At $18,000 worth of materials, having not yet counted the site prep, the concrete, and the money for the guys who were going to help me, and having a budget of approximately $20,000 I abandoned the plan.
New plan. Fix old garage.
Built sometime between 1909 (house built) and 1935 (they stopped using that particular kind of door hardware, it needs some work. Right now it floods every time it rains, it is home to swarms of rats who harass me and eat out my substance, The main door is a sliding door that only opens enough to squeeze my Harley through, and the man door was kicked in by local drug addicts looking for stuff to pawn (they went to jail cause I am smarter than them).
First job, take out all the insulation and drywall which serves mainly to provide dark and dry housing for aforementioned rats.
Oh, wait. It might have asbestos in it. I had made the mistake of applying for a demolition permit back when I thought it was coming down and turns out you can't rip out drywall and insulation without having it tested for asbestos. Stupid me, I should have kept my damn mouth shut.
Phew. Would have enjoyed spending that $121 on something I actually wanted, but there you go.
Moving on, here's part of the problem or possibly part of the consequences of the problem. A typical sill plate. Any questions?
The solution, according to those who know more than I is to jack up the garage, pour a stem wall, cut out the bottom couple feet of current garage, frame in a couple feet of garage wall, lower old and sound garage onto new frame, do the happy dance.
First step, brace all the corners and the door opening.
Second step, build beams to use for supporting the garage after it's been jacked up. (2x4s, three rows, screwed together and to the trusses).
Wednesday the digger comes and trenches out both sides of the garage to a) give us room to build forms and 2) provide somewhere for new drains.
Friday we'll jack, form, and hopefully concrete. Next week, install frames, lower, do the happy dance. I will probably also use some of my winnings (aka savings from not building the $30k project) to pay a professional to come in and paint the damn thing in about two hours, rather than the week or so it would take me.
Oh, want to hear the jack story? Using Hi Lift jacks...
...thought I'd rent them. Pretty common project, right? Jack up a small building and repair the foundation? One rental company in the whole county has three jacks. I need eight.
One shop has them for sale, but only two of them and they're 48", I sort of need 60". Another shop has them for sale but only one of them, also 48". Third shop has three 60" and two 48". The price is $80 each. What the hell? That's what I paid to rent them for two weeks. Now I have eight jacks, (three of them rented and two of them shorter than I really wanted, but I can make do. One corner is in good shape so we don't need to lift that corner quite as high.). I am, however, the proud owner of five Hi Lift jacks. Maybe I'll start a rental business with pictures about how easy it is to lift your garage. Buy three more, rent all eight for $150 a week, I'll have my money back after five weeks of rental then it's pure profit. Something to think about.
Anyway, jacked up one corner, just to get it level (refer to Picture 2 to notice the sagging off to the right since the sills there were completely rotted out and pretty much gone, leaving a nice large hole for water and rats. I suspect that the downpipe there was also just funneling water from the roof right through the hole since there are no drains to speak of at this point.) A good six inches of space just to get it leveled out. Combination of rotted wood and sunken slab I guess.
Building the sub-frames tomorrow to have them ready to go, trenching Wednesday, jacking up on Friday to build forms and pour concrete, so stay tuned for the next installment.
Oh, probably going to pour a graded slab overtop the current slab after everything else is done, just to get a smoother surface and maybe a little drainage in the right direction. I know, overpouring concrete, bad idea, but better than what's there and cheaper than busting up the whole thing and pouring a new slab.
See you next time.