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Coach House / FOG query

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BlackCat3, 20 Sep 2020.

  1. BlackCat3

    BlackCat3

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    Hi everyone, firstly apologies for a question which has no doubt been asked to death on just about every forum ever. And sorry for the long post but figured better to provide the right info..

    Only thing is, despite searches, I can't find answers that skirt on what I'm after. Most fish tank questions are either people wanting them in their bedrooms or potentially flats and I'm not sure my property fits either of those...

    I live in a coach house (or FOG as also known), built in 2010 by Barratt Homes. It has 4 carports beneath.

    I am considering upgrading to a larger aquarium, either 240 or 325ltr but I am very anxious about the weight on the floor (currently have a 185ltr plus 2 smaller tanks). Weight of a 250 tank is around 500 lbs and 325 tank is about 700lbs. Plus the stand etc etc. The 250 tank is a little over 3ft in length, the 325 is just over 4ft.


    Part of me thinks the floor must be pretty robust as it supports the whole weight of the house above it, but still....


    Basically : the builder cannot give me any information about construction or materials used. (Lost the plans, apparently). If you stand in the carport and look up, all that can be seen is what looks like a white plastic covering. From inside, the only area not covered in carpet or laminate is in the hall cupboards: you can see there what appears to be concrete.


    Recommended placement for a tank between about 55 and 125 gallons is next to a load bearing wall, perpendicular to joists to spread the weight as evenly as possible. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever whether I (a) have joists or not, (b) where they run if there are any, and (c) what would be above them in terms of the subfloor. So I don't know if I'd be spreading the weight, or not.


    Is there anyway at all to check the floor materials etc that would not involve someone having to rip out half the flooring and then make it good?


    Or am I worrying too much?

    Thank you for any thoughts.
     
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  3. securespark

    securespark

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    What does FOG mean?

    Is the room where you want to place the tank on the same level as the room that looks like its floor is concrete?
    Are the car ports on ground level?
     
  4. BlackCat3

    BlackCat3

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    Hi, FOG is apparently 'flat above garages'. But they're usually marketed as coach houses.

    Yes, the carports are ground level. Please see the attached picture.

    No, unfortunately not. The two areas where the floor seems to be concrete are in storage cupboards in the hall. I would be putting the tank in the lounge. I have no idea at all what is under the laminate floor in that room. Would joists have been used for this type of thing? If so would they span the length of the property, so running over the carports for support, or the width, so effectively open space? Something else totally different?? Just concrete? No clue.

    I've tried the builder. I've tried the local council. I've waded through the property covenant in case that said something.

    Re picture of the property, the lounge is to the right of the front door and stairs leading up into the house (ie the two partly in the shade). The two windows on the left of the door are the bedrooms.

    20200126_175647.jpg

    At the moment, the 185ltr is placed in the corner formed by the wall where the stairs are, and the external wall where the window nearest to the front door on the right is.

    This is where any new, larger tank will need to be placed.

    As you can see the house is supported by the carports, ie the four brick walls so the floor must be pretty robust as it supports the whole weight of the property?

    Thanks
     
  5. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    What is the floor made off?
    Who owns one of the car ports?
     
  6. trazor

    trazor

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    Would you be happy with 5 people weighing 10 stone each, squeezed into that area....??
     
  7. BlackCat3

    BlackCat3

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    Haven't got the faintest idea what the floor is made of, and other than ripping most of it up there seems to be no way to find out. That's why I'm asking if anyone might know...

    I own all the carports as the freeholder. The one immediately to the left of the front door is mine, the others are leased to nearby properties (technically I can charge a tiny bit for rent but I don't).

    Just realised I misread your post - yes, the room is on the same level as the property is a coach house :)
     
  8. BlackCat3

    BlackCat3

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    Yes I would - but there is a big difference between a static load that will not move for X years and a group of people who are a 'live' load. The issue is potentially long term stress on the floor. This article is incredibly useful :

    http://www.african-cichlid.com/Structure.htm
     
  9. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I can usually get a feel for what a floor is composed of, by walking across it and detecting the amount of bounce my weight causes. Solid concrete will have none and feel quite dead, a wooden joist floor will have the most bounce, particularly where there is a long span.
     
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  11. fillyboy

    fillyboy

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    I would guess at block & beam concrete with a floating floor (chipboard on celotex) over.
    But, you cant afford to guess, lift the corner of a carpet and look, if it's chipboard, drill through and see whats beneath, if it is a floating floor, that would likely compress over time with that sort of load.
     
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  12. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    That's why I asked who owns the carport as looking/drilling upwards might be an option?
     
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  13. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Your floor is almost certainly block and beam

    domestic floors are usually designed on a live load of up to 1.5Kn/M2

    bear in mind that calculations are to do with deflection rather than simply when the floor will collapse!

    loads at midpoint -ie in the middle of the room will create far more deflection than against the side of a room which is close to the end of the beams.

    I would think it will be fine, just dont call me if you end up in the car park below!

    not as such: the the brickwork is supporting the weight of the house -and that is sitting on steel beams.
     
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  14. BlackCat3

    BlackCat3

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    Thanks all.

    I have another area in the lounge where I would love to put the tank, but it would be in the middle of the floor (ie along the stud, non load bearing wall which separates the lounge from the kitchen). Theoretically, I think it would either be in the middle of any joists or sit along one lengthways. If that makes any sense at all. So can't put it there...

    The corner where the external wall and stairs are, would seem to be the best location for the load on the floor.

    Unfortunately I have laminate flooring in the lounge and so that might potentially make it more difficult to take it up to see what's underneath. Not impossible though.

    The carport which the tank would sit over is leased to a neighbour but technically I own it. I suppose if I needed to get someone to drill up through it I could, as long as the neighbours know beforehand I'm doing it.

    This would be so much easier if Barratt were able to give me the info I need but they're bloody useless. And rude.

    I would love to go for the 325ltr tank which is 130 x 50 x 50 cm. I'm just not sure I can convince myself it would be OK.

    Until I started reading forums etc I probably wouldn't have worried about any of this, I'd have just gone ahead and bought it
     
  15. conny

    conny

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    Generally, in standard houses with wooden suspended floors, the joists on the ground floor tend to run from side to side and the joists on the upper floor run from front to back.
    Working on this principle one could 'assume' that if you have an upper suspended floor, (or even block & beam), they will run to this configuration so putting your tank across the front wall means it will span the joists. However, if you put the tank in a position where the longest side runs back to front then you may well be resting on a single joist near to the dividing wall. If you can find confirmation it is a block & beam floor then there is no problem which way the run as these are always positioned adjacent to each other.

    You need to find out who the original architects were to find out for sure how it was constructed. This may be possible by looking at some old advertising literature or asking Barrat if they could supply the name of them. Explain it is not to make a complaint of any kind but what you want to do. They may just be a bit more forthcoming. Try to do it by email to a personal account holder rather than a generic company email address where it will be left because it doesn't have a name on it.
     
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  16. trazor

    trazor

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    Your only recourse would appear to involve investigating the floor down through the laminate/carpet, which will then be hidden by your tank.

    Luckily, any tanks I have had have been on concrete floors/ground floor.
     
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  17. maxum

    maxum

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    All of the FOG units Ive built have had concrete plank floors, the planks being 1200wide x 200deep and running from back to front
     
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