Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 51

Thread: [OT]Ideas for split-level shed/workshop built into hill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA MD 21030
    Posts
    4,534

    Lightbulb [OT]Ideas for split-level shed/workshop built into hill

    I recently dismantled my old 10'x8' metal shed,which was erected on the foundation of an even older wooden shed, next to my house, and built into a hill.




    It might be difficult to excavate much of the existing foundation, although much of it appears to have been roughly slapped together when the original shed was demolished and the metal shed built on the wood platform you can see, which was made from 4x6 PT timbers and plywood. I want to be able to roll my mowers and garden tractors into the shed at or near ground level, but inside I am thinking about having a second level about 18-24" above that. It would not be hard to use a ramp to move the machines to the higher level, and may even make it easier to work on them. Here are my preliminary plans, for a structure about 12 feet wide and 13-14 feet deep. The walls are 8 feet high in front, and the cross-braces on the roof trusses are about 10 feet above the lower floor, and 8 feet above the upper level. The old metal shed had 5 foot walls and about 6 foot peak.





    The grey walls are the rough stone foundation, and the brick walls may actually be done with concrete block. The actual construction will be adjusted as needed for the site. Suggestions and comments are welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    198

    Default

    I recommend that you at least double the area enclosed by the brick walls. You might have to make the ceiling higher if the ground slopes away. Some sort of rail attached to the ceiling could carry a hoist and permit you to move stuff up and back to the original level. A ramp would take up space. With increased floor length, you could pull a vehicle in and pull an engine, then put it on the upper level.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    695

    Default

    Paul,

    The land to the right of the platform in pic 1 looks relatively well sloped to the shed, what about a walkway to the side of the building for the upper level and there would be no need for the ramp inside which will take up good floor space.
    Just me thinking outside of the box as I often do!

    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,106

    Default

    You don't show the stairs in the new CAD rendering. But I can't help but think that the stairs or ramp would take up a LOT of the usable area. Not to mention the PITA it would be to move the stuff that goes into a shed up and down between levels.

    How the old shed was built on the raised rock foundation was likely to avoid ground water from wet earth while using what was on hand. Nothing wrong with that. But it led to a shed with stairs up to the floor. And that's a totally silly idea for getting stuff in and out of the shed.

    Personally you're looking at a lot of effort to build the new upper structure. Why not take the time and do it right and give yourself a flat floor throughout the whole shed. Namely dig out the old floor and rock foundation and lay in a new semi foundation. To keep out water this would need to be a concrete floor pad. But from there you could erect construction block walls, fill them with concrete including a top run of the "U" section block used to make cast concrete tie runs and finally coat the outer surface with waterproofing emulsion before backfilling with some drain rock along the outer layer. THEN build your upper side.

    I know this would mean some nasty jack hammering work and some rubble removal. The larger rocks used in the original foundation could perhaps be repurposed for fill or something decorative if you wish. Or used in the back wall that cuts back into the bank instead of construction blocks for the first course or two with suitable mortar and wire "ladder" runs added to mortar lines. That way you only need to move the rock around instead of transport it away. And using the rock for the back and side walls that are into the earth would give a nice nod to the original sheds.

    But to try to build something new onto what is there just seems like a lot of work added to a bad original concept. Oh sure, at the time that the metal was put up it likely seemed like a good idea. Or perhaps it was just a quick and dirty solution to store stuff that was intended to be used only very occasionally. But if you're going to do any sort of work on things in this space it seems like it would be far more usable if the floor was all on one level. And it would not be THAT much more effort to dig into the bank to get a flat floor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    SE Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    79

    Default

    I think it is folly to build onto an old foundation. Dig it out, build a proper single level foundation and be proud of your work for the rest of your life, rather than wondering if the old stuff is going to crumble or watching it crumble and trying to fix it.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Langley, British Columbia
    Posts
    1,066

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    ...Why not take the time and do it right and give yourself a flat floor throughout the whole shed....
    My thoughts exactly--requires that you move more dirt but the end result will be a much more usable building when you're done.
    Were I in your shoes I wouldn't even consider making it two levels...
    Keith
    __________________________
    Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Coast, USA
    Posts
    6,280

    Default

    A large two level shed is best, but it must be done correctly Here is a two level shed with overhead door done correctly

    Work hard play hard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    My dad’s garage had a second level. The walk up stairs had a pivot at the top and a large concrete counterweight along the wall behind the oil fired heater. One hand pulled the stairs down. No lost floor space and it closed off the stair well keeping the heat in during the winter. There was a fire wood storage box on one wall with locking cabinets above. You put firewood in from the garage and the side facing into the house had a door to retrieve the wood right along side the fireplace. He was a master of efficiency!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA MD 21030
    Posts
    4,534

    Default

    Thanks for the ideas. I am somewhat limited as to the size of the shed, so I think the maximum would be about 12'x16'. That is still too small for a car, and it would be difficult to maneuver a vehicle to get it into the shed/garage. Here is a photo of the houses from 1977, when I bought the first house, and it just barely shows the original shed:



    There is about 8 feet from the left side of the foundation (about 12 ft wide) to the house at 715, and about 8 feet from the right side to the deck on 713. So, I would not be able to make it much wider - perhaps 16 feet at most. The front yard is only about 24 feet deep, which is really not enough to turn a vehicle around, and there are also trees to contend with. I don't want to make this too much of a major project, as I can't really afford to hire a contractor to do the work, although I might get someone to help with the brute work. My back has been giving me problems lately, and although I enjoy strenuous exercise, heavy work like I have been doing lately (mowing, tree cleanup, kitchen renovations, etc.) seems to be causing peripheral neuropathy in my feet and legs.

    Also, any structure over 100 square feet really requires a permit, although a shed without plumbing and electrical would probably be no problem. I am thinking that perhaps I should dig out the front part of the existing foundation as much as possible, to lower the floor level, and build a shed 12'x8' on that, with only about 18-24" of steps or a ramp from ground level. I also have a rough woodshed adjacent to this shed, and perhaps I could build another shed in that location, with easy access at ground level for mowers and tractors.

    In that case, perhaps a simple sloped roof would be easier to build, maybe using translucent plastic panels. The right side entrance with a more gentle slope is also a good idea.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by PStechPaul; 08-03-2018 at 04:21 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    29,067

    Default

    If you must have two levels, then separate them by function, and make the more easily accessible one larger.

    Upper levels are fine for small stuff, workbenches for finer work, many sorts of storage, etc. Lower levels are for the bigger machinery. Even of you do not have bigger machinery, you might get some, and also, you will want room to roll in a mower etc and work on it out of the rain/cold/etc. So plan the easily accessible level to be larger. That way you have options, instead of regrets.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •