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Old 10-25-2016, 05:23 AM   #1
Poseidon
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Default What is the better option?

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?


IMG_3692.jpg   IMG_3693.jpg   IMG_3694.jpg   IMG_3695.jpg   IMG_3696.jpg  

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Old 10-25-2016, 07:26 AM   #2
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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.


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Old 10-25-2016, 02:38 PM   #3
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Have you dug down to see how big the footing is?
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:40 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:41 PM   #5
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Looks like a foundation for a double-wide, if one end was open.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Looks like a foundation for a double-wide, if one end was open.
That was my first thought Rusty, but who knows....
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldognewtrick View Post
That was my first thought Rusty, but who knows....
Well the size is right.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:28 AM   #8
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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?

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Old 10-26-2016, 12:37 AM   #9
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Here are a few more pictures.
IMG_3703.jpg   IMG_3702.jpg   IMG_3699.jpg   IMG_3698.jpg   IMG_3697.jpg  

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Old 10-26-2016, 02:17 AM   #10
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Are the blocks sitting on a footing? If so, how wide and deep is it?


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