Tag Archives: Sturdi Wall Plus Brackets

How to Re-level a Garage

Auntie Em, Auntie Em My Garage Has Lifted 

Well, it wasn’t from a twister and this article has nothing actually to do with Auntie Em or actress Clara Blandick who played Auntie Em in 1939’s film classic The Wizard of Oz. For trivia buffs, Blandick also played a part in 1937’s original A Star Is Born.

Reader GEORGE in LAGRANGE might be wishing a twister had hit his garage, so insurance would pay for a replacement. George writes:

“Due to the freezing and thawing cycle my pole garage has lifted about 7 inches since it was built 12 years ago. You can now see the outside grass from inside the garage. And it has not lifted evenly so the garage is unlevel.”

George’s post frame garage has some challenges, none of them ones with an easy fix. How did his garage get this way? There are three possible major contributors to this garage’s current situation. These would include:

Inadequate site preparation

At a minimum, site preparation includes:
· Remove all sod and vegetation.
· For ideal site preparation, remove topsoil and stockpile for later use in finish grading. In frost prone areas, remove any clays or silty soil
from within future building “footprint”.
· Replace subsoil removed from around building with granulated fill to help drain subsurface water from building.
· Distribute all fill, large debris free (no pit run), uniformly around site in layers no deeper than six inches.
· Compact each layer to a minimum 90% of a Modified Proctor Density before next layer is added. Usually, adequate compaction takes more than driving over fill with a dump truck, or
earth moving equipment.

For more details on proper site preparation please read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/

Column Depth

Bottom of column encasement needs to be below frost line. This is a no-brainer.

Water

Read more about what causes frost heaving here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/pole-building-structure-what-causes-frost-heaves/.

There is going to be no easy or inexpensive fix to George’s situation. An investment into a geotechnical engineer who could provide a thorough site evaluation along with solutions might be money well spent.


Building could be brought back to level by excavating at each raised column to well below frost depth. Cut off columns at base of splash plank (while supporting building from falling), then remove embedded portion of column. Place an appropriately sized sonotube in excavation with top of tube at grade. Pour premix concrete into tube and place a wet set Sturdi Wall bracket – expertly placed to receive upper portion of column. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/11/sonotube/

If all of this sounds daunting (it would be to me), a consideration could be demolition and start over from scratch.

Sturdi-Wall Brackets

Placement of Sturdi-Wall Plus Brackets

I am enjoying our client Dan who is in the process of getting started with his new Hansen Pole Buildings’ kit package. My educated guess is he is going to construct one truly beautiful building.

Dan has a great question, which I will share:

“So I went ahead and purchased the Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets (in concrete is the rebar) from Perma Column. Really nicely made.

 So my plan now is to dig, setup similar to what is in attached picture and get everything nice and level before hand. 

So what I’d like to do is set my piers all at equal elevation and leveled. Then, wooden boxes so they are square to allow ground girts to sit nicely. 

 Here is my dilemma. What height to set the piers to? If I set them 3.5” lower than my anticipated concrete floor, that means that I wouldn’t be able to tie my poles to my floor with rebar as shown in sealed plans PDF. Would it therefore make sense to lower the piers even more so that the bottom of the Sturdi-wall is level to the bottom of the 2×8? That would mean I am burying the bracket in 3.5” of concrete (I’d imagine if removed Sturdi-wall I’d have a square) but I would be able to tie the rebar to the post. 

 Does that all make sense? “

Well, Dan’s question does make sense and I believe I can make his life fairly easy.

Set the Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets so the bottom of the bracket and top of pier are even with the level of your concrete floor. Take two five foot long pieces of rebar, bent at a 90 degree angle with one leg into the encasement around the brackets, the other leg out into the future slab. This will accomplish effectively tying the columns into the slab and will keep the “business” end of the bracket above the concrete. It does take a little more rebar than running through the columns, however the net extra investment is minimal.

Not interested in placing your new post frame building’s columns into the ground? Your building can be designed for the columns to be bracket mounted!