switching blocks to concrete piers

Old 05-29-14, 03:42 PM
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switching blocks to concrete piers

We live in Florida and cannot get home owners insurance because our house sits on concrete blocks and not cement. I did not know that fact when we bought this fix it upper but I don't want to loss our investment. So I want to drop concrete piers in the ground on a footer. Does anyone know if I can just replace each set of blocks with a pier and footer or is there some formula for length of joist. The house was built in 1968 so the blocks are just sitting on good old Florida sugar sand. I would be grateful for any thoughts or ideas. Thanks Rob
Old 05-29-14, 04:30 PM
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Contact your local building inspections department to find out the requirements for a footer and foundation in your area. Since you are primarily doing this to preserve your investment you will want the work to be permitted and approved.
Old 05-29-14, 04:44 PM
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I would also question the insurance company to see if their problem is no footers or the fact concrete blocks were used. I see no problem in using concrete blocks for piers, but they MUST be on adequate footings. If the footings are the only problem, you can handle them one at a time.
Old 05-30-14, 03:05 AM
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I can't imagine the blocks being an issue either, surely they just mean the lack of footers. Be sure to verify! Fortunately you don't have to go very deep with footers in fla. Seems like they only have to 1' deep but check with your permit office as they'll know for sure. They'll also know how thick and how much wider than the block piers the footer needs to be.

btw - welcome to the forums Rob!
Old 05-30-14, 05:41 AM
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I wonder also if it has to do with securing the house to the foundation & footers for wind protection. If the house were old enough it would be grandfathered in from a building codes standpoint but insurance companies may choose to decline coverage for fear that it could be blown off it's foundation in a hurricane.

My older rental houses had fuses which were proper for the when the houses were built so legally they were OK. My insurance company would not cover them until the fuses were replaced with circuit breakers. There were other insurance companies that would cover the fused houses but it seemed responsible to up grade them for safety. You may have the option of finding a different carrier that may insure the home or just bite the bullet and upgrade the foundation so you have more options when choosing an insurance company and can hopefully find a better rate.
Old 05-30-14, 07:21 PM
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you can block up the house w/cribbing & do them all at once OR 1 @ a time,,, doing them all @ once allows you to probably get insurance coverage sooner than 1 @ a time

think you'd also want spread footings & hurricane tie-down straps to complete the job,,, iirc, fl's bldg code's more stringent than most states'

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