Just getting to the stage of putting concrete in our barn ... the stalls are supposed to have a 6" concrete base of 1' x1' with a hole cutout for the corner posts.
We priced out 6" concrete for the entire barn, but wonder how overkill is 6" ?
Tossing around the idea of using forms to frame 6'' concrete just for the perimeter of the 8 stalls... is that alot more work, or will really save money?
Then how much am I going to spend on gravel/packing to 'level up' the stalls' flooring height?
I was going to use Comfort stall mattresses , but not sure they need to sit over 6" concrete, just a level surface.
What do you think will work?
You couldn't pay me enough to put concrete stall floors in.
My tack room and feed room have 4" concrete. My wash rack has 6" concrete-probably overkill- just in case I want to drive a truck/tractor in there. I can't remember the mix- might have been 5000#- when I called for concrete I told them what I might do with the area and let them suggest the proper mix. The rest of my barn aisles are sawdust over stonedust.
Your idea of putting concrete around the perimeter of the stalls (contractors call them "grade beams") is a good one. We have comfort stall in our CEM quarantine stall which has no concrete and the mice have burrowed into the gravel dust undermining the rubber sheet in one spot.
I have grade beams and standard mats with excellent results. Level the gravel dust to a height such that when the mats are installed they are flush with the grade beam. No shifting mats ever!
It also mattera if it is reinforced or not. We have 4" aprons around the center aisle. The wash stall and tack room is also 4". All concrete is rebar reinforced. I wouldn't do concrete stalls either.
This!!! We have 4" reinforced concrete in our feed, tack, office and wash stalls. No cracks or wear, but I definitely would not put it in the stalls. Clay base or stone dust with stall mats would be cheaper and better for your horses.
Four inch thickness is plenty what is important is the strength of your concrete.....2000 psi, 4000 psi etc.......different strengths are used for different applications........I'll have to ask hubby what would be standard for aisles, stalls.
I would never embed posts in concrete......posts always sit up on top of the concrete.....and if possible you have a concrete curb to sit stall walls on.....other wise when you hose the barn out your wood is always getting wet and will eventually rot.....our stall walls are up on 18" concrete walls.
thanks for your suggestions.
I am concerned that the rebar might end up EXACTLY where we need to cutout the hole for the corner posts?
I don't totally understand why we should pour grade beams just to cut out holes... why not just set up the stalls, then pour into the gradebeams when its all in position?
We had to have the posts in to hold up the roof trusses BEFORE we ever thought of doing cement! Our aisle is 12' wide, with 12' stall depth on both sides. Posts are on the edge of the aisle, so inside stall dimensions are actually about 11'6" with the double front wall width. We used treated lumber for the base of stall wall beside the cement.
Our stalls have layers of limestone, gravel, down about 3ft over a sandy base for the barn installation. They have stall mats over the layers, and stalls drain very well. I wouldn't have cement under my horses because of the drainage problems.
We poured our aisle very thick, since we knew we would be driving thru the barn with tractors, loaded hay wagons, trucks for Farrier, Vet. We have put the stock trailer inside the barn for working on, since stalls are all on one end. Now we back the semi trailer with hay inside to unload. You need that depth AND reinforcing of the cement to handle those kind of loads without cracking to pieces.
One other thing was that we put the barn base down in fall, let the winter weather work on it to reduce height, get any air out, BEFORE we built the barn the next fall. We had to raise the whole level of pole barn for good drainage, get it above the flat ground of our barnyard that flooded seasonally, with us needing almost 5ft in height for that base area. The winter and rains sure did help a lot, packing things well, getting that base area solid before building. We have only 3 cracks in the 60ft length aisle floor in over 30 years of use, because we built the floor to handle our uses of it. Apron areas on both sides have no cracking at all, used for storing hay, carriages, the tack room area.
All this preparation before building, was on the advice of BIL the barn builder, who knows ALL the problems that can happen AFTER construction is finished, and the years of use start piling on. He built all kinds of barns, cattle, dairy, pigs, poultry, machinery, so he knew how to do things right the FIRST time thru.
Why is concrete being poured before the posts are put in?
We haven't yet... thats why I posted the topic...
We got custom made larger stalls , and they told us in broken english, to cut holes of x centimeters for the corner posts, and in 6" cement.
Other barns I had used bolts to the existing floor, but the stalls weren't imported. We are wanting this to be a do it right, once project.
The cost of 6" concrete everywhere is 30k, and it seems dumb to do that under stalls where I want to put ComfortStall mattresses.
Its a free-span building, we don't need support posts to the trusses inside.
I'd say 50% the barn's concrete is for feed/ tackbox/ grooming/wash areas.. the aisle mostly for horse/ quad, maybe my midsize tractor to pass through?
Are you running any water pipes in the floor/cement? Pretty sure our floor is 8" thick, but possibly extra thick as we have in floor heating, our water pipes for the stall, and floor drains. We framed where we wanted the cement and poured it before putting in the stalls as we didn't want cement under the stalls.
We have the stall mattress system and put some in over hard packed clay, and some in over clay covered by wood sheets. The latter made it more firm/stable which I prefer. Our neighbours put them in over cement and they are happy with that as well. Their vet feels that the firmer base is good with the mattress as otherwise the mattress system can be too soft, requiring the horse to make constant adjustments to keep its balance.
For general horse and human traffic, 4" concrete should be sufficient. We have driven small tractor and my husband's 3/4 ton truck over and never had a problem. If you need to drive heavier machinery, that is when you need to consider 4"+
By the way, I LOVE my concrete stalls with wall to wall rubber mats. For me, it was a Must-Have and I've never regretted any cent spent on it.
First, you did not state where you are located. A lot of different answers from various parts of the country and our neighbors to the north. I point this out because type, thickness, reinforcement is based on several basic factors, local weather and environment, location and what the grade/base is made up of and or how it was prepared. You said your are building a free span structure which have to be highly engineered especially wide ones. So, there maybe a reason the plans call for concrete through out the entire base of the structure and the necessary thickness? Gravity is constantly pulling everything down this being the roof. Assuming it is a pitched roof the entire load is being pulled down and out which requires the perimeter support posts to deal with all of these forces. The downward and outward. Because it is a “free span” meaning nothing is connecting the sides to each other so as to counter act the forces pushing them out they may need the extra strength of being set in 6 inches of concrete through out the entire structured to keep them plumb. Just guessing here. If this is not the case then IMO having not seen the structure nor the plans it really comes down to preferences and needs as others have pointed out. IMO if you want to go with concrete in the stalls just to give the horses something to stand on, then I see not reason for this thickness. Again, IMO it depends on the grade, location and environment where the structure is being built so as to avoid cracking in the future no as much by the horses or equipment and or other uses.