Ever wish you had more space in your basement for storage, a playroom, home gym, wine cellar, etc? One way you can gain additional space in your house without expanding your home’s foot print is to install a hollow core garage floor, or flexicore floor, instead of a traditional poured cement floor.
We installed hollow core precast, prestressed concrete garage floor slabs for a customer at 146 South Street in Needham. Our customers knew they wanted the hollow core garage floor, so we designed the house with that in mind. The garage floor planks were specifically engineered and manufactured for the home by J. P. Carrara & Sons, Inc, from Middlebury, VT. When the foundation was installed, a special cut out or “shelf” was poured for the garage walls. The floor planks are installed on the shelf with no support beams needed below. It may sound distressing, but next time you are in a commercial parking garage with a hollow core garage floor, you will notice the lack of support posts. Talk about awesome engineering! For more information about precast concrete, feel free to visit J.P. Carrara & Son’s webpage www.jpcarrara.com.
The advantage to the hollow core garage floor is that you gain all the space below the garage. The disadvantage is that it costs more than a traditional garage floor, which typically is filled with stone and then finished with a smooth concrete floor. It also requires more planning and in some cases time since the precast cement suppliers in New England are in demand.
Here the crane lifts the first floor plank off the flatbed truck and guides it onto the foundation.
The contractors work together to guide the floor plank onto the foundation “shelf”. The hollow tubes in the planks are intentional to reduce the weight of the planks, which is one reason why you don’t need support beams underneath the floor.
The first floor plank is installed!
The installation of the second plank is almost complete.
This process continues until all five floor planks are installed and this oversized three car garage and is now complete. A cement truck will later poor cement along the outside of the perimeter for a smooth car ride into the garage. Notice the ladder sticking out of the foundation behind the garage floor? That is the location of a future ramp to the basement so that the owner can drive/push their lawnmower, snowblower, bikes, etc, from a mini garage door down to their massive basement storage area or “extra garage”. There will be a solid door separating that portion of the basement from the main basement.
I was surprised at how quickly the installation occurred, as you will see in this video.
If you are interested in having us build a hollow core garage floor in your next home, please contact us today.