Construction Begins

Disclaimer: I am not a contractor and these posts should not be taken as professional advice. Always check with authorities, building codes, get permits, consult experts and hire licensed professionals as required by law or even if you are just not sure.
Remember, failure is always an option. It is better to be safe and legal.

Half Load Restriction

In spring there is a half load restriction on our 2 mile dirt road. This is to protect the road and limits when we could start having materials delivered.
Once lifted, we had a culvert installed and few loads of sand and gravel brought the driveway up to where we would build the first part of our home.

We Lucked Out

The location of the garage and house was to be over an old gravel service road. We had known the road was there but it was mostly obscured by brush. This provided a solid base to build on.
You want that sort of thing in a house.

To start we chose a garage package from a local building centre. The package included framing, trusses, roof sheathing, shingles, roofing paper and flashing, one small window, a man door* (person door to be PC), and a double garage door. The outside was 4 x 8 bead board sheathing.

What was not included was a foundation so with the materials delivery date looming we had to get cracking. We measured and staked out the forms to accommodate the 20 x 24 foot structure, scooped out the loose soil in the footing area and tamped down the gravel we added to provide a firm foundation for the concrete. To tamp the ground you can do as the next door neighbor did and smack the ground repeatedly with a flat steel plate on the end of a steel pole for a long time, or rent a gas powered tamping machine. Being on a budget we borrowed the flat steel plate on the end of a steel pole. Doing this, you could give up your gym membership for the duration of the build.

Concrete Day

We ordered concrete with a fiber en-trained into it for added strength figuring the fiber plus the rebar in the footings would be overkill but it is good to err on the side of strength.

Not knowing anything about pouring concrete I set out by myself to wait for the concrete truck.
It arrived and when the driver got out he said, “Where is everyone”?
I said, “I am it”.
He was of the opinion that to pour a 20 x 24 foot slab you needed about 5 people but as you can’t leave concrete in the truck for long he had to go ahead and dump it out.
He tried to distribute the load over the new garage floor area as best he could and wished me luck.

I was 20 minutes out of town and the concrete was starting to set up.
Time to get to work.

* the man door is the door a person would use instead of opening the large door for the car.

Next time … Set in Concrete

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