Workshop Build #2: Preparing the foundation

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 02-08-2010 04:32 PM 3229 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Clearing the land Part 2 of Workshop Build series Part 3: Laying infloor piping »

In May 2008, after a long winter and very wet early spring which delayed construction, we dug the trenches for the forms and the footings:
trenches dug

Forms being built, leveled and straightened:

forms in place

Styrospan had to be laid under the cement foundation:


We decided to heat the whole garage and shop floor with in floor heating which would be heated with the use of an outdoor wood stove. Since our home was already using hot water heating, the house was piped and ready to be switched over from the oil fed system to the new wood stove.

Rebar was needed around the perimeter and up the middle trench. Wire mesh was put over the whole area to enable us to use it to attach the piping that would heat the floor.

wire mesh

View of whole site:
site view with mesh

... to be continued…

-- ~Julie~

11 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3174 days

#1 posted 02-08-2010 05:25 PM


What a great start. What a great setting. What a great opportunity (to do it from scratch).

Two rooms in our house have radiant heating (electric mesh, in thinset, under the tile). I wish I’d done the whole house with it. What a luxury.

Have fun proceeding. I KNOW I’ll have fun watching :-)

-- -- Neil

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#2 posted 02-08-2010 05:34 PM

Doing it right will really pay of.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View David Murray's profile

David Murray

187 posts in 3114 days

#3 posted 02-08-2010 06:28 PM

Looks like this will be a nice workshop, I’ll be following your progress. I didn’t keep very good photo documentation when I was building my shop(only about a dozen photos). also I’d be interested to know how the floor heating system works. Do I understand correctly that that will be the only heat source.

-- Dave from "The Sawdust Shed"

View jasony's profile


47 posts in 3078 days

#4 posted 02-08-2010 06:29 PM

Ah, dangit Julie, quit teasing us! At this rate it’ll be a year before we see the whole process! :)
Thanks for the posts. Really enjoying them.


View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3785 days

#5 posted 02-08-2010 06:38 PM

I cant wait to see the new shop…..Good luck and happy building. I hope all goes well for you in this project.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3585 days

#6 posted 02-08-2010 06:40 PM

Wow that’s looking sweet well done I wish you many years of happiness there.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3590 days

#7 posted 02-08-2010 06:43 PM

Great progress, and hope nothing is in the way that may hinder its pace.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 02-09-2010 12:26 AM

Julie, this is a nice start on your shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View alexbarlage's profile


41 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 02-09-2010 08:01 PM

Radiant heat is the way to go, no matter how warm my shop is, the concrete is always freezing.

-- The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

View Maclegno's profile


224 posts in 3062 days

#10 posted 02-10-2010 03:40 AM

Hello Julie, I noticed your’e building a workshop from scratch, lucky you. My workshop (called a Studio here in Italy) is a 2 car garage. As is common here the floor is tiled (tiling is pretty cheap). I find it very useful for laying out and squaring large projects like a wardrobe wall unit etc. Also its easy, using chalk or markers, to draw pieces full size to decide on proportions and see how things look. Just a thought if you have to decide on a type of flooring anyway. Hope the weather improves.

-- Maclegno,Scotsman in Italy

View Maclegno's profile


224 posts in 3062 days

#11 posted 02-11-2010 08:43 PM

I once spent a year in Holland in a rented house with hot water underfloor heating, at one point in the middle of winter the heating failed. We didn’t even notice for 3 or 4 days. You will love it.
PS the only problem is if you have (as did we) an upper floor.

-- Maclegno,Scotsman in Italy

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