Slab on grade with stem wall above grade in a cold snowy climate
This is something I have seen done in garages, but I can’t find much on doing it for a house. Where we live, we have a 4 foot frost depth, and a 50 lb snow load. Most houses around here have full basements because by the time you get 16″ above grade, you already have 5+ feet of block or concrete.
I would like to build on a slab with radiant floor heat, but I really can’t get behind the idea of melting snow sitting up against the stick frame and gradually rotting the walls. For everything except a FPSF, code says 16″ above grade. Ideally I’d like to have the stem walls be 2 feet above grade. With a platform framed house, now we’re talking about the floor being close to 3 feet off the ground. From a design standpoint, I really don’t like being way up off the ground. I’d rather one step down and I’m walking on the grass.
Anyone think there is anything structurally wrong here? Has anyone seen this done before? The engineer that is designing our septic will probably do the final foundation design for us too. He has already really pushed for a full basement (because he likes having one), but said he will design anything we want.
Here’s a basic diagram of what I’d like to do (http://i.imgur.com/XQmZMpA.png). Many details are omitted – the main idea here is that I would stack block from frost depth to final stem wall height, (with all the proper details) pour the slab at ~6″ above grade. Doors would be about one step off the ground.
Not sure if this image link will work…