I'm in the initial stages of planing a structure build, I say structure because what I'm really looking to build is an off grid ( no running water or sewer for staters ) vacation cabin on apiece of property I have. It's in farm country and I want it to bland in with the surroundings so I'm thinking of going barn style. I'm also interested in a post an beam type construction, or perhaps some post and beam hybrid.
The property is slightly sloped, and in the spring is quite wet, as the water table is not far below the surface. In addition it's in zone 6 so it gets quite cold in the winter. According the soil survey, the soil is "ontiora silt loam" but it seems to me that the soil probably has a bit higher clay content then that soil survey would lead one to believe.
Some of the neighbors build on peer foundations, but had some issues because of heaving ( perhaps they did not go deep enough ). I'm looking for some recommendations on what type of foundation to build on, I'm contemplating some type of radiant heat floor that is driven by passive solar ( just to keep the space above freezing ) and then supplemented by a wood or pellet stove. I've read about slab foundations, but I've also read about Raft foundations, although the material cost seems significantly more.
Cost is a factor, but I'm going to try and do as much of the prep work my self as possible, so if it comes down to material costs of a few 1000 here or there, I would rather go with the better option.