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Thread: Alternatives for a concrete floor in pole barn

  1. #1
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    Alternatives for a concrete floor in pole barn

    I have a 60x120 ft pole barn in my backyard. My shop, which is a 24x60 ft insulated room with concrete slab floor, has been built in one corner of the barn. The other side of the same end of the barn used to be a 10 or 12 horse stable, but all the stalls have been removed leaving a concrete slab on the center walkway strip and just dirt floor in the areas on both sides where the horse stalls used to be. I would like to put the retired stable area into a better use - additional work area and such, but before that can happen I need to cover the dirt floor with something to stop the dust, raise the floor to the same level with the concrete walkway strip in the center, and of course add some insulation.

    Hiring a contractor to put in a layer of gravel and to add concrete slabs on the the dirt floor areas would be an obvious choice, but I have heard that I might end up paying well over $10k for the job and materials these days. Are there any less expensive options to consider? Something that a DIYselfer with broad shoulders and a Bobcat could do? Would some kind gr PT lumber construction on the top of gravel layer work? I must disclose that while I am trying to learn to be a furniture maker, I am 99% ignorant about even basic construction and structural building design principles - so take it slowly please.

    Pete
    Last edited by Pete Kurki; 06-22-2008 at 9:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Pete,
    Get 3 or 4 quotes from local contractors for the concrete work. Don't rely on rumor. It might be less expensive than you think--OTOH, it may be more expensive. Another option, if you don't need a hard level floor, would be to put down a vapor barrier (heavy plastic sheeting) on the ground and then put crushed stone on top. Use could possibly use your Bobcat for this. It might also be able to compact the stone into a usable surface.
    ________
    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  3. #3
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    I have a 16'X25' area that is outside that I covered with 4 inches of crushed concrete. I use it to park some of my heavier equipment on. It has held up well enough that I am going to use it for the floor in a new 30'X40' pole building that I am going to have built. It is a little dusty at first but it settles down pretty quick and the cememt powder filters down through the concrete chunks. There are other options out there but none are readily available in my area.
    David B

  4. #4
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    Pete,

    Figure out how much concrete you are going to need and get some prices. Around here, a yard of concrete is going to cost $90 - $100. My son just had 10 yards delivered and poured for around $1400 - $1500. Depends on where you are at and who you are dealing with.

    1 yard = 81 sq. ft. / 4 inches thick (about).....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jones near Indy View Post
    Hi Pete,
    if you don't need a hard level floor, would be to put down a vapor barrier (heavy plastic sheeting) on the ground and then put crushed stone on top.
    Ron, this is kind of a thing I could technically do by myself, so I like it. However, I think I will need a bit more stable floor as well as better thermal insulation than just gravel would give to me. While I won't be putting any heavy equipment in the area, I still need to put some workbenches (non-woodworking) there that need to be level.

    Then, let me add another spin to the whole topic: Theoretically I could also use some of this space to build a separate finishing room. And as you may have heard our winters here in the state of 10.000 lakes come with some insulation requirements. Not that I need to maintain 70 F in the barn all the time, but perhaps a floor radiant heat (which I know I can build myself) would be an efficient way to maintain temperature above freezing even during -20 F winter nights. I know that concrete slab is typically used under radiant tubes, but is it really the only option?

    Pete

  6. #6
    Pete -
    How far down is grade from top of concrete? Do you have enough room for 2" of foam board and 4" of class 5 (3/4 crushed limestone with a binder)
    Also I believe you got a lot of aggregate pits in that area, call around and get "delivered" pricing.
    Now don't laugh, but me personally - I would wheel barrow it one at a time.
    Its a good work out.

