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Old 11-10-2009, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Which would choose? Concrete pad first or building?

I'm building a 30x40 with 14' walls. I'm still in the deciding factor. NOW MONEY ASIDE which would you do first, and why?

My options are get the area leveled and gravel down, then pour concrete.

Or level, gravel wait and let it settle for a few months, put the shop up, then pour concrete.

AGAIN, MONEY NOT A FACTOR, which would you do and why?

My thoughts are with the gravel settling it will help prevent the slab from cracking later. But I also have to make sure my building builders are on task with making sure the building is set high enough for clearances. And then the doors would have to be hung after the concrete is done.

So do I do concrete before to give the builders a solid platform to work with, and the clearances and doors will be the right height?

Or wait, let the ground settle, put up the building and fill in later?
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it is safe to say that you could go either way. It is common to go either way. If you know what type of building you are planning on building, maybe ask the builder to see if they have a recommendation.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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With proper compaction there is absolutely no need to let the ground settle. It will save alot of work to pour the slab and footings at the same time and then erect the building.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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x2 on proper compaction as well as a compacted gravel base before you pour the concrete.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, they would compact it, but I'm just being overly cautious. I don't want to have to deal with cracks later.

It's a pole barn building.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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funny you should ask this. I'm sitting here looking out the window as hurricane Ida drives rain down like a cow pissin on a flat rock. I've actually thought about this in the past... A lot. Every time I get ready to pour concrete it rains. And rains. And rains some damned more.

I'd put the building up now, then pour the concrete later, for LOTS of good reasons.

1) gives you a secure/dry space NOW to store stuff (building materials, etc.).
2) allows you to work on other stuff as you get money together for the slab you can get your electrical done, rough in your plumbing, lighting, some HVAC, all out of the weather, so you will have something to do when you have shitty weather this winter.
3) When you DO pour the slab you won't be limited by the weather and you don't have to give a rat's ass about weather it rains within XX hours of when you pour.
4) This could also get you a better price as you'll be able to contract it with a contractor who would normally be sitting on his ass when it's raining. I am getting ready to pour a slab right now and this saved me some money, cause it's covered and I told the guy to schedule for a day when it's raining.
5) with a pole building, you don't HAVE to pour the whole slab at one time. You can section it and do it as you can afford it. Maybe do one small section for your tool-boxes, etc then park on the gravel. Heck I know a guy who has had half his building in gravel for years, it's where he parks all his leakers/muddy junk so he doesn't have to worry about messing up the concrete.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't want to have to deal with cracks later.
That's a pipe dream. There's two kinds of concrete pads. Those that have cracked and those that will crack.

That's what we cut control joints in for. If compacted correctly the cracks will happen where the joints are.

Last edited by CSP; 11-10-2009 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Since it is a pole building, put up the building first.
If it was all steel, I think they work better on an existing slab.
If the building is up, they can pour concrete any time (almost). And if the building is up, it gives you more time to ponder putting the rigid insulation down and putting the PEX-AL-PEX tubing down for the in floor (hydronic) heat,.
Also TOTALLY agree with CSP. There is cracked and going to crack.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's a pipe dream. There's two kinds of concrete pads. Those that have cracked and those that will crack.

That's what we cut control joints in for. If compacted correctly the cracks will happen where the joints are.
we have a 2 car garage with a 15ft long section added on the back. the 2car part if it has been up since we bought the house 23 years ago. the back boom was added maby 15 years ago. none have cracks, there are also the weight of about 7 milling machines and the such sitting on the 2 car portion.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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my shop is 30x50 pole barn style.we built it and ran a 2x6 around the outside and poured after,it's 5.5'' thick 3500psi with fiber.we split it into 4 sections with key joints and it's been 5 years and no cracks.could be the 5.5'' but joints are the key,mine are so flush that you don't even feel them with anything on wheels
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The last pole barn I helped build we started with a level sand pad, we then set poles, hung the headers, set trusses, sheeted and shingled the roof, at this point we had basically a carport style structure, we then had the floor poured and we finished framing out the doors and put up the steel siding. Doing it this way made it very easy for the concrete guys and made it easy to get door height perfect.

