DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Framing and Foundation > Strengthen floor for aquariums




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Old 01-19-2008, 06:45 PM  
theboomboomcars
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The house was built in 1890, with an addition put on in the '60s. The area in question is the addition. The seller has just put in new flooring and such, but also said that he was not aware of an entry way into the crawl space. I checked the closets and around the house and did not see anything.

It is pretty dry here, and dry rot is not a common problem, termites are really rare as well.

I am pretty sure I will have to cut my way in, any recommendations on how to do it?

Thank you for your help.



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Old 01-19-2008, 07:17 PM  
glennjanie
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Welcome to TBBCs:
For my money, I would dig down to undisturbed earth to place a 2' wide X 8" thick footer and lay 8" concrete blocks around the peremiter of the room. If it is an interior room there is no fear of getting below the frost line. The foundation would support the walls around the room on half of it and a concrete floor on the inner half; with thoroughly compacted rock or sand filling the foundation to the bottom of the concrete. I would also run a #4 reinforcing bar each foot in both directions and suspend it in the center of the 4" height of concrete.
Now you have a commercial floor and you can load it any way you please.
Please let us know how you come out.
Glenn



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Old 01-19-2008, 07:38 PM  
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Is there a basement to the original house? did you check in there?

If its from the 60's the subfloor is probably 1" X 3" tongue and groove. . so using a circular saw set the depth to 1 1/4 " cut the floor following a groove. cut only an inch once the saw deck hits the floor. then look to see that the blade went all the way through. if not set it a little deeper. Keep cutting short distances and keep looking for the floor joist. once you find it take a square and make a line directly over the middle of the stud 2 feet long. Flip the saw around and find your Floor joist on the other side and do the same thing. Once you cut the hole you can nail or screw a board to the back of the tongue and groove boards now you have a cover for your hole.
You probably will only have a 14" wide hole to crawl through

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Old 01-20-2008, 02:44 AM  
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glennjanie- Thank you for the input. I am having a hard time visualizing what you are describing. Please correct any misinterpretations that I have.
I should dig the loose dirt around the perimeter of the room where I want to put the tanks and put a concrete footer in the trench I dug out. Then I put in concrete blocks to build a wall on top of the footer that I put in. After this I get lost. Do I replace the wood floors with a concrete one? Then fill in under the concrete floor with sand or crushed rock? Thank you for you help.

guyod- The original house does not have a basement, and I couldn't find a crawl space entrance in that part of the house either.
I am not sure what a groove in the floor would be, is it the joint between two of the wood slats, or something different?

Thank you.

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Old 01-20-2008, 09:35 AM  
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Yup, if it is tongue and groove subflooring then there will be a groove at each joint (tongue and groove joint).

I got confussed with glennns suggestion too . But he did say that your footer doesnt have to be that deep which is good for you. I didnt want to be the one to say that. but you do want to dig til you get to some real compact dirt. beacause any compression of the ground will sag your floor. if you are able to get screw poles under new beam then can worrry a little less about that cause you can easily screw it back up as long as your notice it.

i think he is saying to pour a concrete slab to the top of the floor joist. That would be ideal but would cost thousands and would require taking up the subfloor of the room.

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Old 01-20-2008, 09:58 AM  
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I'm wondering why not just put precast footings and screw jacks where the aquarium is going to be? It's not like he's going to be moving it around all the time. If the footprint of the aquarium is 2' x 8', and if it will sit perpendicular to the joists, that is 6 joists that need extra support. I'm assuming the aquarium sits on a base that is not on feet, so the weight is evenly spread out under it.

If it runs paralell to the joists, then only 2 or 3 will need extra support. Maybe do the same for the 120 gallon aquarium just to be on the safe side. The 80 gal. should be fine. Lot's of people have 80 gallon aquariums and they don't reinforce their floors.

As for access, cut a sqare hole in the floor in a closet and make a cover for it.

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:39 AM  
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Ok, you have the foundation built up to the bottom of the floor joists under the walls. Now, remove the wood floor for the whole aquarium room, fill the foundation with sand or compacted stone, put a 6mil polyethelyne vapor barrier down, support the #4 reinforcing bars (they make steel chairs for this) one each foot in each direction (use tie wire on each intersection of the bars), place 4" of concrete for the floor making it level with the other floors, or leave 1/2" low for space to install quarry tile.
With this floor you can place any size aquarium anywhere you want it without fear of the floor sagging or falling through.
Glenn

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:41 AM  
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OH! I would also put a drain in the center of the floor and pitch the floor 1" lower from each corner to the drain.
Glenn

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:45 AM  
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precast footings might work if he has solid ground,

I dont see how you can support 8 or 9 floor joist without a beam.

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:58 AM  
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That a great idea glenn but thats not a diy job. and sounds about a $10K job.



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