What is the most cost effective and fast earthen floor option for a large area? To be more specific, a 30 ft by 90 foot pole barn at the bottom of a large hill. It has a lot of drainage that comes from downhill, and we have been considering options for living in it, or rolling something into it to live in it. Currently it has a dirt floor that often gets wet and muddy. Floor is the first consideration no matter what we end up doing. You should know that much concrete is ridiculous in price, even that much wood for a raised deck is crazy. So the next option is ways to make the dirt solid, hard, and waterproof.
First consideration is earth/linseed options, however that seems like it would not go well for this much area.
So next moved onto dirt-polymer options. Dirt-glue.
Another consideration is making concrete with cheaper materials like wood or even dirt. Earth-crete and Arbolite. However even those options only reduce the price of concrete, it is still quite a cost.
What are your options and opinions? We live in an area with a lot of sandstone and a lot of water. Clay is minimal, and slate is even less. Tell me what you think.
Hopefully, that French drain will is on the 30' side of the barn and your sandy soil will be easy to dig and provide nice percolation for you. Sounds like fixing that drainage will be a lot less toxic and expensive than sealing the barn floor at this time. You will have more options for your space in the future if you don't have to commit to finishing the floor so early in your design process. Best wishes on the adventure of creating your new living space, Joshua.
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