Level floor for garage workshop

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Blog series by jciccare updated 11-20-2015 07:07 PM 8 parts 12951 reads 7 comments total

Part 1: My goal is "plane"

03-03-2015 05:05 PM by jciccare | 1 comment »

I’ve always been a DIY-er on a modest scale, tackling home repairs and small projects within the limits of my ability. No workshop other than sawhorses and a WorkMate, and basic tools to match—a no-frills circular saw, Sawzall, handheld electric drills, levels, wrenches, files, C-clamps. My Ryobi 10” job site table saw is only thing resembling a “wood shop tool”—I bought it to reconstruct the rotted-out tapered drain floor of a small outside window well. ...

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Part 2: A mockup to check the concept and show the "client"

03-03-2015 10:16 PM by jciccare | 0 comments »

My goal was a level floor supported by 2×4 joists. But the concrete floor’s compound slope steepens even more toward the highest (northwest) corner. If I started the joist frame in that corner, the finish floor would start 4.25” off the concrete at the highest point (3.5” joist + 0.75” ply). That would cut into my desired minimum 8’-0” headroom—and I’d pay that 3.5” penalty over the entire 12’ x 28’ shop area, with a st...

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Part 3: Building the border, piece by piece

03-04-2015 12:58 AM by jciccare | 4 comments »

I began constructing the perimeter by setting up the laser just high enough that the beam—representing the top of the joists / bottom plane of the flooring—just nicked the high (NW) corner. I Sharpie-d a blue line where the laser’s red sweep met the walls and studs. The results were in line with my earlier mockup. To accommodate the wide range of vertical offsets from concrete to joists, I used several approaches around the perimeter. At the southwest corner is a s...

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Part 4: Completing the perimeter with cripple walls

11-20-2015 02:43 PM by jciccare | 0 comments »

Three sides of the shop, shown in the previous blog entry, have existing walls. The fourth side, at the mid-line of the garage, is two steps (12”-15”) above the compound-sloped concrete floor. I built two cripple walls to support those ends of the floor joists—a long straight run between the glu-lam beam’s support columns, and a shorter segmented run near the back doors that is indented to accommodate the french doors’ in-swing. (A few photos are from later ...

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Part 5: Intermediate supports for the floor joists

11-20-2015 03:16 PM by jciccare | 0 comments »

When designing the floor system, because of the large variation in needed support height (1” near the “shallow” end, ~15” near the “deep end”) and the concrete floor’s compound slope, I had decided against using tapered PT joists (2×12 / 2×10 / 2×8 / 2×6…) anchored directly to the concrete floor. Instead, the floor would be supported on 12’ 2×4s whose ends attach to the perimeter using Simpson joist hangers, with ...

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Part 6: Completing 2/3 of the floor

11-20-2015 04:59 PM by jciccare | 1 comment »

With the support framing in place it was time to add the floor in 2/3 of the shop area. The other 1/3 would await framing of the low-clearance corner. I had scored 12 sheets of tongue-and-groove 3/4” construction ply off Craigslist. I was a bit worried that the ragged-looking tongues and grooves would require time-consuming rework in order to mate but that turned out not to be an issue—a simple pass with a wire brush and hand saw took care of the minor defects. I started a...

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Part 7: Completing the "shallow end"

11-20-2015 05:36 PM by jciccare | 0 comments »

With the ceramic studio’s cabinets and work table in place on the completed 2/3 of the shop floor, it was time to finish the complicated “shallow” end, where the plywood-to-concrete clearance tapers to nothing at the northwest corner. Earlier measurements had shown that only a relatively small right triangle based at that corner would need custom tapered PT stringers. The rest of the unfinished 1/3 could be framed with joists hung from a diagonal “rim” joist on...

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Part 8: Completed workshop/studio floor in use

11-20-2015 07:07 PM by jciccare | 1 comment »

At this writing (November 20, 2015) our new shop floor has been in use for several months—she making pots and art, me making more sawdust :). Here’s the result—pretty ordinary-looking, but we both remember the planning and effort whenever we enjoy the warm, solid, level surface under our feet and roll stuff around to make room for projects. CERAMIC STUDIO The “railing” in front of the pottery wheel isn’t a hand-hold. It supports a canvas tar...

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