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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Barns Pole Barns

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how to prepare garage building site

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4x4painter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2 PA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-11-22          148621


Hello everyone,
I've been reading the posts here for a while on the Kubota boards and I thought I'd ask a question about preparing a site for my garage. This is going to be a pole building ...and I'll float the slab later on. I have a Kubota BX2230 with a FEL. I want to do the excavation myself. The area is relatively flat but slopes off in the back about 2 feet. The building will be 24x 28. I know I have to order fill but are there any wise words before I start to scrap things flat? Do I need modified gravel for the top? Basiclly what would be the steps to get this project right? Many thanks for those of you helping me out.

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how to prepare garage building site

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-11-22          148623


4X4, welcome to the site. The first concern is to be sure that when the building is complete that all drainage runs away fron the building, so providing enough fill to be sure of that is important. You can do a pole shed one of two ways, either build a pad of compacted fill before setting poles, or build the shed on undisturbed soil then fill the inside and around the outside with fill later to come up to your skirt boards. I've did it both ways, but I prefer doing the fill after the shed is up if there is adequate room around the outside to work with your loader. Doing the fill after just seems easier, you can eyeball most of the work without even needing a transit till you final grade to pour the slab on the inside and the outside you just slope up to the skirt boards on either a real gentle slope to be seeded and mowed or a sharp slope using crushed rock that won't wash away. Get gutters and downspouts on before you even start the outside fill or a sudden rain will wash away a lot of your fill. No mater how you do it the fill below the slab must be compacted or it will settle and you will have a cracked up slab later. Good luck. Frank. ....

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how to prepare garage building site

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-22          148624


I'll address your concern first: there is no fast and easy answer as every site is different. Considerations: Local building codes--what do they require? So start there.
The soil type--stoney vs gravely vs sandy vs clay require different types of prepartaion and compaction--and even the type of compactor.
Drainage considerations---do you want water flowing through your cushed stone bottom layer?
Will your PB require a full-blown rat wall foundation? in our area they require it at least 8" wide by 42" deep. And the pole foundations have to be min. 18" diameter x 42"

Now my 2 cents worth. Having built a PB with a lean-to solo for a customer that had to have a rat wall even though it was of pole building design was waaaaay too much work trying to suspend the poles in a trench--and in-line--then have to pour concrete between them without bumping them--which happened.

Do yourself favor, scrap the typical pole design and opt for for the common 2x4 or 2x6 stud wall construction. It will be soooo much easier to just pour the floor (and foundation if required), build the walls on the ground like a regular garage, and tip them up. Be sure to space the studs to agree with the meatl siding if you're using that. The cost of timbers alone not to mention the difficulty of setting and aligning them just isn't worth the trouble---and studs are so much quicker. ....

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how to prepare garage building site

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-11-22          148625


EW; I was tempted to suggest the same, skip the poles and pour a common frost footing and build a frame shed. But that aint what the man asked so I stuck with his fill question. The last two major sheds I've built are frame and wall. Everything about a frame shed is better and surprisingly little extra cost over a pole steel clad shed. Frank. ....

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how to prepare garage building site

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-11-22          148626


And the stud wall system is much easier to insulate and run electrical too, and to finish with drywall if you wish. ....

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how to prepare garage building site

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4x4painter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2 PA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2007-11-22          148627


Thankyou kindly gentlemen for your valuable advice on my building site. I want to save on cost as much as possible so I am leaning towards sinking concrete piers. I was just reading about the Socket System and am duely impressed. Seems the ease of building this way plus the savings on wood appeals to my kind of thinking. An elegant design that can be set on piers. I also like the idea of hardi planks for the siding. Now all I have to do is learn how to use a transit! ....

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how to prepare garage building site

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-11-23          148664


Forget the transit which takes two people and use a laser level with an electronic indicator and grade stick. Much easier, quicker, and takes only one person. If you're using a non-self-leveling type, set it up in the center of the barn site. If self-leveling, set it anywhere out of the way. Non-self-levellers are not as accurate over the loong distances and require the operator to have really good eyesight to set the bubble levels. ....

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