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Building a raised workshop on posts

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roxy002

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Can anyone see a problem with building a workshop and using 4x4 post concreted into the ground as the foundation? I'm not sure of the size yet, but it will take up a large area. I'm confident in starting my build this way, as I've done plenty of raised decking in the past which has taken a lot of weight and never failed, and sailed through winters with no problems. Any advice/experience on this topic anyone?
 

Phil Pascoe

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Why don't you build concrete or block/brick pillars, and take your timber work from there? I wouldn't concrete posts into the ground by choice.
 

andyw

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Could I ask why you're raising off the ground? Uneven ground? Flooding etc? How far do you want to raise, as this will need to included in any allowances potentially for planning / permitted development. I've built a large raised summerhouse off the ground due to flooding using 5x5 wooden posts - very substantial with 6x2 floor joists and double 18mm floor. I don't think I would be happy putting heavy woodworking machinery in there though. As another has commented I would go trench or pad foundations with blockwork upto the required level and then workshop on top with substantial floor.
 

AndyT

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If you do want to put vertical timber posts down to concrete, there is a potential problem when the bottoms of the posts stay wet and then rot. There was a thread on here about a year or more ago which was about searching for - and then finding - a sort of galvanised steel socket for the end of the timber which was then held off the ground on a stout steel pin. It looked a good idea!
 

twothumbs

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An Architect back in the late 50’s or early 60’s, Walter Segel, erected a temporary house in his garden whilst he renovated his London home. It proved interesting and somewhat new and took the interest of self-build groups who went on to use the method in many areas of the country. In time, things got less temporary but still very interesting. He could infill with panels, glazing, vents, etc.

The construction was something like 8x2’s timber posts (or to suit floor spans) with joists bolted either side. Roof was the same. This post and beam construction was easy to build, no cranes, heavy lifts and so on. The first founds were pc paving slabs probably on hardcore but still long life serviceable. Later it would be a conc. pad. with slab on top. But you get the idea of the pads being easily leveled before erecting the posts. Later metal shoes may have been used. .As a temporary measure the roof was felt bonded between layers (probably only one layer) but not nailed down. The weight of water allowed to stand on the roof kept it down. I cannot remember how racking was taken into account but could find out if it was of any interest. Conclusion..... raised structure quite possible and good to look at. Good luck
 

SammyQ

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Racking was controlled by an vertical 'X' of tubafour or similar at a salient point in the frames.

Sam

PS "Segal"?
PS2 Google: "Walter's way"; map, not query!
 

roxy002

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Thanks for all the replies guys and useful advice! I've been having problems with my three internet connection, so been unable to log on. Well the reason for not wanting to lay a concrete foundation and start with some courses of brickwork is because the house I live in is rented. I have just recently moved in, and behind the back garden fence there is a load of land, with its own private gates and driving leading to it. The landlady said I am quite welcome to do whatever I want with it, including building a workshop. The tenancy is long term and I have no plans on leaving anytime soon, but, I just feel more comfortable with building something that can easily be taken away and used again if need be. Obviously no, rented tenancy is 100% secure as the house belongs to them. So, if or when I do need to dismantle the workshop, I wouldn't have to smash down brick and break concrete foundations and hire skips etc to get the land back to its original state. I'm thinking that instead I could build it in such a way that I can easily take it down and then just cut the posts back to ground level, and throw some soil over the stumps - jobs a good en!
 
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