October 26th, 2007 9 Comments » | View blog reactions
A couple of months ago we bought a house in the country and I finally got my very own garage. You who have one knows how bloody awesome that is, and you who dream of one; yes it is bloody awesome.
But like it is with motorcycles, it is with your garage – you want to make it your own. Only thing is that it takes a heck of a lot longer to pimp your garage than slapping on some after market cans on your scoot.
In this case the old concrete floor was not insulated, full of cracks, and very uneven. One option was to just pour a new layer of concrete on top of it, but that would reduce the height to the ceiling and probably wouldn’t last. It wouldn’t prevent vapor coming up through the floor either, which risks that your tools can rust. There was no other way than to tear the whole thing up and cast a new floor.
Tearing up the old floor is a LOT of work, but it’s a no brainer that you can easily do yourself. Rent a jack hammer and whack the old concrete to pieces you can carry, then start digging, digging, and digging. You need to go at least 30cm below the level you want your new floor to be, depending on how much insulation you plan on putting in.
To ensure that you’re on the right level all across the floor, hammer some iron spears in the ground and tie a nylon string between them at your desired height to measure by.
When you’re done digging you can put in your insulation. I used some polystyrene plates called Sundolitt that you can get in various thickness.
Directly on the ground below the insulation it’s recommended to put some thick sheets of plastic to act as a damp proof membrane.
On top of the insulation you put some wire net to reinforce the concrete floor and for securing the heat tubes if you’re going to have a heated floor. Remember to make an exact illustration on where the heck those tubes are, if you plan on bolting stuff to your floor later.
There’s a million different opinions on how to pour on the concrete, what type of concrete to use, and if you should mix it yourself or not. The tricky thing is to get it level and even.
I strongly suggest that you team up with someone who has experience, or hire professionals to pour it on. If you hire a truck with premixed concrete, and you have a couple of people to help you, it takes no more than an hour or two.
Leave the floor to dry for 2-5 days (ask your concrete guy), then roll in your motorcycle to try your spanking new floor on for size.
Next up is treating the floor to achieve a blank washable surface that doesn’t dust or suck up oil like a sponge, which your raw concrete floor will do. After that it’s on to insulating the walls, repairing the ceiling, putting up light and electricity, painting, and…and…
Stay tuned and learn how you can make a pro shop out of your beat up old garage. And If you need elaboration on anything just speak up.
If you need inspiration on garage tweaking, check out The Garage Journal