I helped build a steel building a few years ago and we tried doing it the same way, we poured piers for the columns and planned on doing the floor later, this turned into a total mess, if I ever do another steel building it will have the floor completely done before I start.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The last pole barn I helped build we started with a level sand pad, we then set poles, hung the headers, set trusses, sheeted and shingled the roof, at this point we had basically a carport style structure, we then had the floor poured and we finished framing out the doors and put up the steel siding. Doing it this way made it very easy for the concrete guys and made it easy to get door height perfect.
Sounds similar to how I did mine, no roof sheeting though.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I put up the shop first then poured concrete. 6" of fibermesh cut in 10' x 10' sections. it's been up for 10 years and only one small crack next to a post. It was built on a very stable gravel base.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman2a View Post
1) gives you a secure/dry space NOW to store stuff (building materials, etc.).
2) allows you to work on other stuff as you get money together for the slab you can get your electrical done, rough in your plumbing, lighting, some HVAC, all out of the weather, so you will have something to do when you have shitty weather this winter.
3) When you DO pour the slab you won't be limited by the weather and you don't have to give a rat's ass about weather it rains within XX hours of when you pour.
4) This could also get you a better price as you'll be able to contract it with a contractor who would normally be sitting on his ass when it's raining. I am getting ready to pour a slab right now and this saved me some money, cause it's covered and I told the guy to schedule for a day when it's raining.
5) with a pole building...
Yep, did the building first and then the slab pretty much for the first four reasons (pole building didn't apply to me) and also that not only do you not have to worry about rain, but you also can keep it out of the sun and not worry about it curing too fast.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds similar to how I did mine, no roof sheeting though.
We were fighting the weather, I would have liked the slab before shingles, roof was a little wobbly with no concrete and no walls.

Never seen the 2xs supporting the siding run like that, was it for ease of finishing the interior? How did it work out?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Never seen the 2xs supporting the siding run like that, was it for ease of finishing the interior? How did it work out?
It's called commercial girts. It gives the walls higher wind (side) load and allowed me to use 6" of rolled insulation and then finish the inside with sheeting.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've built a few pole barns. Most of them have had the slab poured first and a few have had the poles set before the slab. But the best way is to pour a footing lay a block foundation, and then pour the slab. That will also cut the waste down on your lumber package.

If you pour the slab first, set the poles on some aluminum flashing and anchor them to the slab with something substantial. I've not been happy with the Simpson line of products or any kind of strap for that matter. What I do like is angle iron.

The only time I prefer a post sunk in the ground is for structures that carry a load ie. hay lofts and tobacco barns. And if you do sink them in the ground, make the bottom of the hole twice as large as the pole and pour some concrete in there for a footing.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sounds similar to how I did mine, no roof sheeting though.
This looks like what I am thinking about doing to add some cold storage space (IE I don't need to pull a permit for a 24'x36') onto the back of the shop, would you mind posting up some details as to what you used for posts, trusses etc. and spacing?
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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With a pole barn you sort of have to follow the order. Holes drilled, install posts and horizontal girts, put on trusses, metal it. The first girts are your form boards to pour the floor.

If it is compacted, pour right away. If not compact it. Waiting takes forever and if you put stuff inside you will just have to drag it out to pour the floor. Huge pain.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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How about this?

Since I will but putting some load onto the barn itself I'll be tying in some wall hoists and such.

Put up the barn like Jeepdude_Jay, then run some bar through the poles, and then pour concrete. That would help isolate and stiffen the poles and structure, right?
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Something else to consider is getiing some Sonotube (Concrete tube forms) and set them in the ground, pour concrete pads, set up your polebarn on top of them, (or in them) then pour the pad later. Ther are lots of commercial buildings built this way.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
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That's a pipe dream. There's two kinds of concrete pads. Those that have cracked and those that will crack.

That's what we cut control joints in for. If compacted correctly the cracks will happen where the joints are.
My shop was build in 2001. 30x40 5" slab, 300psi w/ fiber, NO rebar, NO joints.

Exactly when should I expect my first crack to show up?
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #23 (permalink)
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if you put stuff inside you will just have to drag it out to pour the floor. Huge pain.
This would be my #1 reason to do the floor at the time of the shop build... There is no way I want to drag all that stuff back out again to do the floor once the shop starts filling up.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My shop was build in 2001. 30x40 5" slab, 300psi w/ fiber, NO rebar, NO joints.

Exactly when should I expect my first crack to show up?
Don't be an ass.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There is no question the floor will be done before moving in. But that was why I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.

I'm going to have my concrete guy come out and give me his ideas. And coordinate with the builder to see if they will give me a week between framing the pole barn, and skinning it.

I like the idea of the poles being tied into the concrete for rigidity. But at the same time leaves them prone to rot.
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Back in college, we were making up acetylene balloons and putting them in a box to take off to light. Guy comes into the room, goes "Balloons!" and grabs a balloon, rubs it on his head, and sticks it to the wall... Everyone was diving for cover...
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