Post and Frame Build in or Brick or Concrete Blocking In
Here we will take a look at the pros and cons of the different methods of enclosing the under story of a high set dwelling. Desirability of material types is one determining factor. A certain look and feel or uniformity top to bottom. If your looking for a rendered look or brick look then the decision should or could be fairly simple. Likewise if its a uniform look from top to bottom then post and timber wall framing is probably the best solution.
Full Restump Post and Frame
One way is to fully restump the building to begin with and then frame in between the posts. Usually with this method there will be some beams installed under the house to remove some of the posts and the ones remaining are designed to fall within wall frames. Some simple planning from the start will insure all the posts are hidden within walls. This method can be done piecemeal provided the posts are installed. The post and beams are the only structural element, the framing and wall sheeting can be done at any stage. Worthy of note, a 3″ block wall could be infilled in between the posts in the case where the posts are already existing or the time frame of the building project is of importance.
Blocking In with Concrete Block or Bricks
With blocking in the process is not quite as simple as the post and frame method previously discussed. However the end result is unquestionably good. There are some posts left or installed under the building with this method. Skyhooks are out of the question and the building needs to be supported. Unfortunately due to the weight of most buildings the engineering dynamics dictate the need for it to be supported directly under the building. For this reason we install some purpose made posts. These are strategically placed to provide support for the building during construction. And allow us to have the building slightly higher than the level plane for the block work to be installed.
On completion the bracing is removed and the the building is lowered to rest on the block work. Usually 7 or 8 well placed posts combined with support bracing will hold it steady and safe while the blocking work is performed. With only installing 8 out of the usual average of 30+ posts there are many savings. There is far less steel concrete and overall less workmanship. In effect it could be compared to lifting the top half out of the way while you build a bottom story and then place the house on it. Blocking is certainly more cost effective but not the easiest. Almost everything must be completed before you can safely occupy the building.