What's new
What's new

What type of foundation and floor for tension fabric building?

Freedommachine

Stainless
Joined
May 13, 2020
My shop is currently cluttered with items unrelated to it's intended purpose of making parts. It has become an annoyance that must be rectified soon.

To do this, I bought a 40ft connex box and filled it with shelves and akro bins for organized storage of 'shelf-able' items. For larger items and things on wheels, I picked up one of these new in box at a local auction:

4ced59bf-15eb-45fe-8a84-82ddc5bef1e6.jpg

I know they are not ideal but I don't have time or a clear enough plan to build anything permanent right now.

The temporary structure will be setting on soil that consists of 8-12" of top soil followed by clay. I was thinking about using 12 of these screw piles to provide a foundation for the steel hoop frame - one at each anchor point. For the floor, I was thinking driveway fabric topped with gravel.


I know very little about gravel sizes and when to use each type. I would be interested in any input you guys could offer on this or alternative foundation/floor solutions that might be better than what I'm planning for this temporary structure. It will most likely be in use 3-5 years.
 
Mow the grass

Buy 3/4 gray or blue 4' x 8' Styrofoam (hard stuff)

Lay it on the grass and use the aluminum duct tape to cover all seams

Anchor the styrofoam in place with cheapest steel spikes you can find

Use non commercial (or used whatever is free) track ceiling and assemble face down on top of the Styrofoam and anchor it to the foam cheaply or let it float

Mix small batches of cement and screed (use a wood 2x4 or 3/4 x 3 board about 30" long) the 2' x 4' track ceiling rectangles in places you can walk all around like a chess board and let them set up

Mix up more small batches of cement and now finish the unfilled rectangles

Anchor the fabric building around the outside edges with cheap small screw anchors

The floor will last years and years, Styrofoam keeps the greenery stuff from growing under the floor

Don't drive vehicles over it, but if that is the plan, lay chain link fence wire on top of the foam/track/cement and do another 1" layer of fibre reinforced cement in one pour. But it will be near impossible to break it up to remove it

It's easy, quick, and my floor in the swamp is still awesome after 20 years although the tin building is nearly done from age
 
Mow the grass

Buy 3/4 gray or blue 4' x 8' Styrofoam (hard stuff)

Lay it on the grass and use the aluminum duct tape to cover all seams

Anchor the styrofoam in place with cheapest steel spikes you can find

Use non commercial (or used whatever is free) track ceiling and assemble face down on top of the Styrofoam and anchor it to the foam cheaply or let it float

Mix small batches of cement and screed (use a wood 2x4 or 3/4 x 3 board about 30" long) the 2' x 4' track ceiling rectangles in places you can walk all around like a chess board and let them set up

Mix up more small batches of cement and now finish the unfilled rectangles

Anchor the fabric building around the outside edges with cheap small screw anchors

The floor will last years and years, Styrofoam keeps the greenery stuff from growing under the floor

Don't drive vehicles over it, but if that is the plan, lay chain link fence wire on top of the foam/track/cement and do another 1" layer of fibre reinforced cement in one pour. But it will be near impossible to break it up to remove it

It's easy, quick, and my floor in the swamp is still awesome after 20 years although the tin building is nearly done from age

That is an interesting solution, I bet that would make a real nice floor. This is more for the vehicles, tractor, mower and things like that.

I will likely have my brake, a few work benches and other things stored out there temporarily while I finish the insulation and upgrading lights and wiring in the shop.

I was thinking gravel would be good because it's quick and easy. I can also use it somewhere else when I take the building down.
 
I like the screw pile idea, didn't know they were available to the DIY crowd.
I would rent a skid steer with auger (in this case a Dingo would probably work) for 4 hours and screw them in.
 
I like the screw pile idea, didn't know they were available to the DIY crowd.
I would rent a skid steer with auger (in this case a Dingo would probably work) for 4 hours and screw them in.

I thought screw piles were a cheap hack until I started researching them a few days ago. Now, I'm not sure why anyone would build without them - unless they're building on a rock.

Pylex seems to be the only DIY option available in the US. They certainly don't compare to the commerical ones but I figure they would do fine for a backyard shed, a deck or for my purposes here. They have 32" and 50" options available and from what I've read, they are not too difficult to drive by hand.

It looks like screw piles are far more popular in Canada and Europe than in the US so far.


^^^ This guy bought a franchise from a screw pile company. Honestly, it sounds like a cool business. Load up the little pile driving robot and spend the day screwing in piles for $250 each.

My grandfather has a bobcat I can borrow in the spring, I need to do a pm on it anyway. I was going to put up the building and widen my driveway while I have the machine. I had not thought about screwing them in with an auger. I have one for the tractor - that could save a lot of time.
 
