Site preparation for a versatile post frame building is generally less complicated than with other construction types. However, researching how to choose the right site for your new post frame structure is crucial.  Executing perfect site preparation is easy with this guide.

Starting Out

The main key to effective post frame site preparation is to ensure that the site has adequate drainage. Easy access for work and equipment, and that the soil is sufficiently compacted and leveled. Other factors may include considerations of future expansion, increasing traffic flow and maneuverability, parking, and of course, local zoning requirements.

Another critical element of your site selection is the availability and connection points for utilities like electricity and water.

Once you have evaluated and planned your post frame building and designed the footprint to allow for easy traffic flow, access, expandability, and utility connections, it is time to begin the excavation.

Study Your Soil Types

Some soil types do not drain well, nor can they support substantial weight. Knowing the soil type and consistency in advance can save a lot of unnecessary effort and cost. Removal and replacement of poor soil with a strong, compatible soil and gravel mix will solve this problem. This will provide a long-lasting, properly drained surface for your post frame structure.


A principal objective of the excavation will be to ensure that the structure will be level.

The durability of your post frame building will also depend on keeping the base free of large rocks, debris, ruts, and vegetation. The finished soil base should be compacted to 95% of its maximum density and “crowned” for proper drainage from the center point of the footprint.

Create a level area by adding or removing material, so the base is uniform and free of loose and organic material.

The perimeter of the exterior should be sloped or tapered away from the edge of the structure to facilitate drainage. Ensure the level area is larger than the proposed building.

The access areas for your proposed building should also be graded to create a naturally angled entry. Typically, if vehicles, equipment, or livestock will be entering, you should compact a 12-foot wide area with soil and an ample layer of gravel to support the weight.

Handling Obstructions While Excavating Your Property

Over time nature has added many obstructions beneath the ground that makes creating a level surface more complicated. Although your lot may already need considerable material removed, your excavator may also run into such conditions as:

  • Rock layers
  • Boulders
  • Tree roots
  • Utility lines
  • Human-made obstructions like old footings, conduits, foundations, asphalt

In many cases, these obstructions are easily removed. Others like a location on a high water table may require repositioning if an affordable solution or redesign cannot be implemented.

In flood areas, consult the local building authorities before starting. We recommend contacting a surveyor to establish a level that is above flood level. In this case, you will need to import additional fill material to raise the floor grade. You may also need to install vents below flood level to equalize pressures, inside and out.

Extra Preparations

When preparing the site, take into consideration how builders will access your site. Clearly mark and create easy access for large vehicles to use. Including a turn around area can also be beneficial.

An additional preparation step is to mark the underground utilities such as pipes and electrical cables so they can easily be avoided.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

As long-standing experts in post frame construction, Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings of North Webster, Indiana, has been designing and building highly functional and economical post frame structures for four decades. We are also a leader in manufacturing post frame components.

While serving a wide range of clients in Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan, and Northwest Ohio, Pacemaker supplies state-of-the-art components and expertise for all types of post frame structures. These include buildings for agricultural, commercial, warehousing, civic, manufacturing, equestrian, and suburban structures.

Consult the professionals at Pacemaker Post Frame to learn more about design, site prep, and construction of your modern post frame building. You may fill out our Contact Us Form, and one of our experts will contact you promptly.

You can also call Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at 1-888-834-4448, and we will answer your questions.