Shop expansion decision

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Seriously planning an expansion to my shop but left with a difficult decision.
Original shop is 16' x 24' and is attached to the back of a 20' x 20' detached carport. both are gable end roof with the shop perpendicular to the carport. Plan is to put a 20' x20' shop expansion on the other end of the shop matching the roof line of the carport. End up with two 20' x 20' structures tied together by the 16' x 24' original shop, flush on one side, 4' indention on the other.
However, when I built the original shop it was on a sloping section of the lot and the far corner finish floor elevation is only about 3" above grade. Shooting the grade for the expansion, I find if I flush the floors, new and old, the slope will put the far end of the new shop about 4" below grade.
Choices seem to be:
Do it flush and grade the property to drain properly and give me an appropriate finish floor elevation above grade. However the down side is that in order grade away from the shop I will have to cut down several mature trees or seriously disturb their root systems. Trees that will offer significant shade to the shop when finished.
Make the new section a step up of 6" and minimize any contouring of the property, leave the trees.
Leaning toward number two, however, not sure If the step up will not be a constant source of irritation. Anyone have a similar situation, that is, living with a step up between shop sections?
Frank
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I'd bet you'll curse that 6" step at least once a week. Every time you have to move material, maybe move a tool, it will be a PITA to go up or down it. I'd try to avoid it if at all possible.
Besides, when you get a forklift truck you'll have to put in a ramp :) (but a ramp may be a good solution anyway).
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wrote:

You've got a valid point. Assembly/glue up table will be in the new section, along with planer (by the largest entry door) and shapers, sanders, and maybe a swing out from the back wall paint booth. Table saw, jointer, RAS, and band saws in the old section. Would be nice to use a push cart to move cut parts to the assembly area. And I've consider a ramp.
But I sure do like those trees. Without AC, in Mississippi where it's bad hot, I currently stay cool in the heat of the summer, until about 4:30 in the afternoon. I'm shaded from three sides.
I've considered a perimeter french drain of sorts, but feel like it will fail and flood at some point.

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I think I'd just let the far end run below grade, build and waterproof a short "knee" wall and install a french drain along the wall where the slab is below grade.
This procedure is used everywhere I've been, and as long as the wall is well waterproofed, you should'nt have any problems.
My $.02 worth Bill
On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 14:00:44 -0500, Frank Boettcher

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I remember all the stories about Frank cleaning up after the floods with the hurricane a couple of years ago. I wouldn't trust a knee wall, no matter how much rubber it had on it.
But I would keep those trees. The ramp for the floor is the way I'd go. So many woodworkers have basement steps to deal with, that the 6" is pretty minor.
A double garage is what I have to deal with. Pretty nice really. But the cars get moved out of the driveway when the tablesaw gets going on large pieces, because the outfeed table swings up and out the overhead door.
There are no perfect shops. Why, though, would you want to give up trees that won't grow back in your working lifetime?
Patriarch, in northern California...
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Just think about the floors space that a ramp would consume in the old shop. Are you going to be tripping over it forever?
Pete Stanaitis ------------------------
Patriarch wrote:

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How is that different than a 6"-deep basement? Keeping water out of a basemnt can be tricky after the fact, but proactively (proper grading, dainage and a membrane) it should not be a problem at all.
-Steve
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I'd vote for the knee wall with some modifications:
Extend the waterproofed concrete at least a foot above the grade, so that if water does run down the grade and sits against the wall, it will have to go uphill to go over the wall.
Put in gravel and drain tile (plastic) on the outside of the wall, about 8" below the floor line, so that any free moisture will run into the gravel and tile a LOT easier than through a concrete wall and into the shop. Hopefully you can run the tile to daylight and not need a pump.
To be on the safe side, don't store any lumber on the floor in that area.
A ramp or a step will be a constant PITA.
And you WILL forever regret taking down the trees.
Advice is guaranteed. You must be satisfied, or all fees cheerfully refunded.
Old Guy
wrote:

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My choice too! You are only talking 4 inches below grade, not 4 feet! I would still do a knee wall even if it was four feet! You will not notice anydifferance from the old to the new shop in reguards to humidity due to a one or two foot tall knee wall. Install the french drain low, at the footing, apply water proofing, and backfill with pea rock, and you will have no problems. Try slope the landscape away from the building as you would do normally. Many of us are basement dwellers to some extent. If done properly you will not have any water problems at all. Greg
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Something else to consider however and concerning the comment about Franks endeavor with Katrina, 4 inches below grade is not much, true. In some areas along the coast and in Houston often 4 feet above grade is some times not enough to keep water out. Building below grade in flood prone areas is risky.
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wrote:

I didn't consider this as one of the options because in the new section will be a drive in door, 9' or 10' wide. Don't want to deal with what would be necessary to incorporate that into a below grade monolithic slab. Would at least have to pour a ramp down from the curbwall.
My flooding problems with Katrina occurred with equipment that was stored in Biloxi, MS. This shop is in Tupelo, MS, so I'm not really worried about the hurricane tidal impact, just normal rains, which can be heavy and flooding.
Thanks for the input, I think I'm going with the step up and potentially raising the existing floor if the step bothers me too much. This is also probably the least cost option.
Frank
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How about build above grade to ward off drainage problems and raise the existing floor with 2x6's and put down a plywood floor on both.
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Took the words right out of my mouth...ermm..fingers.....keyboard.
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"Frank Boettcher" wrote in message

Keep the trees, build above grade (resist any temptation to not do so) and either raise the old floor, or deal with the step. The trade-off for the increased shop space would be worth the inconvenience even if you decide not to match the finish floor heights.
Just my tuppence...
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"Frank Boettcher" wrote:
> Leaning toward number two, however, not sure If the step up will not > be a constant source of irritation. Anyone have a similar situation, > that is, living with a step up between shop sections?
A very common condition on a lot of sailboats.
After a while, you get used to it.<G>
As others have suggested, keep things above grade, if you want to keep life simple.
Lew
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speaking of getting used to it, you can get used to hanging too if you hang long enough. ross www.highislandexport.com
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On Tue, 05 Jun 2007 17:38:09 GMT, Lew Hodgett

I sail, so I know, however, I've never tried to roll a cart of jointed boards through the sailboat and out the companionway hatch.

Looks like that's the ticket.

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On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 14:00:44 -0500, Frank Boettcher

Thanks, good ideas everyone, several I hadn't considered. Still leaning toward elevating the finish floor and having the step.
Leon and Rob's idea of building up the original to match is a good possibility. I can build the new section six inches up, see if the step becomes something I can't live with, and if so, go back and do that later. I lose some ceiling height, but the ceiling is vaulted anyway so it only matters at the sidewalls. I'm going to lose it in the new section anyway, because I want the roof elevation at peak to match the existing carport section.
And that wood floor may turn out to be just the ticket for these old and getting older, knees and back.
Frank
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"Frank Boettcher" wrote in message

Not to mention all the space for under floor duct work, cable runs.
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On Tue, 05 Jun 2007 09:32:18 -0500, Frank Boettcher

As far as building below grade goes, my shop is in a basement and the ONLY water problem I've had in over 16 years was from a busted washer hose.
The Basement wall is poured concrete with a waterproofing coating and drainboard leading to a 4" subdrain and I've never even had damp walls.
Bill
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