Mow the grass

Buy 3/4 gray or blue 4' x 8' Styrofoam (hard stuff)

Lay it on the grass and use the aluminum duct tape to cover all seams

Anchor the styrofoam in place with cheapest steel spikes you can find

Use non commercial (or used whatever is free) track ceiling and assemble face down on top of the Styrofoam and anchor it to the foam cheaply or let it float

Mix small batches of cement and screed (use a wood 2x4 or 3/4 x 3 board about 30" long) the 2' x 4' track ceiling rectangles in places you can walk all around like a chess board and let them set up

Mix up more small batches of cement and now finish the unfilled rectangles

Anchor the fabric building around the outside edges with cheap small screw anchors

The floor will last years and years, Styrofoam keeps the greenery stuff from growing under the floor

Don't drive vehicles over it, but if that is the plan, lay chain link fence wire on top of the foam/track/cement and do another 1" layer of fibre reinforced cement in one pour. But it will be near impossible to break it up to remove it

It's easy, quick, and my floor in the swamp is still awesome after 20 years although the tin building is nearly done from age
What is your location ?
Clicking on your name indicates you've hidden it from viewing, why ?
 
Back to the question about gravel. I always order something called "No. 9 road rock" for this sort of thing, it's crushed limestone, 3/4" and smaller, with the fines left in, so it locks up tight and doesn't roll around loose. There is a grade of crushed reclaimed concrete that is the same that may be cheaper that would also work, or possibly asphalt "strippings", the result of grinding the road surface before repaving. If you only have 8" of topsoil over clay, taking it out would be best, otherwise six or eight inches over the soil should be fine. Put a layer of visqueen under it for a vapor barrier to keep the moisture from coming through from the ground and rusting your equipment. Dennis
 
There’s a firm down the road from me that make what they call concrete impregnated cloth shelters, they’re a thing it turns out, you inflate the shelter and spray with water, the things a bulletproof in a few days, cool idea
Just an idea,
Mark
 
3-5 years multiplied by the Life Factor means you'll be using this building for 25-35 years. IMO, that does not look like a 35 year-life structure.
 
There’s a firm down the road from me that make what they call concrete impregnated cloth shelters, they’re a thing it turns out, you inflate the shelter and spray with water, the things a bulletproof in a few days, cool idea
Just an idea,

Yup:

However, that's a permanent structure and will be taxed as such. The tarp "hoop buildings" fall under different rules.
 
Back to the question about gravel. I always order something called "No. 9 road rock" for this sort of thing, it's crushed limestone, 3/4" and smaller, with the fines left in, so it locks up tight and doesn't roll around loose. There is a grade of crushed reclaimed concrete that is the same that may be cheaper that would also work, or possibly asphalt "strippings", the result of grinding the road surface before repaving. If you only have 8" of topsoil over clay, taking it out would be best, otherwise six or eight inches over the soil should be fine. Put a layer of visqueen under it for a vapor barrier to keep the moisture from coming through from the ground and rusting your equipment. Dennis

Thank you, that's the info I needed on the gravel. I have a partial roll of driveway fabric that I was planning on putting down to help prevent the gravel from sinking into the soil. Visqueen as a vapor barrier is something I had not thought of. I will definitely add that to the plan.

3-5 years multiplied by the Life Factor means you'll be using this building for 25-35 years. IMO, that does not look like a 35 year-life structure.

"The Life Factor"; lol I like that. Unfortunately, if I had to plan everything based on that, I'd never get anything done!

I plan on moving in 10-15 years and renting out my current property. I would like to avoid spending money to build permanent structures that may not pay me a return on investment.

The one exception being a generator shed / tornado shelter. No basement; kinda worry some during tornado season.

The temporary storage building cost me $1800. A replacement fabric cover is $650. I could replace it every 3 years and still be 10x cheaper than a stick built structure.

I just need it to keep the elements off of my stuff so I can get my shop cleaned out, remodeled and reorganized for the best efficiency.
 
crushed concrete is cheaper than limestone, may or maynot have rebar shards in it,used it for driveway and turn around, then asphalted the whole thing when money was easy.
good luck
Gw
 
Back to the question about gravel. I always order something called "No. 9 road rock" for this sort of thing, it's crushed limestone, 3/4" and smaller, with the fines left in, so it locks up tight and doesn't roll around loose. There is a grade of crushed reclaimed concrete that is the same that may be cheaper that would also work, or possibly asphalt "strippings", the result of grinding the road surface before repaving. If you only have 8" of topsoil over clay, taking it out would be best, otherwise six or eight inches over the soil should be fine. Put a layer of visqueen under it for a vapor barrier to keep the moisture from coming through from the ground and rusting your equipment. Dennis
Around here they call it Crusher Run. Properly compacted with a plate compactor it is very stable. Some years back I widened my driveway by digging a trench with a rented mini excavator and then partially filled it with 3/4 gravel followed by crusher run. The top coat is a thin layer of patching asphalt (the kind sold in bags) and it's still good many years later. I did later coat everything with the Rustoleum epoxy fortified driveway sealer.
 
With a fabric building the main thing is that many times they benefit from additional bracing to add protection from high winds. Under severe wind stress they often collapse as the side frames tilt over.

Good point. Yes, the cross braces that run between the hoops are definitely the main failure point in the whole design. They are steel tubes but the ends have been crimped flat to allow them to be bolted together - creating a very weak folding point.

I'm going to overlap the crimped, bolted joints with 2x2 angle and U bolts to transfer the load away from the failure points. It should make the whole structure far more rigid as well.

20221224_103912.jpg
 








 
Back
Top