Most people don't like to think about the foundation, they want to get straight to raising the walls. Turns out the foundation is the most important part of construction. Depending on how you do it, it can also be the most time consuming and the most expensive single element of the garage. In this section I go through all of the choices I had to make and exactly how I created a foundation that wouldn't settle or shift, and would hold the garage firmly in place no matter what kind of wind mother nature decides to throw at it.
In my particular case, a poured concrete foundation was out of the question. It was too expensive to haul concrete to my home, and it was not a job that I could tackle myself anyway. Be sure to give proper consideration to pouring a foundation, it might make sense for you even though it didn't for me.
Before I could even begin digging, I needed to have enough dirt. The area that I was building on was sloping, and it needed to be flat and at the highest ground level in order to maximize runoff effectiveness. Also, there needed to be a decent driveway area that sloped as gently as possible to the road. This meant I was going to need LOTS of dirt. And I didn't have the slightest idea where to get it.
Dirt Work 2
The first step in digging the foundation trench was to rope off a dig area. The bottom layer of blocks, called the footer, was going to be turned 90 degrees to the rest, so that they gave the foundation a width of 16 inches.
Laying the Footer
My foundation was going to consist of basically two parts. The bottom layer of block was called the Footer and was 16 inches wide. Then on top of that lay the actual foundation walls. The block for the foundation walls were turned so they were 8 inches wide instead of 16. So basically the narrow foundation walls sit on top of the wide footer.
Laying the Footer 2
So now it was time to lay the footer. Actually an entire winter passed between the last article and this one, so I had to dig out some cave-ins that occurred during the time off.
At this point, there were 2 possible courses of action. In many cases the concrete for the footer is poured first, with rebar placed so that they run up through the foundation walls, joining them to the footer. I wasn't sure if that was the best course of action or not, so I decided to buy the rest of the block I needed and set the foundation walls into place, just to make sure everything lined up properly.
Pouring the Foundation
At last, it was time to pour the foundation. My wife had taken off of work, it was early morning and we were getting everything prepared for the concrete truck to arrive. We had bought all of the anchors we needed, plus a couple extra just in case.