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Discussion Starter #1
Our property isn't particularly flat. This is what I'm working with:

PBSite.jpg

Perspective makes this a little hard to see, but the front line is a 24" drop and the rear line is a 12" drop. These are best that I can measure right now, I'm getting a laser level for this project later. The first obstacles are the pines. The plan is to rent a mini-excavator to tackle those. For the grading, I'd like to lower the front right and raise the rear left. Before I plow ahead, are there glaring problems with this plan? I'm totally open for input here.

The vertical lines are 24',40'. The right side is 25' off of the property line, which is my setback. I have some room to the left to shift into. I'm also not dead set on the size, but I am trying to maximize the storage space that I have without huge amounts of grading, or tree removal. Here is what I have drawn up so far:

Barn v1 24x40.jpg

I haven't taken the plans further because I haven't nailed down the final size.

It isn't a great build site, but it is all that I have. So, I'm looking for feedback. I think that I posted in the past, but I got two quotes for a 30'x30' on this spot, one was for $7,500 on a prepped site, no concrete floor and the other was $30,000 all in with site prep and a concrete floor. So, I'm looking for some feedback from folks that don't have an interest in upselling me on this project :)
 

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You're in GA so is it safe to assume that everything at the site is red clay? Are you planning on pouring a concrete floor?
 

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Our property isn't particularly flat. This is what I'm working with:

View attachment 39616

Perspective makes this a little hard to see, but the front line is a 24" drop and the rear line is a 12" drop. These are best that I can measure right now, I'm getting a laser level for this project later. The first obstacles are the pines. The plan is to rent a mini-excavator to tackle those. For the grading, I'd like to lower the front right and raise the rear left. Before I plow ahead, are there glaring problems with this plan? I'm totally open for input here.

The vertical lines are 24',40'. The right side is 25' off of the property line, which is my setback. I have some room to the left to shift into. I'm also not dead set on the size, but I am trying to maximize the storage space that I have without huge amounts of grading, or tree removal. Here is what I have drawn up so far:

View attachment 39617

I haven't taken the plans further because I haven't nailed down the final size.

It isn't a great build site, but it is all that I have. So, I'm looking for feedback. I think that I posted in the past, but I got two quotes for a 30'x30' on this spot, one was for $7,500 on a prepped site, no concrete floor and the other was $30,000 all in with site prep and a concrete floor. So, I'm looking for some feedback from folks that don't have an interest in upselling me on this project :)
I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for, but 24" of drop is not that much to deal with. I'm not sure I would lower any of it though. I have built several pole sheds, and my first one, I tried something similar. It didn't work out too good drainage wise. I like to build the whole site up at least a foot, then slope it at a nice grade. You will never take on a drop of water that way. Don't skimp on fill or compacting it. I always (after the first one) had one of those big vibrating roller things come in and compact the devil out of it.
The only other advice would be to go as big as you can afford that will fit.

Good luck. New buildings are fun and exciting:thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for, but 24" of drop is not that much to deal with. I'm not sure I would lower any of it though. I have built several pole sheds, and my first one, I tried something similar. It didn't work out too good drainage wise. I like to build the whole site up at least a foot, then slope it at a nice grade. You will never take on a drop of water that way. Don't skimp on fill or compacting it. I always (after the first one) had one of those big vibrating roller things come in and compact the devil out of it.
The only other advice would be to go as big as you can afford that will fit.

Good luck. New buildings are fun and exciting:thumbup1gif:
Thanks, I'm trying to do as much research as possible on this and want to make sure that I'm not missing something obvious to those with experience.

The site is 200 yds off of the road and the only way in is the driveway which won't support a full size dump truck for the fill. I'd either have to get smaller truck delivery, or dump in the street and tote it to the site.
 

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Thanks, I'm trying to do as much research as possible on this and want to make sure that I'm not missing something obvious to those with experience.

The site is 200 yds off of the road and the only way in is the driveway which won't support a full size dump truck for the fill. I'd either have to get smaller truck delivery, or dump in the street and tote it to the site.
If there was no other way, I think I would opt for a smaller dump truck. It would get old quick carting fill with a loader 200 yards. Is your driveway too narrow, or why can't a dump truck get back there?

Just to give you an idea...I built a 36x60 barn with an 8' porch 4 years ago, and I hauled in 2000 yards of fill!!! We were able to get it on our property on some old iron mines from WWII era. They set up a drag line and 15 dump trucks hauled all day. It was only about 1//2 mile away.
You won't need that much fill of course. I had to build one side of the pad up 6 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If there was no other way, I think I would opt for a smaller dump truck. It would get old quick carting fill with a loader 200 yards. Is your driveway too narrow, or why can't a dump truck get back there?
The supply company that I bought gravel from for my trailer pad said that a full size truck would crush the driveway, so I'm going by what he told me.

Just to give you an idea...I built a 36x60 barn with an 8' porch 4 years ago, and I hauled in 2000 yards of fill!!! We were able to get it on our property on some old iron mines from WWII era. They set up a drag line and 15 dump trucks hauled all day. It was only about 1//2 mile away.
You won't need that much fill of course. I had to build one side of the pad up 6 feet.
Wow, that's pretty amazing. I'm not opposed to hiring this job out, I just want to know all of my options going into it.
 

