Getting Started

Foundation Frame capacities are based on site-specific soils, structure-specific loads, and design-specific project information. The foundation designs are to be submitted as a stamped engineer’s alternate under the IBC, or other applicable local codes. The steps below provide guidelines for preparing project information for Pin Foundations, Inc. (PFI) to assist in finalizing your specific Foundation Frame project. 

Step 1:  Determine soil characteristics.
A general description of the site and soil, along with the soil’s angle of internal friction (phi angle), cohesive strength, and in-place unit weight, must be provided. This information can be obtained from geotechnical sampling within the typical pin depth. Generally, two to three samples will suffice within a given project area, unless significant changes in topography, saturation, or vegetation indicate potential soil variations. With this information PFI will generate a range of preliminary bearing uplift and lateral capacities for the foundation stanchions at your site.

Step 2:  Determine structural loads.
The structural loads that the building will put on the foundation (bearing, uplift, lateral) must be determined. Project configuration, use, size, height, and preferred building materials all contribute to the live and dead loads that transfer to the foundation frame. These loading parameters must be provided to PFI as early in the design process as possible. For preliminary design of light frame structures, PFI recommends 8 ft spacing between Foundation Frame stanchions for one-story buildings , and 6 ft spacing for two-story buildings. From this starting point, specific loads at each stanchion, and additional point loads that may be required, should be calculated.

(Note: The typical sill beam is designed to carry 2000 plf and is intended to be sufficient for the preliminary spacings indicated , but may require addition al stanchions directly below any concentrated point loads.)

Step 3:  Contact your PFI representative.
With the soils and loading information gathered, your PFI representative can assist in selecting and detailing the appropriate Foundation Frame components for your project. Please be prepared to discuss the required height of the frame for your site, any unusual drainage or slope conditions, any ADA access requirements if applicable, and your preferred design aesthetic for the frame perimeter – i . e ., fully skirted, partially screened , or fully open. This will be important for determining the internal frame connections and bracing components . PFI can provide either a Manufacturer’ s Capacity Analysis or an Engineer Stamped Submittal depending on your code requirements. Project connection details, installation instructions , and project specifications are available on our website or can be developed specifically for your job as necessary.

Step 4 : Obtain a project quote and start building.
Once the proper Foundation Frame components are specified, and a full shipping address has been provided, estimated costs for materials, services, and shipping can be provided, along with time frames for delivery. Please note, reviewing project information, determining foundation size, pin lengths, product quantities, and framing elements, and preparing quotes must be done properly and thoroughly. Please be sure to leave enough time for PFI to respond to your specific project requirements.