Okay! We have fabricated all the steel posts that the house will sit on and have set most of them but not all. Some of them are just sitting where they go but are not fastened down yet. As you can probably tell, the house will sit kind of high off the ground. The tallest post is about 7'-6" and some of the shorter ones are 3'-6" to 4'. There are several reasons why we did this. Our original idea for the house was that it would be a pole frame, and it still is technically, but the poles are steel instead of timbers. Usually pole foundations are cheaper than tradtional (which was one of the reasons initially that we wanted it)but I don't think this one is going to be. Anyway, we did the foundation this way because: 1. It does not disturb the landscape as much as leveling an area to dig continous footings. 2. It elevates the house more which helps to catch breezes. With the passive cooling design (dogtrot) this is very important. 3. Aesthetics; you get a nice view of your property from inside the house.
This is just some of the steel before we put it together. It doesn't cost too much just to buy it like this. If you have to have someone else fabricate the designs though that's what cost you.
This is me welding the columns up! All women should learn to weld. Seriously. It gives you alot of confidence in yourself.
Because of the mud, you can't really see the footing that this pier is sitting on but it is there. I am going to have a rock wall underpinning the house on the front and one side so we poured a continous footing across there. We primed the bottom of the posts before setting them and I will prime the rest of them as they are standing. Much less messy that way.
For those not familiar with construction methods, this is an example of the wedge anchors we used to bolt the columns down with. Now, so far we have been using more commercial construction methods of building rather than residential methods. Anyway, you drill an appropriate size hole (width and depth, depends on the size anchor) and then drive the anchor down in the hole with a hammer. It had better be where you want it too because it ain't coming back out! When you tighten the nut down on the plate of the column, it pulls up slightly on the anchor and those little prong-like things and collar you see on the end wedge the anchor in tight.
There are also chemical anchors but they are expensive.