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Re: SOG foundations

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Gail,
 
Normally, the wood framing separation is specified as 6" to grade (dirt) and 4" to paved surface.  Without considerations of drainage, that, in most cases, prevents water intrusion, mold, and deterioration of the framing.  The framing can be made out of decay-resisting wood, but, without proper separation, water is still likely to infiltrate inside. 
 
The way it is actually done, either by the original builder, or after construction (say, SOG patio added) is a different story.  Quite often, the top of exterior slab is found to be at the same elevation as the house slab. Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of those - with consequences that are particularly dramatic with the hardwood floors.    
 
The other thing is that the improperly installed exterior slab often blocks the drainage of water from the exterior (e.g., stuccoed) walls.  That almost always results in the accumulation of moisture in the wall cavity, mold growth, and deterioration of framing. 
 
HTH
 
Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA
    
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:30 AM
Subject: SOG foundations

When designing residential slab-on-ground foundations,  what is the typical distance between the top of slab elevation and the finished grade elevation:
 
a.  As typically shown on the plans
b.  As typically actually built
 
Gail Kelley