Concrete Floor Question

Ok, this is going to seem a little strange, because I am losing my property, and any chances of a garage BUT, I have spent the last 14 years trying to get someone to answer, what I thought, was a simple question, which is as follows. I had been considering building a garage, but my problem is I don't know much about construction practices. So if I were building a pole barn style garage, would the floor have to be poured first or would it have to be poured after the wall framing is up? I built a dirt floor pole barn with my father, and I love my dad dearly, but I hate his building practices! While building his pole barn, he would cut a bag of cement in half and throw the half bag (cement, bag and all) into the hole then set the post on it and say that "the cement with harden after a while" as he burried the pole (which in this case was a 6X6X16). By the time the sheathing was started on the roof we found (towards the end of the project) there was a wedge shaped section of the roof that was off by about a foot and we needed to special cut two sheets of plywood to correct the hole left in the eaves. Like I say my dad isn't a good example for constrution, his logic is "Well it's just a barn" attitude left me with years of question to follow! I have never agreed with the logic that a Pressure Treated post will last 40 years burried in the ground, as my pressure treated picnic table that he himself built for me, fell apart just 8 years after being outside in the weather year after year. While I feel the floor in this topic would have to be poured first (in my thinking), then what holds the posts upright in the cement, or for that fact how do you get the pole brackets to line up with one another correctly, so your walls are still sqaure with one another? I can only imagine that you would have to work very quickly to level the concrete, then pop your brackets in the cement that attach to the end of the poles. All while making multiple measurements to keep everything square. This to me would seemingly be very time consuming at best and with only one person working on a 36' x 40' floor (as I don't have many friends thanks in part to my ex wife), towards the end the cement would have started hardening making the brackets difficult at best to put in correctly, and level. Though I thank anyone for shedding a little light on the topic, I have hopes in the coming year I may be in a better position to use the information, after I move from my NY home to someplace warmer in climate!
Thanks again, E5
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E5I5O wrote:

Right there.
First, the concrete can be done either before or after. I suggest before. You have better access and it provides a good work surface to work on when putting the poll barn up. I suggest getting a good size crew to do the work and have at least one who knows concrete work. Concrete waits for no man, you need to work it when it is ready. You need to have a little experience to know when and how long to work it. Books and newsgroups can't provide the experience. That size pad, takes a lot of work all at once, so you need a good size crew who have the tools and are ready to go when the concrete gets there. BTW don't even consider mixing it yourself. It is far cheaper and much easier to have it delivered.
As for the poll barn, I suggest you find someone who has done it before and knows how to do it to help you. You are going to need additional hands anyway. There are just too many little things that done right will make the job go much better to learn here.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Thank you I will take the advice to mind, but that leaves me with one other question. If I was to hire a cement company to pour the floor, who would I have to call to get the pad leveled and the brackets mounted, is there companies that specialize in this? Like I say I have a few ideas of how I want this thing built, even though I am very much lacking experience, I do have a lot of things I feel should be part of ay garage. Such as the type of heating I would greatly consider having the floor heated with a boiler type system (convection heating, I believe). Thank you very much for the info, though I know I lack a lot of true hands on experience. I have considered ordering in the concrete, and having it pour due to cost issues, also realising that with the sheer size of this building I would at best run into too many problems pouring the mix myself as I can't be in two places at once like my ex wife used to think I could!! LOL But cost is one thing I have looked at time and time again! The quote I got years ago was $5000 for a pad this size and included the gravel back fill needed for drainage issues, which even then I thought was a good value! Though I am able to do as much of the work myself, and I have a little experience pounding nails and what not, there is still a lot I feel I couldn't do myself logically. Concrete is one of those things of course, but I have talked to others that have told me to pour it myself, and I find cost over-runs to be much higher then it would if I had it poured. Of course I look at the over all size of the construction as well and find that the people I have spoke with often shun my design ideas.
In all I feel that a garage should have an upstairs storage area, using open rafter designs the type used for apartments in the space. This would allow for increased storage without shoving things about the normal rafters, or cluttering the garage area. Too often on a summers day I have drove by "normal" garage style buildings to find them so littered with junk that the owners cars have no place else to be but in the driveway. Yet the garage is so packed the door can't even close exposing quite an eyesore to those driving by. And being I have known women like my ex wife, who seems to find a way to purchase ever large yard Christmas orniment on the planet without concern of where to put it in the off season, I feel strongly about this! Also in my considerations is doubling the amount of rafters used. Actually my dad did have this thinking and after talking to a couple contractor "friends" of mine, it seems to make sense, that the more rafters, the better the load handling properties of the roof during wintery seasons. Also I feel the wall height has to be at least 12' tall, to accept a later installed above ground lift. I am a car guy after all and digging a trench in a lot of cases just dosen't make any sense, when a post lift can be had for as little as $2500. And with a lift if a person had to, you could lift one vehicle and drive something else under it if the need arose. Not to mention that with 12' walls you could logically lift a full size pick up, and have enough room to work underneath it and not worry about any lighting issues above the vehicle. Besides going back to the topic of the pit or trench style floor (like those in Lube places), I have currently a very high water table on my current property. At about 8 feet I hit water which would mean a trench would be filled with water at the concrete level (of say roughly 9 feet in the ground for the two foot of concrete required and one foot of rock drainage back fill) making for a whole host of drainage problems! Something my parents, grandparents, and what friends I had at the time, never once took into consideration! Like I say I don't know as much about construction but I do look at the logic behind it and understand a lot of rules of thumb and so on. Well that is kind of the jist of my ideas of a garage, I could go into my thinking behind windows, and what not in the same structure, but it is really off topic at this case as the past paragraph has been. Thank you again for the low down on floors!
Thanks, E5

