### Author Topic: Working alone  (Read 2417 times)

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#### sgleaton

• Apprentice
• Posts: 22
##### Working alone
« on: April 04, 2010, 04:26:41 PM »
I hate to bother you guys but I have a question about working alone. I am stumped and afraid to move forward because I am afraid I will make a big mess of things. I am trying to layout my foundation lines and set the foundation piers but working alone is giving me problems in making sure everything is square. How have you guys who have done this single-handedly managed to get around this?

#### Redoverfarm

• Journeyman
• Posts: 6,782
• Applachian Mtns, West Virginia
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 05:26:34 PM »
To begin I always set batter boards and string lines for the layout and elevation.  You can use the triangle of 3-4-5 for squareness or the diagonal measurements for squareness.  To get the diagonal by yourself drive in a piece of re-bar at the corner where the string line mets and pull off of the outside of that with a steel tape.  You will not be able to pull off the string line to get the tape taunt.  The 3-4-5 method can be accomplished by attaching tape to the string lines out 3 feet one line from the corner and 4 feet out the other line from the corner and the diagonal from each of these two points  should be 5 feet.  You will need a builders level or water level to get the elevation correct.

#### dug

• Senior Member
• Posts: 762
• SW New Mexico
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 05:53:28 PM »
I'll second everything redoverfarm said. I recently went through this myself (first time) and using batter boards, mason line, and a water level it really wasn't that hard to get everything square and level. I used twist ties to mark the 20 and 30 ft. lengths, then just moved the strings around until I had a perfect diagonal measurement.

Once you get it right make a good mark on the boards, or a notch, because you may need them for awhile. I did. Build em stout!

#### Bobmarlon

• Full Member
• Posts: 121
• My Cabin is my Mistress
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 06:23:20 PM »
remember 3 4 5 doesnt work with string that stretches!
My Project
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#### MikeT

• Senior Member
• Posts: 711
• "The best is the enemy of good." Voltaire (1764)
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 07:14:04 PM »
Another good double check on 3-4-5 is doubling it to 6-8-10.  I bought the book called  Working Alone by John  Carroll (full reference is in the books section of this web site).  It was helpful.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 05:41:37 AM by MikeT »

#### DirtyLittleSecret

• Full Member
• Posts: 168
• This is gonna hurt...
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 06:01:12 AM »
Second Caroll's Working Alone text.  Esp. once you start framing this is a great resource!  Working alone has its privilages, but takes more thought.
Thumb, meet hammer...hammer, meet thumb...

#### sgleaton

• Apprentice
• Posts: 22
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 08:04:09 AM »
Thanks guys for the pointers. So there are ways around things for those who have to work alone that work just as well as other processes. Good information to know.

Another question I have is that I am placing PT wood piers around the perimeter of the home and plan on using CMU block for the interior I live in the deep south where there is little frost heave and lots of red clay (VERY HARD). I am basing my information from older homes from the late 1800's, early 1900's that had similar foundations in my area. Many of these old homes are still standing and with good floorings. Even many abandoned old homes beginning to fall in, the foundation and flooring is still in good repair. Do you guys foresee any problems with basing my foundation setup from these old homes??

Scott Gleaton

#### John Raabe

• Journeyman
• Posts: 5,548
• Whidbey Island, WA
##### Re: Working alone
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 02:13:07 PM »
Finding out what has proven to work in local existing houses is one of best and most accurate opinions you can get.
None of us are as smart as all of us.

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