When it comes to any construction project, proper planning is the key to achieving long-lasting results. And when it comes to prefab metal buildings, one of the most critical parts of the planning process involves choosing the right foundation type.
An adequately laid foundation guarantees that your structure stands strong and true for decades. But that doesn’t happen without several factors and crucial components.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into foundations, available types, and tips for properly installing yours!
In modern steel construction, several foundation types are used. These foundations vary in terms of cost and capabilities and include such types as:
In most cases, ground foundations are used for storage buildings, carports, and some agricultural buildings. They’re a great, cost-effective choice for smaller structures, but you’ll need a stronger foundation type for more oversized metal garages or steel structures.
A step up from a simple ground foundation, gravel is popular for residential projects such as equipment sheds, carports, and various rural projects. Gravel foundations provide a layer of protection over dirt foundations that are prone to washout and erosion.
Asphalt foundations are often used for driveway carports, metal garages, and other residential steel structures. Asphalt is stronger than soil or gravel foundations and will last far longer than any foundation type other than concrete.
The strongest foundation option, and the go-to choice for many larger garages, commercial buildings, and industrial structures, concrete slabs are known for their strength and longevity. If you choose a larger structure, like our 30×40 metal buildings, you’ll most likely want to select a concrete pad foundation for the best results.
So, you’ve chosen a concrete pad foundation. That’s fantastic! These foundations offer years of heavy-duty service with minimal hassle. However, before you begin laying your foundation, there are several things you’ll need to know.
One of the most crucial aspects of laying a foundation correctly is ensuring it’s completely level. This will require professional grading equipment and a background in construction at a minimum. And you’ll want to get it right because a mistake here can cause major structural issues during the construction phase. Most buyers will work with third-party contractors to handle this part of the project.
If you have poor soil conditions that can’t handle a steel building, you’ll likely want to purchase and pour higher-quality dirt to ensure your facility does not sink or shift after installation.
It’s a good rule of thumb to lay your concrete foundation in warmer seasons, as concrete cures better in conditions between 45° and 90° Fahrenheit. Frost can also cause concrete to crack during the curing process, potentially reducing its effectiveness by half.
You’ll also want to ensure that your concrete pad is laid deep enough that it rests beyond the frost line, a figurative depth in the soil beyond the effects of deep frost.
You’ll also want to ensure that your concrete foundation has had ample time to fully cure before beginning the installation process. Uncured concrete can contain trace amounts of water and, when met with steel support columns, can result in oxidation and damage to your building’s frame.
In most cases, concrete is measured and purchased by the cubic yard. A concrete engineer can determine how much concrete you’ll need for your foundation based on projected building weight, soil quality, and the type of equipment you plan to store.
Certain additives can be added to concrete slabs to shorten curing time, but you’ll want to be wary of accelerators that use calcium chloride, which is known to be corrosive to steel components.
Believe it or not, concrete and cement aren’t the same things. Cement is actually the material that binds sand, gravel, and water to make concrete.
Concrete takes longer to cure in colder temperatures. In most cases, you’ll need to wait a minimum of three days for concrete to cure fully, but when the temperatures drop, this time may be increased by several days.
When it comes to prefab metal buildings, precision is necessary. Sloppy or unfinished concrete foundations can be a massive detriment to the safety and stability of your structure. Here’s why:
Since the components of a metal building are engineered in a controlled facility, they are planned down to the exact measurements. Swaying from those measurements can cause disastrous results with the framing and support columns.
A precisely measured and poured concrete slab is the key to owning a sturdy, trustworthy building. With crisp corners and a thick enough pad to support the building’s weight, your structure can handle just about anything.
In most cases, hiring a third-party contractor to prep your concrete slab is invaluable. It might be a more significant investment than completing the project yourself, but you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that everything is built correctly, safely, and to code.
Most localities will require you to obtain a permanent building permit before beginning construction on your structure. Failure to secure this permit can result in significant fines and penalties.
From metal building kits to large steel garages, Get Carports has years of experience delivering quality structures and superior service. Our metal buildings combine affordability, versatility, and strength to provide you with infrastructure that can outlast harsh climates, violent weather, and the worst Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
And not only are we dedicated to offering long-lasting steel structures, but we also make them affordable regardless of your budget. With flexible financing options, low-interest rates, and rent-to-own options, everyone deserves to own the structure of their dreams!
So, give us a call today at +1 800 691 5221 and speak with our skilled building specialists. They’re waiting to help you design, visualize, and install a steel structure for all your residential, commercial, and industrial needs!
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