I like to raise grade of Garage slab grade up 7 inches. This would require pouring concrete next to wood framed walls on interior of garage.

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Hey All,

I've never worked with concrete much, and don't plan on it. Too many pros to hire for pouring/finishing and they already own the tools. But, for planning purposes I'd like to get you alls' take on what may work the best for me.

I'm building myself a detached 2-car garage with storage above. 24' X 28', level undisturbed soil. I plan to use the space to restore old sports cars so there will be solvents, fluids of all kinds, and the necessary hosing out workspace going on. I also want to heat the space (solar with pex in the slab).

Here in western NC we have heavy clay soil above rotten granite. Footings are easy to dig but they're never neat because of the granite shards.

I have two options for the pad. I can do a monolithic pour or I can build a stem wall on footings and pour a slab on grade. If I do a mono pad my concrete guy does all the work but I have to frame on the pad. This leaves me with buying long sticks for the studs to get my...

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After you smooth the slab with the bull float, water will “bleed” out of the concrete and sit on the surface. Wait for the water to disappear and for the slab to harden slightly before you resume finishing. When the slab is firm enough to resist an imprint from your thumb, start hand-floating. On cool days, you may have to wait an hour or two to start floating and troweling. On hot, dry days, you have to hustle.

You can edge the slab before it gets firm since you don't have to kneel on the slab (Photo 9). If the edger sinks in and leaves a track that's more than 1/8 in. deep, wait for the slab to harden slightly before proceeding.

You'll have to wait until the concrete can support your weight to start grooving the slab. Cut 2-ft. squares of 1-1/2-in.-thick foam insulation for use as kneeling boards. The kneeling board distributes your weight, allowing you to get an earlier start.

Grooving creates a weakened spot in the concrete that allows the inevitable...

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Garage slabs take a lot of abuse. They have to support heavy cars and trucks and resist ice, dirt, salty water, de-icers, gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, and other contaminants. Plus, since few garages are heated, they have to tolerate freeze/thaw conditions. But a garage slab that has been carefully planned, installed, and cured should have no trouble providing years of crack-free performance in any climate, even under the toughest conditions. Commercial concrete contractors do this kind of work every day; adopt their attention to detail and you’ll meet their high standard of quality, without having to raise your prices.

Start with a good base

Don’t worry too much about your soil’s bearing capacity. Even poor soils like silt and soft clay have an allowable soil pressure of around 400 pounds per square foot (psf). A 6-inch-thick slab weighs only about 75 psf, and live loads — anything that is not part of the building itself, including vehicles—typically don’t...

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Level and prepare the surface onto which the slab will be poured. The dirt should not be topsoil, but rather compacting soil that will stiffen and resist movement, such as red clay. Use a motorized soil tamper to compact the soil, and make sure that the grade is no more than five degrees off level in any direction.

Form the slab using 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 lumber. You can choose how thick you want the slab, but generally, a four-inch slab is substantial enough. Attach all lumber at the corners using three-inch wood screws, and square the slab box using the 3-4-5 right-angled- triangle method. Imagine that one corner is a right-angle triangle, with the outer edge of the corner being the 90-degree angle of the triangle. Measure up from that corner three feet, and, beginning back at the corner, measure down on the opposite side of the angle four feet. Pulling a tape measure from the three-feet mark to the four-feet mark to form the long side of the triangle should measure five feet....

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Follow us as we build a garage/apartment at LNP

Dump the concrete trowels and grab the hammer and saw...

I must admit, I am extremely relieved to be past the concrete phase. We weren't completely over our heads (or out of them) when we took the job on, but there were a number of "great timing" and "good luck" occurrences that got us past some spots that could have been catastrophic. Both Donna and I are fully aware that a higher power is always there providing a boost. We are grateful.

OK, enough concrete stuff. Let's get wood.

This is the point where our 2-person construction crew is truly on it's own. We have planned for and accepted the challenge of completing this project on our own. In fact, we will hand pick and deliver our own lumber, one utility trailer load at a time. There will be one event of "factory asssistance" when the roof trusses and second floor framing members are delivered on a flatbed roll-off truck, but that's a no-brainer decision...

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