View Full Version : Shed-2-Shop Transformation
11-11-2002, 11:45 AM
I'm beginning the planning on how to turn my 16x24 "shed" into my shop. I did not build the shed. Itís an existing out-building on the property I just bought. There are lots of different questions I have, but I want to start with the floor. The current shed appears to be made of 1/2 in plywood over 2x6 joists (16 in on center). The joists are on hangers and concrete piers underneath. My problem with the floor is that itís a bit ďspringyĒ. I donít think I have a problem with the foundation, but itís just the 1/2 ply on top.
What Iím thinking of is adding 3/4 in T&G ply flooring right on top of the ply, then painting the final with a flooring paint.
1) Do you think this will stiffen the floor sufficiently for my heavy WW equipment (Grizzly 1023 TS, Jet 6Ē Jointer, and Jet 18Ē Bandsaw)
2) Is there any better way finish the floor (other than the paint)
3) To double check on the piers, what would you expect the spacing to be (I think their currently 4 ft on center)
P.S. Other topics to follow include: Power, Water, Insulation, Dust Control, and Layout.
P.P.S. My small brain can only handle one topic at a time however.
Thanks in advance,
11-11-2002, 12:55 PM
I would think that 3/4" over 1/2" would be sufficient. One thing I would check is the piers... they are prone to sinking and not doing their job eh...
Are they the piers that have an adjustable center mount?... or just chunks of concrete?
Are they on wooden pads?
Do you have access under the shed to add piers or adjust the ones that are there?
11-11-2002, 01:44 PM
I agree with Marc.
Where do you live, what type of soil conditions do you have? I had to take down a shed I had because the pier blocks sunk into my soil. I took down the shed dug out under the blocks about 2 ft and poured concrete and droped the piers back down on the wet concrete. They are fine now.
If you can add some blocks with a nice concrete pad under them to make sure that your nice heavy equipment doesn't send the shed to tilting.
Foundations are the foundation of all... I just had to...
11-12-2002, 02:35 AM
As for location, I'm in Northern CA. Foothills of the Sierra Nevada (no ground frost issues here). From what I can tell, the shed is sitting on concrete blocks filled with concrete at the corners and regular piers sitting directly on the ground in the middle. Looks like they actually overdid the corners and skipped some on the interior piers. There's only about a 12-18 inch crawl space underneith. I was thinking I might be able to pull up some of the existing flooring and poor some better foundations but it'll be a bunch of work. But, I guess this is a "pay me now, or pay me later" kind of item. I sure don't want to tear the whole thing down and re-build. If I go that far, it's time for a concrete slab.
Thanks much for the feedback,
11-12-2002, 06:16 AM
I don't know how much concrete costs in your area, but in mine it's 575.00 per 8 yard truck. You are doing a 16x24' shop so you wouldn't need as much. (maybe half, don't want to take the time to figure it out.) Anyway, you could cut holes in the floor in places and put in more piers. Get some of the large square stepping stones from HD or Lowes to place under them to prevent sinking.
You will save enough money to justify purchasing another large piece of shop equipment.
Stiffen up the floor enough to prevent the springy feel but keep in mind that wood floors are better on your back than concrete anyway.
Buy something good with the savings.
11-12-2002, 07:27 AM
I agree it would be best to just pull up the existing 1/2" floor to give you access, but I wouldn't bother pouring any concrete. Find you a mobile home supplies/dealer and buy the adjustable piers and set them on wood pads... these guys use them by the ton when they set up a mobile home. Set the pad, put the pier on top, and crank the adjustment screw until it's snug against the joist and you're done. While you're doing this you could easily add some joists if you think it's needed.
11-12-2002, 12:25 PM
That's a great idea. There's actually a "used" mobile home yard just up the road from me a few miles. I'll bet they've got the screw piers.
No body has commented on the painted floor idea. I'm thinking it's the easiest answer for cleanup. Any other suggestions here?
11-12-2002, 12:48 PM
I know I wouldn't paint... I don't think it'd last at all...
