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Barn foundation question

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  • Barn foundation question

    Sometime this year my DH and I are going to finally build a small barn for my two horses. It will be a center aisle with a tack/feed room and three stalls.

    Here is the question. The spot where we are going to build it currently has really rotten footing when it rains. Deep, foot sucking mud that doesn't seem like the best place to put the barn foundation, but its what we have. So how would you guys fix this area so that we don't run in to foundation problems later?

    My idea was to dig the soft top dirt out with a tractor and lay down something like stone screenings, or stone dust. Thoughts and advice?
    Eventing at Midnight Blog

    Rodan and Fields, Ask Me About it
    A Measure of Grace Blog

  • #2
    When we lived in WI and built our pole barn we removed all the topsoil in an area about two feet longer and wider than the size of what the finished barn building was to be. Filled and compacted with stone and limestone screenings. We made sure the finished base was about six inches above ground level.

    We moved to SC and did the same thing but instead of limestone we used compacted clay to make the base.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you going to build a pole barn?

      Try not to build it on a spot such as you describe, but if it's the only spot you have then you need a grading contractor to do what they call site preparation. You'll have to spend some money, even if you do most of the work, on rocks and a couple sizes of gravel until you get a built up pad of sufficient height and quite a bit larger than the proposed building. The idea is to make a little self draining island to stick your building on, you'll be able to drive on it in all weathers and it'll be pleasant inside. You'll also have to make sure that you have good gutters and lead all the water far away from your building.

      You could also do what my neighbor did, the substrate in his barn was the native stone with a little dirt left on top and the water off the roof used to go straight inside and make a skating rink every winter. He was a little late with the gravel inside so opted instead to make a dam by piling soil up against the outside wall, which has worked for two years now.

      But really, for the expense you want to do it to last for a long time, so dig off your topsoil, put down layers, big rocks, smaller smaller and the fines, make it a big pad so you can work around it and then put in your building. I'm going to look for a link to a thread that somebody posted where they really had a communication failure with their builder, it was just horrible and the barn was not really useable.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
        Are you going to build a pole barn?

        Try not to build it on a spot such as you describe, but if it's the only spot you have then you need a grading contractor to do what they call site preparation. You'll have to spend some money, even if you do most of the work, on rocks and a couple sizes of gravel until you get a built up pad of sufficient height and quite a bit larger than the proposed building. The idea is to make a little self draining island to stick your building on, you'll be able to drive on it in all weathers and it'll be pleasant inside. You'll also have to make sure that you have good gutters and lead all the water far away from your building.

        You could also do what my neighbor did, the substrate in his barn was the native stone with a little dirt left on top and the water off the roof used to go straight inside and make a skating rink every winter. He was a little late with the gravel inside so opted instead to make a dam by piling soil up against the outside wall, which has worked for two years now.

        But really, for the expense you want to do it to last for a long time, so dig off your topsoil, put down layers, big rocks, smaller smaller and the fines, make it a big pad so you can work around it and then put in your building. I'm going to look for a link to a thread that somebody posted where they really had a communication failure with their builder, it was just horrible and the barn was not really useable.
        That is pretty much what I was thinking of doing. Yes please, post that link if you can find it. Thanks in advance.
        Eventing at Midnight Blog

        Rodan and Fields, Ask Me About it
        A Measure of Grace Blog

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's the link. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ilder-Problems The barn is not unnattractive, but the pad was not built correctly AT ALL. When I first saw it I A$$umed it had a perimeter foundation with forms, but no. There is precisely enough dirt - dirt, mind you, to go inside the building. There is no way for a vehicle to enter or exit the one end of the aisle, which is one reason I say to make a large pad, then it can be gently graded to make a ramp, but then you may not have any slope to deal with either. Anyway, just remember to make your pad higher than the surroundings so that water wants to drain away from it. Our shop is built on cut and fill and at the "cut" end is a shallow rock filled ditch that leads water away from the building. The shop has a four or six inch thick concrete slab but water still needs to be lead away from it or the slab tends to get damp.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the link. No, no slope, but I still want water to drain where it's supposed to and not say in to my stalls. Thanks!

            Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
            Here's the link. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ilder-Problems The barn is not unnattractive, but the pad was not built correctly AT ALL. When I first saw it I A$$umed it had a perimeter foundation with forms, but no. There is precisely enough dirt - dirt, mind you, to go inside the building. There is no way for a vehicle to enter or exit the one end of the aisle, which is one reason I say to make a large pad, then it can be gently graded to make a ramp, but then you may not have any slope to deal with either. Anyway, just remember to make your pad higher than the surroundings so that water wants to drain away from it. Our shop is built on cut and fill and at the "cut" end is a shallow rock filled ditch that leads water away from the building. The shop has a four or six inch thick concrete slab but water still needs to be lead away from it or the slab tends to get damp.
            Eventing at Midnight Blog

            Rodan and Fields, Ask Me About it
            A Measure of Grace Blog

            Comment


            • #7
              I would remove the existing organic layer and then fill with crushed stone. We have used road base in some areas and crushed limestone in others. Probably would be a good idea to build that area up several inches to keep it dry. Gutters and catch basins would also be a good investment. Getting a good excavator on site is also well worth the Money.

              Comment


              • #8
                If that's absolutely your only choice, get a pro with real heavy equipment to fix it like it should be. Pennies pinched on this now will bring never ending aggravation. This is not a job for a farm tractor. I'd get someone with a "pan". You may even have to haul in good dirt to refill with.

                http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...QEwBg&dur=2144
                www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

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