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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:42 pm 
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This is a description of the work I did last summer in the demolition of an old garage, groundworks for a new concrete base, the installation of the concrete sectional garage, and then the fitting of power and lighting etc to the newly installed garage.

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I live on the outskirts of London, UK. I had an old garage at the end of my garden, which has an access road behind it. The garage was far too small for my needs, plus the roof leaked and was generally a bit of an eyesore. This is the view from the rear of my property in the access road behind the garage:

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This is the view of the garage from the other side in my garden:

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I had decided to replace this garage with a concrete sectional garage from a company here in the UK called Lidget Compton. The reasons for this were mainly budgetary, it was much cheaper than hiring a builder to construct a brick built garage, and I did not feel I had the skills necessary to build one myself. The garage itself would be installed within a day by Lidget Compton. What I would have to do is to make a new concrete base for the garage to sit on. I could have hired someone to do this for me of course, but this seemed like something I could manage myself, and would therefore save me a lot of money also.
The concrete base would have to be flat and level, and extend by at least 3 inches beyond the outside dimensions of the planned garage on all sides. I decided I would make it 6 inches just to be sure. The garage size I decided I wanted was 24 feet 3 inches long (7.39 metres) and 12 feet 6 inches wide (3.81 metres). If I wanted 6 inches extra all the way around I would have to add on 1 foot to both the length and width of my concrete base.
The below diagram for the Lidget Compton website shows a cross sectional view of how a concrete base should be built to support one of their garages:

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I began this work in May 2016, hoping that it would be a generally dry warm summer. This would hopefully mean I could get all the work done and the concrete base laid by the end of August, as I was told ideally you don’t want to be pouring concrete in winter as it can freeze and crack whilst drying.
Before I could start groundworks for the new concrete base, I would of course first have to demolish the old garage that stood on the site. The main issue with this was the fact the roof was made of asbestos sheets. As I’m sure many of you are aware, this material needs to be handled with extreme care. I discovered my local council would collect and dispose of these sheets ‘free of charge’ (more on this later) as long as they were double wrapped in thick plastic sheeting with all the edges taped down.
So firstly, I bought some personal safety protection gear (from a store here in UK called Screwfix). This consisted of a mask, goggles, gloves, rubber boots, and an all-in-one protective overall with hood:

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It was very hot doing this work, but could not remove any of this protective gear once I had removed an asbestos sheet and completely wrapped in it plastic and sealed it up.
The asbestos sheets were bolted into the rafters and it took a bit of WD40 to loosen the bolts from decades of rust and remove each sheet from the roof.

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I had ten sheets in all. As I was removing the sheets I had to continually spray the sheets and the generally area and the air with a fine mist of water, to catch any airborne asbestos particles and bring them down to earth.

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Then I double wrapped each one in 1000ga plastic sheeting that I purchased from Screwfix. The plastic sheeting was actually designed as damp proof membrane, but as I didn’t seem to be able to buy bags or sheeting specific to this task I was advised to use this.

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Once it had been double wrapped and all the edges tapped down I moved them out into the front garden.

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I called the council to arrange collection. I was then informed they would only collect 6 sheets for free, and charged me £15 per sheet for the other 4 sheets, meaning a charge of £60. They collected them while I was at work from my front garden a few days later.

Next the fun part began:

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Firstly removed the rafters fairly easily, my angle grinder was useful in some needed cutting in places. Then a bit of muscle to knockdown the walls.

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I also had to wheelbarrow all the bricks away from the site onto the patio area at the back of my house. This was because I needed to clear the site so that a skip could be delivered to take all the bricks away, but I needed to knock 3 walls down to allow access for skip delivery. This meant making a huge pile behind my house:

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I also put up a tarpaulin barrier across the rear entrance to my garden where the garage once stood to stop anyone just walking in:

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Then arranged to have a skip delivered here:

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Skip hire was around £300. Then I used a wheelbarrow to move my pile of bricks back down the garden and into the skip:

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I did not get rid of all the old bricks however. Part of the new larger concrete base would sit where the grass was in my garden. This would mean I would need hardcore where the grass was, and some old bricks would be perfect. So I kept back this amount:

