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Thread: Least expensive way to get 10' walls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Least expensive way to get 10' walls

    I'm in the planning stages of a new shop. I'm going to be my own contractor, so I will be buying all of the materials and I'm wondering the best way to get 10' ceilings in the shop? It's going to be on a 6" concrete slab, so I'm wondering if I should I buy 10' boards for framing or use cinder blocks or 24" built up footing around the bottom edge?

    I'm in NC.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Houston, Texas
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    IMO, buy 10’ 2x4s or 2x6s. No question. The other stuff would be way too much time and work, and another horizontal joint you’d have to contend with.
    Don't let it bring you down,
    It's only castles burning,
    Just find someone who's turning,
    And you will come around

    Neil Young (with a little bit of emphasis added by me)

    Board member, Gulf Coast Woodturners Association

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Winston Salem, NC
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    I'm going to say depends on external grade. If you're not in a flood zone, or the shop will be at the high point of your property - 10 foot studs should be fine. If you are in a flood zone, or if the shop has the potential to have water flowing past it in heavy rains . . .one or two courses of block at the bottom that can be more effectively waterproofed, and then studs on top of that is a better answer.

  4. #4
    You should be able to get precut 10' studs and 10' OSB, although the 10' OSB is a little spendy compared to 8' or 9' OSB.

    Another option, which is what I did, is to put a row of 6" wide cinder block on the foundation and go with a 9' wall system (9' precut 2x6 studs and 9' OSB). That gets you about a 9' 8" ceiling, and puts the bottom of the wood 8" above the slab. Then you are covered for your 6" separation between wood and ground code requirement.

    I have raised a wall on a two block curb wall (16") and it is a bit unnerving. I can't imagine trying to balance a wall on 24" of curb wall without a lot of folks helping and holding.

  5. #5
    If you want a stem wall to raise your wall, use poured concrete. Buy a cinder block, hold it up above your driveway and drop it. You can then see the quality of building material cinder blocks are. Concrete blocks are a little better, but a whole lot heavier.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    If you want a stem wall to raise your wall, use poured concrete. Buy a cinder block, hold it up above your driveway and drop it. You can then see the quality of building material cinder blocks are. Concrete blocks are a little better, but a whole lot heavier.
    Do you have any idea of the compression strength of a Solite block? 2000PSI nominal face size. This means two faces (webs don't count") X 16" X 2000PSI, or 64,000 pounds. Never tell the building inspector it's going to be a garage workshop. If you do, then the floor will have to be sloped towards the door. Instead, pour a door lip as part of your slab.

  7. #7
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    FWIW, my shop from previous welder-owner has four courses of concrete block along the uphill wall (all above grade) . It is frequently a pain when I want to attach something. One or two courses wouldn't be such an annoyance.

  8. #8
    I don't see a need for stem wall unless the grade of the land dictates. It will add a huge amount of work and a bigger footer will be needed.

    10' precut studs are available. 2x4's will suffice unless you're looking for more insulation. 2x6's will significantly increase cost for a little more insulation not worth it IMHO.

    Curious do you need a permit? A friend of mine built a house up there told me he no req for permit.

  9. #9
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    All this talk of block has me wondering. I have never seen block used for structural stuff in my lifetime except they do build commercial building out of block. All foundations are cast in place concrete with rebar and tie downs. There are a few block houses around built in the 40's and fifties. I know of two cast concrete houses, both two stories built in the 1920's. I would have to call them mansions.
    Bill D

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    All this talk of block has me wondering. I have never seen block used for structural stuff in my lifetime except they do build commercial building out of block. All foundations are cast in place concrete with rebar and tie downs. There are a few block houses around built in the 40's and fifties. I know of two cast concrete houses, both two stories built in the 1920's. I would have to call them mansions.
    Bill D
    Slump block is one of the most common residential building materials around here. Why slump? It looks more like adobes.

    FWIW, I haven't actually seen a REAL cinder block in decades, and that was on an old building even then
    Last edited by mike stenson; 02-18-2020 at 9:38 AM.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  11. #11
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    Block

    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    Slump block is one of the most common residential building materials around here. Why slump? It looks more like adobes.

    FWIW, I haven't actually seen a REAL cinder block in decades, and that was on an old building even then
    The place I'm living in now was built using insulated concrete forms from the basement to the eaves. The separate three car garage and 10 X 12 pump house were both built with block to the eaves. This was in 2006.

    Some folks still build this way.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hulbert View Post
    The place I'm living in now was built using insulated concrete forms from the basement to the eaves. The separate three car garage and 10 X 12 pump house were both built with block to the eaves. This was in 2006.

    Some folks still build this way.
    Sure, I live in an adobe and timber framed structure. It's not as commonly done as it once was, but it's still done. It's pretty efficient in the desert, as is block construction. Your blocks aren't made of cinder though. They're concrete.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  13. #13
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    Yes, I need a permit, I have already gone through the process of getting one and now just trying to line up workers to do the jobs. It certainly sounds like 10' 2x4 or 2x6 is the way to go. I'm thinking of paying a bit extra for quite Bat insulation, to sound proof a little. I'm in a development where all the houses are on 1 acre lots, so my neighbors aren't right next door, but I' still like to keep the sound down as much as I can.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    All this talk of block has me wondering. I have never seen block used for structural stuff in my lifetime except they do build commercial building out of block. All foundations are cast in place concrete with rebar and tie downs. There are a few block houses around built in the 40's and fifties. I know of two cast concrete houses, both two stories built in the 1920's. I would have to call them mansions.
    Bill D
    Most foundations around here were built with block but there is growing use of poured concrete in forms, especially by custom builders. The largest "neighborhood" home builders, including those that do some pretty big residences, still use block foundations in many cases. My previous home had a block foundation. The 2200 sq ft addition we put on our current home in 2008 has a block foundation.

    ----

    David, the insulation will certainly help a little with noise abatement, but will also help keep your shop more comfortable, even if you don't put in an HVAC system. Totally worth it, IMHO.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Justice View Post
    Yes, I need a permit, I have already gone through the process of getting one and now just trying to line up workers to do the jobs. It certainly sounds like 10' 2x4 or 2x6 is the way to go. I'm thinking of paying a bit extra for quite Bat insulation, to sound proof a little. I'm in a development where all the houses are on 1 acre lots, so my neighbors aren't right next door, but I' still like to keep the sound down as much as I can.
    Go 2x6, for the insulation alone.
    ~mike

    scope creep

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