Stateline Builders (2024)

Horse barns and large storage sheds are very heavy buildings, so a solid foundation is required to achieve a safe and lasting structure. Outlined below are tips on how to select the right location and prep the site for a strong, lasting foundation.

Please note this is general advice only, It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and the nature of the relevant financial product, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Does my storage shed need a permanent foundation?

If you are building a horse barn, a permanent foundation is required. However, if you are building a storage shed, you may be wondering if a permanent foundation is needed.

The best way to determine if your shed should have a permanent foundation is to check your local building requirements. For buildings that will store heavy items such as a car, and any building that will have plumbing or finished interior, a permanent concrete foundation is recommended and, in some cases, may be required by law.

In Virginia, any building that exceeding 256 square feet, and in North Carolina, any building that exceeding 400 square feet are required to have a permanent foundation. For the purpose of this article, any storage shed over 256 square feet is considered a 'large storage shed.'

Select the right location

The first step to any foundation building is finding the right location to build. Begin by assessing the land and the surrounding landscape. When deciding on the right spot, remember that it is much easier to choose a 'prime' spot with optimal conditions rather than excavating and fixing a less-optimal piece of land.

Stateline Builders highly recommends consulting a local professional in your area to assess your land so that they may provide tips and solutions on how to achieve an optimal foundation.

There are many factors that make a piece of land good for foundation building, but most commonly, an optimal site will have conditions that reduce the chances for flooding.

Higher elevation or level with surrounding land

A good horse barn or large storage shed foundation will be level or slightly higher elevation with the surrounding land to avoid flood zones. A professional assessment includes the use of lasers to check the gradation and slope of the site area. In most cases, it is recommended that the site area is approximately 1-2 feet above the surrounding area. If your site area is not above the surrounding land, you may be required to raise the horse barn or storage shed foundation area.

Prepping the site elevation may seem like extra work or cost, but it's important to remember that dry conditions are needed for the safety and longevity of your portable structure. It is easier to build a good foundation from the start than to fix flooding and drainage issues after a permanent foundation is built.

Asses your soil and organic material

Every site has different soil and organic material. It is recommended to have your soil professional assessed in order to determine what type of materials to use in your foundation. For thick, clay rich soil it is often recommended to use materials that drain well such as crushed asphalt, concrete or rock.

Site preparation

Before a permanent foundation can be built for your horse barn or large storage shed, you must prepare the base layers. Site preparation is a crucial step to achieving a strong and long-lasting foundation for your horse barn or large storage shed.

1. Excavate top layer

For most sites, the organic material around the installation site is not stable and should be removed. It is recommended to remove the organic material up to 10 feet larger than the size of your horse barn or large storage shed. Excavating the top layer of organic material will improve the stability and longevity of your horse barn or large storage shed.

2. Raise the foundation (if needed)

For sites that are not at ground level or slight above the surround area will need to raise the foundation to reduce the chances of flooding. A professional excavator can properly fill in the site foundation to reach an optimal gradation. In most cases, the site area should be 1-2 feet above the surrounding area.

3. Level the foundation

In addition to raising the foundation slightly above the surrounding area, it is crucial to level out the foundation. There are many types of materials used in foundation leveling, so please consult a local professional on what type of material to use in leveling the foundation of your horse barn or large storage shed.

In most cases, it is recommended to add the leveling material at least 2 feet larger than the size of your horse barn or large storage shed.

4. Prep and pour concrete footers

Footings are a crucial step in permanent foundations that support the foundation and prevent settling. For most horse barns and large storage sheds, poured concrete footers is a great choice. Please consult a professional in your area for the proper size and placement of the footers needed for your horse barn or large storage shed foundation.

Please note that weather can influence when concrete footers can be poured. If you are in the process of purchasing your horse barn or large storage shed, please contact a local contractor for realistic timelines in your area. Also, footers require time to set before a permanent foundation can be poured, so please estimate these time constraints when planning your horse barn or storage shed installation.

5. Plumping, heating & electrical (optional)

If you plan to add running water, heating, or electrical to your horse barn or large storage shed, then it's helpful to plan these utilities before pouring your permanent foundation. Once the foundation is poured and set, it can be very difficult and costly to add pluming, heating and electrical.

6. Pour foundation

The final step to building a good, permanent foundation for your horse barn or large storage shed is pouring the concrete foundation. After the concrete has cured, your foundation site is ready to schedule delivery and installation. A delivery crew from Stateline Builders will come to your site with your preassembled horse barn or large storage shed and have is set up within a few hours thanks to our hinged truss design.

How to build a good foundation for your portable accessory building

Building a good foundation for your horse barn or large storage shed starts with selecting a site that is slightly higher in elevation to avoid flooding. When an optimal site can't be found, a professional can excavate the organic material and level the site area to improve the soil and slope conditions. Once the base layers are level and footings along with pluming, heating and electrical may be installed. Once the footing have cured, the site is ready for permanent foundation installation. It is important to always consult a local professional who will assess your site and offer suggestion on the best methods and materials to use for your project.

Stateline Builders (2024)


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