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Next I would have to break up the old concrete base. I had been informed you should not lay a new concrete base on top of an old one. The new base will not ‘grip’ the old base underneath and you can get the situation where the new base ‘slides’ on top of the old one. To prevent this I would have to break up the old base, and the rubble would become my hardcore level for the new concrete base. To do this I hired a Hilti TE-1000 AVR Vibration Damped Breaker, and a petrol powered generator to power it:

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I used this with the chisel attachment to slowly break up the old concrete base that the old garage had sat on. This was extremely hard work, as it vibrates your whole body as you use it and becomes exhausting after 20 mins or so. I had to keep taking breaks to sit down and rest. Also the unit is quite heavy, and occasionally would shoot straight through the concrete into the earth below and get stuck. I would then have to really struggle to yank this machine out of the tight hole it had wedged itself into.

It took me a couple of days, but eventually all the old concrete base had been broken up:

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The skip was then collected, and I dug out the turf and earth at the end of the garden to extend the area for my new concrete base:

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I then filled this area with the old bricks I had kept back form the old garage:

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I then broke up these old bricks with the Hilti breaker to make my hardcore layer:

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I also broke up the paving stones leading up to the old garage, which would also become hardcore for the base, and dug a small ditch to the right of this and also filled it with broken up pieces of brick:

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I also had to dig a ditch to the left of the old concrete base, as I was extending over that side also:

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For this message the author vegaheart2010 has received gratitude : DmitriKara
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:05 pm 
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This ditch was eventually dug along the entire length of the base, and again filled in with broken pieces of old brick:

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Next stage was to set up the formwork (or shuttering). This is essentially a timber box that runs around the outside of where you will pour the concrete into to create your base. This formwork needs to be precisely level all the way around, as this will determine if your concrete base is level or not. It must also be square.

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It was helpful at this stage to have my father assist me as this really is a two man job to get each piece of timber level with the next one. Eventually I got all the timber in position and completely level. This took a few days to do as it was the height of summer and was extremely hot and my father rather suffered in the heat (as did I!) The timber on the right side of the base was fixed to my neighbours garage wall with his permission. This meant I would not be able to remove it after we had poured the concrete base, which was fine:

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The base must also be completely square, as in the distance between each diagonal opposite corner is the same as the distance between the other two diagonally opposite corners. This created a problem as at the corner in the bottom right of the photo above you can see I had to cut the formwork in slightly because of my neighbours fence. You can see it better in the photo below:

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This meant we effectively had 2 squares inside our base, so we just measured them as separate squares, and got them both square with a few adjustments to the formwork until I was happy.
I also decided to put double timber pieces all the way round to prevent the concrete oozing out from underneath the upper timber piece:

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This was not necessary on the opposite side where the timber was fixed to my neighbour’s garage wall and so there was nowhere for the concrete to escape to.
Next I ordered steel wire mesh (I believe named rebar in some other countries). This would make the concrete base reinforced, and makes it more tensile and less likely to crack under temperature changes.

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I laid out the larger pieces, overlaying them slightly so they could be tied together later. Then I cut the remaining pieces with my angle grinder to fit in the gaps on the right hand side:

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Due to the fact there is no room on the right side to stand after pouring the concrete and level it off with a board, I would have to stand in the concrete as it was poured and level it off from within. This meant constructing my own tamping board, as I could not find a decent piece of wood long enough:

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I had to use 2 scaffolding boards and bolt them together, making sure they were 100% straight, otherwise my concrete base would not be level.
I then used this board to again check my formwork timbers were 100% level all the way around:

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I then hired a vibrating wacker plate machine to compact down all the hardcore over the entire site. This only took an hour or two.

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I then re-laid all my steel mesh, just to check it all looked fine with the newly compacted hardcore. I also inserted the steel pipe containing the power cable that used to service the old garage through the side of the formwork. I put it to be a few inches below the surface with another steel pipe coming up a few inches above the surface with the cable inside, and about 3 inches inside where I planned the new garage wall would be.

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Next I took up the wire mesh again. I ordered 2 large bags of sand.

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The sand is a layer to go between the hardcore and the damp proof membrane. If you lay the damp proof membrane directly over the hardcore, the hard sharp edges of the bricks etc could puncture it. I laid the sand approx. 5 cm thick over the entire site.

