barn floor : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

I just bought a place that has an old barn on it. Building is pretty sturdy - roof has to replaced and there are no doors. Basically two rooms with low ceiling and a small loft. I would like to use small half of barn for chicken coop and use the larger half for a workroom - but of course it has no floor. I have little experience with a job this size. I know it is just basic carpentry, but I have never built anything larger than a bookcase or doghouse. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, December 05, 2001


I don't know anything about floors, but you might consider keeping the chicken part dirt. Also, if you are new to chickens, be aware that they make a lot of dust. You will want to have some sort of dust barrier between them and the workshop.

-- mary (, December 05, 2001.

Well i would definitely put a solid wall between your work room and the chickens, as the person above is right about the dust. it is bad for you to breath that stuff day in and day out. Also there are many options for a floor. You could have a concrete floor poured if you built the frames to pour it in. This would require an experienced friend though. You could also build a wood floor, if you don't mind the floor being raised a little. A lot of this depends on what exactly you want to do in this work room. As for the roof I suggest metal.

Little bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, December 06, 2001.

Thanks for the suggestions - I do intend to leave the chicken side dirt - there is a solid wall between that area and the rest of the barn. I want a wood floor because concrete is so hard on the feet and legs. It will be a combination potting shed, soap room, and anything else I get a hankering to do room, so I know I will be standing up a lot. My family thinks it is funny - we bought a house, but I'm excited about an old barn with half a roof.

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, December 06, 2001.

haha, I understand where you're coming from. When we sold our house in Belton, I always asked people if they wanted to see the barns. If they didn't, I knew they wouldn't be our buyer!;)

When we moved here, I was out tilling before boxes were unpacked. (And we've just been completing a nice barn extension, never mind that there are STILL boxes everywhere!;)

-- mary (, December 07, 2001.

I am going to a good friend's house next weekend to see his new barn and bring a barn-warming present. (I threatened to bring a fresh pile of nanny drops to christen the place with!) My friend is living in a trailer on his property that came with the land. It is very primative, but other than a few improvements to make the trailer habitable (you know, a roof and a floor, things like that), his first priority was to build the barn! Now, I'm not quite that fanatical, but I appreciate the sentiment. My barn is my pride and joy. Other than my chicken coop, it's the only building I've ever built, and my husband and I did it all by ourselves. I even drew up the plans myself. And the amazing thing is that I still like the design, now that I've been using the barn for 2 years.

Go to your local library and read everything you can on barns and floors. I like the book How to Build Small Barns and Outbuildings by Monte Burch. I think he has another book out with a similar name also. He writes well for non-carpenters. Good luck! Although it was a tough summer the year we built the barn, it was one I will never forget, and I think I'll build more....

-- Sheryl in ME (, December 09, 2001.

Linda I just finished building a pole barn wall down the center one side for tractors garden stuff and tools the other side will be my workshop and I am going to use flat creek rock and gravel from my cousins farm and it is free that is a big extra. I will put gravel down first then arange the flat rock then put more gravel on and then will sweep into all the rock cracks that should give me a good solid floor and as for my work area I am sure I will find soome rubber mats soome where auction , garge sale, flea market . There is always a cheap way to do things most of the times free we just have to look at what is around us and what others are willing to get rid of. Indiana Country Friend Jack Bunyard

-- Jack Bunyard (, December 10, 2001.

Linda, First of all I would measure the floor area. Level the area as best as you can. Measure 8' (if you are using 4x8' plywood for the floor) length wise on each end. This is for the 4x4 beams to nail the ply to. Measure 24" widthwise to be cross beam support also 4x4. take string and tie each opposite end together to form a grid. At each +, a concrete pillar or a cinder block to keep the wood from the ground (termites and all that) {Pillars have a 4x4 area of wood onto which you can use a metal braket to tie in the 4x4 beams, easier to deal with a sturdy too) Place the lengthwise beams across the pillars and secure to them. (make sure that you have a beam on the outside edge of the floor). Using the appropriate brackets (your hardware person should be able to help get the right brackets that you will need, if not go to anotehr hardware store) attach the widthwise beams to the lengthwise beams. Now you will have a wooden frame work upon which to lay the 3/4" plywood on. (Now a note of importance here: please apply a watersealer or shellac or a varnish to these beams before you start building or at least berfore you nail the floor one. Will help the wood last longer and also avid dampness which will become a food factory for carpenter ants and beetles, etc.) Waterproof the underside of the plywood (at least for starters). Now, determine where you want your electricity to be. The more outlests the better. Layout the wires and place them where you want them. Plumbing to if you need sinks, drains, etc. If you need tv, run these wires too. You will have to determin what you need and place them in now. Will be kind of hard crawling under the 6" crawlspace under the barn floor to add these in after you put the floor down. Nail the plywood to the beams or screw them in (much better a choice) and there you go you have a floor. If you want a better water safe floor lay down the visquene(?) or the plastic sheeting that will act as a moisture barrier. Place insulation in between the floor joists (keeping in mind that whatever you use here will eventually become a mouse condo, so this might not be a good idea, don't know), beside the pilars are about 5-6" tall; not much space for massive heat loss. You might have to build a stair or two, has a good plan for that. If you do and the door will be ground level, you will need to adjust the above description a little bit. Measure the width of the door and add 2" so that the door and swing in freely with room to spare. Now add 10-11" for the step. At this point the step will be placed. You will need to add a beam here, might be just 2-3' with it's own pillars so that the fllor will be supported. Kind of hard to explain in a brief message. email if you need more info. Have a great day. J

-- Jonathan (, December 17, 2001.

Thanks for all replies - especially Jonathan - thanks for taking the time to explain - I printed off your instructions and I am off to get the lumber.

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, December 23, 2001.

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