Preparations to Build a Garage
We decided to start with the Garage to have a covered area and a solid floor
to work on for the rest of the project. That and the fact we were no
longer going to build the garage with Sing Logs, and the mud and grunge from the
open dirt garage area also promoted this phase as the place to start.
this was a multi phase job. First I had to prepare for pouring the cement.
Fortune was with me again with the help of my neighbor Jim Kent. Jim had
fun helping me with the footings and stem wall so he agreed to help with the
garage cement slab as well. The more we examined the current cement
driveway and how we would have to pour our new garage slab and entrance the more
complicated it got.
would have to cut a line in the existing driveway and chip out a section in
order for the new concrete to butt up against properly. I'd also have to
add an angle from one garage corner to that cut and bank it away for water
drainage. The cutting went pretty smoothly, Jim borrowed one of the very
expensive cement cutting blades and I got it cut the first day. The
chipping however, was another story.
borrowed roto hammer from Jay Giese with one drill bit. Zack used the roto
hammer to drill many holes around the existing garage stem walls to put in
rebar. I used it to chip concrete with. But, it ruined the drill
bit, flat removed the diamond tips and it was useless. I was able to
purchase a used drill bit and a used chipper tip from a local rental store and
after several hours of ch ch chippppping had the job done. The chipper was
hard on the hands & wrists and the back. But, job done.
just prior to this Zack did the back fill and helped me to level the ground in
the garage area. Zack used the bobcat to tamp the ground over and over and
over again. I'm pretty sure we got it tamped down hard enough, but only
time will tell. Zack and I established the high point on the existing
driveway and used that as the bench mark to pour too. We marked all the
corners inside the garage and snapped lines for the pour level. We
measured those lines to be 1/2" higher in the back of the garage so any water
would flow out. The only problem I had with making the ground level was
with Zacks big dog Juno. Juno kept playing in the area and I'd have to go
over it again and again.
used Zacks plan of a center board for cement height which was later removed.
I had to bring in a truck load of gravel to top off the ground. My lil'
'90 Toyota Pickup is fantastic. I have overload springs and 6 ply tires so
it can haul much more than the average little truck. I work it to death,
and at 160,000 miles it isn't complaining much - yet.
and I also watered down the area a bit too much. The intent was to help
the ground settle, but it went swampy instead. That was Sunday and I
wanted to pour the following Saturday. It rained and rained and rain was
in the forecast all week. I needed the area to drain and dry up some
and the only thing I could think of was putting a tent over it. So, I
tented the garage area and continued working.
in the wire mesh is hard enough, but I was doing it crouched under that darn
tent. Can't tell you how many times I bonked my head on the center
supports ! Unrolling the wire mesh was very difficult, it was "Spring
Loaded" from being so tightly rolled and it would spring up at you as you worked
the layers at either end. Very dangerous. 'Course when I was telling
Jim about it he started to chuckle, seems that he typically works with wire mesh
that is twice as thick and strong.
had the gravel down, the tent up and the center 2X4 secured to the ground.
The wire mesh was measured, cut, and laid out, but Jim told me I would have to
remove my 2X4 to put the wire mesh down first, then the center strip 2X4.
Aagh, well that tent just had to go. Although the weather was suppose to
rain hard, it was just drizzling. Tent is gone. Wire mesh is in, 2X4
center piece secured with a 1/4" per foot drop and the entrance forms banked for
an easterly drain.