I've bought books and searched the internet and haven't been able to
find a clear answer to this...
I plan to build a 12x20 workshop of sorts in my back yard. My budget
is pretty tight, so I plan to do all reasonable work myself, with the
exception of electrical work. My yard slopes a bit and there's about
2-3 ft drop along what will be the length of the shed. I'd LIKE to
have a concrete slab, however that'd be a lot digging and an whole lot
of concrete. I might as well just higher a contractor to do the
excavation and pouring. The question is, if I instead go the way of
poured piers, what exactly will I need to do to ensure a wood floor
frame will support all the equipment I plan to put in there (i.e.
tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press, etc.)?
On Wed, 12 Mar 2008 14:51:02 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
1. Make sure your building code will allow poured piers. (Probably
will, but check to be safe).
2. Strong enough? Well, there are plenty of references to how to
ensure the strength of the floor if you made it of wood.
3. I'd prefer concrete myself, rent a tractor with a loader, buy some
sand, and do your site work. Work with the concrete sub-contractor to
see what he recommends as well.
I doubt an adaquate wood on piers will be any less expensive than a
professionally poured slab.
I am a concrete contractor and a general builder.
The cost for a sturdy wood floor construction compared to a slab
construction is higher.
You would still need perimeter support also. Normally in Calif. a perimeter
foundation is in order.
You would not necessarily have to excavate much with a slab foundation.
You would build a perimeter foundation @ about 6 to 8 inches above grade at
the highest point and then build a level wall from there 12x20. Backfill
with sand, and pour a concrete slab @ 4 to 5 inches.
If you went with the wood construction you would not backfill, and set up a
floor system with 2x10 or 2x12 @ 16" o.c. and I would use 2-4-1 or 1 1/8
inch ply for subfloor.
A person could build a retaining wall and then have a level slab.
If no permit is required, piers could be placed about a ft. in from the
perimeter and 4x4 posts and 4x6 girders and then a floor system.
I feel better with the perimeter foundation and or slab/wood floor.
A small excavator is not that much.
Don't forget with a pier and beam, plus subfloor type, you'll need a skirt.
If the shop is to be insured, the skirt will most likely have to be of some
sort of masonary. If so, check with your homeowners insurance company.
This type of skirt entails some sort of running slab to support the masonary
at the perimeter. Most likely stairstepped on the slope sides. By the time
all is said and done, you might as well go with a concrete slab. If you
choose the latter, consider sloped concrete entry for easier moving your
equipment in the building.
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