For my new addition, I am planning on installing a bluestone patio. To avoid a
3 - 4 step drop to the patio from my family room, the GC wants to raise the
patio area. Now, I know that soil should be at least 6 inches away from any
wood material (clapboard siding, sheathing, etc..) of a home, but my GC told me
since the material uses to raise the grade will be gravel and stone dust, so,
there is no need to worry about covering properly flashed plywood sheathing with
this patio base material since it will not retain water. Is he shitting me or
Purchased my "new construction" model home in 97...wasn't till much
later that I learned about siding touching such areas. The house already
had interior paint, carpeting etc so no choices or changes did I have
options for. When my daughter purchased her new construction home I
asked the builder about the siding touching the concrete entrance way.
His reply is that they do it all the time and it passes inspection. ?
it would depend on your climate, drainage, the local building codes,
the construction of the home, type of foundation, ability to shed the
water and/or snow and local insect concerns. size and type of
construction of patios and additions are often limited by fire concerns
and property boundaries.
There should be an impenetrable barrier between the two. Contractors go in
and out of business all the time, and if it isn't done right, you'll be
stuck paying for major repairs. Get a couple of other opinions.
3-4 steps that's like over 2ft of fill. No way would I bury wood 2 ' deep. I
don't know where you are located but around here you cannot have any wood in
contact with the ground because of termite and carpenter ants.
I am not burying the house wood 2' deep. The gravel/stone dust base will come up
to the side of the exposed poured concrete foundation wall, and about 8 - 12
inches on to the wood that makes up the house (sill plate which is pressure
treated, rim joist and the plywood sheathing. All the wood will be flashed with
copper. The house has vinyl siding.
I wouldn't do it without a proper moisture barrier between the wood and
ground. I'm not sure where you are located but in these parts, termites
will jump all over that situation. I'm in NM and it's dry as a bone
however the ground still retains moisture. It shouldn't cost too much to
ensure a moisture barrier is in place (30# felt might work just fine) to
give a bit of insurance against rot and insects.
Yes, he's wrong. You generally do not want to put wood underground without
an effective moisture barrier. If he can't do a simple thing like this
right how well do you think the rest of the job would be? Get another
More facts to clarify my original post:
1) House sits on a poured cement foundation wall.
2) The desire is to have a single step out to a bluestone patio, instead of a 3
-4 step, from the family room.
3) The idea is to raise the patio, any wood material (sill plate, rim joist,
plywood sheathing) that comes in contact with the patio base, will be prepped
with 30 # felt, then flashed with copper.
4) The base of the patio wil consist of trap rock and stone dust.
5) The patio will be pitched away from the foundation.
6) The house is sided with vinyl.
Because you are putting wood underground.
It will get bug infested and rot.
Felt paper and copper aren't going to help.
It will get damp in there and never dry out.
I don't understand why you would do that.
Decks go above grade, patios are installed on grade.
Notice, in your link, the patio fill never contacts the house wood. It is
against the house foundation. This is OK. Never bury wood you are just
creating a nice moist meal for bugs. All your flashing etc will just prolong
the inevitable. Nice looking patio, by the way.
Yes, if you use the short-gap method, you need to be able
to take out the bridging material to clean out the gap.
I'll admit I like the idea of a nice single-arch walking
bridge to an "island" patio, though.
If the question is, is he lying to you, no way to tell from here. He
may believe what he's telling you, but it isn't good advice nor
In a subsequent post you metioned the wood-framed part would only be
about 12" below the surface of the patio. Code around here requires
wood framing to be 8" above grade, unless it's treated wood. If you
wish have the patio come right up to the house you will need to design
a better detail than 30# felt and some flashing.
The stone dust may prevent the concealed area from becoming a bathtub,
but it will get wet and hold moisture longer than if it was free to dry
in the air. Termites and such love that environment.
Brush-on waterproofing with embedded mesh over the sheathing/foundation
joint, or a membrane, will be required to extend down onto the
foundation. You may also want to look into a drainage plane against
the building. You may have seen those dimpled plastic sheets with
geofabric attached, or something similar.
If you want to do it right you need to approach it as waterproofing the
foundation. Anything else and you, and your GC, are kidding
yourselves. It's a small area, and already above grade, so it's no big
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