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E5I5O wrote:

They may be willing to recommend someone. if you have ideas but not the knowledge or experience, then you will need someone to help you out on this part as well. You may be able to get the forms set ahead of time, but before you start, run your plan past someone who will be helping out when the truck gets there, and it would be a good idea to have them come out and take a look at what you have before the truck gets there. It can be a real mess if the forms are wrong and you have a full truck ready to pour.
I do have a lot of things I feel should

Also the materials to mix it yourself are more expensive than having it delivered, except for very small jobs.

One more thing. Make sure this structure meets all local codes BEFORE you start. If not you may find yourself tearing it down. In some areas there are few if any code or inspections, but be sure to have someone who knows construction go over any self made plans. An error can end up with a pile of lumber around your car after the first good wind.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Here is a really nice Do-It-Yourself steel building. http://www.futuresteel.com/default.htm
On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 11:54:14 GMT, "E5I5O"

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Actually I have been looking into all wood construction as I have been in a lot of steel buildings, and to say the least I am really not as impressed with them as a good wooden sheathed/ vinyl siding looks. I feel in appearance of a steel building next to a home with vinyl siding, in other words, doesn't tie the two structures together as well, in landscaping concerns. Other things I have questioned is in steel buildings is cold transfer, being the material, a thin sheet of steel, to me would tranfer any heat right through the walls. Having worked in a lot of buildings in the factories I have worked at, with similar constructed I find at best a steel building is normally too hot in summer month and too cold in the winter. Not to mention that with a wood sheathing sides I can wrap the building with a product like Tyvek to help with the R value of the walls logically. As for myself I believe firmly that a garage should be climate controlled such as a house. I consider this due to the facts of storage problems I have currently in my unheated shed. Most every year almost since owning the property I am about to lose, I have raced to get my spary paints, adhesive products and other cold perishable items into my house at the begining of cold months. Much mind you to the serious displeasure of my now ex wife. Though I will not argue the construction costs of a steel building being material prices as they are, I would really have to see a building in steel that would meet my expectations to date. As my main interests are cars and electronics (with myself a electronics factory worker as well), I would greatly like to heat this garage plan I have with convection heated flooring (the tubes would be laid underneath the flooring and run to a boiler system). I would further include a zone or two under the makings of a concrete driveway making a lot of shoveling in winter months almost a thing of the past. I have learned this from some company walk ways I have worked for. Thank you though for the info on steel buildings I have checked out the site, and it has a lot of good information.
Thanks E5
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You've got a bit of a point -- to a point, IMO -- with how well a steel building theoretically "ties in" with an adjacent wood building. But I think your thinking has perhaps been off-colored by looking only at what others have put up without regard to surroundings. Some people aren't design-oriented enough for eye candy to be a major concern, others didn't know from the start that there certainly must be a mess of things you can do to either minimize or completely eliminate the "steel box" look, and others quite frankly really don't give a shit.
I can't speak for your dad's construction expertise, but I think he's correct in one respect: It's just a *garage*, dude. Maybe my reading skills are off today, but I get the impression from your posts that you're looking at this structure too much as if it was a house, not an outbuilding. Youre 100% right in insisting that it be built as soundly as your budget allows, but sheesh -- seems to me like you're prone to insisting on 5-star hotel with butlered room service, Italian marble floors and gold-plated bathtub faucets when all you really *need* is a clean but comfortable Motel 6. The factory environments you've been exposed to are not a real way to gauge it, because, well, industrial uses/factors are a lot different than residential ones -- and really, when has anyone ever run across a factory owner who really gives a genuine shit about whether the hired help is too hot or too cold? Climate control? Do you really spend hours on end in there every single day (like a professional wood or metal shop) to actually *need* it to be enough of a concern? Heating elements under the driveway? Jeez, how many blizzards a year do you have -- and if big snow is a concern, well, that's why Honda makes a very dependable and highly affordable line of quality snowblowers. I live in Chicago and can count on one hand with a finger or two left over the number of times a year I have to break out the blower, even during the bad winters. As for cars in the garage, some gearheads will probably argue that every car (especially the really expensive, high performance ones) deserves the most TLC possible, but for something as regular as the common family sedan, a garage with some fairly decent insulation to help during the sub-zero months is pretty much perfectly acceptable.
All in all, I think you'd be better off all in all by building a good, solid structure for the least money available and spend the rest on making it have less of a warehouse look to it so it's really appealing and attractive (sheathing materials, landscaping, etc.) for those who looking at it all the time from the outside. I'm positive there's an answer there to accomplish most if not all of what you want without insisting on going broke in the process.
AJS
