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Thread: Shack Built Into Slope - Foundation/Floor Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    West Simsbury, CT
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    56

    Default Shack Built Into Slope - Foundation/Floor Help

    My 12x16 shack was built into a slope by the prior property owner with basic 2x4 construction. It sits on the ground with a pressure treated wood sill (hopefully) and has a field stone foundation on one gable end. The floor is dirt, which I covered with Tyvek and crushed stone temporarily, and it actually slopes downward inside. There a 12” difference between the ground and top wall plate at each gable. From the photos you can see where the building steps down with the slope. Surface water drainage is a problem as well.

    I would like to build a proper level foundation and floor, either of concrete or wood (if wood, a concrete pad under the evaporator as others have done here) and get the shack off the ground. I am thinking about jacking up the shack and installing a cinder block perimeter and with a retaining wall and drainage at the high end. The wall height a difference makes lifting the shack and pouring a slab a challenge. Open to your suggestions. Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mts, Ulster County NY
    Posts
    559

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    Having just replaced my dirt floor in the old section of my shack with concrete (last summer), and built an addition to the shack on a concrete slab, that's the solution I'd recommend. It was a ton of work, but it is fantastic. But you can go wood off of a footing/blocks/slab if that gets you high enough to solve the grade issue. Without seeing it in person, this would be a very general suggestion. If you can find/borrow some porch (screw) jacks, you can raise the building high enough to get the wok done. Run two girders of steel or big enough 2bys to support the load, and use the jacks to raise those evenly. Support the raised girders/structure with solid cribbing - not concrete blocks because they are not designed for a point load and may collapse without warning. Be safe, not sorry. If it's beyond your abilities, get someone in to do it that knows what they are doing.

    I dug out the ground/rock on the high side of my shack, and will have to do some more work on the grade this year, but no drainage issues as of yet. I'd do just about anything to get off a dirt floor!
    Gary / Zena Crossroads / 42˚ 00' 24" N / Hobby in Early '70s, Addiction since 2014

    160+ taps on 3/16 (45 of which are on Lunchbox Vac/Releaser)
    12x34 timber framed sap house w/attached 10x14 shed roof for storage
    2 x 6 Smoky Lake hybrid pan on Corsair arch with AUF/steam hood/preheater/concentric exhaust
    7.0 KW Sun Power PV System, Smokey Lake Filter Press/Steam Bottler, NGMP 100 gph RO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    368

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    I don't think what you're thinking can be justified. For the effort and headaches, I think you could dismantle the structure and rebuild it cheaper. Or at least it will seem like it in the end.
    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    391

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    I'm with Taptaptap above, the foundation work is extremely difficult with a building in your way for the whole project, unless you can jack it up 8 feet or so. Depending on the resources and skills you have it may be easier to rebuild on a fresh foundation. Or possibly move the building over out of the way to rebuild the foundation and move it back on top. I have seen a lot of old barns in my area moved like this.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    West Simsbury, CT
    Posts
    56

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    Thanks for all the responses. The more I look at it, the building is actually stepped down in 3 different heights. It would be a challenge to get the cinders to match level. And, not sure it would even hold up if I was able to move it to the side since there is no level sill. I’ll probably repurpose what I can given the increased lumber prices and start fresh. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    391

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    Do you have the option to just start over in a new location and save that building for extra storage? Are there any local sawmills nearby that sell rough sawn lumber? Much more affordable than box store or lumber yard prices these days, especially if you've got your own trees they can saw.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

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