I was sure I'd asked this question a few months back, but I searched and
could not find the original post.
I want to put up a pump house with water wheel for a small pond. I plan on
renting a 'Little Beaver' to dig the holes for my supports. I also want to
put up a small garden shed. So I was thinking of digging some holes, filling
them with compacted gravel and putting foundation blocks on the gravel to
support the shed. I'll probably dig the holes about 3' deep for both the
shed and the pump house. The shed will have nothing but gravel in the holes
and the pump house holes will be started with gravel and then enough
concrete to hold the posts in place.
The frost line is about three feet down, although with the warmer weather
heaving seems to be less of a concern. It just seems that a concrete slab is
overkill for a small (10x8) garden shed?
That's good thinking. A mature tree is impossible to replace if
damaged. Are there many trees of this type on your place? Any type
of foundation is OK for a shed if you are at risk for damaging an
irreplaceable tree. If you have a lot of spruce on your place them
you can worry less, I suppose.
Yes trees are a fair age, four spruce trees about 30'. Although They've been
dying from the indeide out. I'm not sure if it's because they were planted
too close together or if they are suffering from the dry spell a couple of
I'm considering getting the piers poured, as it's only $20 a pop with
digging and cement. Although I'm not sure how the saddles work, since the
posts will be horizontal (floor) as opposed to vertical like deck posts?
Bummer is that the tractor (54") won't fit through the gate.
If it is a tractor-mounted auger, it can be used to pull and replace one of
the gate fenceposts to make the hole wider, either temporarily or
permanently. Is there a section of fence you can take down for the day?
There are many different types of saddles available. The deck aisle will
have the ones to hold joists. Usual practice is to put a J-bolt in the
pier, centered, and then add the saddle afterward. Layout is pretty
critical. You'll wanna put up stakes and batten boards, and after the holes
are dug, put crossed strings over at least the corner pier centers, and
marks over the center points of the in-line piers. A plumb bob will show
where to put the J-bolt in. It doesn't have to be perfect, since there will
lots of oval holes, but it needs to be pretty close. The usual procedures of
making the diagonal measurements match will let you square up the string
'box' pretty accurately. Unless the concrete guy will guarantee he can match
a layout diagram, you want to be there when they pour. If they are using the
cones and tubes, the strings can also be used for placing those accurately.
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