What is the better option?

Discussion in 'Garage & Workshop Forum' started by Poseidon, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Oct 25, 2016 #1

    Poseidon

    Poseidon

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    We moved into our new (to us) home almost 2 years ago. I'm getting ready to build a big garage / shop. I was thinking I would build a pole barn, at least 30'x60' with 3-4 bays and some shop / storage space. Our land is heavily wooded 2.6 acres. It looks like at some point, someone was going to build a house on the property, then abandoned the foundation they had started. Our house was built in 2001, so I'm thinking the other foundation was probably around the same time or maybe just a little before. It is a cinder block foundation with inner dimensions of just a little over 24'x48'. I'm wondering if the cost savings of already having a foundation would make it worth exploring turning it into my garage vs building a bigger pole barn. I will need to clear trees either way, but the trees around the existing foundation are smaller than the ones where I was planning to build the pole barn. Take a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think. Which would be the more cost effective option? Will this foundation even work for a garage? Is it too far gone?

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  2. Oct 25, 2016 #2
    First off welcome to Garage Retreat!

    I would be real hesitant about using the footer of unknown quality. Last thing you'd want is spend money to build structure and end up with failure, penny wise dollar foolish. Hire a structural engineer to take a look, they are cheaper than fixing a failing structure.
     
  3. Oct 25, 2016 #3

    Chris

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    Have you dug down to see how big the footing is?
     
  4. Oct 25, 2016 #4

    Rusty

    Rusty

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    Looks like you would have to demolish part of it to get the ground ready for a slab. Unless there is an opening.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2016 #5

    Rusty

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    Looks like a foundation for a double-wide, if one end was open.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2016 #6
    That was my first thought Rusty, but who knows....
     
  7. Oct 25, 2016 #7

    Rusty

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    Well the size is right.
     
  8. Oct 26, 2016 #8

    Poseidon

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    I haven't done anything yet. I had other projects with a higher priority I had to finish first. Now I'm ready to move forward with the garage. Figured the best thing to do would be ask here first, because I don't know where to start with something like this. I'm a decent carpenter, capable plumber, and a better electrician, but I don't do any of them for a living. I built a finished basement with a full bath, laundry room, 2 bedrooms, and a living room in our old house out of what began as a 9ft tall, gravel floor, crawl space. Only part I contracted out was the HVAC work and drywall. But I'm clueless about foundations!

    I believe the foundation was originally either for a 1200 sf Ranch or possibly a Cape Cod, since there are similar houses on the road I live on. There are openings in the foundation for what looks to be a front door and a back door, as well as where vents for the crawl space would be. The previous owners built a 3400 sf custom with a mother in law suite at the back of the property and just left the original foundation to become overgrown. If I use it for a garage, I was planning to open up the side that faces away from the road (towards our house) for the garage doors. The fallen trees don't look like they did any damage to the cinder blocks other than knocking one block loose. It is on the side that would need to be knocked out for the garage doors anyway, so I don't think it will be an issue.

    Other than having an engineer come out and inspect it, is there anything else I need to be aware of? Anything specific I need to ask him?
     
  9. Oct 26, 2016 #9
  10. Oct 26, 2016 #10

    Rusty

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    Are the blocks sitting on a footing? If so, how wide and deep is it?
     
  11. Oct 26, 2016 #11

    Poseidon

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    I'm not sure. I'll do some digging this weekend and find out.

    If this foundation ends up being ok to use, how much money am I actually saving by using it? Reason I ask is because I would prefer to have a garage a little bigger than this, but I could make this size work if it is a substantial savings over starting from scratch. If I do start from scratch, it would be a pole barn. I know you can build a larger pole barn for less money than a standard construction garage.
     
  12. Oct 26, 2016 #12

    havasu

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    Unless that has an enormous footing, I'd bust it out and start over. You won't have any regrets.
     
  13. Oct 27, 2016 #13

    Poseidon

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    What is the purpose of having an enormous footing? Wouldn't whatever footing it has to build a house on be substantial enough for a garage?
     
  14. Oct 27, 2016 #14

    Poseidon

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    ^ ^ ^ Can anyone answer this question? Ballpark?
     
  15. Oct 27, 2016 #15

    mustanggarage

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    if you want a 30 x 60 you are going to end up building twice in my opinion. basically the garage is never big enough. if you build on this foundation and build a 24x 48 you are going to have basically a large 2 car garage. I built a 40 x 60 and thought it was huge. now it is stuffed. I recommend building the 30 x 60 you are unlikely to be satisfied with the 24 x48 and end up wishing you had built the bigger garage in the long run. also since you are going to probably be building a floating slab. with I would guess 36 inch footings you will need to make sure all the ground in the middle of the footings are compacted properly to support the concrete. that is unlikely to have been done for a house or mobile home foundation. they would be building above this and not worried much about compacting that soil. I am no contractor, but I have built 3 garages and everytime the guys pouring the concrete spent a lot of time hauling in road base and compacting it to make sure the ground would not settle under the concrete. My suggestion. build the shop you want and do it right from the beginning.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2016 #16

    havasu

    havasu

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    Who is to say that was a foundation footing in the first place? Hell, it could have been a block perimeter rose garden. Have you yet to find out whether there is concrete under the blocks or not? This why I was trying to make sure it had a solid foundation.
     
  17. Oct 27, 2016 #17

    Chris

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    Probably saving a couple thousand in materials and labor on that existing footing.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2016 #18

    Chris

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    Were you ever able to dig down and check out the footing?
     
  19. Jan 10, 2018 #19

    jamesengland

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    It's adequate in size I thing. So you should build a strong structure with a road. Need to some tools for cars. you can go through some online site.
    Best of luck.
     
  20. Jan 10, 2018 #20

    Gary

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    Revived Thread. It would be nice to hear what the OP ended up doing.
     

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