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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I am starting my journey to build my first pole barn. My wife and I bought 13 acres out in the country, and we will put our pole barn up this year, and build a house next year.

My barn is manufactured by Cleary, it is 40x56x12 with an 8x16 porch on the front. Have one overhead door on the side, and two service doors, one on the same side, and one around the corner. I plan to have a concrete floor, with infloor heat.

I rented a 40' shipping container to put my materials in...don't need them walking away on me.

I just got the majority of dirt work done, so now I can start digging out the footings. The county states that I need 26x10 footings, which sadly is a far cry from what was originally thought at 18x9. I had purchased an 18" auger for my new post hole digger. :(

Being that the county wants the footings bigger, I am thinking that I will rent a mini excavator and dig them out that way. Sort of wish I had saved my money on the post hole digger, and bought a used backhoe!

One thing that I have heard mixed reviews on is how to put the foam for the floor. I have seen where some just lay it vertical on the ground, and others have dug down about 2' and placed it on edge.

Being that I will have a backhoe there, I was thinking of just digging around the perimeter one bucket wide so simplify that part of the job. Do you all feel that is a good idea, or should I just put it on ground level and call it good?

Once the building is up, we will put two more inches of class 5 in to get the base needed for the concrete floor.

We will see if I can show a picture of the current layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The dirt work was a bit of an entertainment...there was only really one good spot for this shed to go, and the location was in a low spot close to where the house will be.

I had a old local fella come out and take a look at how make it right. He didn't want to hall in clay to raise this up, so instead, he took out a small grove of trees, and scrapped off the "black". We have about a foot of loam, followed by clay. That loam looks like black dirt! He then dug out a trench about 200' long with his backhoe, and pushed the clay over to the low spot with his D4 cat. He then had a claw foot tamper, and made sure it was compact. Once he was done pulling the dirt out, he pushed all the trees in the hole, and pushed all the black dirt back into the hole, and shaped it a bit to make the rain water run correctly.

I'd say he did pretty good work!

Once he was done with that, he brought in some class 5 dirt, and spread it down the driveway he made, as well as on the location of the shed.
 

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I'll being stealing ideas for mine.:thumbup1gif:
 

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:munch: me too-:laugh:
 

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:munch::munch::munch:
 

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Will also be watching! :cheers: :munch:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for watching along. I am certain that there will be mistakes made.

The building materials will show up tomorrow, so I will get a better picture of the work coming up!

I am still debating on whether or not to use my post hole digger with the 18" auger and hog out the bottom of the holes with a shovel to get close to 26", or if I rent a little excavator and dig each footing with the bucket. I may not have as big a hole to backfill if I use the auger, but not looking forward to trying to hog out the bottom of the hole 5' in the ground.

One thing that I am still debating is how to go about insulating the future slab. From what I have been able to gather, I need to put a sheet of polystyrene on vertical edge 2' in the ground to ward off frost issues with the slab. What I don't quite know is if I need to wrap the post as well?


Someone had suggested that instead of digging down one bucket width around the perimeter, that I should use a 2" trencher, and before I dig any footing holes, mark out the perimeter, and go all the way around it with the trencher. Then when the posts are in, I could slip the sheet of insulation down in the trench, and have little to backfill.

What are your thoughts on that?
 

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...t insulating the future slab. From what I have been able to gather, I need to put a sheet of polystyrene on vertical edge 2' in the ground to ward off frost issues with the slab. What I don't quite know is if I need to wrap the post as well?


Someone had suggested that instead of digging down one bucket width around the perimeter, that I should use a 2" trencher, and before I dig any footing holes, mark out the perimeter, and go all the way around it with the trencher. Then when the posts are in, I could slip the sheet of insulation down in the trench, and have little to backfill.

What are your thoughts on that?
Congrats on the shed! I too will be following along.

My brother did the trenching (4" wide) process with his shed, he went down 4'. I dug down 2' on the inside perimeter after the shed was built. The edge slab insulation theory being insulating the slab and the sides creates a "cap" of sorts, energy moves from warm areas to cold areas. Containing the "warm" earth energy under the cap, you are controlling frost creep by helping direct the earth's warmth under the vertical insulation to the frozen soil area. I wouldn't include the posts inside the vertical insulation, most likely they will be backfilled with tamped rock so frost heave shouldn't affect them.

Check out the Building America Solution Center, your building zone location will determine the depth you should achieve. I have no idea what's "right", everyone has an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions..... :laugh:

Regarding the installation of insulation, my builder didn't want me to trench in the insulation before setting the posts, his "theory" was that it could lead to soil caving off during the dig and he didn't want to damage the insulation with the auger. If your soils are prone to caving (high sand/rock content) I could see this being an issue. It sure would have been easier way to install, digging after the fact was slow, painful and just plain not fun.

Not so sure about the 2" trench though, seems like it would need to be pretty accurate otherwise you could spend some considerable time cleaning/crumbing to get it place correctly. I would consider the 4" trench. IF you go the trenching route, after trenching and placing the foam, make sure to backfill (sand) as you go. My brother didn't backfill, and during the night an unsuspected rain storm developed. You guessed it, the sheets floated about 1/2 way out of the trench, and the trench filled in with soil (now mud), trapping the sheet mid way. Trying to remove the stuck foam and retrenching the mud was slow going.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Darwin,

Thank you very much for the links! It appears being I am in zone 6, that I need to go down 4'!

My thoughts to trenching was to just trench before digging the holes for the poles, then put the poles in, and clean up the trench once that is done, and then install the insulation. It does make sense that I don't want the insulation floating up if it rains, and the clay that I have turns to concrete once it gets wet. Perhaps it would make sense to either trench it, or rent the excavator and dig a trench. Figured I would pop the poles in first and start the backfill process, then I could install the insulation and backfill that as well.