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You can see at the bottom of the photo above I also placed old bricks on the outside of the formwork to support the weight of the concrete I would pour into it whilst it would be drying.
I then bought 1200ga damp proof membrane and laid it on top of the sand:

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I stapled the upper edges of the membrane to the top of my formwork timbers to stop it from slipping. I placed the first piece of the steel mesh down on top of that. I also had plastic spacers for the wire mesh to sit in similar to this one below:

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This allows the mesh to be sat up in the concrete, not right at the very bottom.
I only had the first wire mesh section down as my hope was the concrete mixer truck would be able to reverse into my property and drive onto my damp proof membrane and we could pour the concrete directly into the far corner from the truck itself. Therefore I did not want the truck driving over the steel mesh.
This is how the site looked the morning of the concrete pour:

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You can just make out the black plastic spacers holding up the wire mesh. The shuttering closest in the photo was removed to allow the concrete mixer truck to reverse into the site. The plan was once the truck had poured the other end and pulled back into the access road, my father would quickly reinsert this shuttering, whilst I worked on levelling the other end, and then once the shuttering was secure, pour concrete into this end.
This is my friend Dexter on the right who came along to help out with the concrete pour:

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Sadly I did not get any photos of the concrete pour itself as it was quite frantic. I had ordered from a company that had a truck that mixed the concrete onsite. The advantage to this was you could have exactly the amount required. When it is mixed offsite and delivered to you, you have to take all the concrete you ordered. This means if you have overestimated how much you needed, the truck is left with a load of concrete inside, but he can’t leave it there to set inside the truck. He HAS to pour it out, so you are going to end up having to find somewhere to pour it. A difficult situation.
Mixing onsite means he just keeps mixing concrete a bit at a time until you don’t need anymore.
Unfortunately the onsite mixing truck was larger than I had estimated, and though he could certainly reverse up the access road to the site, he could not turn in to my garden to pour it at the other end first. This meant having the shuttering out at the access road end had been a waste of time, and also not putting all the steel mesh in beforehand. However I had planned for this possibility of course, and it was very difficult to know whether the truck would be able to reverse into the site or not, he almost made it, but not quite.
I had three big builders rakes, and two shovels and a spade ready. Another friend of mine, Imran, also joined us, so there were three of us doing the concrete pour whilst my father reattached the shuttering at the access road end. The concrete came down a long chute and the three of us used our rakes the push the concrete down to the other end of the site. This was physically very hard work!

Once it was starting to fill up we placed the remaining steel mesh sections with the plastic spacers already attached into the concrete. Doing it this way meant we were unable to tie the six mesh sections together which was a shame. Then we went along with my tamping board and let it sit on the shuttering boards and slowly moved the board from left to right. This moved the excess concrete off to the sides. Slowly I pulled the tamping board back toward the access road end, always moving it from left to right as I did so. Occasionally my father would shout out saying there was a gap between the bottom of the tamping board and the concrete. So we would shovel in a bit of concrete until it looked right and then carried on. I had an empty dustbin ready at the access road end and I asked the concrete truck driver to fill it with concrete before he left in case we had any gaps. Good job I did as we found a few, and used almost all of that dustbin full of concrete.
Eventually we got down to the access road end and were finished. Then it was a case of smoothing the surface over with a concrete float I had hired. My friend Dexter did this for me as he had had experience doing it in Barbados.

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Eventually we got it all smoothed out and was pretty happy with it. Unfortunately, it then started to lightly rain for about 20 minutes. After it finished raining, we came back out and went over it again with the concrete float to smooth over any indentations the rain had made. We got it nice and smooth again, but it then started to rain again, a little heavier this time and for longer. I was then forced to make a decision. Either leave it to rain on the concrete surface and hope if it did stop raining later I could still smooth it over, or cover it with a tarpaulin I had ready for this possibility. I chose to cover it over.
This was possible a mistake. The next day when I removed the tarpaulin it had left an imprint on the surface, so I no longer had a smooth finish. However, I’m not sure what the finish would have been like if I had let it rain on to the surface all night.

