Parking in the barn

Old 01-15-21, 07:24 PM
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Parking in the barn

Hello I recently bought a home with a huge barn and need advice on the best way to use the barn. The Barn was built in the late 1800's early 1900's. It is post and beam. The cellar has a concrete floor but is not tall enough to drive into. Then there are 3 floors. The first floor is level with the house and road in front but the cellar is on one side and the land in lower going towards the back of the house and barn. So should I strengthen the floor of the fist floor so I can drive into the barn or should I cut the floor and raise the door so I can drive into the cellar? I was thinking building a concrete cinder block wall under the area where I will park my van to support the weight of the van. But I have no idea if this would hold the weight?. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I am a disabled veteran and have done concrete work as well as some mason tender work in the past. I am not a carpenter. More of a mechanic type I guess. Thank you , Mark
Old 01-15-21, 07:46 PM
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should I strengthen the floor of the first floor so I can drive into the barn or should I cut the floor and raise the door so I can drive into the cellar?
We'd have to guess to answer that question.
I'd imagine driving into the cellar would be ok provided the floor/foundation is thick enough.
Driving into the first floor would require a lot of strengthening.

Some pictures of what you have would be very helpful..... How-to-insert-pictures.
Old 01-15-21, 07:57 PM
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I'd say it would be easiest excavate the "cellar" deeper on the lower house side, underpin the foundation as needed and pour a new floor. Yes, pictures might help.
marksr voted this post useful.
Old 01-16-21, 04:36 AM
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Everything depends on your barn, how it was constructed and it's condition now. Barns were built for a reason. That barn pre dates tractors and most modern machinery so it probably was not built to carry heavy point loads like cars or tractors. Animals were on the lowest, ground level. Then the first elevated floor might have held plows and equipment that were very light weight by modern standards or maybe some feed. Then the upper levels were for hay and straw.

As a child I recall hanging around as they reinforced the first elevated floor of my grandfather's barn so they could store machinery inside. They poured footers and added big timber posts and beams in the ground level to support the floor above for the equipment.
Old 01-16-21, 05:16 AM
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Most of the work involved in either option is not a DIY effort. I would hire a licensed structural engineer to engineer both options (with itemized work to be done) so you can get estimates on the work you can't do yourself. The last thing you or anyone wants is to put money and effort in a structure and find out it is not save for the intended use. Do you plan on the work being done with permits?
Old 01-16-21, 08:02 AM
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Slightly different opinion- Barns were built to store multiple tons of straw and hay. Generally they ALSO were built to hold a couple of tons of livestock. Your average fully stacked hay wagon weights several tons.
If you've got a choice between having a car tire drive over your foot, or having a horse or pony stand on your foot, you'll choose the car (It's a long story...)
Old barns are the 1800 version of big-box-store steel storage racks, they're built to hold tons of weight of hay, straw, or livestock. If you're worried, lay down wood planks or a metal scaffold pict to spread the weight over multiple beams.

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