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Constructing Rooms In A Clear Span Building

Question: How do I create rooms in one side of a steel beamed clear span building? I want to enclose one end of my horse arena to create a 2-story structure, the bottom half an office/workshop, the top eventually becoming an apartment. There's plenty of headroom. Sidewalls are 16' tall. Building is in excellent shape.

Answer: It is no different than if you were building the rooms outside of the arena, with the exception that you are using one or two of the current walls. Concrete pad, 2 x4 or steel stud construction. 2 x 4 is better if you are putting on a ceiling and are going to store things on the ceiling, no ceiling then steel works well.

Question: I thought I needed to tie it into the existing building but I guess I can just build it up to the roof without attaching it to the existing building at all. The dimensions will be 20' x 70'. Is there a less expensive option for flooring than poured concrete?

Answer: You can tie it to the existing building if you so desire (this would allow the current structure to act as part of the walls, but it could produce some problems if the structure and the cladding is metal as the building will definitely expand when exposed to the sun. If you do want to tie it to the existing building, make the boltholes in the lumber larger than necessary and use washers. The larger boltholes will allow the building to expand without tearing the lumber that is tied to the structure.

You can use a wood floor, but in that case I would put a footing in each corner and run 2 X 8 lumber from footing to footing, in the same manner, as you would build a deck. The problem is that the weight of the internal building could sink in one spot if there isn't something to ensure that the weight is distributed evenly. You also want to keep the lumber from direct contact with the ground to avoid rot.

Additional information on constructing rooms in a clear span building.