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This was a shame, but not a disaster. It also looked worse in the wet, when it was dry it improved.

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Another job that needed to seeing to was my neighbours exterior garage wall on the right of the photo above. There had been a ramshackle brick built shed between my garage and my neighbours wall. The previous owner had tied his wall and the rafters for the shed into my neighbours wall. My neighbour at a later date then rendered his wall, but had to obviously do it around the shed wall and rafter line. This meant when I demolished the shed, there was a missing section in my neighbours render that you can also see in the photo above.
So I rendered the missing section for my neighbour, it only seemed fair. I was the only one who would be able to see it and it was a bit unsightly. Also, as my new garage would be built about a one foot distance from his wall, once it was installed he would no longer be able to access it.

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I then painted the newly rendered section.

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I then repainted the entire wall for my neighbour, as again I would be the only one looking at it, and it did need it to be honest.

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I also repainted the wooden facia board at the top, to try and protect it for as long as possible, as again, once my garage was installed it would be very difficult for my neighbour to access. I had him round to check it and make sure he was happy with it.
This job was done in the month I had to leave between the concrete being poured and the garage being delivered, to allow the concrete base to fully cure.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:25 pm 
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I removed the shuttering from the concrete base after a week. I also noticed at the bottom of my concrete base on the left-hand side that some of the sand etc had been forced out.

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I decided to run a small amount of concrete along the edge just to protect the edge of my hardcore base underneath the new base.

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Seemed to fix the problem pretty easily.
Then my garage was delivered a few weeks later. Here you can see the concrete sections:

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These are the galvanised steel roof sheets:

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Garage door:

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Window, access door, rafters and facia boards:

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You can see the concrete sections have pre-drilled holes that the installers use to bolt the garage together:

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These bolts through these holes proved important for the interior work later.
The next day the installers returned to build the garage. I was at work, but managed to get a few photos from my CCTV system:

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I kept checking my CCTV app at work to see how they were getting on. Incredibly they had built it and finished in 3 hours. My father went around halfway thought to see if they were ok and needed anything.
I came home to my brand new garage, so pleased:

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This is the view from the access road behind my property:
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And with the door shut:
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Inside toward the garage door:
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Inside toward the access door and window:
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Outside in my garden:
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The roof sheets:
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View from upstairs in my house looking over the garden and garage:
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Next was to outfit the interior of the garage.....


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:48 pm 
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The next project was to outfit the interior of my new Lidget Compton concrete sectional garage. The first order of business was to install power and lighting.
However, one drawback with concrete sectional garages over brick built ones are that you cannot drill into the concrete sections. It will invalidate the 10 year guarantee I got from Lidget Compton. Therefore I had to come up with a way to fix lights, cabling, power sockets etc to the interior walls of the garage without drilling into the concrete walls.
The way I did it was by seeing a trick they had used in a showroom garage I had seen to fix some shelving units. You could buy metal clips to fit over the bolts that held each concrete section to the next one:

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It meant temporarily removing one bolt, putting the clip over the bolt at one end, reinserting the bolt, putting a clip on the other end, and then tightening on the nut. There were three bolts at the top middle and bottom of each section, so removing one for a few seconds was no problem.

This was the first piece of wood installed, by simply fixing some screws through the end of the metal clip into the wood. A very simple a neat solution.

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In the photo below you can see my power cable in the metal pipe coming up through the concrete base.

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I bought a consumer box and mounted up as high as I could so it would be out of the way:

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Then it was a case of installing more vertical wooden studwork between each concrete section, and fixing horizontal studwork in between them, so I could running cabling from the consumer box:

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The first job was to run a power cable to a plug halfway along the length of the garage on the rafter, as I needed power here for the electric motor to power the garage door:

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Then it was a case of continuing to install vertical studwork at each concrete section all the way round the garage so I could run cabling for power sockets and lights:

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Then I installed the back boxes for the power sockets and light switches:

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My father came in and actually wired it up for me as I wasn’t too confident with that:

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We installed 4 LED batten lights, 2 on each side, can’t remember what wattage they were:

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Also installed the power sockets and light switches:

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Also installed one power socket with USB charger:

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Pretty bright from outside at night :-)

