Have to ask


So how much does one of those fancy precast concrete basement coverings cost? Is it like a missile silo in there?

Seriously though, great work.

Chris Cardinal


The “Rear Platform” (last page) of the MRP’09 which should be out this week or early next, talks about the process. I estimate that the cost for it all was about $8000- for an additional 800 sq’, or about $10 sq’ But what made this a real deal for us is that the soils in our area would have required special dirtwork, etc. under the garage floor if we had not done this- so how much that would have would need to be deducted from the $8000 to really know what it actually cost- perhaps about cut-in-half. Either way, it was worth it.

And no, it’s not like a concrete silo at all since we finished off the ceiling (see “Construction” page). It just feels like a big, finished room), which will significantly enhance the railroad.


For the amount of open floor space you gained from it, I think that’s a great deal. I’ll bet the HO and N scale guys are foaming over the amount of floorspace.



We’re drawing up a house plan right now, and $8k is certainly worth considering. Three questions:

What is the clearance under the tee legs?

Has the garage floor cracked at all, due to flexing of the beams?

Any problems with moisture from the vehicles, snow, etc.?


Hi Chris-
Sorry to be slow in getting back to you as we’ve been “off-line” for a couple weeks-

Question answers-

  1. The clearance under the finished Tee legs is 6’8’’. It could, and should, have been higher by 14", making for a no-step entrance from the garage into the house- but a miscommunication between myself and the construction folks happened and the end walls got poured the same height as the house walls. Oops. Oh well. Any NBA operators will just have to duck here and there. (I’m 6-0)

  2. The “concrete topping” on the Tees that forms the garage floor flattens the Tees out and with it’s grid of rebar makes for basically a self-supporting garage floor. It ranges from about 6" at the far end to 3-4" at the door end for water drainage- sort of. (see #3)

  3. The 40’ span of the Tee legs made for a long distance to keep a consistent slope for snow melt drainage to consistently move to the door entrance. A shallow depression existed along the house wall side when all was said and done. I purchased cement mix at Home Depot and several boxes later had troweled the depression level with the rest of the floor. Then I sealed the garage floor with the epoxy floor coating paint. Currently snow melt either moves to the garage door to be squeege-pushed out onto the drive, or if there’s a lot, I have a wet-dry vac I’ll use to suck it up. It does not go into the basement, but with the sealed floor the only thing the water can do is evaporte, and that can take awhile. Our garage is insulated, walls and ceiling and the door is likewise insulated so the garage stays in the 50’s or so. I’ve only had to vac once this winter. Usually I just sweep any standing water out after backing the car out after a snow melt. It is an issue to be considered. I have known of others putting a rubber membrane across the floor and up the side walls for basement protection. Another idea I’ve looked at on-line is a “Rubber Containment Mat” which captures any liquids falling from a car for later collection/removal. They’re inexpensive and seemingly another thought. A normal concrete floor will absorb the water, but this is not permissable when the “ground beneath” is the railroad! I consider this minor inconvenience a few times each winter to be worth the extra railroad space (spoken like a true RR nut). Let me know how you come out.

Hope this helps-