Some post frame buildings require concrete foundations or floors. However, stables and many barns don’t need a complete concrete finish. But in many other instances, like vehicle repair and storage, workshops, or retail space, a solid concrete foundation is essential. Here’s what to know about post frame foundations, concrete considerations.
Once the owner decides they need a concrete foundation, there are some crucial considerations, such as when to pour the concrete. Should you pour the concrete before or after the rest of the structure has been completed?
An experienced post frame supplier representative will advise the best approach for any concrete considerations during the design phase.
Identifying and Preparing the Site
Determining the location of the post frame building is the first critical step.
Site preparation for a modern post frame building is usually simple once the location is chosen. For most structures, you only need a level surface with sufficient sloping away from the perimeter for efficient drainage. If you will store and maintain equipment and vehicles within the building, make sure you leave plenty of space to maneuver both inside and outside of the structure. Remember that replacement equipment tends to be larger, so leaving ample room around the entrance is essential. You should also take into account the dimensions of any entryways.
Pouring the Foundation Before Building the Post Frame Building
Wintertime is not the ideal time to pour concrete. While builders can use some additives to facilitate curing the material in cold weather, frozen or frost-laden earth can create serious problems later. Especially as cracks and frost heaves can form from voids.
Applying sublayers of burlap or other material to mitigate the adverse effects of frozen ground can also work. However, not every contractor wants to take this risk.
In many instances, the contractor will suggest delaying the project or building the structure without the concrete foundation. Especially since applying the foundation later when the weather turns warmer is simple with post frame construction.
When weather conditions are above freezing temperatures, pouring the concrete foundation is much easier to schedule. In the non-winter months of spring, summer, or fall, the issue of when to pour the foundation can be a matter of choice. This is often based on the contractor’s preference and humidity levels.
Pouring the Foundation After the Post Frame Building is Erected
Adding the concrete foundation later is also an option, as builders can pour the foundation after the walls and roof are up. Either the job may defer to weeks later when the weather warms. Or, the builder may warm the interior of the building sufficiently to overcome freezing while the concrete cures. Once the walls and roof are up, they can shield the foundation surface from icy winds.
Making the Decision
From a structural perspective, adding the foundation before or after makes little difference. However, many contractors may prefer to lay the concrete before the walls of the post frame go up. Just be aware that the temperature plays a significant role in the decision in colder climates.
Work With the Experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings
Headquartered in North Webster, Indiana, the Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings experts have plenty of experience designing and building structures in any weather during the past four decades.
Serving Northern Indiana, Southwestern Michigan, and Northwestern Ohio, Pacemaker’s professionals design, equip, and build post frame buildings of all types and sizes throughout the year.
To view Pacemaker’s Gallery of finished projects and learn the many applications for post frame building methods, visit the Pacemaker website.
For answers to your questions about a project or for professional support for your building project, contact Pacemaker Post Frame Building by completing the simple Contact Us Form or call our experts at 1-888-834-4448.