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Old 07-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
John E OP
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Putting a roof on concrete block...

I'm planning on building a simple garden shed and a larger workshop out of concrete block and I'm curious about how I should plan/install a roof.

I'd like them both to be flat to match the garage that'll be next to. I'm going to be stuccoing the outside walls of the block to match the garage as well.

Never built a roof before, would appreciate any advice.

Shed will be about 8'x10' and the workshop will be around 10'x15' with 4" thick block walls. Both are gonna be simple rectangles. Both will be built on top of at least a 4" poured concrete foundation.

Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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Cliff notes version:
Assuming wood truss, you will need to secure a wood top plate, maybe two, to the top row with threaded J studs secured in the mortar. From there, you can proceed as with any wood frame.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
John E OP
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Thanks...

for that info. I don't know a lot about building and I'm hoping that these projects will help me learn a bit more. I've already got a guy to help with the blocks who used to compete in masonry contests so I'm off to a pretty good start I think.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Take a look at this guys project:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788221
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Lol...

I've been following that little project, it's like comparing the Taj Mahal with an outhouse. Ironically enough, the space where the shed is going used to be a bathroom, one where the previous owner got his cold water supply from the sprinkler system in the back yard. That should give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

Happily I was able to completely demolish what had been in place and now we get to do something a little bit nicer, assuming I can learn to lay concrete blocks in a straight line anyway.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
I've been following that little project, it's like comparing the Taj Mahal with an outhouse. Ironically enough, the space where the shed is going used to be a bathroom, one where the previous owner got his cold water supply from the sprinkler system in the back yard. That should give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

Happily I was able to completely demolish what had been in place and now we get to do something a little bit nicer, assuming I can learn to lay concrete blocks in a straight line anyway.
Not the taj .. but close second. My first shed was a made of construction materials that were left behind. 20 sheets of 3.4 tg , metal roofing and lots of half used bent 3x4.

Question are you getting a permit. If so they will frown on 4 inch wide cinderblock in california. If not it is a dealth trap waiting to happen if there should be a earth quake. 8 inch block is not that more expensive and can put steel in the cavities. Follow it up with a little gout and you have a find strong structure.

I would consider a 3x12 shed roof. Built stronger that a flat roof. You need one side of the wall higher and wood plates on top. You can use any type of roofing tile. It is such an old design but has it strenght and weakeness.

I spent lots of time in planning mine. It is nice to see it almost to its finish.
100 day est build time. We are pretty close. Think of all the things that need to be done before putting a shovle into the ground.

Electricial, plumbing , fire systems. What kind garage doors. How you gonna insulate. Stuccoing cost lots of $$ if you are using the wrong material. 4 inch block will shift and crack the stucco. I can go on and on about the little things to think about.l Here vinyl windows are the cheapest. Did my home work and went with alum. They dont warp in the heat.

email me if you want additional info

kelgroup@aol.com feel free to use any part of the plans . If you need better copies I will send you a pdf file.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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Thanks...

in my city I only need to get what is called a "zoning" permit to build the first shed because it's under 150 square feet and it's a detached structure. The 4" block idea came from the guy who's offered to help me build it, I'll double check with him about the structural stuff. It's only going to be used to store garden equipment and chicken feed, one simple door and no windows are planned.

The workshop will have to have a proper building permit since it's over 120 square feet. I'll look into the the 8" blocks for that. I was mainly concerned with the weight and handling of the blocks themselves, since I'll be doing a lot of the labor, possibly including transporting the materials, myself I was hoping to use some lighter weight materials when possible.

The flat roof and the stucco are attempts to match the new structures with my existing garage, I'll see if I can make a angled roof work and more importantly, see if the boss approves.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
in my city I only need to get what is called a "zoning" permit to build the first shed because it's under 150 square feet and it's a detached structure. The 4" block idea came from the guy who's offered to help me build it, I'll double check with him about the structural stuff. It's only going to be used to store garden equipment and chicken feed, one simple door and no windows are planned.

The workshop will have to have a proper building permit since it's over 120 square feet. I'll look into the the 8" blocks for that. I was mainly concerned with the weight and handling of the blocks themselves, since I'll be doing a lot of the labor, possibly including transporting the materials, myself I was hoping to use some lighter weight materials when possible.

