I would be concerned about moisture reeking up through the gravel and
rusting the tools and surrounding your project wood with a higher moisture
content than you may want.
If you are not too off the beaten path often times you can make an
arrangement with the local concrete company to let them dump their surplus
at your place. Obviously this assumes that you and a helper will be present
and available during their business hours. They want to dump the surplus,
wash out the hopper and be on their way.
This is how I got footings 2 ft wide and 3 ft deep for my shop expansion at
no cost as well as several foundations for out buildings and a boat ramp 75
ft long, 8 ft wide and 8 inched thick on my pond.
My worst experience was when they showed up with 3 trucks with over 18 yards
total at one time!
If the floor is well above the water table then cement woudl be worse.
Condensation can sink through the gravel but will sit on the surface of
If the water table is high enough for moisture to creep up through the
floor it is a bad location for a building and the floor should be built
above grade, regardless of the type.
Dust will be a PIA with a gravel floor. Once the sawdust as thick
enough you could seep most of it off without losing much gravel,
but by no means all. Heck, once the sawdust was thick enough
you could saturate it with linseed oil, compact it, and have a
linoleum floor. Might take a few years to cure without baking
I've often wondered if a floor of rock dust and cement, mixed dry & poured
over coarse gravel, then compacted, and moistened with a fine mist would
provide a servicable floor? It would be a sort of mortar mix over the rock.
Rock dust compacts easily and can be very smooth. Would it work?
Jim in the Bluegrass
Gravel?? How do you set shop tools on a gravel floor?
I just finished a 24x32 shop/garage. The slab floor was $4000. It is
fiberglass renforced, has re-bar per code and plastic under liner.
That also included a 6 foot x 24 foot apron in front of the doors. The
roof is truss built and we hoisted them with a stick boom fork lift.
Also used that to raise the walls. All built by an old man (me) and
my 25 year old son.
You can see the results at http://users.adelphia.net/~larrydrum /
There are a few build process photos up there right now.
Man that is nice!. That is ecaxtly what I want. The siding even matches
my house. If you dont mind me asking, how much did that set you back
and how long did it take you to build? Is there sotrage in the roof
area? Did you have to have a footer?
Bubba Wood wrote:
If you're a) going to buy trusses and b) want storage above, I would
consider an attic truss rather than the "W" truss that Bubba used. I'm
planning a garage rebuild this year. Unfortunately, I'm in a suburban area
with a few more regulations than you have. Pre-built trusses are almost
Well, I didn't say it had to make sense. Like the fact that per code here,
the eave on my house can't extend over the 5' easement at the edge of our
property, but the outside of a fireplace can. There is a lot of teardown
activity in my town, and I don't think I've ever seen a pre-built truss.
We're outside Chicago, and I'm sure it takes more union labor to stick-build
a roof than to hang some trusses. ;-) On the plus side, I think I can wind
up with a bit more usable space in the attic with a stick-build roof.
This is just my opinion and since it is free take it for what its worth
From your comments regarding the entire construction process, I think that
you should not attempt to build this structure by yourself. Before you begin
you need to educate yourself in basic construction at a level much greater
than this news group can provide. Even then the book knowledge is not the
same as being able to apply it in a practical sense. Reading a chapter on
floating the finish of the concrete is very different from doing it. But the
book knowledge will allow you to converse with contractors.
While you may not have to deal with a building inspector or comply with
"city" codes in your location you should not take that as the OK to just do
it how ever you want to. In general building codes and inspections are not
necessarily bad, they make sure the structure is safe and built to a minimum
specification. The questions you have asked indicate that you do not have
any experience in basic structural construction, if there is a construction
site in in your area, particularly if it is a new home being built you
should check it out and really look at the way it is being put together from
the ground up. While I am not familiar with the type of foundations that
are typically used in your area, if you can observe the construction steps
of a concrete slab foundation you will see the footer and probably beams
being dug into the soil, the beams will most likely have static tension
cables in addition to the rebar. I am not saying that tension cables are
necessary but you will need to do the soil / site preparation appropriate
for your area, a compacted sand base will probably need to be installed even
if excavation of beams is not required. A vapor barrier under the concrete
would be essential. Regardless of the exact construction techniques that
are appropriate for your soil conditions in my opinion rebar is cheap when
you are building a foundation, use extra, it will be money well spent.
