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Whats the down side of a block shop. Steel prices have went up so much that steel buildings are getting high, with the hurricanes, wood has went up as well. At this point my most cost effective option for a shop is block. I have guys that will work for beer:) to lay block and finish my concrete.

I just was wondering whats the drawbacks of block. I am looking to build a 24x30 shop. Unfortunately its the biggest I can fit on my property:(

Thoughts, suggestions??
 

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I have been working out of a 30x50x12 cement block shop for the last 7 or 8 years. The front of the shop is finished in the same brick as the house and two car garage. I like the ability to attach my tube rack to the wall. The electric is all run in conduit, on the surface. I am building a new shop at another location, it is 60x100x16, with a 20x100 shed roof on the back. I went with steel this time, to match the 4stall barn.
 

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heavytlc said:
I have been working out of a 30x50x12 cement block shop for the last 7 or 8 years. The front of the shop is finished in the same brick as the house and two car garage. I like the ability to attach my tube rack to the wall. The electric is all run in conduit, on the surface. I am building a new shop at another location, it is 60x100x16, with a 20x100 shed roof on the back. I went with steel this time, to match the 4stall barn.
I want pics of that 60x100x16 when it gets done!

I'm currently working out of a concrete block garage next to my house. It's fine, except the person that lived here before me (and built the house and garage) built the garage into the side of a hill. This kinda helps keep a good temperature, but it leaks like crazy when we get some major downpours.

So basically, what I'm telling you, is don't build a block wall into the side of a hill.
 

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A bricklayer told me you need about twice the steel and concrete in the footings/slab to support block :(
 

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cdogg44 said:
I want pics of that 60x100x16 when it gets done!

I'm currently working out of a concrete block garage next to my house. It's fine, except the person that lived here before me (and built the house and garage) built the garage into the side of a hill. This kinda helps keep a good temperature, but it leaks like crazy when we get some major downpours.

So basically, what I'm telling you, is don't build a block wall into the side of a hill.
My shop is set back into the hill beside the house. I have no water problems. Ground level behind the shop is about 9feet +. I hope to take delivery of my building in 4-6 weeks, then I have to save up the cash for concrete. It will be spring before it is done, because I am paying cash for everything. When I am done it will be nice to not be making more payments than I already am.
 

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There's nothing with a block shop on a hillside if it's built and maintained properly. The house we're buying has one like this and it's fine. I've seen many this way with no issues. In fact, most of the ones I've seen/used/built have 3-12 courses of block and wood framing the rest of the way up.

If you want to think about a metal building type shop, Emily has a relative that works for Morton Building's and might give you a little bit of a deal. I don't know.
 

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Labor? Sounds like not an issue for you. :D

How tall. If you THINK 8' is fine, go with 10'. Height = storage on a small shop.

What type of roof? Rafters? 24 x 30 should allow rafters on that 24' side. Anything bigger than that means getting a helper to place them. (I did the 18' rafters solo with a push stick, with 24' would be nice to have a friend help).

Plumbing for air, electrical hook up. Yep, both mounted on the brick. I'm still doing external on the shop, as in Texas fireants love to get into electrical in the walls. Enough build in there to keep relay contacts open (i.e. AC units) or just create enough problems it is worth while to run conduit exposed so you see 'em long before the make a nest. No, no idea why.. but theory is they love the AC electric field.

Slab... just engineer it heavy enough. My 30' x 50' will have a brick front, the concrete guy laughed about my "bomb proof" slab (6" minimum floor, #5 rebar 16" o.c.).

Tom :usa:
 

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We have a block and spancrete building awesome construction...really spendy and now weve severely outgrown it...Iwould do block if I had to do it over
 

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cdogg44 said:
This kinda helps keep a good temperature, but it leaks like crazy when we get some major downpours.
Sounds like you need some perimeter drains to get that water away from the wall - like any house construction.
 

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Oxjockey said:
Sounds like you need some perimeter drains to get that water away from the wall - like any house construction.
Yeah, I don't doubt that we could. I was just saying that 20+ years worth of a big hill, spring thunderstorms, and probably some shady construction back in the day have taken its toll on our block walled garage. The back wall has a nice arch to it like it's ready to cave in (probably is, but it's looked that way since we moved in 10yrs ago).

