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Building A Pole Barn Pad

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by dozerman21, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I'm going to try to get a pole barn up before fall, and I have some questions about building the pad. I've leveled for barn pads before, but I have only built up for one in the past. The homeowner finished the pad, I just brought in the dirt and graded it.

    I'm going to build something around a 50'X100' barn. The area where the barn is going is not low, I just want the barn to sit up some. I'd like to take the dirt that's coming out of the driveway cut and use to build the pad. I'd like to bring it up about a foot, plus however many inches I need to add with stone. I plan to have a concrete floor poured right after the barn is built.
    Here are my questions:

    -What kind of compactor do I need to use after I build up with dirt?

    -I have a plate compactor that I can use. Would this work, or do I need a vibratory roller?

    -How many inches of agg. do I need on top of the dirt?

    -What kind of agg? I was thinking crushed #53's, about 6" thick (the concrete floor will go right on top of this).

    -What kind of compactor for the agg?

    -If I need a vibratory roller, would the Skid/CTL attachment vib. roller work?

    Concrete Question:

    I plan on pouring the floor 6" thick with fiber.

    -Do I need steel mesh?

    Any info on these would be great. Sorry for all the Q's, I just want to make sure I do it right. I may have more barn related questions to come...
  2. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Post some pics when you get to doing this job if you don't care. I cut a barn pad and loved it. I would probably go with a roller you drive or at least a roller for a skid steer but I guess I could be wrong. How muchare you going to charge just to build it up and level it if you dont mind me asking. I made this one 40x60 and add 3' around the building. I was just curious because I wondered how much someone would have charged for the one I cut. One end I had to cut down and the other end build up.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    Everyone around the country does things a little different depending on material available. I will outline the way I would do it here in Idaho.

    I am in total agreement with elevating the barn. My personal shop I built 18" off of the exisiting flat ground. I would use pit run to build the majority of your pad (up to the last 4" of subgrade). You want to use "structural fill". Avoid using material from the road to build your pad (unless it happens to be pit run). Usually it is topsoil which is high in organic materials (not what you want to build on unless it is your garden). I prefer to use an 8" minus pitrun. My roller weighs about 8K so I do 1 foot lifts. Be sure you can water the pitrun to maximize compaction if it needs it. The last four inches of your subgrade would be 3/4 roadbase. The same material used under asphalt. I would hold off on the roadbase until your pole barn is up. The drilling of the holes just contaminates the subgrade and all the driving around screws up the grade. After the shell is up I would go in and spread and compact the roadbase. Set up string lines or whatever you need to assure yourself you are to grade. A .5 inch deviation on that much concrete will get expensive. A 6 inch floor with fiber is a lot of floor. You may consider a 4" floor with fiber and increasing the concrete mix to achieve a 4K psi. typically it is 2500 to 3000. It may be cheaper and yield a better floor. I would talk with your local concrete provider and pick his brain about options. You do not need wire mesh if you using fiber unless you plan to heat the floor with PEX tubing.

    Equipment: I have never used a skid steer vib. roller. I would rent a twin drum vibratory or something similiar. The plate will be of zero value except getting the corners you cant reach with the roller and then only in the roadbase. Proper moisure is key to good compaction. Be sure to rent a big enough roller. The single drum rollers work well for the pit run and the twin drums work better on the roadbase material. Since you will be renting that is the way I would go. I use a twin drum for everything since thats what I own.

    Hint on barn: Be sure when the barn is built/concrete poured that the bottom edge of the steel extends below the floor grade on the exterior walls. If that does not make sense let me know. In other words the top of floor grade needs to be higher than the bottom the steel walls. This will prevent or help prevent water from coming in.

    If you are running any water inside the barn be sure to compact the trenches. That should all be done before adding pit run. I cannot over state the importance of compacting the trenches. This includes drains or french drains.

    Again that is the way your project would be completed here.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    KSSS nailed it, that's basically what we would do here. No more than 4" of road base is needed, just compact the pit run really well and moisture content is key. I've used a larger, reversible plate compactor and have achieved 98% in 6-8" lifts, unless someone can really tell me the difference between that and a twin drum roller I'd say you could go with either. I wouldn't, however, use a smaller 5HP 19" plate, they just don't have enough thump.
  5. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I agree with what both said but did not want to talk much since I don't have the experience others have in this other than the cutting and filling. What they said is seriously how I would look at doing it. I did not worry about the rock since I knew it was going to be gravel but if it was going to be concrete inside I would have done exactly as they mentioned. Im glad to know I was not too far off.
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I've poured alot of floors and parking lots for industrial buildings and rarely would we ever pour a 6" slab inside the building or the parking/loading dock areas. If your base underneath is solid, you can run a semi on 5" concrete all day long and not lose the integrity of the slab. We threw out wire mesh in the early 80's and went with #3 rebar 18" o.c. instead. Price was about the same and the rebar ended up in the slab instead of on the dirt below the concrete (which always seems to happen with wire mesh). Since you are using fibre, you may not really need to use steel to get your desired strength. I always bullnose the edges, at least the traffic areas, to insure no breaks there. We would saw cut our slabs after they greened up, and that always looks cleaner to me than trowled in control joints. Depending on your use of the barn, I like to spray a sealer when the mud has cured.......it does not stop stains completely, but sure helps for the life of the slab.
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Fieldman12- This is going to be my personal barn. I'd like a 60'X100', but I think a 50'X100' should do the job, and It's a lot cheaper. I'll post some pics as I go along. I'm hoping to start working on it in the next week, but it probably will take a good six weeks before the shell gets up and concrete gets poured. I've got to squeeze everything in around everybody's schedule's that's helping me.

    KSSS- Nice detailed info. I think I'll stick with the 6" concrete floor with fiber. I'm building this barn to be able to pull my rig in every night. I usually am hauling between 27,000 and 31,000 lbs., plus the weight of the truck and trailer, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. I've got some friends that do concrete work, and I'm getting a pretty sweet deal. They even suggested that the mesh would be smart, but I don't think I need it. They're going to use 4,000 psi, so I think that, along with the 6" depth with fiber, and a nice compacted base should hold up well for a long time.

    I was thinking the same thing about waiting to use the road base until the holes are drilled.

    I'd like to have a utiltity sink and line for a hose somewhere inside the building. At what point should I have the plumbing done?
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Fiber generally only adds about 100 psi strength rating.
    It is much cheaper too step up too the next psi level instead and stronger.

    Ask your local concrete company on their opinion.
  9. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Sounds like a nice barn. They are suppose to build our barn the week after next.
  10. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Rough in your pad and compact. Have your batterboards set up so you know your barn wall lines. Layout your posts, interior offices, any interior walls with batterboards and a string line. Now dig your plumbing, underground electrical ( make sure to add extra conduit for future lines that we always end up needing). Check your measurements to make sure your finished fixtures are where you want them and backfill and compact. When you backfill, be there and make sure no rocks are backfilled on top of any of your underground piping.

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