Leveling lot for pole barn

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I have been working over the last few months an area for a 24x32 pole barn. I have been tilling with a tractor tiller and scraping with the tractor bucket.
I am wanting to start on it again. It seems about 7 inches off from the highest spot to the lowest. The ground is hard now.
What would be the best way to do this? It is hard for me to eyeball. I am using string and a line level.
I guess what I am asking is should I keep using the tiller or should I have dirst brought in and try to build it up to level? Expense is a major concern as I have a new baby at home and we are going to have to buy another vehicle soon.
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You have a couple of options: You can fill the area and compact the earth, using a level of whatever sort you're comfortable with. Unless drainage is a real problem, having a pole barn's floor a fraction of an inch off-level won't hurt anything.
Or, you can build the barn on the stand as-is, and proceed to fill and level piece-meal as you have money and time. One of the advantages of a pole barn is that it's an open structure until you decide to close it in. That means you can do a lot of the work normally done up-front after the structure is up. Leveling, placing a slab, enclosing bays -- all can be done after the poles and roof are in place. You can even do it one bay at a time, if you're so-inclined.
You probably won't be able to accomplish much with the tiller, unless you loosen up the dirt with it, then MOVE it to the low spots with your bucket (scrape box, or front-end loader?). Even if one end of the barn ends up below normal grade, you have the option of contouring the ground outside the drip line, and providing drainage swales around the barn to move water away. But still, the best option is to get all of the barn's floor area at or above grade at the "high" end. On a sloped lot, you'll STILL have to provide swales at the high end to move water away as it comes down the slope, toward the barn.
Building a pole barn on an out-of-level lot is a lot easier than it sounds. You get poles that are longer than you need by at least the greatest height out of level. You sink them all to the prescribed depth (as discussed at length in other threads here).
Then you secure your collar beams level on the poles, and cut off the tops of the poles after the fact. You'd end up doing that anyway, even if the lot were perfectly level, because it's hard to get all the poles buried so precisely that all the pole tops are level with one-another. Better to seat them without paying too much attention to precision depth, but well and hard - so settlement won't occur unevenly - then trim them all to finished height.
LLoyd
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

You have not told us how you are planning to finish the floor? Concrete, stone ???
I would want the floor to be self draining for almost any use.
You can use a water level to get a more accurate reading that that string deal.
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Joseph Meehan

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It will be gravel. I hope to concretel later.
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Don't know how you call it, but in German we call it "hose level". fill some transparent plastic hose with water and you have a level with unlimited length. That is if you hold the ends upright and don't close the ends. Ancient Roman technique.
HtH, Nick
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I have read about this and I must be stupid but I dont understand how to make it work. People have tried explaionging it. Is it messey?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/WaterLevel.htm
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Water level, exactly what I meant. Gonna remember the word.
Nick
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Nobody knows what you mean by "read about this" because you don't include any context to show what or who you're responding to.
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Y'know, Stryped, a lot of people have given you the time and effort to make detailed and constructive suggestions. But you knock off every idea with either "I don't want to do it that well", or "I don't know how to work wunna dem things."
This response is typical. You've received at least eight or ten suggestions that a water level is the way to go. I posted a _long_ diatribe on how to use one -- in detail.
Now, you say, "I don't unnerstan." Try reading. If not our posts, maybe one of those archaic things they call "book".
Sorry... It _kinda_ sounds like you want to build a barn. But other times you sound like a traditional troll.
LLoyd
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I read on that buildeasy site last night and now understand the concept but what I dont understand is I am guess ing you drive several rods and check each rod with the water level. So, I am guessing the water level is only good for that exact "spot" which means, for a 24 x 32 area, you will have to drive alot of rods to get any idea on how to get it perfectly level?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Doh!
Or, use the level to set a few grade stakes around the perimeter and stretch string...
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WOnt the string get in the way when you dump the material?
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This will never happen. At least if _you_ make the pole barn.
For your convenience some questions you might ask now: - Why me? - Would using a chain make things better? - What will never happen? - Do you have other questions, or could you make check boxes, please?
Nick
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TROLL ALERT!!! TROLL ALERT!!!
LLoyd

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You don't dump it. You shovel it from the truck into the forms. It shouldn't take you more than 30 or 40 hours of work to empty an 18-yard-er.
I'd suggest an easier way, though. Ask the hauling company to mix the dirt up with lots of water before they load it. Mix it up to really loose mud. Then you can have them just pour it from one end of the forms, and it'll self-level. You won't even have to level it at all!
After it drys, you just compact it and build your barn.
Yeah! Call 'em up an ask them to do that. Make sure it's REAL loose mud, not clumpy or sticky. It's gotta be wet enough to pour, and level itself out.
LLoyd
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Yes, but toothpicks are cheap!
Nick
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No, you do it with four, and some mason's twine. You could do it with three, but that would confuse you WAY too much.
(didja ever hear that three points define a plane? Nah... I didn't think so.... Basic, junior-high geometry... way, way outa your league.)
LLoyd
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No, there is a very easy -not to say idiot-proof- way of a water level modification. Build a wall out of concrete (at least 3 foot thick) around the place you want to level. fill the pool with water, until the whole aera is covered. Wait until it freezes and put a marking line around where the ice touches the wall. Next summer you can continue work and in the meantime leave us alone.
HTH, Nick
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Get yourself one of those $10 laser levels. Sit it on a 4x4 or other wooden block, or bricks. Get it level and carry a yard stick along the light beam to find the high spots.Remember to add the thickess of the block under the level.
For a barn that size, 7 inches off is not all that bad. You may want some slope toward the door. Depends on what you are going to use it for. Assuming you are using center match (tongue and groove 2x6's) along the bottom, add a board or two at the lower end. You could always get a load of dirt and build up the low end somewhat at the end of the job.
I have built several pole barns and done so in hilly areas. Livestock dont care that my barn is a foot higher on one end. Just level the posts to be accurate to "true level", build it, put on your steel siding and add more center matched boards on the low end. I always have at least 6" of these boards below the ground. As it goes uphill, I just eliminate one board and step them up.
If your use will be for a garage, you may want to pour gravel inside to raise the floor above the outside soil level or you may have water running inside. Or, cement floor. I have a ditch outside mine, Just a simple hand dug thing about a foot wide and 5 inches deep. Of course mine is for livestock use.
Mark
On 22 Jun 2005 05:48:07 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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