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How Strong Are Wet Set Brackets? | Piers + Brackets | MAD County Standard | Part 3

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

This is part three of the MAD County Standard build. We'll be discussing pouring our piers and installing our brackets. But before we dive into that, let's address some common questions and concerns about these brackets.

Installation of brackets for post frame build

Our buildings, whether homes or shop garages, involve placing all our posts in the ground, and for that, we pour piers. Using a 16-inch auger, we create holes with diameters ranging from 18 to 20 inches. We employ sonotubes to form the tops of our holes, and during the pouring process, we use a mix of wet-set brackets and dry-set universals. It's essential to note that all our brackets are engineered and designed to meet the required standards for bending, uplift, shear, as per the building code. We use brackets from Midwest Perma Column.

Now, let's discuss the specifications of a specific bracket. For instance, a three-ply two-by-six column bracket, such as the SWP 63. It has four 18-inch rebar pieces welded to a quarter-inch plate, which, in turn, is welded to the U-bracket. This bracket has undergone rigorous testing for bending, shear, and uplift, surpassing the required standards.

Pouring concrete piers for barndominium

Addressing concerns about centering the brackets on the footings, it's challenging to achieve perfect centering due to various factors like hitting rocks during hole drilling. However, the specifications guide how much concrete coverage is needed for optimal performance.

Moving on to the brackets' installation, we use a combination of wet-set and dry-set brackets based on the building's specifications. These brackets, when combined with our building design, provide exceptional strength and safety. It's important to note that there's flexibility in using different bracket types, and personal preferences can be considered.

Prepping for wet-set bracket installation

Our lateral strength comes from tying all the posts together, which is achieved through the application of girts, cross-bracing, and diaphragms. Steel provides the shear value, ensuring lateral strength. After pouring the concrete slab, we'll showcase the finished product and demonstrate how the brackets are secured. Pouring piers is a relatively simple idea but not an easy job. I use a concrete bucket to make the process easier. By using the concrete bucket attachment, the truck doesn't have to maneuver its way to each hole. Once you have them poured, you will need to re-measure and put in the wet-set brackets. You want to make sure those are plumb.

concrete brackets, vapor barrier, and insulation

Now, let's fast forward to the point where the building is constructed just to talk about what these brackets will look like and what we’ll do with them. Firstly, we place the vapor barrier underneath and around the sides of the post. After pouring the concrete, we trim off the excess. But what's crucial to highlight is the construction on top of our pier. There's a layer of two inches of polystyrene, followed by five inches of concrete. This pouring process secures the bracket in place, providing substantial lateral strength. As you observe, the same approach is applied consistently. The columns remain stable, with no lateral movement or risk of uplift. Once girts and steel are added, the shear strength becomes robust, ensuring stability throughout. Our method involves cutting off the plastic around the brackets. Following this, we attach spray foam along this area, extending it along the closing side.

Once the concrete is dry, we can go back and install the dry-set universal brackets. The entire process went smoothly, and the concrete bucket proved to be a game-changer, eliminating concerns about maneuvering the truck around the footings. In fact, it might not have been feasible without it. That wraps up our process of pouring piers and installing brackets.

Thank you,

MR Post Frame

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