or be protected from freezing with insulation or appropriate means. The effects of seasonal freeze and thaw shall be considered. 5. The minimum footing depth for foundations installed in non-frost susceptible soils may be 60 inches. 6. Non-load bearing site structures not attached to the building, such as fences, light poles, and signposts, shall have a footing depth based on analysis of the vertical and lateral loads on the structure, and shall consider the effects of seasonal freeze and thaw.

Honestly If you are wanting to move here there is alot of work you will need to do. I was kinder than many people by posting this much information, you're gonna have a REAL education I think if you make the move on costs and the hassle of building especially out there. It's a nightmare to get things built in Anchorage or the Valley let alone in Homer
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 12:40:07 AM EDT
[#2]
Polish nailed it.

And plan for crap tons of delays.
Link Posted: 7/19/2021 9:01:42 AM EDT
[#3]
Thanks guys!
I'm going to be doing a lot of the work myself and have time on my side for the things I can't do myself. It won't be my primary residence, as the wife still has real estate to do in the 48.
I've done construction work in really remote places and understand that there will be challenges. A steep learning curve is a given, but I enjoy a challenge.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 2:34:32 AM EDT
[#4]
Polish has some great advice.  

Just to give a real world example of how the codes will help you in this situation, take a look at what happened in Eagle River versus most of the rest of Anchorage during the 2018 quake.  ER is technically part of Anchorage and has the same codes with one key difference, it's outside the building safety area and inspectors there are private rather than public employees.  ER had 20 times more condemned buildings than Anchorage and it was mostly due to the differences in how code was enforced; basically in ER it wasn't.

Code can be a hassle but it was written for a reason in most cases.  We just had another 6+ earthquake in May.  It's not if but when.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 9:33:52 PM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ArmyAirborne:
Polish has some great advice.  

Just to give a real world example of how the codes will help you in this situation, take a look at what happened in Eagle River versus most of the rest of Anchorage during the 2018 quake.  ER is technically part of Anchorage and has the same codes with one key difference, it's outside the building safety area and inspectors there are private rather than public employees.  ER had 20 times more condemned buildings than Anchorage and it was mostly due to the differences in how code was enforced; basically in ER it wasn't.

Code can be a hassle but it was written for a reason in most cases.  We just had another 6+ earthquake in May.  It's not if but when.
View Quote


I did damage assessments on 186 of them in Eagle River / Chugiak for the State / FEMA after the earthquake there there were defiantly streets and builders that faired much better than others. My inlaws owned a Troy Davis home in Chugiak and it was garbage. I will say it was interesting seeing one rather big name home builders homes behind ER High school suffer alot of the same damage but other home builder right next door suffered nothing.
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