Sticks and String

We did some digging today for the shed foundation. I got e-mail asking why we needed to dig at all, and the reason is simple: I want the shed floor to be just about at ground level, not above it.

Here's where we've gotten, some of which has been nicely counteracted by recent rains.

Start

I dug at that for a while, with Noel sifting (this goes much faster when the dirt is just a little wet, and having two people makes it even better). Then we decided to see where the edges of what we were doing would end up.

The traditional method for laying out a foundation is to put up batter boards and run string between them. This works nicely and is low-tech. You just have to fiddle with it to make sure the sides are the right lengths, and the diagonals are the same length (so you know it's square).

Batter boards

Where the strings cross each other is the corner of the foundation. By having it offset from the stake, you make it so the batter boards and string can stay in place while you dig and form up the foundation.

Corner

The whole process took us fifteen minutes, even with a trip inside to find a longer roll of twine.

Laid out foundation

Tomorrow: more digging, and some formwork. We'd like to get all formed up this weekend so we can buy concrete mix and pour next weekend.

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posted by ayse on 11/18/06

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