I have a barn/large coup built in the 1890s in my back yard. It's foundation is just a 3 foot deep concrete pour around the perimeter. Later they filled half of it with concrete on half the floor.

The problem I am having is that poured floor is about 10-12 inches below the perimeter lip. The perimeter lip however is just a couple inches higher than the grass around it.

So I could get my riding lawnmower in the barn, but it will be a pain in the ass getting it out. What are some options that I have to deal with this?

Update: To some questions -

  • Ramp? Well yea but that section of barn is only like 10 feet deep and with a deep ramp will barely have enough room to park mower.

  • I will get a pic. Laid up with foot injury.

  • There are two small doors on opposite sides of the barn. They are about 30" wide. The concrete foundation is only flat with the inside floor for these two doors and then curves up. My riding lawnmower will need about 60" to get in.

  • barn has never had a drop of water in it.

  • I also haven't figured out the door. It will either be two swinging doors latched or a couple of doors sliding together. Security isn't a big concern. We live in a nice area and taking anything from this barn would mean moving it 200 yards and going past my house and a neighbor's. Really waiting on how I am getting the lawnmower out before I do this.

  • I have thought about providing an outside addition or roof but would like to keep elements out of mower.

  • 5
    Why not build a ramp? Jul 23, 2016 at 4:45
  • A "Sky crane" would work but a ramp would be better.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:47
  • Like many questions here a photo would be really helpful.
    – Michael Karas
    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:53
  • Do you have a cement works or construction site near you? They need places to dump concrete when it is ready-mixed in a lorry and the customer can't accept the delivery. Jul 23, 2016 at 19:04
  • Any chance a different lawnmower would provide an easier turning radius and shorter distance for the ramp?
    – treeNinja
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:21

4 Answers 4


I would lean towards constructing an elevated platform inside the doorway. It would only need to be large enough to park and safely mount/dismount the mower. You could construct it like a backyard deck, perhaps adding steps down into the main floor area.

This would be relatively easy to construct and inexpensive, especially compared to anything messing with the existing foundation.

There are car garages in existence with wood floors and framing so I doubt the weight of a mower would be a concern.


The below grade floor in this structure begs the question as to if you have problems with water getting inside?

If you had a door how in the world were you getting into and out of the structure? One guess is that there must be a two step stair or landing down into the floor area. So the obvious solution, if the door is wide enough, is to replace these steps with a ramp inside the building.

An internal ramp could be a big space consumer. Consider for example if the below grade distance to the floor is the 12 inches you mention that the ramp could eat up floor space out 6 or 7 feet into the structure.

One thing to consider is the possibility to construct an apron ramp outside the structure and cut through the top part of the existing foundation wall to have the external ramp meet at the internal floor level. It is a way to conserve the internal floor space but comes at the need of several additional considerations. One of those being how the door would need to be adapted. Another is that an apron ramp like this can become a water collector that will need to have drainage issues addressed.

  • I will update the question with a few things based on your answer. I have thought about cutting the concrete down a bit but that seems a mess. Like you said the ramp would take a ton of space and it isn't that big of a barn.
    – DMoore
    Jul 23, 2016 at 18:32
  • Raise the floor - either wood frame or fill with concrete (or crushed rock, for that matter and the probable lowest cost solution.) Wood frame could be just big enough for the mower if you give it enough of a curb that you won't drive the mower off it and the extra depth is useful otherwise. Which DaveinCaz said, so +1.
  • Cut this door down to the floor level; will require some landscaping outside (I seriously doubt it requires a concrete apron - we are talking about a lawnmower that happily drives on grass, you just need to lower the outside while maintaining a slope away from the building for drainage, so it may require shifting a fair volume of dirt, depending on the existing terrain.) While it may be "a mess" (there will be concrete dust) it preserves the most space in the barn. You don't want a ramp that slopes downhill into the building.

Have a raised platform right at the door, which fits just the mower.

You're not going to do anything else with a mower-sized amount of space, and now you can store things under it.

One traditional type of barn door is a horizontal metal rail above the door and off to the side of it, and then the door slides on the rail.

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