Pouring a Foundation for a Pole Barn

Pouring a Foundation for a Pole Barn

Every building, including a pole barn, needs a foundation to prevent settling and avoid uplift. The foundation for a pole barn generally consists of pressure-treated columns embedded in concrete back-filled holes in the ground. Other types of foundations can be used, such as slab on grade with brackets, perma column, sonotubes, and bracket foundation options.

You should not have your concrete slab poured before building your pole barn. After the poles are set and skirt board is placed around the perimeter of the poles, you will have a form to pour your concrete foundation. Concrete is normally poured through the large door opening. If additional access is required, you can leave some wall metal off until the concrete has been poured. The fill placed beneath a concrete slab determines its strength and quality. If the site is well drained and has good compacted fill, a 4 inch thick slab should be sufficient. You should construct your pole barn as soon as possible after the poles are set so they do not warp or twist.

If you have an existing foundation or slab, the easiest and least expensive course of action is to cut holes through it and embed the posts in the soil. If you would rather not do this, you can mount the pole barn to the concrete, as long as a building inspector determines that the concrete can support the load. This will require hiring a building inspector and possibly also an engineer.

A “cookie” is a pre-cast chunk of concrete that is 4 to 6 inches thick and measures 12 to 16 inches in diameter. Cookies are put in the bottoms of holes under building columns in designs with total gravel, sand, or soil backfill around the columns. They are not required because they are not large enough to distribute the weight of the pole barn without settlement, except in the smallest spans and the lowest loading conditions.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


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Contracting with CHA since December 2009, to have two very large buildings constructed at our farm. We have personally referred several friends, relatives and neighbors to use them and we have never heard anything but praise for their workmanship and hard work. Our experience with CHA has shown us that they are most honest, reputable building company we have contracted. Their staff is very hard working, polite and very conscientious about their work. They got the job done on time, work tirelessly and waste no time while working. At the end of the day they clean up the job site and put all their tools and equipment away leaving the job site spotless.

Carin Guelich