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Questions About Building A New SHOP

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  • Questions About Building A New SHOP

    The recent Thread about shop size prompted me to ask a question about constructing a new shop.

    I am planning to put up a wood frame building ~35W X ~50L X 12 eaves, concrete floor, tin sides & roof. Interior will be clear span using trusses with a floored "attic" space for dry storage. Location is NW of Houston TX.

    I have procrastinated over putting up the building because I have doubts about burying the posts directly in the ground or in concrete, plus there is no good way to tie the posts together along the walls or across the width using rebar in concrete floor beams.

    DISCLAIMER: No connection to the company below. They're in IN I'm in TX. Found them on the Internet researching alternatives to direct burial of posts.

    I'm thinking of using connectors made by Midwest Perma Column in Ossian IN (www. P/N SWP63. These connectors can be inserted into a Sonotube 12" form. Connector has vertical rebar fingers that can be attached to rebar ties along the walls and across the building width. Connector will accept (3) 2 X 6 X 12 untreated wood (no ground contact), no waste of wood.

    The feature that intrigues me is that you would be able to install all of the wall posts, attach a pressure treated girt to the outside of the concrete piers and use it (with additional bracing) as the form board for the concrete floor. My site falls about 6' across the 50' length. Getting a cement truck inside the building footprint with the walls up would be a pain.

    I have seen self leveling concrete with fiberglas used in various DIY shows. Is it as good as it seems or is it a blind date? Realize it might have to be pumped.

    Feel free to tell me I'm full of crap, I'm looking for constructive suggestions on what I'm overlooking.

  • #2
    If you can go in 8' incements you'll save money Here's a good resourse for you . 50' clear span storage adds up fast. Don't pour concrete around the post as they will rot. Read the info & feel free to PM me for my number as I've designed & sold hundreds of these & will be more than happy to give you some ideas. Truth is if your going to insulate & finish the inside I'd pour footings & stick build it as it cost about the same.. Eric
    Last edited by flylo; 03-25-2013, 11:56 PM.
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison


    • #3
      You could build a 4' stem wall with bolts to tie down the bottom plate, then use standard size studs to frame in the rest. That keeps the wood far away from water and termites. My shop has a 2' stem wall like that with 10' ceiling, if I were to do it over I'd make it 4' with 12' ceiling.
      Last edited by Toolguy; 03-26-2013, 12:49 AM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
        You could build a 4' stem wall with bolts to tie down the bottom plate, then use standard size studs to frame in the rest. That keeps the wood far away from water and termites. My shop has a 2' stem wall like that with 10' celing, if I were to do it over i'd make it 4' with 12' celing.
        I second that for a shop its the best way to go
        Bill in SE Idaho
        With enough time & motivation anything can be fixed


        • #5
          Post protectors solve the rot problem-

          Also remember on a pole barn type frame the load is transfered through the posts to the ground,the slab does not support the weight of the building.You won't need much of a footer and you also won't need much rebar.

          If you do want a heavy footer and lots of rebar then a U-strap column base is another way to go.The one in this picture is just an example,I don't like these,they are too light IMO,better would be some homebrew ones made from 6x3/8" flatbar-

          Hope this helps.

          Oh,forgot to add,the fiber glass concrete is good,but a friend of mine has it in his shop and little fiberglass fibers are constantly coming out of it.He's going to paint as soon as the weather warms up.
          Last edited by wierdscience; 03-26-2013, 02:34 AM.
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            For a 50' span utility building in TX, I would seriously consider a Monolithic Dome.


            The thermal properties of the dome are a big advantage for your location.

            Have a look around that site - you'll find a section offering experienced dome builders for hire, and you can contact the Monolithic Dome people for advice and rough costing estimates.

            I have no personal connection with Monolithic, except that I for many years intended to build a dome home. That never came about for reasons unconnected with the construction technique - perhaps I'll manage a monolithic holiday dome or retirement dome one day.


            • #7
              Texas covers a lot of territory and lots of different soil conditions. Down by Beaumont they have lots of shifting soil. In the Hill Country they have very different conditions.

              While Pole Barns are some of the cheapest construction, you need to think about soil conditions above all else before selecting your design type.


              • #8
                I'll add a third to Toolguy's suggestion. The 12' X 25' building pictured below is my storage building for a boat and other stuff. It was built with a monolithic slab and stem wall that extends up about a foot. Steel tie straps and "J" Bolts were poured into the stem wall, the "J" bolts bolted to the PT bottom plate and the tie straps extending up the studs and nailed to both the bottom plate and studs., Tie straps tie the roof trusses, double top plate and wall studs together at the top making for a stout frame building. The T 111 siding is nailed to the studs, bottom and top plates with ring shank nails and tie it all together as well.