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Yes, red clay. I want to plan on a concrete floor, but that would be added at a later date. That is my reasoning for digging out the pine stumps.
Yeah, as I recall that red clay holds water pretty well and gets slicker than snot when it rains. I think I'd want to find some way of dropping a sand/gravel/stone dust layer in there and build on top of that. Mostly just to make sure I'd have drainage so you don't end up with a huge mess every time it rains and everything in there rusting from the moisture.
 

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BUBBER; Get rid of all trash like the wood debri stuff and build up and up and like every body else has said so u won't end up in a swamp hole, regretting it later. is their anywhere on the property to get any stone type fill at all. on my pole shed my dad built, he put yellow locaust boards at the bottom for the nailer , that was in 1992, all is well yet, but no water lays against them, and I don't have rain gutters. every summer we use old motor oil to paint these boards, so far so good. but thatts why u want to get a high enough elvation to start with. just my 02 cents good luck and happy building once its done u won't regret it. big jim
 

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Bubber,

Just looking at the Pic, your site is downhill from the background.

It would be a good thing to raise the floor at least a foot over existing grade. That water stuff, runs down hill and towards barns, like Tornadoes seek out Mobile home parks.

Red clay is HORRIBLE for drainage, so figure on a french drain on the uphill side just to cover your butt.
Drainage on the apron side is always good too. Nothing worse that big clods of mud, coming out of ruts just outside the door, making it into the barn.

Is there any spot near the road to dump sand/fill, and then run it back to the site?
It might take 87 trips with a FEL, but it's better than trashing a driveway.

Have you considered adding a pond?;)
 

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You definitely need to account for water egress and ingress.

What if you dug a low shelf into the high side, then used those spoils to build the low side of the pad?

The area surrounding the shed could be dressed with gravel and as long as the bottom under the stone was graded to channel the water around the pad site, you'd gain some more storage and wouldn't need to trench for tile.

I also agree with the pond. That's win-win all day.
 

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I agree with the others.
Build it up to a grade where no form of heavy thunderstorm is going to compromise the inside with water.
Also clear away any of those trees that aren't healthy around your pad that may later fall on your barn.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Unfortunately due to a buried AT&T cable, there is no place for a pond, but that would be cool to have. That's another factor in this being my site. I will be removing trees around the site, I paid to have the big ones taken down, I'll take care of the rest.

I've used a company for stump grinding in the past that also does grading/fill work. I spoke with the owner this morning and he is coming out to give me an estimate tomorrow. He's seen the property before and thinks he can give me a price that is cheaper than I could do it myself. That would be nice, we'll see.
 

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Unfortunately due to a buried AT&T cable, there is no place for a pond, but that would be cool to have. That's another factor in this being my site. I will be removing trees around the site, I paid to have the big ones taken down, I'll take care of the rest.

I've used a company for stump grinding in the past that also does grading/fill work. I spoke with the owner this morning and he is coming out to give me an estimate tomorrow. He's seen the property before and thinks he can give me a price that is cheaper than I could do it myself. That would be nice, we'll see.
That would be great if that works out. If you have to move fill yourself, consider renting a hydraulic dump trailer and hauling with that. If the fill was at the road you could load the trailer with the fel and run it back to the site, faster than by the bucket load. They rent those trailers around here for $40 for 24 hrs.
 

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I too would fill/build up with something (sand/gravel mix?) for drainage. Don't forget, red clay tends to have foundation issues, and if you pour a concrete floor later over that clay, it might be cracking before you planned. Get in some gutters and channel the excess away from the barn thru PVC or similar, or roof runoff will make a mess of your hard work.
 

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Just my opinion here. Be sure your required pole depth is dug through virgin soil below the topsoil. What i mean is that whatever you fill with will likely not be as solid as undisturbed soil regardless of the compaction. The floor in the addition that I am working on is intentionally low because I wanted the poles anchored in as much undisturbed soil as possible. I will build it up in the spring to deal with the drainage. But then again i only dug about 42" deep and normally you would go about 6' down depending on the soil and you engineering. Mine was engineered by a Loafer which isn't the best.


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An older building style where the floor was not on a pad or at grade would have used a pier and beam construction. Perhaps that is an option for you. Many old wood floors in barns still hold tremendous weight today. Would not require the rock delivery but the lumber cost would be unreal.
 

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Just my opinion here. Be sure your required pole depth is dug through virgin soil below the topsoil. What i mean is that whatever you fill with will likely not be as solid as undisturbed soil regardless of the compaction. The floor in the addition that I am working on is intentionally low because I wanted the poles anchored in as much undisturbed soil as possible.


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That is a good point. Morton Buildings requires you to be at least 1 foot into indisturbed soil.
I had to be in the ground 7 feet on my barn!
Maybe a little overkill, cuz the big "sheep's foot" is supposed to compact to 105 or a 110 percent of the natural soil. They stripped the top soil first, compacted the ground first, then every layer. Then put the black dirt back on top.
 

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Sounds like you have the ground part covered with ideas. Looking at your building plans, I think I'd put a side door in too. That way you'd have 2 places to drive into the building with.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the advice so far on the site. I've got 2 companies coming out to give me estimates/options on the fill and grading. I'd like to do as much of the work myself as possible, but I have to balance self satisfaction vs actually getting this thing done in a reasonable timeframe. :laugh:

As far as doors go, it is currently drawn with a 10' door in each end, but a side door on the left makes sense too. Probably more than a second door on the back wall as I wouldn't really be able to pull through with anything very long.
 
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