Originally Posted by farmer_lew
We have mostly sand for soil. Was thinking about raising our chicken house by using concrete blocks. Will I too need some kind of "snowshoe"? Foundation?
Sandy soil does present a problem, alright. You may have to dig down until you get to solid ground. Otherwise you will need a "snowshoe" type footing. If not, your coop will settle in the sand, and of course each pier block will settle at different rates, causing damage to your coop. It could possibly even fall off the blocks.
You may just want to get pressure treated 4x4's and build your coop on "skids".
I hope we're not giving you a headache with this foundation discussion. First, if you're not sure about moving, you might just leave the coop footings as they are. Nothing's going to happen over night. As you keep an eye on it, a few months could turn into a year without significant movement. It could be fine the way it is for years. (Lew's idea of skids is good.)
I built my cabin in 1970 on sandy soil. It's 20 by 24 feet. I decided to set it on top of the ground just as you're doing because the other alternative (the correct one in our cold climate) is digging down six feet, pouring a pad down there, standing a pillar on that and backfilling ... for each of 12 footings. I would have had to dig by hand and I had no money so I put the cabin on twelve 18x24 inch pads on top of the ground. Through the years it's settled about five inches, some places more than others. When a door sticks I put a shim under this or that footing.
For a smaller building it's not as crucial. It becomes subjective. I'm a perfectionist, and I'm also a realist. What are you willing to put up with? If it settles enough for a door or a window to stick and you shim a corner to fix it, are you OK with that?
I have to chuckle when I remember my dad telling about this guy or that guy who raised a family in a house that was in worse shape than most chicken coops. He said that fellow would cut firewood constantly rather than fix the house up a bit. I guess that's the opposite extreme.
In the end it's all subjective.
I got a little windy. Maybe I should write a book. :^)