I do believe trying to dig this in after the barn is built will be extremely slow going ! :greentractorride:
 

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We had 7' of frost a couple years back in Brainerd. Something to consider if you're on clay or anything heavy enough to hold water.

Our land is mainly sand, but there's an aquifer running through the whole hill side so as soon as you get under the top soil you hit high moisture sand. I'll be going down 8' on anything of critical importance (house, shop, etc). Every site is different.
 

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The best advice in this case is to talk to your local building official and see what he expects from you and he or she will let you know the codes for your area (frost depth, snow loading and wind loading). There are other means to frost protect a slab and not necessarily doing the foam 2' down and 2' horizontal to the slab. Good draining soil under the slab may be all that's needed here stamped by an engineer. The footings under your "poles" is also an engineering aspect and not some person telling you this or that is required (I think you mentioned your building inspector). The engineer will design those based on the presumptive soil bearing capacities and what they will be supporting. I know I could not tell someone they need a footing the size you mentioned, I would be designing something then inspecting it,,, No conflict there! All up to design professionals..
Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the advice!

Yes, the local building inspector stated that I needed this large footing under each post, but would not give me a reason as to why they needed to be this big. The footings were calculated by the engineer for Cleary buildings, and were again calculated to be sure they didn't miss anything after I had told them what the county is requesting. I didn't want to press this issue with the inspector, as he will most likely be the one involved for the duration of this build. Sadly, he may also see over the building of the house next year.

If I find that the other building inspector comes out, (there are two, only met the one) perhaps he can tell me what I need to do with the insulation. This location is at the top of a hill, and it is clay country as far as you can see! The foot of loam is an interesting touch though! :)

The materials for the shed show up tomorrow morning, somewhere between 7-9 am! :bigbeer:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some of the other things that are making me think are how I am going to get the trusses up to their final resting place. I wonder if I can improvise a boom made of wood that I can somehow attach to the bucket. My 870 has a 440 loader that was not a quick release bucket. If I am not mistaken, I have roughly a 10' lift with that rig. I need to get the truss up to 13'8" if I recall the plans for the shed.

I always wonder what else I should be thinking about that I don't know. :dunno:
 

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Zone 5; contractor trenched 3' down and placed the 2" insulation on the inside perimeter. Based on that experience, I used a 6000BTU electric heater and heated a 32x40x12 (plus upstairs bonus room) building and maintained 50 degrees all winter long. Walls were blown cellulose while roof was foam. Floor was tolerable. That was my old shop.

The new shop is Zone 4 and the concrete guy wouldn't install the insulation and my floor is always cold in the winter. Because of that, its more difficult to maintain the temperature, even in a warmer zone. I'm going to add a concrete floor in the lean to section and correct that portion by trenching and installiing insulation. I'm debating doing a trench on the rest of the building.

Based on the two shops, the insulation was worth the extra cost.
 

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You can mount a gin pole on your loader even if it's just used to support another hoist. Trusses don't weigh that much, but distance from the pins horizontally creates additional leverage and possibly a safety concern depending on how much your tractor weighs.

I'd find out how much a telehandler rental would cost if you're doing the build yourself. Being able to send your perlins up would be a big plus, not to mention the roof tins.
 

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Thanks for the advice!

Yes, the local building inspector stated that I needed this large footing under each post, but would not give me a reason as to why they needed to be this big. The footings were calculated by the engineer for Cleary buildings, and were again calculated to be sure they didn't miss anything after I had told them what the county is requesting. I didn't want to press this issue with the inspector, as he will most likely be the one involved for the duration of this build. Sadly, he may also see over the building of the house next year.

If I find that the other building inspector comes out, (there are two, only met the one) perhaps he can tell me what I need to do with the insulation. This location is at the top of a hill, and it is clay country as far as you can see! The foot of loam is an interesting touch though! :)

The materials for the shed show up tomorrow morning, somewhere between 7-9 am! :bigbeer:
I know most people don't like to differ with the inspector but in this case you had an engineer spec out the footings and I'm sure your inspector is not an engineer and the code tells you what is necessary for footings under normal foundations not pole barns so I don't know where he's coming from at all, but I for 0ne would push the issue, Inspectors are not GOD!!! (as much as some think they are!) I forgot you wanted to heat the building or floor so the IECC (whatever year you are in in your area) code tells you what would be necessary for floor insulation and if your cement guy will not do it (because it takes longer to set up) get another one. If you can get your hands on a current IRC code book look up the different ways to insulate a foundation or floor slab, there are pictures and at least three different methods to get that done and my advice would be to trench out with a small bucket or trencher as mentioned and slide the 2" foam vertical and backfill evenly on both sides to the surface, compacted of course then set your cement forms for the floor so the cement is even with the outside edge.. Not easy by any stretch but a lot of guys around here do this for storage units that require frost protection. If you try to do this after the floor is poured you will have a void behind the foam for sure. Good luck with your building office. Also you must have state inspectors where you are located??? Call your district person and ask them for help with the inspector, and show them the engineers report and design, that's what they are there for. Pole barns can be difficult to start and get insulated especially in frost zones but there are so many methods to do so and in my opinion a frost wall foundation in your case, if you have the extra dough, would be the way to go here. 8" wall with footing 48" deep and you're done, no fooling around with digging pole holes then fooling around with trying to figure out how to insulate the sides etc.... Money is certainly an issue most of the time but once you figure out the cost of all the other work, in the end is it worth it??? You'll still want to insulate the foundation to the 4' level but so much easier! And you're done... The foundation will be square, level and just build your barn on top.. You can still do a pole barn you're just not burying the poles! Anyway,, I'm done, good luck with what you decide to do.
 
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