Our house has a basement where part of it is finished but one section is closed off by a door and just has a dirt floor. The space is about 25'x25' and about 12' tall (not really a "crawl" space) with a dirt floor. There are about 10 concrete block piers that are about 2'x2' and I suppose that's why the area is unfinished. When opening the door I have to step down about three feet to get to the ground.

The area is dry and I use it to store stuff that I don't use very often (Christmas decorations, tubs, etc). I would like to be more organized and have shelves and such, but the ground is unlevel, has rocks, bricks, concrete, etc and doesn't provide a good place to stack stuff. I would like to install a floor, sorta like a deck but perhaps with plywood rather than planks. My first thought was to just build around the piers, setting posts at each corner. I suppose this would work, but it would be a LOT of hole digging and I suspect I'll hit concrete near the piers. My second thought was to install angle iron around the piers and use it as support for boards as I build around the posts. I'm not too thrilled with that idea either because I have to drill eight holes in each post which doesn't seem like a great idea for support piers. Perhaps that's fine, but I want to hear it from others rather than just assuming.

  • Would you give any thought to pouring a concrete slab? Nov 4 '11 at 18:56
  • I've actually thought about that, but I would need to bring in a significant amount of dirt to level the area and there's not a good way to get it there - one wheel barrow at a time through the living area to the door to the dirt area would be more trouble than it would be worth. Nov 4 '11 at 19:14
  • 1
    No available window? Actually you'ld probably want to bring in stone/gravel and pour over that. Nov 4 '11 at 19:16
  • Six vents, no windows. Nov 4 '11 at 20:15


I would build a deck out of wood and plywood. Use treated wood if you think there is ANY chance of moisture or insect issues.

Support your deck beams with short piers of their own. Then just cut the plywood to fit around the existing peirs. I don't see a need to tie the new deck into the existing posts. It doesn't sound like the new deck can pull away from a wall or fall over.

Whatever you do you might want to put down a vapor barrier and insulation.

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