11-12-2002, 01:41 PM
I guess that I didn't make myself clear in my post above. I wouldn't pour concrete at all either, I'd use the money for something nice. I would purchase some stepping stones from HD or Lowes and put blocks or something similar on top of them to support the floor. I have almost exactly what he has. I have a smaller building with a floor made up of 2x6 joists and 3/4" plywood. I have bricks stacked on top of stepping stones supporting my floor. No springy feeling here.
My parents have a mobile home close and it is supported by concrete blocks. It hasn't done any settling since the last installation adjustment. No mobile home jacks. We have something in this part of the country called "Yazoo clay." This stuff settles underneath anything you build so adjustment is always on our minds.
With a building as small as you are talking about, bricks, stepping stones and a good floor jack will do wonders for you.
11-12-2002, 10:31 PM
YOu don't live in california. In this state we have things called quakes. We also have something callec expansive soil. If your soil is a clay based (adobe) then the screw piers will work for a while, but you will have to adjust them from time to time. If you have access under the floor that might be ok. In the foothills you have less of a quake problem but, just pier blocks and quakes can cause the building to fall off the foundation. For a storage shed that is not a big deal for a shop that could be a problem.
So if I were you I would make sure the foundation was solid and the structure was bolted to the foundation.
If your not worried about the quake effect go for it.
11-13-2002, 08:32 AM
My thinking was to use the adjustable piers and to use screws instead of nails to secure the floor... because, no matter what, you're going to end up re-adjusting these supports eventually... and it's a lot easier to use a wrench instead of having to shim/wedge/fill etc...
It would still be a P.I.T.A. ... I mean, you'd have to move the tools off one sheet of ply, remove the sheet, adjust the piers.... but it's a whole lot cheaper than pouring a slab! :)
11-13-2002, 02:09 PM
I have no problem with the moble home jacks. My first home had wheels, but it also has a 36 inch crawl space easy to adjust over time. And the structure was welded together. So a quake would not be a big issue. I don't think a slab is required but a foundation and attachment to a foundation is important in Quake areas. If he was in another part of the country no issue.
Even if the frame is built well enough that it could be put back no the piers after a shake it would be a pain but not a big issue, but most wood structures don't handle that well.
Maybe I'm missing something but it seems to me that the "springy" problem is related to the 2x6 joists not the 1/2" plywood.
From your description I'm assuming the foundation structure is a ribbon beam (of unknown dimension) around the perimeter of the shed bearing on concrete piers on 4 foot centers. The floor is then supported by the 2x6's which are attached to the ribbon beam by joist hangers and spaced on 16" centers. If my assumptions are correct then you have 2x6's spanning 16' which is not adequate for floor joists. They should be 2x10 minimum and probably 2x12.
If this is the case I think you need to remove the 1/2" flooring and add another 2x6 joist between each of the existing 2x6's(after checking for settling of the piers and correcting as has been recommended by others). Then you will have 2x6's at 8" centers. Then install a 3/4" T&G floor. That should give you the structural stability and rigidity you need for your heavy tools.
11-14-2002, 12:56 PM
If you don't want to use Concrete, then go with 6" of compacted ROAD BASE!!(Ask your local materials dealer, they'll know what to give you)I just replaced my side deck here, and put in 6" of compacted road base onto which I set my pier blocks. The road base is cheaper and easier to deal with if you have access to under the building
11-14-2002, 04:42 PM
Really good debate on this topic. Glad to hear it's of interest. I think I need to take a look again (probably rip up a sheet of flooring). When I first looked, I thought it was a 16x24 frame of 2x6 (doubled) frame with one cross-member on the long stretch. The middle beam appears to be 2x6 doubled up as well. It's hard to see, but it looks like the joists are 2x6x8', 16in on center.
It's really hard to see the support under the middle beam, but my plan is to pull up a few of the flooring sheets and re-inforce the middle beam with new/better piers as needed, check for dry-rot and replace any joists that need it, the re-cover the floor. I think my next step is some delicate de-construction.
After this, I'll be in a wiring mode I think... More fun. I'm reading up on shop wiring right now and do plan to have a professional do the wireing plan and panel work. I think I can run the inner-wall wiring (lights, plugs, & switches) myself.
Thanks for all the great input.