Plainwacky

Need help explaining "floor below" and foundation

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Hello - 
I'm pretty new to this forum. 
I'm really confused it comes to the concept of "floor below" when there is no floor below and it's just a crawl space. I understand the "floor below" when you are on the second floor...but not when your on the first floor (Floor 1) when there is a crawl space.

When it comes to a crawl space, I understand you can set the "stem wall" to be the height of the crawl space...but you can also set the "stem wall" on an individual floor...that's confusing to me. Isn't the stem wall just the foundation wall?? And this even gets more confusing when you are dealing with the "garage options" under foundation and what they should be set at.

This is what I'd like to do...have a 3-ft crawl space, and then start on the 1st floor. I already have my whole first floor drawn out, but afterwards I noticed that the "floor below" was set to -46"...how that got set to that, I haven't a clue. And why is the "floor below -12 5/8" when I click on the "Floor 1" default settings, when there is a crawl space? 

I set the stem wall on foundation to 36-inches, but then I see under "Absolute Elevations" -> "Floor Below", that is set to -12 5/8"...what is the -12 5/8"??
If someone can explain this to me, it would be greatly appreciated.  I watched some videos...and I couldn't find one that explains all this. 
I have enclosed the default settings that are currently set...which are not correct. 

foundation setting.JPG

Floor 0.JPG

floor 1.JPG

floor below1.JPG

garage.JPG

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Answers often depend on which title (Suite, Pro etc) and version (2018, 2019 etc) you are using.

 

You can help everyone by adding that info to your signature (see below for how to turn them on) by clicking on your user name at the top right of the page, click Account Settings, then Signature on the left.

 

Doing so makes it always available, and keeps others from having to hunt for it.

 

And, turn on signature display too.

 

SIG.thumb.jpg.af17109346e9446432098056e258623d.jpg

 

----

 

Resources for self help:

 

The built in Help System (always a good place to start)

 

 

 

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Thanks for the suggestion. I have added it. 
I have Home Designer Pro 2020

 

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Keep in mind that this software was created by a smart person who was NOT a builder, Architect or Engineer. It is pre-programmed to be used by varied individuals of varied backgrounds. It is an ingenious but purely mechanical aide to help users graphically portray their Architectural desires. Think of the software as a "smart pen" that has to be learned in terms of its own nomenclature, programming and design (See your Reference Manual and Help files).

 

Once you divine its controls it greatly helps you to graphically communicate your ideas to others and to Building Professionals. It must be learned and then practiced with. The results are your "Report Card" per unit of time.

 

DJP

 

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I'm not a builder but I am an engineer (electronics) and I have some building experience (put on an addition myself, built my own pool, redid bathrooms, kitchen), but I'm certainly no contractor. My idea of plans is some scribbling on paper so this program is just freaking amazing to me.  
I agree with your assessment in that it's a great way to communicate your ideas to a contractor...plus it allows a person to easily look at different ideas.

I'm not only having to learn the program, but also about building/construction..which I really enjoy both. It's just frustrating when I don't know the program and a lot about construction. 

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Then be sure when you encounter an unfamiliar term or nomenclature that is not well understood and get it defined in the context that it is used while reading. English words for better or worse have multiple possible definitions  (the word "of" for instance has 32 distinct definitions depending on its use in a sentence!).

 

Software, Construction, Architecture all each have their own nomenclature that is specific, definition-wise so just be alert while listening or watching videos and get those terms sorted out as you encounter them.

 

When studying, always after that, practice what you studied to make sure it was and is understood and then adds to your own competence.

 

If you do not understand what is said, you will not be then able to display any competence.

 

DJP

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WOW!!! Thank you for making that video for me! Not very many people would go out of their way like this. 

I didn't realize that was made specially for me, until I heard you say; "you said you want 36" crawl space"...then I looked at the date of the video. 

That really explained things to me; This "floor below" really was confusing to me when there is no floor below. I also found it confusing when changing parameters and other things change, but I'm sure it's done to reflect your changes...I'll have to play with it.

A little off the topic...You mentioned that you typically use/build slab floors, what are the advantage/disadvantages between a crawl and slab? My property is at the base of surrounding hillsides and there can be times when the ground is really wet from drainage from the hillsides. My concern is if I build a crawl space, it might grow mushrooms...or mold. My concern in building a slab, is pipes breaking and ease of access. 

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1 hour ago, Plainwacky said:

what are the advantage/disadvantages between a crawl and slab?

 

That's a big topic. Where are you building? Foundations need to respond to the site and climate. 

 

1 hour ago, Plainwacky said:

the ground is really wet from drainage from the hillsides.

 

That needs to be handled via grading if possible. You want water to flow around the build site, not across it.

 

1 hour ago, Plainwacky said:

My concern is if I build a crawl space, it might grow mushrooms...or mold.

 

Better builders that use a crawl space for whatever reason are building conditioned crawl spaces. The walls and floor are insulated and the space becomes similar to a room above. 

 

1 hour ago, Plainwacky said:

My concern in building a slab, is pipes breaking and ease of access. 

 

Ease of access is valid. Pipes go under the slab and extend vertically through it where required.

