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Site Improvement around Pole Barn
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Phil    Posted 04-09-2004 at 06:59:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I just had a pole barn errected. It is 30x40 with 12ft walls. I did not have the site leveled before having the barn built. Instead they just used longer posts on the unlevel sides (it's a long story why I chose to do it like this).

After it was finished, I realized that it was out of level by several more feet than I originally anticipated. The ground slopes from the front of the pole barn to the back. One of the back corners is approx. 3ft off the ground and the other back corner is approx 4.5ft off the ground.

Any suggestions on the best and most economical way to fill this shed would be. I thought about just dumping a bunch of fill rock in there, but worried that it would all spill out underneath the shed and would be very difficult to create a solid, level floor.

I can email a picture if anyone is interested. Send me a message at

mike    Posted 05-23-2007 at 18:19:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I just had 24 x 32 pole barn built. I have a front to back slope of 18 inches. It also drops to one side about 8 inches. I took 2x12's and 2x6's and nailed them all the way around the bottom of the barn. Then I took 4 x 6 and put it between the poles on the inside and put in the ground 2 feet and ran lags from outside in to keep 2x12's from pushing out. They have not put the gravel or concrete in yet. Does anybody thank this will not work?

Fern(Mi)    Posted 04-09-2004 at 18:23:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have experienced same complications. In our case where we wanted the pole barn where we wanted the shop. The grade dropped off four foot in fifty-seven feet, the width, and remained relatively the same for the forty-eight foot depth. That was it. Made some calls. Enough we found who was hungry enough to give us the best price. Took a few days and a lot of phoning. Found him. He had the truck and the sugar sand in his back yard.
We stripped away the top soil for later. Added 2x6 T&G planks about bottom for varmint control. Most codes call for 18 below grade. Go deeper all way-round. Woodchucks know no bounds. Our part ready, our trucker started hauling. We had two Ford tractors. One a bucketed backhoe. The other 951 with back-blade. He hauled, we backhoe bucket pushed the sand in. The 951 spread and compacted. I foot stomped close quarters about posts and walls.
Three tricks here. Equal grade inside and out or some heavy retaining walls. A fairly strong bucket tractor with back blade. And the right sand supplier-trucker.
Good Luck.

toolman    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:54:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
phil , who the heck was your builders, didn,t they forsee the problem, man ,youve got a problem now,how far out in front of the buliding does the incline increase , could you get a bobcat or something in there , cut down the front a bit inside and all the way around the outside and landscape , use the fill for the inside and somehow get more tin siding to cover it all up, sure is a shame , such a nice building too.

Phil/PA    Posted 04-09-2004 at 12:26:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If it were mine I would want to fill in both the inside and have a gentle slope on the outside that could be mowed. This would require ALOT of dirt which is expensive to haul in.

I know this from experience, I had my ground graded for a 45 x 60 shed and then changed my mind and had a 45 x 80 built but didn't do the grading prior to building. When finished the additional 20 ft section had about a 3 ft drop off similar to yours. I had someone in to give me an estimate on the final grade, both filling on the inside and putting a gradual slope on the outside. He estimated 10 truck loads of fill at $110 (he used an independent hauler) plus his time to do the grading at $45/hr on his backhoe/loader. I didn't want to spend that much but didn't have a choice so I told him to do it. This was last winter and I waited about 9 months with one excuse after another. Grounds to wet to haul dirt, need to wait till the ground freezes, then it was they can't haul because it was frozen too deep and it would come in clumps and damage his truck, etc. Whether they were valid excuse or not I don't know but I got tired of waiting and called someone else in, plus I was running out of time, I had already put up my first cutting of hay and was going to have to move it for the grading. He had a track loader and said he could get all the needed dirt from a hill I had and wouldn't have to haul any in. He came in with his track loader and a bobcat and did it in a couple of days leveling both the inside and grading the outside and did it for $1300 ($75/hr on the loader and $50/hr on bobcat). He did a fantastic job, when I get home tonight I'll dig up some before and after pictures so you can see what I'm talking about.

From the picture of your's it looks like the ground is sloping up at the door. Someone who knows what they are doing could take dirt from there and put it around and inside your shed and do a really nice job. I was impressed with the way he did mine.

Ironically the day he showed up the other guys hauler showed up with a load of dirt. I paid him for the one load and told him I didn't want anymore.

Mark in MO    Posted 04-09-2004 at 10:37:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Do you have access to Rail Road Ties?
If you put those on the outside of the posts, fill up to the top of the ties with dirt.
That would hold whatever you decide to put on the inside of the barn.
Just a thought.

Willy-N    Posted 04-09-2004 at 07:36:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
This has happen to more people than you think. They should have at least showed you by a Transet how much it was off and gave you a chance to correct it first. If it was Me I would build a block retaining wall in the low areas then fill it with dirt and pack it. It would keep it more stable later. You would not need a large footing to do this because you would fill on both sides of it. Of course you could have dirt hauled in and dumped near it and blade it in and just pack it good. Watch shoving dirt against the Poles you could push them out of plumb real easy. Use a back hoe to dump it near the poles and a Jumping Jack Tamper to pack it the whole time you are putting the dirt in or it will sink later around the poles. Mark H.

Phil    Posted 04-09-2004 at 07:30:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Here is a picture of the pole barn that shows the most unlevel side.

Willy-N    Posted 04-09-2004 at 07:41:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow that is going to take a lot of dirt!! You might just want to build a good retaining wall with a good footing and fill the inside and pack it good. You will have to fill out a long ways to make it stable on the lowest sides on that hill. Mark H.

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