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No actually my concern lies in the deeper area of cost heating later down the road. I don't want to put heat to a structure in all honesty for who knows how many months that would realistically be compared to leaving the overhead doors open year round. My dad is a good guy but takes too many short cuts, or over builds stuff as he works! I am not saying that is wrong for him, but I want to heat this thing! Actually in my field of work, which is electronics Temp and Humidity is very important. I have worked in wood and steel shops in the past as well, but in electronics certain heat ranges and humidity factors are looked at every single day and they have equipment in such companies that do just that! Of course I really don't want to be so strict to that but in my mind I am going to spend a lot of time in a garage! I have business ideas I need the space to work on, I have car products such as Armor All, spray paint and what not, which can freeze that will be stored logically in the garage, then I do a lot of my own auto service work (being trained in the field) and feel having to go out fire up the wood stove waiting for hours to get the heat going to go out to work is nonsense! I would rather just have one steady heat source that is on in the winter months without the hassle and mess of wood or coal! I would like to be able to paint something without fear of dust produced by these heat sources ruining something simple like an intake manifold I have spent hours working on to get clean! Forced air is too costly with heating oil costs as they are and propane is up there as I use that in my home. Not to mention the air blowing stirs up too much stuff.
Ok heating elements under the driveway, yeah it is out there a little, but consider storing your Honda snowblower, repairs to it over a given time period, and the actually cost the it to begin with! Not everybody makes 5 digit salaries! No offence but hell I only clear on average (currently) ten thousand a year to begin with! After talking to a close personal friend having built his own house, he installed this same system in his basement during construction to a cost of $1500. Not into the driveway mind you, but the boiler system I referred to. He by trade is a welder, and fitting metal he ran the manifold system to his boiler. After he showed me the system I asked him if it would hurt anything it the system was installed under a driveway. At first he not to unlike you, questioned it. A few months after winter had started him and I ran into each other at the local store and he told me that my idea was sound! Further he was upset he didn't think of it first, here in our New York home, he went on the state that it would have cost him about $500 more to install the system in the driveway if he had poured the floor and the driveway at the same time and would have added more then one time he wouldn't of had to go out and shovel (or actually snowblow as he owns a snowblower) his driveway. He did say that he had a extra run in his manifold to do just what I had said and was going to look at installing the system this spring. Of course the snowblower which I will not knock in my reality isn't practical for a couple of reasons, first as thing are what they are I have no place to store it as of this writing. Yeah I could leave in my yard year in and out like my one tractor as it is too big to fit in my 20 X 24 shed, covering it every year with plastic, to find mice have chewed the insulation of the plug wires (which has happened to my tractor) off. But the shed I currently own is divided with one section big enough for my tools, supplies and lawn mower, and the other hold my camping gear, holiday decorations and so on. I am by no means knocking what you say, but I feel storage as I look at it is a price you have to pay honestly!
Actually I like a lot of what you said, as it makes a lot of sense, but in all I am not as needed as you may think. My dad's practice is basically "who cares if the top of your one corner wall is six inches from being square as the building is just a garage!" I am not sure about you, but I really don't think all the insulation in the world will be worth anything to a building that isn't square to begin with! Extra gaps logically will cause more warm air to seep out and cold air to get in. I could further demonstrate what I mean by my dad's practices, by my shed. He took this same "it's just a shed" approach to the project the kit came from Grossman's and seemed even with my lack of construction experience to be straight forward. But when everything was done while I was learning per his teaching the one large barn style door was 4" short then the other door on it leaving a huge gap along the bottom. My lucky stars the thing wasn't built to grade as my yard is flooded every spring and I would hate to have to de- mud the building if it were to grade. But again my father's words echo "It's just a shed!" And to that it is just a shed, I don't have to heat it, I don't have to spend hours out there working on my car, I don't have to worry about, but my garage I will have to address these problems, more so in the case of a house without a basement or other large storage area like I have currently. In all I would like to have a garage that is big enough that I can maintain three vehicles (one of which I am planning on building before I die), and still have my daily drivers safe and warm for the cold weather. I have been around a lot of garages in my years, And has I have said I have spend many a trip around my local areas looking at peoples homes as I drive by noticing garages filled with stuff, that the cars themselves can fit into. I feel storage is an issue, that seriously is never looked at in garages. My father's basement one car garage isn't tall enough for his truck to fit in and being the pack rat that he is (have I mention that I love my dad dearly, he is kind of like Chevy Chase), can even get his car n his garage either! Even my ex wife's father had his garage packed with all sorts of "useful" stuff, like ever one of his kids fake Christmas trees making getting things out the rafters a realy joy when he needed something! I had also consider and get this putting windows in my garage....why you may ask? For two reasons, first to allow air to pass throw the building for ventilation and secondly for light, to help cut lighting costs in the summer months, and even winter months. Everybody I have talked to thinks I crazy with that one too!
Sincerely, E5
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