I still think that over time a block and mortar wall up against dirt and a hillside will not be able to withstand all the water and weight. Now, if you filled the blocks full of concrete, then you'd probably have a much stronger and waterproof wall. Or better yet, form up your walls that are into the hillside and just pour them out of solid concrete.

If anyone wants to post the pics I'll show you my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks for all the advice.

Labor will not be an issue, i have a couple of guys from work that know how to lay block and they will help me. I also have a couple of uncles that will help. We will even finish the concrete ourselves. I was shooting for 10' walls, i may even consider 12'. Probably with scissor trusses and metal roofing. I want to keep it as fire resistant as i can. I know the footers and slab are critical for proper construction. I just have to design them, i have several contracter friends that can help.

I assume it will take longer to wire and run air lines since all the conduit will require wall anchors and such.

So do you guys with block shops, paint the block, use an epoxy sealer or what? Mine will be in the back yard, not visible from the road and hardly viewable from the driveway. I will probably bum the new airless sprayer from work and paint it.

Oh yeah, would you guys pour the footers and slab first, or pour the footers and get the shop under roof before pouring the slab?

I can post the pics of your problems cdogg, email them to me:

[email protected]
 

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At the prison.... :goofball:

They built the footings so there were two rows of rebar poking up out of the top. The inside row had a lower pour height - lower by a few inches, creating a shelf.

They'd bend down the inner row and tie it into the slab steel. Pour the slab, and build the block wall on the footing/slab joint. Rebar is spacing is such that it lines up with the holes in the block.

Also, you can run the electrical INSIDE the block wall. Often cheaper to install and looks super-clean afterwards. (add security screws and prevents your 'inmates' from tampering with the installation when they get too drunk :laughing: )

Put your horizontal conduit runs in the slab or footings, so you're only going vertical in the wall. You could go horizonal in the block, but now you're cutting blocks and weakening the wall. Less of an issue if you're using a pre-cut "bond-beam" style block and filling the wall solid after.

I'll stop now before it becomes too obvious how much time I've spent n prison :flipoff2:
 

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Don't sweat the wall anchors - block is the easiest stuff to drill there is outside of wood. You can punch right through with a 1/4" masonary bit. I like to use the hammer in expandable pegs for stuff like hangers.

Those things are the fastest/easiest way to hang boxes and conduit - and they are plenty strong. I love 'em...

Click here to see:

http://www.confast.com/products/metal-hit-anchor.asp
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the link and all the rebar advice.

we drill a lot of concrete for anchors here at work, but its a special high pressure concrete. MAJOR pain in the ass to work with, it just laughs at the hammer drill.
 

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No problem... When you pour the floor ask for the 6 bag mix - (or whatever they consider a strong concrete). It makes a difference. Also, when I poured my floor, I used fiber in place of screen in the mix - it ties the concrete together really well. Depending on where you live, with freeze and thaw cycles, rebar can tend to crack the concrete, which I was trying to avoid for a shop floor.

Also, if it is allowable in your area, dig in a gray water drain. What I typically do is to burry a 55 gallon drum below the floor - (punch it full of holes and fill it with coarse rock - also surround it with coarse rock to a foot or so). Then plumb a drain in the floor to it. Works great for the small amounts of water that runs off your car, etc. Don't expect to be able to use it for washing cars, etc., on a regular basis, but it will take some water from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
leech(sp) bed, good idea. I am only about 5 hours or so east of you in WV. I have thought about the fiber. So far its a 50/50 split on who i ask when it comes to fiber vs. screen. We have a major freeze/thaw cycle around here. Every slab at work is cracked and its all 6" or deeper. The one outside slab that is a 4", it raised about an inch.

again, thanks for the advice
 

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you should do a monopour, slab and footing in one pour , rebar and mesh, floor drains and at least stub in for plumbing, wont cost shit but will be priceless if you decide to add bathroom or utility sink later, engineered truss package, iso board and vapor barrier under floor
 

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JD EVANS said:
you should do a monopour, slab and footing in one pour , rebar and mesh, floor drains and at least stub in for plumbing, wont cost shit but will be priceless if you decide to add bathroom or utility sink later, engineered truss package, iso board and vapor barrier under floor

talk to an engineer first. monopours don't like clay.
 
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