Cold climate shed posts?


All previous outside structures have built, three sheds one cabin, large wooden deck etc. we have dug down and used posts (stubs of telephone poles and similar.
Now wondering if possible to build a shed on those concrete blocks that just about sit on the surface. The blocks probably weigh 50 lbs each, and are shaped on top to fit four by four post or cross member.
They are sometimes used here to support a deck or patio.
Considering a simple wood frame shed approx. 12 by 20 sitting on nine of those blocks, about six inches to one foot off the ground, with possibly an insulation pad below each block to slow freezing and heaving of the ground.
Advice/comment welcomed.
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If the local building code permits this for uninhabited structures the municipal building permits office will tell you. (You need to know whether such a building requires a permit because, if you decide to build without one, you may need also to camouflage it somewhat . . . ) Just here, on top of an esker (sandhill) decks on surface blocks seem equally as stable as those on concrete pillars (sonotubes) sunk below the frost line.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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wrote:

I (re)built the deck on my previous house ten years or so ago and used sonotubes. Every year the frost got to them and pushed them out 3-6", sometimes more. Every year I had to relevel the deck and every other year I had to rent a concrete saw to cut off the pillar. When they finally came out (all 4') I put the deck on blocks (made for the purpose) and never had another problem with it. It would go up in the winter and go right back in the spring. I built it completely free-standing so this didn't cause any other problems.
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On Apr 22, 11:09 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"
Thanks for all the comments/advice. About building on blocks standing on the ground. Re local permits; it seems that only size is a factor, and provided it meets certain pretty reasonable requirements (here) the local Development Planning Officer can approve it himself without further reference to our municipal building committee. Have a lot of scrap wood that intend to use; probably over-build to use up variuos pieces. Then demolish our shed #2 which is attached to our deck and house. That shed was built when someone gave us (told us to take away)some used plywood; and with other used lumber it cost around $100 for roll roofing and, a padlock and some metal flashing. Our #2 shed is supported by three buried posts and one edge of our deck; allowing air to ventilate the approx 10 inches underneath both. Shed #1 was originally built, some 26 years ago, also from scrap, as a playhouse for the now 31 year old son and his friend .............. these days he he works offshore and or is back on land fixing everything in sight! It is now used to store lawn mower and snow- blower, spare gas to get it away from house etc; have to widen its door to accommodate the new snow-blower ............. yes finally bought a brand new one!!!!! The mower however was rebuilt using the motor from my neighbour's scrapped one! Given another free mower other day (4.5 HP IIRC) and in process of using it's B&S motor to rebuild another machine for son! Hate to waste anything; eh? BTW the machines on which the metal decks rust out worst are those that have the extra openings and apertures for all the 'extras' such as grass catcher bags, plain-jane machines that just chuck the clippings out the side to mulch themselves back onto the grass seem much less prone; maybe easier to wash out after use. The machine was given recently had been stored since last year and still had moisture in grass clippings caught on variuos projections below the metal deck. Maybe they should be made of fiberglass? But that means, with good motor mtce. they might last for ever! Cheers and thanks.
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We've got a 4x8 shed sitting on four blocks sitting on leveled earth. It's been there for about five or seven years. No problems at all. We get some pretty severe winter cold and frost-heaving of the ground, but this does not appear to affect the shed.
The blocks I've got under there are just some spare driveway edgers I had lying around. They're about 22x5x4.
--
Tegger

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Ditto for SWMBO's 10X10 garden shed...Been a few years now and no problems...Atleast around here if you put in a foundation it means it is permanent and subject to setbacks and taxation...Check your local codes...HTH...
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Same here. For us, even sinking posts requires a permit. But so long as it's not actually embedded in the ground, they don't care.
--
Tegger

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Your best answer to the question will be from your local building inspection department. You may have to pull a permit, anyway, based on building size, so having a good set of plans to submit will make it easier.
Joe
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My small maybe 8x10 is on 9 blocks, if the shed was any bigger I would have needed a permit as its a different classification, call your city and ask.
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terry wrote the following:

No problem with our 12'x16' shed that just has the 2x6 floor joists sitting on a bed of gravel. No footings at all. The asphalt driveway that butts up to the shed actually lifts with frost to where the double 4' wide doors could not be opened. I had to cut a half inch off the bottom of the doors.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

On my mothers house the stucco was done after the paved driveway. One really cold winter the driveway heaved up a couple inches. The stucco had no place to go, so it folded and cracked all over. It was so bad the entire wall was redone... on top of the driveway again! I told her not to pay but it was too late. 2 or 3 years later the same thing happened although not nearly as bad. This time the blacktop was cut an inch or so away from the house, the driveway heaves and it goes down again in the spring. No more problems.
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On 4/22/2010 12:12 PM, terry wrote:

Dig the concrete blocks down below the grass roots (assuming your on grass) to the soil level. If you find clay without going too deep so much the better. Cheat and dig down the depth of two blocks to hit clay. Who will ever know. Try not to disturb the base soil if possible. Put some sand/gravel in the hole to level the block then pack it down. Provided the entire building is on soil of the same consistancy it will rise and settle evenly throughout the year. You probably won't even notice it moving. Be sure to drain the area around the shed properly. An area with excess moisture will heave in the frost more than drier areas. That's when you may have a problem.
I built a shed that size ten years ago. Temperatures here range from -40 to +100. Winds strong enough to knock over trees right beside it. Never had any trouble with it, the doors and windows always worked.
LdB
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