Floor for "pole bldg"

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fmkjr, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. fmkjr

    fmkjr Member

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    Recently my wife and I bought an old farm house with some property that both the house and property was let go. The property ended up as a dumping ground for parties, etc... before we started we had to take out 4x30 yrd dumpsters of trash...

    Now to my question... there is a 22x22 pole bldg on the property that was in bad shape... we put on a new roof, fixed and painted the walls. I am looking for suggestions on what to do with the floor. Currently, it is a dirt floor. We would like to pour a concrete slab. We will be using it to store the tractor and other tools as well as the grandkids "toys"... no cars.

    I asked many contractors and have many different opinions. Some state 8 in. of concrete so the floor does not crack. Others 4 in and put forms on the inside so the concrete does not go under the wall and lift up the walls in the winter (we live in western pa) and the list goes on and on...

    Do you think it would be wise to dig a footer on the inside and then pour a floor within the footer to eliminate the "floating floor"? Later, if water would be an issue of coming in due to the "wood" walls... I could build a few layers of block on the footer and build the wood on top of the block...

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!

    :D
     
  2. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I can't answer your questions about footers, and concrete, etc., but I think, if it were mine and was only used for storage, I'd just put a few loads of stone in there and smooth it out. After awhile it gets all tamped down and works fine for storage.

    But I'm cheap!!! :)
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    4 inches is usually fine for a floor, but do increase the depth at the edge where vehicles will cross. Usually to about 8 inches at the very edge tapering over 12 inches back to the 4 inches depth. I have no experience in snow country so check with locals about this.
     
  4. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    some of the decision is dependent on the type of soils you have, the more expansive the more problems you will have.
    clays and bentionite type soils,

    if no cars 4" should be enough, for general walking and basic storage,

    6" if for cars and light trucks, (empty),

    8" if heavy traffic to be used, loaded trucks and tractors,
    I have parked trucks loaded with grain that weighed over 30,000 on 8" floors and no problems

    that is the rules of thumb in our area,

    as to a edge I would dig down if for no there reason to keep skunks and other critters from digging under the slab,

    we don't have the frost heaving problems you talk about in our area, so I can't give you any sugestions,

    but with my experience I would put in a floating slab, with a thicken edge that would be similar to a footer but not as heavy as it does not hold weight, more for animal control. (the floor does not have to contact the building, that should eliminate the possibility of lifting the walls, I personally have not heard of that problem around our area, and we do get winter here in Colorado,)
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    8" seems pretty thick, 4" seems pretty thin for cold country..... 5-6" would seem right for your use? I'd rather err on too thick tho, it will last too long, rather then too little & cause problems.

    The _big_ issue on a poured floor is soil prep, need the organic material removed (if true dirt) and the sub-soil tamped _very_ firm & a layer of gravel hauled in & also tamped _very_ firm. A layer of plastic to keep water seepage out, or insulation hard foam if you wish to heat the place in the future.... You only get one chance to get these things right, and these things make more difference than an inch more or less concrete..... Good firm hard tamping of the the inorganic soils & gravel is the whole key.

    You would want at least a 'rat wall' around the outside to keep critters from digging under the floor & creating hollow spots that collapse. That is a common term for a shallow footing on a floating slab, you can probably get info with a google search.

    B-i-L had this done, but his old shed had a concrete foundation to begin with, so only needed the slab. I'd want something around the edge to keep critters out. I'm a bit nurotic & would want a footing below frost line myself, but that is not really needed....

    --->Paul
     
  6. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    I would just go the gravel route. It will pack down. For what you are going to use the shop for it will be just fine. Heck if you wanted to you could concrete in a small area yourself.
     
  7. fmkjr

    fmkjr Member

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    Thanks for the tips...

    great suggestions!
    :D