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Concrete & Foundation Requirements For Steel Building Kits

Updated on June 30, 2010

What is a Steel Building Good For?

Steel Buildings are an excellent option for anyone looking for additional building spaces for use around their home, business or storage areas. There are specially designed Steel Building kits available for both residential and commercial uses. Some of these designs include Storage Sheds, Barn Kits, Carport Kits, Garage Kits, Shop Kits and Storage Building Kits. These Steel structures can are very strong and can provide you with many years of use. However, the dependability and strength of these buildings are contingent on the foundation and anchoring used when they are first constructed.

Concrete foundations can provide a more solid surface for your steel buildings and increase the durability of these steel structures. However, it is not mandatory to create a concrete pad for your steel building kits. What is necessary is to make sure that the steel building frame is anchored correctly to create a solid foundation area and to help keep your building from shifting after construction. For areas where it is cold and there are frost lines set up there are special requirements that should be met when assembling your steel building kits. Whether using a concrete pad or just anchoring your building you will need to make sure that the footings for your steel building is twelve inches below the frost line in these cold weather areas.

Creating A Ground Mount Foundation For A Steel Building Kit

1. For ground mounting your steel building you will need to dig a post hole that is approximately ten inches in diameter and at least thirty inches deep around the area you want to construct your steel building kit. Depending on whether you purchase a four foot or five foot on center system will determine if these post holes should be four or five feet apart.

2. You will need to assemble the base rails for your steel building kit and lay them in their correct placement around the foundation area where your steel building will be constructed. You will need to mark where the holes should be dug on your base rails. An easy way to do this is to poke a 16 D nail into the ground surface going through the pre-drilled hole that is located on your base rails.

3. Using a post hole digger or a hand auger to dig the various holes needed at a depth of thirty inches. Make sure that you clean out all excess dirt within the holes.

4. Lay out your steel building kit base rails according to the manufacturer’s instructions included in your kit. These instructions will vary according to the steel buildings that you have chosen. Place the ground anchors that are included in your steel building kit through the pre-drilled holes. You will need to use either a premixed concrete or you will need to mix your own concrete mixture according to the directions. It is preferable to use a 2500 psi concrete mixture for the strength necessary for desired results. Use a shovel to place the concrete mixture into each of your dug out holes. It is recommended to wait at least seven days after laying your concrete for it to properly set up before you should continue the rest of the assembly process for your steel building.

Creating A Concrete Foundation For Your Steel Buildings

1. When laying a concrete foundation for your steel building you will need to measure out the size and location in which you want to construct the structure. Your concrete slab should be four inches wider than the designated with of your steel building structure and approximately six inches longer. This helps to reduce the occurrence of cracking and breakage to the edge of your concrete foundation when the concrete anchors are bolted into the slab.

2. When planning your desired thickness of concrete for the flooring of the steel buildings you should plan on making them at least four inches thick. If you are planning on using the steel building for large vehicles and very heavy equipment you should increase the thickness to six inches. The concrete used for your foundation should have a minimum rating of 2500 psi and be used with a fiber mesh reinforcement. This cement rating should be increased to the 4000 psi concrete option for use with heavier vehicles. This helps to support the weight in which you will be placing within the steel building structure.

3. All expansion joints should be saw cut within a specific time after the cement is poured into place. This time is very short and can be greatly affected by the weather conditions in your area. Make sure that you trowel the expansion joints in while finishing is being done.

Necessary Footing Requirements Needed For Steel Buildings

When you pour the concrete foundation for your steel building kit you will need to pour concrete for the perimeter footings as well. This is often times referred to as a monolithic pour or slab. The perimeter footings will need to be twelve inches in depth and sixteen inches wide. The footings need to include #4 rebar lengths on both the top and bottom with a continuous run around the entire perimeter for your steel buildings.

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    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 

      6 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      A steel building must have a foundation. Steel is the most economical material. Because of this, it weighs less than other building types. Wind uplift can pick it up.

      Every column should have an engineered footing.

      A slab is something the building can function without. However, footings to provide bearing, resist lateral shear, and counter uplift cannot be omitted. Otherwise the first strong wind will relocate or damage your building. A wind storm might put it down in the next county!

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