Garage / Workshop construction 2006


Slab & Framing

May 6, 2006 - Driveway as fill dirt.

Robert rented a bobcat and pneumatic jack hammer to break up and move the driveway and front sidewalk pieces into the "pit".  We had one laborer to do the jack hammering while we loaded the bobcat bucket and dumped the pieces in the pit.  This took all day Saturday and all afternoon on Sunday.  It had rained heavily on Sunday morning so everything was a muddy mess by the end of the day.  Robert then spent another evening moving several chunks of concrete to level the pile out.

May 12, 2006 - Robert compacting clay.

This compacter also vibrates to help settle the clay and compact it.  We had dump trucks dump the clay which Robert then moved around with a Bobcat and compacted.  It took 7 truck loads to get it to the right level.

May 12, 2006 - gravel in place and all graded.  Jane dumping a load of clay to fill in the gaps.

After the clay was level and to the right height we had one load of gravel dumped.  Robert then graded the driveway with the Bobcat and got the surrounding area to lie right.

Over the next two months we did several odd jobs to get ready for the pour.  Robert compacted the gravel and we put out a layer of plastic over the entire area.  We then slowly but surely laid a grid of #4 rebar on chairs and tied the junctions with wire.  We got three small loads of fill dirt which we dumped around the perimeter of the stem walls to create a slope away from the building.  And, we also managed to pour a new 12 ft square front porch on the house.

July 7, 2006 - rebar in place

We placed foam insulation strips along the edges (against the stem walls) for expansion if the slab wants to move.  A final check with the transit to ensure that the rebar was at the right height and we were ready for the slab to be poured.

July 10, 2006 - pouring the slab

Robert got a professional crew out to pour the slab.  It took 2 full loads plus 2 more yards in a third truck.  Unfortunately the 3rd truck driver didn't have 2 yards but only brought a bit over 1 yard, so we had to get a 4th truck out to bring the last bit to complete the pour.  The first truck (shown above) had a conveyor belt to get the concrete to the back of the building.  The second load needed just the regular shoot.

July 10, 2006 - smoothing slab

Within an hour of the last pour they started to smooth the surface out.  It took another 3 hours before it was all nice and smooth and they could come in with the wet cut saw to cut the crack control lines.
That evening Robert created a reservoir along the garage door and side door to be able to flood the slab with water.   It leaked a bit but we managed to keep the slab flooded for a full 7 days.  We then left the slab to dry out for another week before sealing the tops of the stem walls and using leveler to fill in the voids along the top edge.

July 23, 2006 - Framing the first floor - A neighbor and Jane setting out the 2x6's

Robert had spent all of the previous day installing the pressure treated sills on the stem walls, inserting a thin layer of foam between the concrete and the lumber.  As we were not able to get all the anchor bolts in place when the walls were poured Robert had to drill holes and insert bolts where there were some missing.
For the first floor walls we used 12 foot long 2x6's on 16" centers.  Fortunately we had a neighbor helping us for the morning as we would not have been able to erect the sections with just the two of us.  In the afternoon one of Robert's friends was able to help us put the rest of the sections up.
Even though we had bought all the 2x6's from one source (Lowe's) we found that they varied in length up to 1/2", so we had to measure and select boards of the same length to create each section.  Fortunately we had many more boards than we needed so we were able to throw out the ones that were way over- or undersize.

July 23, 2006 - Jane using a push stick and rope to balance the section while Robert nailed it in place.

Robert and I were able to put up the last few small panels ourselves (after our helper left) as they were not very heavy.  The new air nail gun we bought made easy work of toe nailing the sections in place.

August 2, 2006 - Floor joists going in.

It took some work getting the two LVL's up there but Robert, a Neighbor and I managed to get them in place over the garage door span.  Robert and I then made a 16" cripple wall which we placed on top of the beams.  We also added some more sheets of pressboard to the corners and top plates to all the walls to make sure things don't move.  In the picture above you can see the platform on wheels that Robert made to do all the high work.  We got 7 of the 31 floor joists up this morning.  It's not an easy job for two people.  We have to get one end of the joist up on the platform, then go over to the other side and, using two ladders, heft the other end up onto the top plate.

August 7, 2006 - Staircase in place and starting to attach subfloor upstairs.

Over the weekend we put the staircase in.  We used 7" risers with 11" treads.  Now we are working on getting all the subfloor sheets up to the 2nd level and fastening them in place with Liquid Nails and screws.

Footers & Stem Walls Slab & Framing 2nd Floor Construction Siding & Roof The Interior & finishing touches The


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