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Thread: Amish barnraising - GIF

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    Supporting Member metric_taper's Avatar
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    That is one heck of a crew. Would be interesting to see the time lapse of the site preparation, and then foundations.
    Last summer I had two garages built in my back yard (county ordinance for under 10acres of land, no outbuildings larger then 1150sq.ft so each building is 26x44). The contractor, coordinated all the material delivery. He subbed out the concrete floor (slab on grade) foundation work to his local town concrete specialist contractor, and subbed the framing carpenters (2x4 stud, trusses, OSB sheathing, asphalt roofing, aluminum flashing, vinyl siding) all done by 3 Amish guys that had a non Amish driver that pulled their trailer of tools (that just sat in the truck all day). They did little talking. Used battery powered DeWalt drills and saws, and pneumatic framing, roofing, and staple nailers. Gas engine (Honda) powered compressor (welded on a 100lb LPG cylinder on it's side, with big wheels and handles to move it like a wheel barrow). And I provided shore power for the battery chargers.
    It was interesting to see how they worked as a team, there was a young guy that was going to be off as he was getting married, only gone for a day.
    The garage doors and rain gutters were two other subcontractors that provided the needed completion materials.
    The concrete was another big issue, the county inspectors rejected their forms. Required a 10"X10" ring of concrete footing around the whole perimeter of each building, 4" minimum slab, with rebar every 2ft both directions, and wired together. They made rebar chairs using red bricks they busted into chunks.
    This footing requirement is something the county has 'engineered', as if built by the International Building Code, it would require a full frost footing, which here is 48". The building inspector had to approve the concrete forms before the pour could be done. It has to be a full 10" deep, and wide. More detail, there's a stem wall as my back yard has a slope drop of 3 feet in 40 foot run. So on two sides (down hill) there's a stem wall that currently is out of the ground 24" at the NE corner of each building, and this tappers back to the 10" thick requirement at the other rectangle's corners. We'll the contractor had an engineering drawing he had done years ago by a PE, all stamped and approved, that engineer made an 8" wide foundation wall for the concrete slab perimeter. The county rejected the engineering drawing, and required 10". The truth is the concrete subcontractor had all these spreader boards they used every 18-20 inches to make the stem wall. The outer forms were 2x12 all the way up out of the ground to make the level top perimeter form boards. The crushed aggregate base is 3/4" to fines of limestone. The spreader boards are used to hold this back along with 5/8" FIREX drywall. This is strong enough to hold back the water compacted aggregate. The spreader boards are pulled out as the stem wall volume is filled, and then will hold the drywall sheet in place till it's cured. So the spreader boards were made with 1x8 pine boards. They made a inverted U shape cut on the bottom of the board, so a rebar placed along the center bottom of the stem wall can be in place before the pour.
    As the general contractor was feeling beat up by the county, I offered to modify the width to 10 inches. That 1x8 was only 7-1/8" wide as well, not complying with the original engineering drawing. So I added a 1-1/2" board on either side of their existing 1x8, used construction screws. To move the 5/8 sheet rock back, I had to remove the limestone, I used a shop vac with a 2" hose, and poked and prodded, having to empty the 16 gallon container often. Had lots of cave-ins when I got close getting the 8foot long pieces moved, but got it done. The contractor was not making excessive money on this, and I needed the exercise. Of course it was during the hottest part of July last year.

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    Supporting Member NeiljohnUK's Avatar
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    No wonder the (anti) US grubby-mitts got a downer on Amish farmers, anyone who can put a crew like that together to work like that is a huge threat to grubby-mitt control.



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    Last edited by NeiljohnUK; Jun 25, 2024 at 04:36 AM.

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