    P.S. How's the pheasant hatch this year out there?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Kurki View Post
    I have a 60x120 ft pole barn in my backyard. My shop, which is a 24x60 ft insulated room with concrete slab floor, has been built in one corner of the barn. The other side of the same end of the barn used to be a 10 or 12 horse stable, but all the stalls have been removed leaving a concrete slab on the center walkway strip and just dirt floor in the areas on both sides where the horse stalls used to be. I would like to put the retired stable area into a better use - additional work area and such, but before that can happen I need to cover the dirt floor with something to stop the dust, raise the floor to the same level with the concrete walkway strip in the center, and of course add some insulation.

    Hiring a contractor to put in a layer of gravel and to add concrete slabs on the the dirt floor areas would be an obvious choice, but I have heard that I might end up paying well over $10k for the job and materials these days. Are there any less expensive options to consider? Something that a DIYselfer with broad shoulders and a Bobcat could do? Would some kind gr PT lumber construction on the top of gravel layer work? I must disclose that while I am trying to learn to be a furniture maker, I am 99% ignorant about even basic construction and structural building design principles - so take it slowly please.

    Pete
    Pete,
    You could try a 3 to 4 inch layer of decomposed granite. It packs verry well, is not dusty, drains well also. You could also put paver down on it if you want
    "And remember, this fix is only temporary, unless it works." - Red Green

    THIS THREAD IS USELESS WITHOUT PICTURES


  8. #8
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    There are a lot of alternate solutions depending on your depth, etc. For example, you could put down foam board covered in sand or gravel and lay down PT sleepers and nail down plywood over that to give a solid floor. If the depth is too great for sleepers alone, stand joists on the sleepers to raise the floor level. I have seen good plans for this on sites discussing Permanent Wood Foundations.

    I understand that radiant tubes can be mounted to the underside of the sub-floor, but that can get expensive as they generally suggest a metal mounting plate to distribute the heat.

  9. #9
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    if you wanted to put power to a table saw in the middle of the shop tommrow it would only take a couple hours to do .thats cool idea with the pavers ted. john t

  10. #10
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    A pressure treated frame and floor on top of a gravel base should work fine. One of the past issues of Fine Homebuilding Magazine had an article on the construction of a treated foundation footing and walls, resting on a compacted gravel base. If drainage is favorable(sloping away from the building), this should work fine.
    Lots of us here are jealous of the amount of space you have. Nice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Sturgill View Post
    I have seen good plans for this on sites discussing Permanent Wood Foundations.
    Thanks for a great tip. As simple as it sounds, I never thought of such a search term. Here I can probably find a good plans for my cost comparison.

    Pete

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Bickley View Post
    Figure out how much concrete you are going to need and get some prices. Around here, a yard of concrete is going to cost $90 - $100. My son just had 10 yards delivered and poured for around $1400 - $1500. Depends on where you are at and who you are dealing with.

    1 yard = 81 sq. ft. / 4 inches thick (about).....
    OK, just took the measurements: The total surface area I need to cover is about 1550 sq ft. Using your equation I would need roughly 20 yards, which would only make about $3000 if prices here are similar to what your son had. I guess its time to call a couple of local companies for quotes. Of course I need to add the cost of the gravel base to the total estimate, but then again I would need gravel for the PT based floor as well.

    Pete

  13. #13
    Hello Thom. Just came across this thread as I am getting ready to convert an old pole barn to a living space(game room) in southern ca. Hoping you might elaborate on the use of the foam board and sand and PT sleepers as a subfloor (ie how to lay the foam board, how thick sand or gravel and general spacing of sleepers or joists instead of having a concrete slab poured. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Sturgill View Post
    There are a lot of alternate solutions depending on your depth, etc. For example, you could put down foam board covered in sand or gravel and lay down PT sleepers and nail down plywood over that to give a solid floor. If the depth is too great for sleepers alone, stand joists on the sleepers to raise the floor level. I have seen good plans for this on sites discussing Permanent Wood Foundations.

    I understand that radiant tubes can be mounted to the underside of the sub-floor, but that can get expensive as they generally suggest a metal mounting plate to distribute the heat.

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