Some utilities installed before the foundation is poured will be appreciated
for years down the road, well placed floor plugs can be very handy, even if
you do not plan to install electricity in the floor initially if you install
conduit you can pull wire later.
Some running water inside the shop would also be a great feature. Then
there is the general electrical wiring and breaker box, do you know how to
install the electrical service ? You will need to calculate loads and make
sure the appropriate sized wiring is correctly installed.
Concrete is not especially hard to work with if you know what you are doing,
if you don't you will wind up with one big concrete mess. Breaking up
concrete and hauling it off is not any fun under any circumstances. If you
do not know how to work with a normal mix product I do not think you will
stand any chance of success with some of high strength specialty mixes that
have been mentioned in this thread.
Electrical wiring is not especially hard either but there is a right way to
do it, and it needs to be done correctly.
If you are actually going to build a shop you should at least be pleased
with it when it is finished. Just from the posts you have made in this
thread I think you need the help of professionals.
Just my 2 cents worth, hopefully you will think about some of the concerns I
have pitched out there.
The total cost was in the 25k range. YMMV. I got caught having to
buy over priced Katrina OSB. From first shipment to second OSB went
from 9.90 to 14.90 here in Atlanta. And I needed 70 sheets. The
whole building is sheeted in OSB, inside and out and insulated. It can
be built for less $$$ it all just depends what you want.
It took 3 1/2 months of part time work to build. We started Sept 15.
My son worked on it full time for 3 weeks, I helped hime for 6 days of
that. IN that time we got the building raised, had the roofing
installed by pros, put up the osb outside, installed the windows and
doors, then he left. I did all the rest myself through the winter. We
had our final on Jan 5.
Oh the siding also matches my house, Im in a subdivision with rules
too. THe roof/attic has no storage except what you can lay across the
trusses. They are "W" trusses. I guess I could sheet a section in
the center, it is 8 feet tall there. Maybe later. :)
Oops... I missed the footer question. Yes there are footers, per code
or a little more. The slab is a monolithic pour. The footers are 24"
deep and 12" wide. The whole thing is also well above grade. In fact
it is built on the high point of the lot, higher than the house.
Looks nice. Good job Bubba. I bet it is nice to work in a dedicated shop
Why the gaps between the drawers in your cabinets along the wall. Or lack
of doors on the other cabinets?
I do like the built in platforms for the miter saw, etc.
Also, why no paint on the walls? White paint lightens the place up and
increases visibility. And is easier on the eyes than OSB.
Early photo, NO fronts on yet. I ended up putting raied panel on all
the drawers and built out doors to match for the rest. Painted the
whole ehing brite white and added a 5/4 hardwood edge to the double
thick top. I'll post more photos later.
They make it so nice. Throw a hunk of wood up there and cut. No worry
about holding up the 10 foot cut off. BTW, 12 feet on each side of
the Miter saw. 16 and 8 for the RAS
No paint... No money in the buget. I say I'll paint it later but I
doubt it now. I should of done it when I painted the outside with the
big airless sprayer but I didn't, couldn't cuz we already had the
inside half full of stuff. PLus the biggest reason is again money... I
had a choice of interior paint or that Jet Lathe... :) You can see
which one won.
unfortunately my quick posting from yesterday did not make it through our
firewall, so another quick post:
i had a pole building, exactly as you describe, put up last year. i
would highly recommend that you have someone do it for you--but i admire
your initiative. another recommendation is that you consider "clear
span" joists (i.e., engineered i-beams). you'll have a lot more attic
space than even an attic truss would yield. (especially if you have a 1
or 2 foot kick wall built.)
the building, so far, has cost roughly $21k....there's a fortune to be
saved in doing all the interior, electrical, and painting yourself.
i put up a quick summary of the construction of the building this past
december. it can be found at:
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