I am considering closing in a shed for car storage. It currently has a gravel floor. Trying to keep the cost down, I am considering to use gravel placed over a moisture barrier. Any suggestions?
You'll hate yourself in the morning...
Frank is right.Do it once ,but do it right.Moisture barrier/concrete.
I built a 40x40 building and they poured the concrete floor before they built the building.
Ditto to the above two posts. I almost went the gravel route with the intention of concrete later in my barn. Realized once I started putting stuff in barn it would never happen. So glad I bit the $ bullet & concreted. You won't regret it.
Is the "shed" a real building or just a run down old structure intended for temporary use? If you're looking for a short term storage solution then gravel may be just fine. If the building is a solid structure and you intend long term use, then a proper concrete floor is the way to go. Weigh the cost of the concrete floor against the value of the building and you'll have your answer.
I went from gravel to concrete and I'll never go back.
Gravel is OK for sheds or ??? that is just storage space. If you ever plan on doing any work in there, concrete is the way to go.
I have a shed with gravel over a moisture barrier of bill board material which is really good stuff. Still have moisture problems, hope to pour concrete soon. KGB
Once u start putting stuff in the building, its to late to even paint the floor. My building is about full. LOL
I'm putting wall to wall carpeting in mine
You drop a part everytime and never find it in gravel!
Being up there in the frozen tundra I'd look into pouring a floor with tubes in it to carry warm water for winter heat. I've read that it's a very efficient way of heating a place.
Steve makes a great point. Radiant floor heat is a very good way to heat a space. If you look around online you'll find a number of systems available.
John - It sounds as if most people would concrete, but it depends on how you plan to use the "shed".
If it is storage only gravel or stone dust with crushed stone is OK.
If you plan on working in the "shed" it makes sense to concrete it if you have the money.
Well, as you have read many times in this forum, you put a T in that shed and there is more room, these darn things multiply!!! ( And we love it!!! )
Remember also that concrete helps to keep out more than just moisture. It also helps to keep out rodents and termites.
Concrete and a moisture barrier...concrete alone will not stop moisture intrusion...also consider insulating beneath the concrete if in cold climate.
Quite true Scott C. A concrete floor alone will not keep out rodents or bugs either. If one can afford to, it would almost always be best to work the whole package for best results. But a lot of us cannot manage to do that.
Moisture barriers are not very expensive, and some level of moisture barrier should be put under any floor.
Concrete may not be as expensive as many people think. If (big IF again) it is available near you, and you can do some of the work yourself? It may not cost much more than brick or gravel would. The problem with small floors and sidewalks is that often you need a lot more than you would want to buy by the bag and mix yourself, but not nearly enough for a minimum delivery of fully mixed concrete ready to pour. In some areas, the minimum delivery is three cubic yards. Been there, done that. (Doing communication systems contracting for 25 years we poured quite a few bases for satellite dishes!) The labor to handle the concrete is a lot more expensive than the concrete itself. You might consider checking into some sort of ready mix in your area.
Ask around for as many estimates as you can get on the concrete work. You'd be surprised at how much some contractor will inflate the price to pay for their next holiday. Been there, avoided that.
I have had experience with both concrete and gravel. The problem I had with the concrete in an unheated building is moisture. When I built my storage building which is 80 foot long, I dug down 6 inches, put down heavy plastic, then gravel, and plastic over the gravel. I used a vented ridge cap. I have had no problems with moisture in this building. Shortly after I built this building in the 80's, I started restoring my 36 Roadster, then I ended up buying a 53 Ford Convertible and decided to restore that instead. I stored the 36 in this building, there were spots on it where I had sand blasted it. I never primed them. When I took the car out of this building to restore it five years ago, there was still no rust where I had sand blasted it. In my work garage I have concrete down, over this I put locking rubber mats down. This keeps the moisture and cold down in the winter. The pads are very easy on the feet and ankles. If you use concrete, I would do what Steve J. suggests to heat the concrete.
Concrete in and out was part of the millwright job at chevy and i can tell you.Put your drain and square sump in first.City fall inside is too much,and never put a pipe in a doorway! Wire mesh is ok but i think 3/8" re rod on 12" centers is better.Do not go cheap on concrete with less than a 5 or 6 bag mix and if strong crushed stone or if you want smooth 6 or 7 bag mix and pea stone.Use a lot of sand under your floor and get it up high enough as you get one chance!!! Bud.
Well said Ken
When I built my new shop I got advise from several sources before I made up my mind on a floor.
I was advised to have large crushed rock as a base then add a layer of fine crushed rock. This was rolled and packed down. Then 2 layers of very heavy polly barrier. Then rebar criss crossed and wired together. Finally 6 sac and a full 6" concrete slab all poured at the same time. After it was down for a few days it was cut and cross cut for expansion. I did have 12" of concrete poured under where my hoists were going to be installed.
My car barn is 5000 square feet and the floor was poured after the building was erected. Now down nearly 10 years not 1 crack or any sign of hydrostatic moisture anywhere. I do wish I had paid the difference about $50.00 per yard to have stain added to the original pour.
My vote is for concrete done right.
Well, for a shop 6 sack at 6" with rebar is great, but for a storage area--storage only, you can get by a lot thinner. Photos of my storage building 16' x 24' I borrowed a cement mixer and had gravel delivered (to a nearby location, more on that later) and bought cement at the local HD when it was on sale. (I AM cheap!).
Now, doing this by myself, I can only work so much concrete at at time, and being inside a building, it's harder to do the leveling, screeding and final finishing. So, I did small areas at a time, pretty much what I could do in a day, mix, spread and finish. Pad is about 4" thick.
Reason I didn't use a tote-behind mix nor a truck is that my storage building is across a narrow bridge and up a steep driveway--and I'm a half hour's drive from the pre-mix place. I would really recommend the pre-mix--even with a mixer, it's a lot of work mixing it; and borrowed equipment usually needs rebuilding before you can use it! The mixer I returned was in much better condition than the one I borrowed!
Final Pour! Whew!
Loading stuff in, Barney sits in front of these shelves now. Yes, those are pipe organ parts.
If you do pour the floor definitely put down heavy plastic before the cement. I did that on my barn and have never had a crack or has the floor sweated.
Back in the 60"s I built a 24X24 garage and dad and I poured the concrete by hand 8X24 slabs one weekend at a time. I was a lot younger then. Looked like David, but 8X24.