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The installers then returned to install the electric motor to open the garage door. It only took them 30 minutes. The motor opens and closes the door and locks it. It also has a light come on when you open the door and stays on for a few minutes to help light your way:

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There is an arm attached to the door that runs in a track that is pulled by the motor:

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Next job was to build a ramp from the concrete base down to the access road behind the garage so I would be able to drive my car inside. I dug out the area, and used timber from the shuttering from the concrete base to create new shuttering for the ramp. I had to make sure the top of the shuttering was of course lower than the top of the concrete base to make the ramp gradient. You can also see the old concrete base sticking out from beneath the new one, it didn’t bother breaking up this small left over section:

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I decided I would make the concrete for this ramp myself. I bought ballast and cement:

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I placed the ballast in the ramp section to estimate how many I was going to need:

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I also put a damp proof membrane down as I had some left over (with some left over sand underneath):

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Again, I placed bricks behind the shuttering to help the timber take the load of the concrete.
I hired a concrete mixer for the day to help make it a bit easier:

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Then it was simply mixing the ballast and cement in the mixer (one part cement to four parts ballast) pouring in some water until it was sliding round in the mixer, then unloading it into my wheelbarrow and then onto the top of the damp proof membrane.
Then just had to level it out but with a slight gradient going down from the top of the concrete base to the top of the shuttering. I made the concrete not too wet otherwise it would self level out and not make a slope.
My friend Imran and his son showed up around lunchtime to help out. Good job too as I actually ran out of ballast and had to go and but a couple of extra bags, so Imran carried on mixing while I was gone.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Once the ramp was completed, I let it start to dry for a couple of hours, then came back and got a piece of wood and press some lines into it, and used a hard brush broom to dapple the surface also. This means it will have some grip for me when I’m walking on it and also for the tyres of my car.

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The next job was to sort out the surface of the concrete base inside the garage. The new concrete surface was very dusty. This is quite normal, but it meant I was tracking this concrete dust from my shoes back through the house. I bought some PVA glue, mixed it with water, and then painted it on to the surface with a paint roller. This bonds the top of the surface to the rest of the base below, sealing it, and stops it being so dusty. You can see the painted surface on the left of the picture below, and the dusty non-painted side on the right.

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I let the PVA glue dry overnight and then did another coat. Once that was dry I painted the floor with garage floor paint:

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I was very happy with the result, and no more dusty surface.
A few days later when I was happy the ramp section was completely dry, so I removed the shuttering, and filled in the gap between the edge of the concrete and the access road with shingle stones. This also supports the edge of the concrete when driving over it so that it won’t crumble and crack.

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Finally I could move my car inside! :-)

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I also made a step at the entrance from the garden at the access door. Easy really, some simple shuttering and mix up a bit of concrete in a wheelbarrow:

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Next I concreted in a post at the access road end to make a fence to block off the gap between my garage and next door’s garage:

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Then I bought some fence panel, cut them to size, painted them with wood preserver (along with the post itself) and nailed them in to the post and the piece of wood that was already attached to next doors garage:

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I also put a post topper on top to protect it, and stapled on some rubber over the top of the top fence panel also:

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I also put a bit of concrete at the bottom of the fence to fill the gap and stop foxes getting under there:

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I bought some shelving units from a company called Big Dug. They were self assembly, pretty simple and very sturdy:

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I also got some brackets to secure them to the studwork:

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I bought a workbench from Big Dug also:

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I then used the studwork to hang all my tools and ladders etc:

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I also bought an anti-fatigue mat to put in front of the workbench. This has proved to be a real bonus. I found before when doing work on something on the work bench my feet got cold and tired after a while and this mat stopped that:

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I also used the studwork to put up some shelves:

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I put up some MDF on the studwork to be able to hang other stuff:

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I then installed a timber weather bar along the inside of the garage door. I found that leaves and rainwater were blowing in under the small gap at the bottom of door. Lidget Compton offered to install one as an extra, but at the time I decided against it. But anyway it gave me another nice job to do. I left a couple of centimetres gap between the door and the weather bar as everything will expand and contract during summer/winter:

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I made the timber bar out of two pieces of wood. As one car tyre will hit one piece of wood, and the other car tyre hits the other, I felt this would stop the weather bar coming under too much stress. I also ran sealant along the inside and outside of the timber bar to stop and water creeping in under the weather bar. It works really well.

