Breaking Down This Vital Part of The Pole Building Construction Process
Just like you can’t paint a masterpiece without a blank canvas, you can’t build a pole barn without a properly prepared pad.
What exactly goes into pad prep, though, and why is it so important? We’ve explored all of the details below.
What Is Pad Prep and How Is It Completed?
Pad prep is simply the process of readying a site for a building.
The first step in preparing a pad is removing all organic material—this means everything from grass and trees to compost and manure.
Next, the pad needs to be made level within a couple of inches. The pad needs to be at least 6” taller than any area within 8 to 10 feet of the building; this can be achieved with road base.
Why Is This Necessary?
Each of the steps mentioned above serves a specific purpose for your building.
Organics must be removed because otherwise they will simply break down and leave a hole in their wake. All four corners of the pad must be relatively level so that your building can be constructed correctly, and the site needs to be at least 6 inches taller than the surrounding area so that precipitation flows away from the building.
Can I Handle My Own Pad Prep?
You can certainly take care of pad prep yourself if you have the skills and equipment. Whether you choose to complete your own pad prep or build it into the cost of your building, it’s necessary that this step is finished before construction on your building can start.
3 Pad Prep Tips to Keep In Mind
If you decide to tackle pad prep yourself, keep these pointers in mind:
The pad should be at least 5 feet larger in each direction than the building.
When preparing your pad, make sure that it is at least 5 feet larger than your building size in every direction, including lean-tos. This means that if your building is going to be 30×40, the prepped pad area needs to be 40×50. If you are planning for a 30×40 building with a 12×40 lean-to, the prepped pad area needs to be 52×50.
Don’t dump more than 6” of road base before compacting it.
These are called lifts or layers, and they ensure that all of the soil is compacted. If you were to dump all of your road base at once, only the top layer would be compacted, which would cause the entire pad to fail.
Don’t forget to check that your pad is relatively level.
If it comes time to build your pole barn and the pad is not level within 2 inches, additional leveling may need to be completed with road base or another engineered fill material, which will cost upwards of $500 per load.
Now that you know everything that goes into pad prep and why it’s so important, we hope you’re feeling readier than ever to get started on your pole building—contact us to begin the planning process and receive your free quote!