A concrete garage is a safe haven for your car, since it is more durable and leak proof during rainy seasons compared to a steel or wooden garage. It is also free from rodents and other pests, which is why it is an ideal space too for things you still want to keep but have no room in the house for like tools, old toys, old furniture, etc.
It is nice to have a concrete garage; however, paying someone to convert your open garage into a concrete one may cost a chunk of money. So, why not build it on your own?
Here are some steps to build a concrete garage:
- Set stakes at the corners of the garage. These will serve as the markings to your garage perimeter. Remove the dirt by digging out 6 inches deep within the area of your garage. Put in form boards, which are 2 by 6 inches in measurement, then place them around the markings you have set.
- At the corners, have the boards nailed together. Put supporting stakes behind the boards for every three feet. To fix the stakes temporarily to the boards, use double headed nails.
- Create a footing. A footing serves as the foundation slab of the garage and holds the structure's weight. To make footings around the perimeter, start digging out a space with a width of 1 foot and a depth of 18 inches.
- Make use of rebars. Rebars are the steel rods placed beneath the surface of the garage to strengthen the foundation. Put two rebars, each ½ inches, along the bottom of the footings. Rebars must be 3inches above the earth. To accomplish this, use dobey blocks, size 3x3 inches, and set each under the rebar. To those who are unfamiliar with dobey blocks, these are small blocks made of concrete with built in tie wires.
- Set 2 rebar rods on top of the footings but keep them three inches away from air and earth. Each rod must be ½ inch.
- Place rebar rods, each ½ inch, for every 16 inches along the footings while maintaining a 4-inch gap from the edge outside. Put concrete blocks on top of the rods.
- Attach the vertical rebar to the bottom and top horizontal rebars using a tie wire.
- Pour sand onto the slab of the garage. About 2 inches of sand is enough, and a 6-mil vapor barrier onto it afterwards. This will prevent moisture from entering in your concrete garage.
- Flatten the sand with the use of a rake. Sprinkle water on it to make it hard and smooth. This way, the sand doesn’t absorb the concrete’s moisture when you place it on the wet sand. If it does, it can weaken the concrete structure.
- Make a rebar grid on the sand and tie the intersections with tie wires.
- Position small concrete blocks, 2 inches each, at every intersecting rebar.
- Pour concrete all over the slab foundation. This will cover the entire area, including the footings.
- Transpose the measurements from your floor plan to the garage slab by making a chalk line in every corner and at the sides of the slab. Lay the block's face on this line.
- With the use of a trowel, put about a 1 inch blob of mortar along the rebar rods. Then place a 16-inch concrete block on the rebar rod straight up and down. Leave a 3/8 inches joint. Do the same with the corner blocks.
- Afterwards, place the lead block. Apply mortar on the side of the lead block, and install another block on top. Again, apply mortar. This will serve as the joint for the blocks. However, don’t put the blocks over each other straightly. It is advisable to place them in staggered positions to build a stronger wall. Repeat this procedure until you are done with the blocks.
- Set the blocks on the supporting rebar rods, but if the blocks are taller than the rebar rods, then add rebar rods and tie them to the existing rods with the help of tie wire.
- Pump grout onto the tops of the blocks with a concrete mixer. This will fill the blocks with concrete to make the walls stronger.
- Before the concrete hardens and dries, put 5/8 inch by 12 inches foundation bolts on the tops of the blocks. These bolts will allow you to bolt down the sill plates to the wall.
- After bolting the sill plates, you can now paint the garage if you want.
Use concrete floor paint and concrete coatings to protect your garage floors. Different floor coatings are available in the market. After a job well done, you can now enjoy the pleasure of having a concrete garage.