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On the outside of the garage, there was a very small gap between my garage and the garage next door:

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It is quite a small gap, I couldn’t fit down it, but perhaps children might be able to. Either way for privacy and security I decided I wanted to block this gap off. However, I could not make a small fence panel here like I had done on the other side. This was because I could not drill into the concrete panels to fix an fence panel to, as I mentioned before this would invalidate the warranty. So I decided to build a small brick wall instead.
First of all I screwed in a piece of wood into my neighbours garage wall (with his permission). This was to reduce the distance ever so slightly in between my garage and my neighbours garage:

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Then I simply had two bricks at each level, and alternated the orientation of the bricks at each level. I had to buy 50 bricks and cost me £48 including delivery.

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I put wet mortar in between the bricks and the garage side, it keyed in quite nicely to the garage spar finish surface. Every few bricks I put a long galvanised nail into the piece of wood I had previously fixed to my neighbours garage wall. This nail I slotted in to the mortar gap in-between the bricks. This meant the wall was tied into my neighbour’s garage wall, so couldn’t possibly be pushed over.

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At a later date I put a single roof tile on top with some mortar underneath, at a slight angle to let the rain run off it. I had to cut the roof tile down to size with my angle grinder:

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I also extend the end of the drainpipe as the one originally installed let the water pour out onto the concrete base itself, now it flows out into the flower bed:

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When installing the garage, Lidget Compton had put in a sand and cement fillet all around the interior where the concrete panels meet the floor:

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This fillet ensures water cannot creep under the concrete panels and into the garage. I decided now the garage was installed I would put another fillet on the outside edge. This would make doubly sure no water got into the garage or simply just under the concrete panel. Any water that got under there in winter could freeze. When water freezes it expands and could potentially crack the interior sand and cement fillet or even the concrete panel itself. So having another barrier on the outside seemed like a good idea:

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On the right hand side of the garage I could not create a barrier much further than just around a corner as I cannot fit down the gap between the two garages:

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I then painted the outside fillet white:

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I put some slate pieces down over the gap between the garden and the concrete base. If you recall from earlier, I had poured some concrete along the edge of the concrete base to keep all the hardcore and sand at the edge inside, but it looked a bit unsightly, now it’s much better:

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Next I installed a security method at the rear of the garage. They are ‘anti-climb’ strips, preventing anyone from using the rear ledge of the garage to pull themselves up and onto the roof and then into my back garden. I had originally glued them on with a special adhesive, but was not very impressed with it. So it went and used tiny screws that did not go all the way through the UPVC facia:

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I also put them along the top of my fence panel to the side:

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I had to put this notice up (on the right) on the garage door to warn people the spikes are there:

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I also installed a fire extinguisher near the access door just in case:

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I bought this sealant and sealed up where each concrete section meets the next one on the exterior. Essentially there is no gap between the sections, as they are bolted together and very tight fitting, but I just thought it couldn’t do any harm:

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I installed a white board also, in case I want to sketch out any future projects etc:

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And that’s about it. I may paint the outside spar finish of the garage at some point in the future. I really enjoyed planning and carrying out all these works, and learned a lot of new skills. Hope you enjoyed reading this also.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Fantastic read and well done with the man cave, it looks really good.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:23 am 
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Great read and enjoyed seeing the whole project through well done that man.



For this message the author RING has received gratitude : vegaheart2010
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:12 am 
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@ vegaheart2010. Report received, there is a 20 minute time limit in which you can edit a post. After that it is not possible, this is to prevent spammers inserting links later.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:12 pm 
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My Son has the same garage but wants to add panels to the inside and add ceiling insulation?
Did you have any thoughts on this as you already had the stud work?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Yes, once you have the studwork framework you could then fix panels to the studwork with insulation on the back (you can buy stuff like this in Wickes or B&Q). For the roof you could easily fix more studwork between the rafters to make a framework to again add panels with insulation on the back to insulate it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:26 pm 
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I love how well you've documented each step! Great project mate, you deserve the congrats

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