Converting Carport to Woodworking Shop

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Paul Joseph Hilchey

New User
Paul
[FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]I have questions for anyone who has converted a carport to a woodworking shop. The house that we moved into last September was built in 1962 and is in good shape. The concrete floors are about 4” thick with welded / galvanized 4”-square mesh over about 8” of crushed stone. [Plumbers had to jack hammer the floor in a nearby bathroom to repair / relocate a shower drain.][/FONT]



[FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]The carport inside dimensions are 12' wide and 30' deep with the house basement on the left. The front edge of the carport floor drops 1” from the house to the right and 5.5” from there to the right-rear. The left edge (house side) drops 1” from the front to left-rear and 5.5” from the left-rear to the right-rear. Plus, the right-rear corner has cracked diagonally about 3' back from the corner towards the house and front. The right edge has a 2' high by 1' wide wall from front to back. There are four “true” 4”x6” posts on the wall supporting the roof and two matching columns at the house corners. I plan to replicate that wall across the front leaving a 3'-wide by 4'-deep opening (boxed-in on right and rear) for access to the electric meters and energy controls (trash cans can hide there). I plan to replicate that wall across the rear leaving a 3'-wide opening for a rear door. Above the low wall(s) I plan to frame with modern 2”x6”s and install small windows in each of the 9' to 10' openings between the posts (front, right side and rear walls).[/FONT]


[FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]My 1[SUP]st[/SUP] questions are “What is the best way to level the floor for the walls and reinforce the floor crack (where the rear door will be)?” One thought was to build a concrete frame for a 12”-wide base for the block / brick low walls (putting re-bar about 2” back from the 2 frame faces). Pour a level wall footer, build an 8”-wide block wall on top of it, and face it with matching red brick. Of course the front wall will be easy with just a 1” drop; the rear wall may take extra re-bar across the door opening and beyond (about 5' or 6' total). Has anyone had to do this? Should I dig down below the edges of the floor (slab) to pour a footer? Should the footer (if recommended) be a full 12' or just the width of the door plus a little? The wall is not load-bearing but the floor (slab) will need to support the block, brick, framing, windows, door, etc.[/FONT]


[FONT=Trebuchet MS, sans-serif]Once enclosed, the floor inside will need leveling. One big pour will be hard to estimate and very costly. A second thought was to divide the floor into 4' squares divided by treated lumber that is level on the top edges. Then use a small concrete mixer and Sakrete Sand Mix (5,000 PSI) to pour a level floor one square at a time. My 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] questions are “Does anyone know of a better / easier way to level a floor without spending a fortune? Eventually I would like to put something over this concrete to make it easier on the feet. Does any member have suggestions? I really want to do the carport-to-shop conversion correctly![/FONT]
 

golfdad

Co-director of Outreach
Dirk
Corporate Member
first thing you need to consider is can you put in a proper footing for the masonry. No masonry wall should be installed on a concrete floor. The floor should float per say between the walls. Second is if you use a concrete mix use a floor leveling mix not plain Sakrete.
 

DaveD

New User
Dave
Guess it all depends on if you plan to have it inspected or not. I'm from the old school that says keep inspectors at arms length if at all possible.

I helped someone do this over 30 years ago. As far as I know he never had a problem structurally. Looked like part of the house when done.

Consider that the roof is already adequately structurally supported. Don't mess with that. In filling with 2x6 is overkill. Use 2x4 standard construction. All the walls have to do is support themselves.Can you do this with some kind of siding that will look good vs have to build a brick veneer wall? Adequately supporting the brick/veneer is the challenge.

As to the sloping floor. Ignore it. If you have too just cutoff or shim up your workbench legs to accommodate the sloping loot. It will cost you a fortune, one way or another, to fix the floor. Floor leveling compound isn't cheep and is probably only good for a few inches thickness at best. Just use the back corner as storage if the 5-½" slope bugs you.
 

gritz

Robert
Senior User
Build perimeter walls with standard 2x4 construction. Inside the space use treated wood sleepers scribed to level the slab. Then put 3/4 ply down for the new floor. Use siding for the exterior
 

Paul Joseph Hilchey

New User
Paul
Thanks Much!

Guess it all depends on if you plan to have it inspected or not. I'm from the old school that says keep inspectors at arms length if at all possible.

I helped someone do this over 30 years ago. As far as I know he never had a problem structurally. Looked like part of the house when done.

Consider that the roof is already adequately structurally supported. Don't mess with that. In filling with 2x6 is overkill. Use 2x4 standard construction. All the walls have to do is support themselves.Can you do this with some kind of siding that will look good vs have to build a brick veneer wall? Adequately supporting the brick/veneer is the challenge.

As to the sloping floor. Ignore it. If you have too just cutoff or shim up your workbench legs to accommodate the sloping loot. It will cost you a fortune, one way or another, to fix the floor. Floor leveling compound isn't cheep and is probably only good for a few inches thickness at best. Just use the back corner as storage if the 5-½" slope bugs you.
 

novice99

New User
Mike
+1 to flooring over top of the sloping concrete with treated lumber in a grid with styrofoam in between the sleepers covered with ply.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Leveling the floor would not be an issue for a wood shop but, depending on how many hours per day you intend on spending in the shop may. Concrete is brutal to stand on for any length of time. If you intend to spend alot of time consider some sort of (probably level) sub flooring.
 
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