For Architects


From my years of experience installing suspended slabs, I have a few helpful ideas to avoid problems and save money which could be addressed in the design phase.

  • Suspended slabs generally come in 8’ widths, so it is most cost-effective to plan a garage in 8’ increments (plus 1” for some wiggle room).
  • 8” thick slabs can generally span 29’
  • 10” thick slabs can generally span 33’
  • 12” thick slabs can generally span 38’
  • For garages deeper than 33’ we suggest using a steel beam as a midway bearing shelf
  • It is generally more convenient for the contractor if the slab sits in a 12” or deeper foundation shelf. Placing slabs in a shelf also helps with beam height over the garage door and helps with final grade elevations.
  • Rectangular garages are the least expensive, but any size or shape can be accommodated.
  • The slabs can be placed on a slope, so the back shelf can be 3” higher than the shelf at the front of the garage.
  • Topping slab must be a minimum of 3” but cannot exceed an average thickness of more than 4 1/2”.


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