The flat roof and the stucco are attempts to match the new structures with my existing garage, I'll see if I can make a angled roof work and more importantly, see if the boss approves.

8 inch block is not that heavy. You build a scafford and use a block and tackle to bring blocks up. A string and level is all you need to tackle this.
The masons build the corners first and ran a level string line between the corners to lay their block. Independent block company will delivery if you buy enough. Home depot might be cheaper but if you buy all your block from the manufacturer they will give you a contractors price. Usually it's the same price as home depot. The blocks come on a pallet. They will unload it is up to you where you want it. I would make sure your pad is ready before the block arrive. How are you mixing your cement. Machine or by the bucket? Renting a concete mixer helps al ot. Buy a load of sand and your portland . There are different mixes so you might want to talk to your buddy about it.

I really think that you should consider doing every thing in 8 inch. That way you could expand in the future. Who is doing the pad? Is it engineer with re-bar. The corner footers should be deeper and wider. Think of this a future expandable building . A little bigger footer can make that happen.

Compaction of the soil is importand before you pour your pad. Have your soil tested for compaction. Some soils under stress could liquidfied (earth quakes). You want to make sure you have the right materials (ab compaction and steel ties) I use to live in SF and the earthquake of 89 turned everything in shit. Now the new international boca codes are going into effect.

What does that mean. New codes requires all new structures over a certain sq footage to be able to withstand Katrina storm.

Enough said .. good luck
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkingbear View Post
8 inch block is not that heavy. You build a scafford and use a block and tackle to bring blocks up. A string and level is all you need to tackle this.
The masons build the corners first and ran a level string line between the corners to lay their block. Independent block company will delivery if you buy enough. Home depot might be cheaper but if you buy all your block from the manufacturer they will give you a contractors price. Usually it's the same price as home depot. The blocks come on a pallet. They will unload it is up to you where you want it. I would make sure your pad is ready before the block arrive. How are you mixing your cement. Machine or by the bucket? Renting a concete mixer helps al ot. Buy a load of sand and your portland . There are different mixes so you might want to talk to your buddy about it.

I really think that you should consider doing every thing in 8 inch. That way you could expand in the future. Who is doing the pad? Is it engineer with re-bar. The corner footers should be deeper and wider. Think of this a future expandable building . A little bigger footer can make that happen.

Compaction of the soil is importand before you pour your pad. Have your soil tested for compaction. Some soils under stress could liquidfied (earth quakes). You want to make sure you have the right materials (ab compaction and steel ties) I use to live in SF and the earthquake of 89 turned everything in shit. Now the new international boca codes are going into effect.


What does that mean. New codes requires all new structures over a certain sq footage to be able to withstand Katrina storm.

Enough said .. good luck

I concur with walkingbear, with a few detail clarifications. Stay away from 4" block. They cannot be reinforced or grouted- the core holes are too small. 6" block are the smallest I would consider for almost all structures. They will screw up the layout if you aren't paying close attention. 8" block are MUCH better because they are modular in 3 dimensions.

Proper compaction of the soils is critical, but you also need to know what the soil type is and what it's bearing capacity is. Certain soil types will readily liquify during an earthquake event and the compaction will not matter. If a permit is involved and the building is considered to be a habitable space, you will probably be required to have the foundation and superstructure engineered. Worst case, compare the cost of having an engineer provide you sealed drawings vs. the cost of tearing down a failed building and doing it over again. Life-safety needs to be considered also.

Design-wise, lay out your building to correspond with 8" masonry block dimensions, both in the horizontal (plan) and vertical (elevation) directions. Doing so will minimize waste and make your life a whole lot more pleasant when you build this structure. I would recommend a 2" deep step in the top edge of your foundation x 8" wide to start your first course of block in. The bottom of this step should be not less than 4" above the highest grade around the building. Do not let anyone talk you into using a wood 2x to form this unless you add more wood to get to the 2" dimension. You will end up cutting a bunch of special size blocks at your openings and the joints will not align if you just use a 2x. This ends up being a real PITA if you screw it up. It looks like shit too. Consider how you will attach your door and/or window frames into the masonry. Planning ahead of time saves headaches and leaks later. Don't forget to plan on how you will attach the continuous (pressure-treated) wood ledger at the top of the wall. Hot-dipped galvanized 1/2" diameter G180 J-bolts cast into the bond beam is probably the best way to go.

