We want to screen it in since we're not using it for the cars, and we need more outdoor living space since we're in a summer resort area but next to a mosquito-intensive marsh.
The screening part is very straight forward, but we can't decide on what type of floor to install. We want it to be a completely DIY project - and, of course, as inexpensive as possible.
We originally looked at pouring concrete but it's just not something we feel up to doing ourselves, and it's much more than we'd like to pay to get it done (estimates were around $1000). So we're looking at other options and I'd like to get some ideas.
~~ Could we build a grade-level deck to use as our floor? If so, what would be the best approach to doing this (pointing me to a book or website that describes this is fine!). I figured that if we put in some 22' long beams, we could then easily lay out 10' boards. My questions include:
...do we need to put in footers for each of the beams (I presume yes)
...do we need to excavate any of the gravel/sand to provide any certain amount of clearance under the beams
...what size beams would be best (can I use 4x4's or 6x6's?)
...how close do I need to space the beams
...do I need support footers mid-length on the beams if I can get 22' long beams
...what's the widest boards that I should use (would 2x4's be best or could I use 2x6 or 2x8 -- I like the look of wider boards, but I'm concerned about warping
...should I be concerned about mosquitos coming up through the spaces between the boards,and if so what would be the best way to address this?
~~ Could I put down any other type of grade-level flooring without pouring a concrete base? For example, could I lay out a grid of beams and put down a PT plywood subfloor and either paint it or install ceramic tile over that?
~~ Are there any other good DIY options for flooring? It doesn't have to be anything fancy -- this is a camp-ish hangout, not a high-class summerhome!
~~ Are there any other things that I need to factor in that it doesn't look like I've thought of?
Any and all suggestions are very much appreciated!!