I'm planning on building a pole barn style woodworking shop. It will be
somewhere between 24x36 to 30x40. The area where I want to place the
shop has a 1.5' slope from where the front of the shop will be to the
back. I'm wondering the best way to fix this.
I've considered pouring a footer around the perimeter and laying a block
foundation that will be used to hold the gravel/concrete.
I've also considered just installing the poles and level collars and
filling with gravel/concrete inside the collars.
My garage/shop is 27 feet wide at the back with about a 12" slope from one
end to the other. When it was poured, the concrete contractor filled the
low end with, well, fill. That was compacted and they poured the concrete.
Local codes dictate a 12" minimum footer and a monolithic pour. As it turns
out, they did not hit clay when they dug for the footer, so we had to put in
12" diameter piers every 5 feet. Your local codes must be either
nonexistent or considerably more lax.
At the risk of sounding like a smart-ass: level the site.
The dozer rental, or as Jack suggested a BobCat, won't be as much as
the code will make you spend when you are planning on using a
partially exposed foundation.
Do your homework! If you're going to pour on it, then use structural fills.
Dirt (whatever "dirt" really is...) is not an option. Use overburden (large
rock gravel) for the deep fills, and compact it. Use a finer gravel fill
(Item 4) for the final 6-8". If you want to get the grade to precise
levels, then use a fine screened gravel for the last inch or two. That's
not necessary though. You can get 2" and under gravel to a suitable grade
for pouring. Don't take shortcuts. Make sure to compact your fills. Fills
like this should not go in, in more than about a 1 foot lift. Do it right
and you'll end up with a slab that will withstand time. Cheat and you'll
have cracks, heaves and other problems for the life of the building.
From a guy who knows nothing (me) this might be a legitimate question. If
he cuts into the high side with a hoe or Bobcat shouldn't he provide for
drainage that might run to and then into the building? Should he burry
perforated drain pipe under stone on that end and route it away from the
building? Heck, I'm not even building but I'd like to know. TIA, Chuck
Good question. I had planned to use a backhoe and dig a large drainage
ditch on the high side and on both sides of the structure, lay 2-3
drainage lines, and cover with rock. Still, I've been instructed by
several not to dig into the high side. Therefore, to level I would need
to bring in loads of rock and compact it.
A concrete guy today told me that he could pour a monolithic slab where
the fill material doesn't go all the way to to the low side form. The
concrete runs down into that area (all the way to the ground)
essentially making a short 2' wall there. This would be reinforced of
course. still, I'm not certain this is sound engineering.
If I'm understanding this correctly, you mean that at the low side he would
just pour deep? There would not be any structural concerns with that as
long as the base material is structural. Get rid of any organic materials.
But - that's standard operating procedure for any structural pour. I can't
see how that would possibly be cheaper than filling with gravel though.
Compare the price of a cubic yard of gravel and a cubic yard of concrete.
I think this might be my best approach. I'm planning on building the
shop back in some trees. There's very small trees and brush that I'm
clearing away now. Think I need to do anything but saw them off at the
ground? I wouldn't want a tree sprouting out and trying to come through
my floor. :)
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