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What Should We Call It? | Layout + Piers | 24' x 48' Storage + Woodshed | Ep 2

Ground preparation for a build

Welcome back to MR Post Frame, this is going to be part two of this 24’ x 48’ build. In part one we covered how to prepare the land.  Before we get started if you guys want us to design you a building like this or a barndominium, reach out to us. Also if you are a self -builder, check out our Patreon group where we help other people like you build their dream barndominium, shop, or garage. It's a great community of other self-builders where you can learn from others' mistakes and share your build. 

Pier layout self-build

We're going to start on the piers. In a situation like this I always like to dig out instead of bringing fill in. The only downside to this is that I lost probably three to four feet of elevation from the front of this building to the back. This change in elevation is because it's very hilly where I live. So my piers in front are going to go right into undisturbed soil which is good but on the back side I probably have three to four feet of fill so I'm gonna have to make sure my piers go down far enough that they get into undisturbed soil. I'll probably take those piers six feet deep to reach that good soil. It shouldn't be a big deal because I have a two foot extension on my auger. 

Where the back side of my building will be, it drops off really fast. Once I get the building built and this settles a little bit I'll go ahead and grade this all off so it's a nice, even slope. I have a bunch more dirt that I can bring in and kind of feather it off. But first, the important thing right now is that my piers get down below the fill so they stay put. I first lay my supplies out in all four corners. I’ve got my skates and my batter boards. I'm going to start by setting my line across the back and get those batter boards put up because on that side I want to make sure I am not too close to that drop off.

How to set up batter boards

I put four stakes at the general location of where corners are going to be and I wanted to test how high each corner was. One corner of my building was about six inches higher than the other three corners. To help even those out, I will set that pier pretty much down to the ground on that side but with the others I will set them much higher. I don’t mind this because that'll give me room to bring in my gravel. The reason I didn't put my gravel down yet is because I'm expecting this to settle a few inches. I’m waiting to have some rain so it can settle into place. 

When laying out and squaring a building by yourself, I use two pieces of batter board and make a 90 degree angle with them. I can pull a tape measure by myself by attaching little boards coming off and putting a screw in them.  This screw can hold my tape measure as I pull. Then to pull my diagonals I put a screw farther in on the 90 degree boards so I can run my tape across to where the strings intersect. Whatever that distance is from there, I add to my diagonal and then I can pull it all the way across and make sure I'm square. When you're doing things by yourself, you just need to make jigs and things to basically be an extra set of hands. Now I can mark out all my piers and start drilling. 

Pouring concrete piers

I had to have all my drilling done and forms set before the concrete arrived. Once the concrete is poured, I need to get my brackets secured. I used the red line on our string to match that to the middle of the bracket. I try to get it within a quarter inch from the line. Before I get the bracket all the way to the bottom, I'll put my level on it and try to get that level. Once thos eare in we just need to wait for the concrete to dry. The next step is going to be digging the trusses out and digging all the 6 x 6 posts. The posts came from another building that I took down and I’m repurposing them. I'm hoping that it rains in the next couple weeks and that'll settle a little bit before I put rock on it. Those steps will be coming in the future.

Thank you,

MR Post Frame

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