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How to Pour a Concrete Slab for a Garage, Carport, Shed, or Metal Building
Oct 2022

How to Pour a Concrete Slab for a Garage, Carport, Shed, or Metal Building

Stephan Michaels
Carports, Metal Garage, Shed

Foundation Is the Key

If you’ve ever spent any time in construction, you already know how important a building’s foundation is to its integrity. A proper foundation can make all the difference between whether your building lasts five years or 30.

Several foundation types work for varying building sizes and layouts, but understanding which one to pick might be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with construction or the metal building industry. But we’re to help make sense of it all!

Below, we’ll dive deeply into concrete foundations, how they work, and what you’ll need to get the most out of yours.

Critical Tips to Help You Properly Plan Your Foundation

Even small metal building projects take quite a bit of engineering prowess and hard work. But taking the time to plan your build correctly can save you tons of time and heartache throughout your journey. So here’s what you’ll need to know before you choose your foundation.

• The Land

Your first step will be to choose a foundation size and pick where you’d like to install your structure. You’ll want to make sure that this region rests above natural water runoff to prevent flooding issues before and after installation.

• Local Regulations

Many localities will have distinct rules regarding the construction of permanent structures. Therefore, before you build, you’ll want to connect with your local building inspectors to determine what regulations you must follow and what permits you’ll be required to have to begin.

• Calculate Costs and Develop a Budget

Every construction project will need a budget. This budget will estimate the total cost of your building project, including the foundation, and will help you minimize extraneous expenses.

• Soil Condition

What kind of soil does your property have? Is it mud-like clay or more of a rocky terrain? Failing to choose the right conditions for your structure can result in sagging structures or buildings that shift after installation. These issues can be extremely costly. As such, you’ll want to make sure you have the right soil type. Sometimes, you may even need to seek outside sources for the right soil type.

• Building Weight

Another vital part of planning your foundation is considering your steel structure’s weight. How much will your building and its contents weigh? Understanding the weight of your incoming building will help you determine the proper concrete thickness you’ll need.

• Frost

The frost line is a term used to describe the maximum depth that frost can penetrate. It’s an important aspect of determining how to build your concrete pad because frost and shifting temperatures can cause expansion and contraction in the concrete, leading to cracks and foundation issues.

• Weather Conditions

In some regions, violent weather patterns can wreak havoc on homes, businesses, vehicles, and valuables. And having an idea of the weather in your area is important! Locations regularly seeing high winds and heavy snow accumulation will require thicker concrete foundations and may necessitate thicker framing and paneling.

How to Pour a Concrete Slab for a Metal Garage or Carport

So, you’ve chosen your building type and made all the preparations to lay your structure’s foundation. That’s fantastic! Here’s what you’ll want to know for the best results!

1. Prepare Your Location

Aside from choosing a suitable location to build your steel building, you’ll want to take special care to ensure that the lot is fully level and cleared of vegetation or debris. This will make it easier to lay your foundation and help installation crews work more efficiently.

2. Determining the Proper Pad Depth

Your next step will be to identify the depth you’ll need for your concrete pad. In addition to following already set measurements for length and width, the thickness of your pad plays a prominent role in how strong it will be and how much weight it can hold. For this part of the process, it will be helpful to consult with a contractor to determine how thick your concrete pad will need to be.

3. Dampen the Soil

Dry, loose soil makes a terrible foundation. It can shift, move, or erode, causing massive damage to your steel building’s frame. To prevent this, you’ll want to dampen your building site with water until the soil is wet enough to squeeze into a ball.

4. Laying the Base

Below your concrete slab, you’ll need to add a rocky base, whether gravel or crushed stone; this stone will make for a sturdy foundation that simultaneously offers the necessary drainage.

5. Compacting Base Layers

Using a machine, you’ll want to compact the dirt and make several alternating layers of rock and soil. This will harden the ground and serve as an excellent base for your incoming foundation.

6. Build Up Framework

The next step will require you to build a framework that dictates where your concrete needs to be poured and how thick it will need to be. Forming boards are a great way to outline your foundation area and prevent concrete from losing shape while curing.

7. Reinforce if Necessary

Some concrete foundations are so large that they’ll require a bit of reinforcement. This can be accomplished by placing rebar in a grid-like orientation across your foundation and will greatly strengthen the entire structure.

8. Pour Concrete

The time has arrived! While you can mix and pour concrete yourself, it’s always best to seek out licensed professionals to complete these aspects of your build. And once completed, it will be essential to remember that your slab will need to be covered while it cures and may require several weeks before it completely sets.

9. Place Anchors

You’ll want to add your building’s anchor system at this point in your build. For concrete slabs, specialized bolts are drilled directly into the concrete slab, permanently adhering the structure to the ground.

Why the Right Metal Building Foundation Is Important

The foundation of any structure is one of its most paramount features. It keeps your building properly in place, aligned, and structurally sound. Without a secure and level foundation, your building may lean, sag, or shift. It’s also responsible for holding the lion’s share of your metal building’s weight. Failing to get your foundation right can be extremely costly in the long run.

A well-placed foundation will also significantly improve the lifespan and effectiveness of your building, minimizing wear and tear from daily use.

Your Dream Building from Garage Buildings Is Only a Call Away!

Whether you’re looking for small residential metal sheds, metal barns, or an enormous commercial structure, Garage Buildings has the knowledge and experience to deliver. Our buildings are precisely engineered using modern practices and standards to provide a sturdy, long-lasting building that, when properly maintained, can serve you for generations.

We also believe that everyone should be able to own a metal garage, carport, or shed regardless of their budget. To make that possible, we’re proud to offer fantastic financing packages that make owning a building financially feasible.

So, if you’re ready to lay your foundation and design your new metal building, give Garage Buildings a call at +1 (866) 355-4442! Our Building specialists are waiting to help you design and construct a structure that works for you and your family’s needs!

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