                Were I to do it again I might consider using an alternative to T111 or use PT T111 in place of untreated. The building was built in 1987 and has held up well, the first ten years with only wood preservative applied annually to the outer walls, then it was painted. T 111 is a pain to paint as it has a lot of checks and voids in the plies where the vertical channels are. I finally learned that using elastomeric paint works wonders along with good quality caulk. The use of metal siding over plywood would have made a more maintenance free structure but I can really kick given it is still a sound building that looks pretty good after 26 years.
                One could use Hardiboard in place of T 111 if the were to use conventional doors instead of making their own as I did. Weight would be an real issue is for the doors with Hardiboard, especially on the end where the double doors are.


                • #9
                  I went with 6" walls and blown in insulation so I could heat it in the winter, my walls are on top of two course of block. A good web site to get answers to questions about garages is Garage Journal.
                  Brandon MI
                  2003 MINI Cooper S JCW#249
                  1971 Opel GT
                  1985 Ford 3910LP


                  • #10
                    I built a 24x26 with conventional framing starting with a kit from Sutherlands - I switched out one of the doors for a double and paid a couple hundred for different trusses but otherwise it was all stock kit and easy for a 1-man build except for the cement floor and lifting the trusses. I suffered through a few summers out here in southern AZ with a tin-shack for a workshop and it was not comfortable. During the day I cooked and at night in the monsoon season when the temps dropped a bit all the condensation would form on the ceiling/roof and rain on my tools. If you're in an area of texas where the humidity is 0% year round, that might not be a problem.


                    • #11
                      Never used them, but the concept caught my attention.



                      • #12
                        If putting posts in concrete, put a thick bag over the end of the post encased in concrete, stops the damp rotting it out, I found out the hard way!


                        • #13
                          Thanks to all that replied. Sorry to be late in replying. Two hour deal yesterday ended up tp be all day B/S

                          Please checked the Perma Column website. The brkts I referenced could be used on a stem wall and in fact are pictured as such.

                          My reasons for using the methods and parts are to allow me to do most of the work myself, the exception being the concrete floor.

                          flylo My desktop crashed last month and took my drafting program and files with it. Actual bldg size is based on whole sheets of vertical tin and using common 2 X 6, 8, 10, 12 sizes. Post spacing will accept std lengths.
                          Posts are NOT in the ground. Using round paper forms & post brkts to keep wood above ground.
                          I'll read the NFBA stuff. Appreciate your offer. I need to reload Acad and dwg files to send aaccurate depiction of bldg.
                          No inside finish. Bldg is about 150' behind my house.

                          Toolguy Brkts I mentioned do same as stem wall. Keep wood out of dirt & above concrete.

                          bvd40 See Toolguy reply.

                          Weirdscience Agree on load transfer. No support from slab. Posts sit on concrete piers. Piers all tied together via rebar.
                          The brkts I mentioned are similar to Simpson CBSQ & LCB. My calcs indicated Perma Column brkts costs similar to Simpson with less work same results.
                          Thanks for the heads up on fiberglass adder. Just the smell of cutting Glastic maked me itch all over before I retired.

                          EuphOny I will check tyhe website you referenced. However,trusses are inexpensive here and can be lifted into position with a gin pole truck.

                          JoeFin Site is about 50 loads of clay fill & has been sitting for 18 mos, making decisions not my long suit. Original soil has high iron content. We have rusty dirt.

                          firbikrhd1 Brkts I referenced with concrete piers will act as stem wall. Don't like T1 or hardboard. Both are crappy in my experience. Sheet metal is readily available & inexpensive with minimum upkeep.

                          MikeoftheNorth I could send you some TX summer heat to keep you warm in winter. Will check website you provided.

                          THANKS to all. Appreciate your taking the time to share your experience/comments.


                          • #14
                            Old as Dirt:

                            I helped my father build a pole barn (PT posts buried in the dirt, slab poured around them afterwards) back in the mid/late '70s. Located NW of Houston (Bear Creek area, just north of the Addicks Reservoir). No structural issues to date but I was up on the roof at Christmas time to seal some leaking fasteners on the roof. PT has changed since then - now the lumber is full of salt and will corrode any unprotected fasteners or even sheet metal metal that comes in direct contact with it.


                            • #15
                              However big you build it, it will be "too small".