What does ‘floorless’ garage mean and why do we offer garages with floors and with no floors?
In the past; Amish-built garages have always included a heavy duty reinforced pressure-treated wooden floor built to support the weight of a vehicle. Our prices still include this floor. However; many town building codes now prohibit a wood floor in any unit which will be used for vehicle storage. No problem! We offer floorless garages and 95% of the garages we sell are now floorless.
Please check with YOUR town building department for info on permits, foundation requirements, etc. What you read below are general recommendations; you may need to do something entirely different to meet YOUR code. As far as your foundation, it would be misleading and irresponsible for us to assume to tell you how or what to do outside of our local area as it’s impossible for us to know every town’s specific building codes. We can only tell you what we need to set our buildings and you can take it from there. Any prototype drawings you receive from us are based on building codes and allowances in our Mid-Hudson Valley NY location. We may have to adjust the drawings for your area and that’s not usually a problem.
Floorless storage buildings and garages are available in any style and up to 48′ in length. As per our pricelists, we charge a nominal extra fee for the floorless option because the base is upgraded to 6×6 pressure-treated lumber, extra 6×6 bracing is required for transport, iron corner braces are added and more time and labor is involved during the set-up process including anchoring. As an added plus; removing the standard floor and then adding the 6×6’s gives you almost 6 extra inches of interior height! The floorless option may require some extra work on your part as far as waterproofing the perimeter if need be.
CONCRETE SLAB requirements:
The 6″ perimeter of the slab should have no pitch to it as the 6×6 pressure-treated base of the building must sit flush against the foundation and there should be no pitch where the interior support walls come together and rest on the foundation. That said; you can pitch the center and you can pitch near the overhead door entries if it’s code in your area to do so. There should be no pre-affixed anchors, hooks, electrical conduit or obstructions of any kind protruding up from the slab prior to delivery. The slab should be no more than 6″ above the surrounding ground. The slab photos shown above are perfect as we must be able to drive up and on the concrete slab during the delivery process. Please refer to our Site Preparation page for further information and requirements. We cannot place our buildings on raised foundation walls, cinder blocks, over basements or any other hollow center. FOR BEST RESULTS; we recommend having the concrete slab dimensions equal to OR just slightly less than the true footprint of the building you purchase. The actual footprints are listed on the drawings or just ask us what your footprint will be. Different buildings have different footprints. **A Blacktop foundation is NOT recommended. In fact, we highly discourage it and in most cases, this would void the warranty**
NOTE: All measurements are outside and approximate. Due to highway travel; measurements are from overhang to overhang. The actual footprint of the building may be less than the purchased dimensions. Please inquire upon order or refer to your drawings. No building will be higher than 13′ 6″ ON the trailer.
ANCHORING is included in our floorless pricing. MOISTURE-PROOFING, if needed, is the customers responsibility.
Anchoring: Floorless units always require some sort of anchoring. It certainly won’t blow away; it’s just code requirements. We use heavy duty long anchor bolts that we drill down through the 6×6 base into the concrete. They are placed at 4′-5′ increments and on each side of any door and in each corner. The actual method of anchoring MAY be determined by your local town building code. Let us know if they have any certain requirements. You can also do it yourself and save some $$; the following web sites may be helpful for guidance purposes and anchor supplies:
STONE/GRAVEL Pad anchoring: American Earth Anchors www.americanea.com or 866-520-8511
CONCRETE anchoring: Concrete Fastening Systems or www.concretefasteners.com or 800-966-9617
Moisture-proofing: Our floorless unit has a 6×6 pressure-treated base which is meant to sit flush right on top of the concrete slab, but this does not mean it is always automatically water-tight. Water MAY trickle under if the foundation is a bit off level, creating gaps, and specifically if the slab is larger than the building since the rain can’t flow away from the base. If your slab is no bigger than the building footprint, as recommended; you shouldn’t have any issue with water and further waterproofing will probably not be necessary. Obviously, we can’t make any 100% guarantee on this since the foundation is out of our hands. You are ultimately in charge of your own success by choosing a quality foundation contractor. Here are some easy recommendations for waterproofing if needed:
Tip: We recommend running a good long-lasting exterior grade silicone/caulk along the interior and the exterior of the 6×6 pressure-treated base where it meets the concrete slab. Keep in mind that fluctuating temperatures may cause the caulk to contract and expand so more than one application may be needed and it may need to be resealed over time.
Unlevel Concrete Slabs/Stone Pads: Unfortunately, not every concrete slab we’ve worked with has been 100% dead level, so there is a possibility that once the building is set, it won’t sit completely flush around the entire perimeter. If there is even a slight dip in the slab, the 6×6 won’t sit flush in that space; strategic anchoring usually helps eliminate this problem if it isn’t severe. You can also try filling in this ‘air space’ with spray foam insulation, trimming it flush and even painting it if necessary and then moisture-proofing the base as described above. (Of course, there is the occasional concrete slab contractor who would like to say it’s the building and not their slab that’s off level until we set our level and prove to them that’s just not the case!:>) Unlevel pads can also cause some issues with the pre-hung house doors hanging and working smoothly. 99% of the time, if there is a door issue, it’s not the door at all, it’s the pad! Dealing with an unlevel, soft, improperly prepared stone pad is a more difficult situation. We do not recommend a gravel stone pad for a floorless structure unless it’s for housing animals. If it’s a garage, your town code will dictate that you need a concrete slab.
FINALLY, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL IF YOU OR YOUR CONTRACTOR HAVE ANY FOUNDATION QUESTIONS! IT’S NOT WORTH TAKING A CHANCE AND HOPING IT WILL BE RIGHT WHEN A 5 MINUTE PHONE CALL CAN RESOLVE ANY UNCERTAINTY. MANY CONTRACTORS AREN’T FAMILIAR WITH THE PRE-FAB AMISH GARAGES, THE DELIVERY, OR THE ASSEMBLY PROCESS. THEY LET PRIDE STAND IN THE WAY OF JUST ‘ASKING’ US. WE’VE SEEN MANY QUESTIONABLE FOUNDATIONS DONE BY SUPPOSED ‘PROFESSIONALS WITH 25 YRS IN BUSINESS’. WELL, GUESS WHAT? IT’S YOU, THE CUSTOMER, WHO’S LEFT WITH THE CHANCE OF A VOIDED WARRANTY AND A BUILDING THAT ISN’T SUPPORTED PROPERLY OVER THE LONG HAUL IF THE FOUNDATION ISN’T PROPERLY PREPARED.