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A Shop for Dan #6: Foundation Poured!

Blog entry by Dan Lyke posted 1000 days ago 4676 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: I can dig it! Part 6 of A Shop for Dan series Part 7: And the walls, go tumblin' up! »

Haven’t posted here for a while, but things are starting to come together.

In August, I started digging out the foundation for my shop. Although the dirt underneath the slab that I cut out was actually quite workable, the clay underneath the lawn portion of my potential shop was rock hard, and while jumping on a shovel I managed to slip and topple into a wheelbarrow handle, resulting in a broken rib and an emergency room visit.

Word to the wise: Should you find yourself with a broken rib, consider carefully painkillers. Vicodin made me think I was hilarious, and laughter was the wrong thing to do with a broken rib.

Anyway, after a long healing period, back in September I finished digging out the foundation for my shop, The structure is a thickened edge slabs, but the “thickened edge” really ends up being solid footings, < 20” down on undisturbed dirt, and >= 18” thick. The thickness was chosen because the living roof makes this really heavy, and when I did the seismic calculations, worst case for soil was about 12”. I talked with my engineer, and he said I could get away with 12”, but I decided that a few extra bucks for concrete was worth the margin for error, especially since trying to do this in a single pour meant that I’d have a bit of torsion on the bars:

There was then a short delay while I negotiated a few things with my plans with the city, and then I ran rebar, 12” centers, tied on every crossing, with > 3’ overlaps on all joints, tied at least 4x, with a #2 copper wire to a Ufer ground. The anchors are 24” for the shear wall ends on the corners, 12” J-bolts at 34” or less for the sill plates generally.

My neighbor’s a contractor, and I know nothing about running concrete, so I hired him for help in my pour, which happened Friday:

Entries on my blog about this:

My neighbor is Loren, of Blue Moon Building and Landscaping in Petaluma, Loren is an awesome neighbor, helped me out by looking at my forms and rebar and making suggestions while I put that in place, and then did the pour and finishing. In fact, the one time he tried to involve me in the process, ‘cause I was standing around looking silly, he handed me a rake and said “watch behind us while we’re screeding this in case the concrete gets too high, you can smooth stuff out”, and Manny, the pump operator, said “you only need that if the pumper makes a mistake. Stand aside.” Sure enough, I was superfluous.

The pump provider was Manny, of Five Stars Pumping in Fairfield (I think). He was awesome and affordable and Loren had worked with him before.

The concrete came from Shamrock Materials, who have a plant in Petaluma just a few minutes from my house.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/



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Dan Lyke

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2 comments so far

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Beginningwoodworker

206 posts in 1815 days

posted 1000 days ago

Great start, I am looking at building a 14×18 garage/workshop.

-- CJIII

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Dan Lyke

296 posts in 2307 days

posted 1000 days ago

Share notes, I’m learning a whole lot about the process.

This started out with a visit to Tuff Shed, a realization that you can’t buy lumber that cheap at Lowe’s, where the super premium stuff is the basic engineering stamped stud and building with the cheap stuff is way out of code, and the thought that “hey, for the same price as Tuff Shed wanted, we could buy enough materials to do a living roof…”

And after that it spiraled way out of control.

So if you can avoid engineering for a living roof, I totally recommend it.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

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