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To answer your question: Concord, CA. All I see are new construction around the area. I went out and looked at these new buildings and see they are running tension wires inside the slab. Apparently they tighten them up when the cement is poured. 
I didn't know pipes run under the slab then up. A couple of people I know have had them break and what a drag to fix it. Ripping up the whole floor.

Is one more suitable when it comes to ground movement? 

 

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After reading Dave and Eric’s excellent reasoning behind this amazing program, I felt compelled to comment. First, Dave and Eric are selfless providers of first rate info on the operation of this “tool”...thanks to them...their advice and videos have answered many questions I have had on how to use this tool...

 

Daves spot on description of the designers of the program is priceless information about why the program is what it is...what may that be...it truly depends on where the users strengths and weaknesses lie. Some users are engineers or technical application professionals that use their software skills to fight through the clutter...other users fall into categories that bring other skills too many to talk about here...but I would like to bring my experience to the table.

 

My working life has been spent as a construction worker. Master mason, carpenter through the absorption of 50 years experience in the field, electrical and mechanical knowledge obtained in a similar fashion and mostly 30 plus years of construction management...many of those years at a senior level position have provided me with skills that certainly help in maneuvering through the minefields left by the very non-builder designers left by the writers of this product. I have worked with architects and engineers who put on paper designs and details that can’t be built as shown...far too often in my opinion...

 

The takeaways here is simply that the end user has to use the advice given above... study...try the techniques...study some more...it eventually will make sense if you just follow the rules spelled out in the reference manual...how do I know...ha ha...I tried the other alternative...brute knowledge of construction to bull my way through...the program always wins...now if I could just figure out how to make my  11 x 17 layouts print to the sheets edges....

 

Regards

 

Rick

 

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1 hour ago, ricatic said:

.now if I could just figure out how to make my  11 x 17 layouts print to the sheets edges....

 

The Layout is designed to display the "Edges" from your "Print Drivers" as a "Blue outline" while on layout. Anything inside that blue line will print and anything outside that line will not.

 

SJP

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While playing with the foundation, is the stem wall supposed to be exposed like this? I believe the stem wall is supposed to be expose somewhat so that termites can be seen and makes it just more difficult for them to get to the wood. If this is true, how much of the stem wall should be exposed?
I don't know what is going to be required in my case (crawl space or slab)….so, I'm assuming if it is a crawl space, that would have to be dug out if you wanted a 3ft crawl space and not have the whole house 3ft above the ground. When they put in a slab, is the cement poured on top of the ground or do they dig the dirt out for that also?
 

foundation.JPG

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Generally, wood needs to be 8" above the ground, but it's best to check with your local code enforcement office.

 

The total minimum height of the stem wall is usually determined by the frost depth plus 8 or so inches. I need to go down 24" where I am so my stem wall is at least 32". And that's to the bottom of a footing if you have one.

 

Or it might be determined by soil conditions.

 

Your foundation might be really simple, or not.

 

If you are in a temperate climate, with good soil conditions, then how far you dig down, is up to you.

 

Slabs go on the ground and they are concrete. Cement is a component of concrete.

 

 

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When it comes to the garage foundation,does it even have a perimeter foundation (stem wall) like the house, or do they use the garage floor as the base to construct the walls? 

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Sounds like you probably need to research basic construction techniques -- Amazon for books might be a good place to start, or just focus on the design and work with your contractor on the structural details.

 

Or there are probably DIY friendly web sites suited for these types of questions.

 

This forum is for discussing the software and not intended for general how do I build this type of questions.

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Thanks...Sorry, as I said, I'm new to this...didn't know this forum was for software type questions...my apologies. 

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Garage stem wall? Slab only? That would be your decision. I'm thinking stem wall because that is what I'm used to. 

As a very basic place to start, you could just go to Google and enter "garage foundation"  or "garage design" or similar queries. Select "images". You will be presented with  about 46,700,000 results. You will not be the first to use this method...

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Thanks Bill! I have done the same thing...searched online to get info, but I'm not sure I trust some of the things I read; I figured the people here would know. I belong to a specific classic car forum and you can ask anything you want, and those guys have been so helpful. A few of them are old timers that actually built the cars in the 50's and it's interesting to hear what they did. I think I asked 1,000 questions...and because of the help I got, I have about 10 trophies and have only been showing the car in the past 2 years. Nothing like getting info from people that actually know their stuff! I just assumed it was the same here, were you can ask away, but I get it. 

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Of course we can't believe all we see online, but if you see a design that looks appropriate, follow up by looking for other references to verify. I don't accept anything I see online until I see other credible sources that agree. 

Another source of information is your city or county building department. Often they will provide typical plans and useful design sketches.  You are paying tax $ for the service, use it! I

 

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I agree. In regards to the stem wall in the garage....leave it to Google! Funny that the person asked the same question and another person said they had the same question. Makes perfect sense. 
The stem wall usually is used to keep water [washing/cleaning] from going under the walls bottom plate. You can have your conc. contractor form this with the slab pour if you choose. I personally like the stem wall. Some areas form on slab and some on stems depending on soil and freezing conditions.

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