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Pad Prep + Layout | Is $elf Building Worth It? | Ep 5

Welcome back to MR Post Frame! In this series, "Is $elf-Building Worth It?", we'll be discussing the crucial step of laying out your building. This aspect is vital to the entire process, as I learned firsthand during my own project. Despite having a great layout plan, my site preparation wasn't up to par due to attempts to cut costs. 

How to set up for a concrete pad

To begin your build, you'll need a piece of property and some plans. In my case, I attempted to save money by skipping professional site preparation, opting instead to level the ground myself. However, this decision backfired as the uneven ground caused issues during the layout process and led to unexpected expenses, primarily in gravel costs. In hindsight, investing in proper site preparation would have not only saved money but also made the layout process significantly easier.

One common mistake during self-building is underestimating the importance of proper site preparation. A professional contractor with specialized equipment can ensure the ground is adequately graded and compacted, preventing future issues such as settling or unevenness.

DIY Layout and Pad Set-up

Moreover, overlooking aspects like soil compaction can lead to structural problems down the line, potentially compromising the stability of the building. Therefore, it's crucial not to overlook this step and to prioritize getting the site properly prepared.

Moving on to laying out the house, I utilized scrap 2x4s and stakes to mark the desired dimensions and angles. Ensuring the front of the house faced my preferred direction was key, considering factors like sunlight exposure and desired views from different rooms.

Self-build a Barndominium

When planning your layout, it's essential to consider factors like sunlight exposure, views, and accessibility. Additionally, factors like the proximity to gravel roads should also be taken into account to avoid issues like dust accumulation on the building. Investing in quality tools like laser levels can streamline the layout process and ensure accuracy. Although it may seem like an additional expense, these tools can save time and prevent errors, ultimately leading to a smoother construction process.

In conclusion, proper site preparation and careful planning are essential for a successful self-building project. By investing in professional site preparation and utilizing quality tools for layout, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smoother construction process.

Before wrapping up, I'd like to remind you to check out our Patreon group for self-builders and contractors, as well as our design services at Back Forty Buildings.

Thank you,

MR Post Frame

MR Post Frame Patreon

Patreon Group:

Interested in tackling your build on your own? If you want to explore the possibility of being your GC or self-building, our Patreon membership is for you! It's a community of like-minded people offering support, discounts, Q/A, and more.

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