I am going to build a workshop this spring and move out of the basement. I
am planning a 30 x 40 building with 9 foot ceilings. My big concern is the
floor. I would like a wood floor and not concrete. I was thinking at first
of having an insulated slab pured and then placing placing wood 2x anchored
to the concrete and then plywood and oak on top. I have 1000's bf of
airdried oak that I will use for the final floor. Then the though accoured
to me to just pour colums and build a joist floor system out of treated
lumber. Filling between the joists with gravel, placing a vapor barrier
down and then plywood with the oak finish on tope. Any thoughts. I want to
make sure the critters have a hard time getting in since we live out in the
sticks and that is the reason for the gravel between the joists. The
building will be heated. Any thoughts or questions would be approciated.
I'd go with your wood over slab approach, but either would really work
ok. I think you climate will determine which is best to some extent,
since wood near the ground in wet climates isn't too great an idea,
but with the slab under it would be fine.
Also, I'd bump that ceiling up to 10', occasionally I even wish I had
gone 12' instead of 10.
"We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and
bring something to kill"
Depending on the seriousness of a potential critter problem. Suggest you
pour slab, vapour barrier, then the plywood, then you might consider a layer
of foam (for floating floors) then your oak top. Critters have been know to
eventually eat through wood, cement will stop that problem. I added the
comment about foam because it will help even out stress on the top layer
with weather changes and help insulate. Sounds like a great size shop. I'm
jealous as mine is 9 X 30. Good luck with the build.
First things first. Even if you don't have "building code" requirements
to satisfy, you don't want to put untreated wood "close" to the ground.
How close is 'close' does vary by climate/locale -- you'll need to consult
local expertise. That said, something in the range of a couple of feet
is common, in _non-termite_ territory.
If you don't want to go slab-on-ground, consider a real raised floor, _over_
_a_crawl-space_. *Much* easier to inspect, and to do repairs on, *IF* needed.
Note: you _really_ want the ceiling higher than 9'. Measure the diagonal
of a 4'x8' sheet-good, and you'll understand why. *Especially* if you
have occasion to deal with any of the 'oversize' 49"x97" stuff.
9'6" is a good minimum, more if you'll have surface-mount lighting.
The gravel will absorb moisture and speed the rot of the treated
lumber. In the NE we can't buy 'real' treated lumber anymore.
I agree with Robert, raise it a little. This will allow air to flow
through and keep the moisture down.
If you do decide to put sleepers on a concrete pad, consider radiant
floor heat if you are in a cold climate.
hello i'm larry, using my wife's email
A slab foundation is great if you make sure to build it high enough to have
MINimum of 3 inches viewable foundation above the soil, 6 inches is
ideal.(this means your siding or other material never touches the ground)
dont build flat!. Build up your Pad area, bring in clay and get above the
water table. and make sure all your footings go below ground. water is most
damaging when it washes under a slab. a slab is almost the most expensive
part of a building.
if you put wood flooring on your slab, either glue it tight and seal it
down, or run it on cleats, to let moisture dry from under the floor. a slab
will draw moisture through it, concret is porous.
IF you go with a pier and beam you need to stay 14 inches above ground level
with any wood material."i.e. the bottom of the beams"
you need to be able to crawl under it yourself, or any other repairman.
For critters just run screen mesh, or wire. you have to let the air flow
under to let the soil and wood dry out, so dont pack, stack, or clog up the
under side of your building. moisture causes rot, and bugs.
I'm a professionl termite exterminator. so i know about rot moisture and
keep it dry and clear of the ground
of course i'm talking worst case, and best suggestion.
I belive if you plan on the worst happening, you may only have minor
dificulties, not problems.
If you plan to sell the place someday and the shop could become a garage then a
slab would be the ticket. The second method you mentioned is called pier and
beam. Most older homes around here (Dallas-Ft. Worth Metromess) are pier and
beam. If were building a stand alone shop for wood working only, I would think
seriously about using pier and beam. I have been under a friends house that was
built in the early 50s without treated lumber and everything is just fine. His
house has a concrete wall around the perimeter to keep critters out. There is
no vapor barrier so some ventilation is critical. The plus side is that all his
plumbing, HVAC ducting and electrical is easily (relatively speaking!) by
crawling under the house.
Eddie Kee wrote:
I'd think in terms of a crawlspace, if not a full basement. It would
allow you to easily run power and dust collection under the floor,
eliminating the hassle of getting services to machines out in the middle
of the floor. With even a partial basement you could put the DC and
compressor down there and get the noise out of your workspace.
Grant P. Beagles wrote:
On Mon, 02 May 2005 11:37:37 -0500, "Grant P. Beagles"
===================================Since I am in my 60's and as of now anyway have no intentions of
moving I guess I will not be building another shop ...
BUT If I were building one...
It would definately have 10 foot ceilings.
If it was anyway possible it would have a full basement under it...
At least one door would be the size of a standard garage door..
I would have 4 times the electricical outlets that I thought I needed
It would be heated (furnace in the basement)
It would be air conditioned
no smaller then 24x36 ....
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