I didn’t start cutting the studs on the garage until I saw the whites of the movers’ eyes but they finally showed up around 8:30 yesterday. Then we settled into about a half hour of “negotiations”. It didn’t seem to matter that I have spent close to 2 years thinking about the best way to do this in order to maintain as much structural integrity as possible in the old structure. Two minutes after arriving on-site the mover had a better idea.
I was patient. Very patient. But I didn’t stop discussing the matter and eventually he came around to – grudgingly – saying that probably my idea was equivalent to what he wanted to do. So we did it my way. To his credit at the end of the day he came up to me and said “Its a really good thing we did this your way because my way simply wouldn’t have worked.” I resisted the urge to respond “I know”.
Waiting for the movers
Putting in the cross beams. At this point it was still a big mystery to me how this was going to proceed.
Sliding the main beams in. The process becomes clearer to me.
Getting closer to the final height.
Final height with the first row of sheeting in place. Now waiting for the movers to return and remove their beams and blocking.
The big debate was about what portion of the garage we would actually lift. If you look close at the 2nd photo above you’ll see that I cut roughly 1 foot above the bottom plate. That left stubs of the studs attached to the plate. Once we got to height we levelled the building and then put cripple studs in alongside each existing stud. Its not quite that simple because we couldn’t put studs where the beams stick through the building. And they had some wildass idea about starting with one end low and and slowly lowering the building from the other end. Fortunately we ran out of day before they could entirely implement that nonsense. As near as I could tell the only thing that accomplished was to make it nigh on impossible to figure out where to attach the cripple studs. Once we got the building levelled at the right height it was dead simple to stand 12 foot 2x4s up alongside the existing studs and stick them together with the air framing nailer.
There’s not much left of the old bottom plate. Too many years sitting on damp concrete means that the nails or bolts or whatever originally held it to the concrete are, for the most part anyway, no longer with us. My new highest priority is to get some concrete poured inside the existing building and out into the expansion areas. That will help to anchor the old plate and the base of the studs. I think I’ll figure out something to tie down the studs a little better at the same time. I’m not sure exactly what that will be but something to tie them into the new concrete.
I’ve settled on adding 12 feet onto the east side and an 8 foot lean-to on the west side. Despite the fact that every garage save one on our lane is a full 20 feet or more east of the garage, I think the property line is actually about 14 or 16 feet east of the garage. The fact that everyone else feels comfortable building on the lane easement doesn’t give me any confidence that we should do the same. Even though I can’t do the 16 foot addition we’ll end up with a main building 38 x 22 and an 8 x 22 lean-to which will be a hell of a lot better than what we have now. I had several looky-lous yesterday who asked me why we were making it so big. Leaving aside the fact that I don’t consider that particularly large, my answer was the same to all of them. “I’ve built a few shops and talked to lots of guys who have built shops but I have yet to meet one person who says ‘Damn it I wish I’d made mine smaller!’”