You will need rebar L-shaped dowels cast into the edge of the foundation at spaces that coordinate with the core holes in the block. (Probably at not more than 48" O.C.) Vertical bars aligning with the dowels will go in the core holes and these cores need to be filled with masonry grout. Plan on having all corners being laid with the corner and the adjacent cell on each side being doweled, reinforced and grouted too. At door openings, at least the first cell closest to the opening needs the dowel, reinforcing and grout. Run the vertical reinforcing into the topmost course of block. At the top of the wall and over all openings that are lower than the top course, you will need a bond beam. At the top of the wall, use KOBB block with mortar/grout screen covering the open block cells. Keep the mortar/grout screen clear of the cells that have reinforcing and grout in them. Knock off the tabs in the block ends and the block walls between the cores for this course. (You can use KOBB block for all of the typical block too, so you can minimize the number of block types you order.) You will need at least a pair of #4 rebar laid horizontal in the bond beam before you fill it with grout. At openings, you will need a bond beam with a solid bottom and formwork to support it until the grout cures. For a person door opening, use a regular 8" trough tile bond beam block. If you have an opening greater than 4' wide, you will probable need a 16" high trough tile bond beam block. The bond beam over openings need to be engineered, particularly in an earthquake zone. Solid bottom bond beam block need to be included in your order, but quantity needs to be indicated separately. Lightweight block will be good for this project.

I recommend staying away from Mason's Mix or Masonry Cement for your mortar. You can buy pre-mixed MORTAR MIX that only requires you adding MASONRY sand and water. Plan on renting a motorized mortar mixer. Mixing in a wheelbarrow will get old real fast. A lot of masons will measure the sand for their mortar mix by shovel count. Unless you have a Master Mason doing the mixing, don't do this. Make yourself a 12" x 12"x 12" wood measuring box and use this to measure the sand. Doing the sand measurment wrong will either give you a harsh or an overly rich mortar mixture. Rich is wasteful; harsh makes laying more difficult and decreases bond strength and durability.

Unless you need atic storage space, wood trusses will be the most cost-effective solution for your roof framing. Make sure they have approved earthquake ties to the wood ledger you bolted to the bond beam.

Have fun. Post some pics when you finish it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Something I forgot to include in my previous post- you will need horizontal reinforcing in alternate block bed joints (16" O.C.). I prefer ladder-type reinforcing over truss-type. The diagonal wires in the truss-type reinforcing will tend to impede grout in the vertical cells. Also recommend factory-made reinforcing corner units over lapping reinforcing at the corners. The development length of the reinforcing is much better with the factory corner units. You will have less than 36 x the bar diameter if you just lap reinforcing at the corner. Positive a structural engineer will require more, rather than less, development length.

Use Type N mortar using the Proportion Method. Type S is too strong for this use and will be more brittle.

Depending on the design of the door & window frames you plan to use, you may want to use sash blocks at the jambs. If you have windows, consider using CMU soaps (solids) in a sloping rowlock installation at the sills or a specifically designed sill block.

theDoktor screwed with this post 07-09-2012 at 10:53 AM
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #11
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my plans

be free to use them






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Old 07-09-2012, 12:56 PM   #12
theDoktor
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That's what I'm talking about. Absolutely required for a habitable space, especially in quake regions. No exceptions.

Permitting department will require a Site Plan too, with property lines, legal description of property, setbacks, all easements and structures, both new & existing, indicated on it. New structure needs to be located by dimension off of property lines with new structure size indicated.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #13
John E OP
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Wow...

I appreciate the efforts you guys put into all that sharing of info but...

My plans are for a very, very simple couple of structures. One will hold gardening tools and some chicken feed and the other is for a basic workshop. Neither of them will ever be or could be habitable, not only because I won't build them to be but the local building and zoning codes won't allow me to. No water, some basic electrical tied into the existing garage for the workshop, that's it. I might put some sort of solar powered shed light in the small shed.

I've given up on the idea of 4" block, you've scared me away from it...;^)

Seriously, thanks for the info, I have no idea what most of it meant but I know you meant well and some of it will become clearer as I go along I'm sure.
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