How to Build a Barn – Tips For a Strong Foundation

Tips For How to Build a Barn – Foundation

Having renovated the old family barn and building additional barns on our farm, has given me some 20/20 hindsight. I’d like to share some of those lessons and give out some hard learned tips. Your animals, equipment and produce will thank me for it.

Deciding on a foundation You can’t go wrong with dirt floors. Not only is dirt low maintenance it’s also easier on the animals. If your worried about spoiling hay, you can always build a hay stand, not to mention… you can’t get much cheaper than dirt. Equipment doesn’t get harmed, on dirt floors, because it’s housed by the barn. I’ve seen some really great looking old cars come out of old dirt floored barns.
The 3 4 5 Triangle When laying out your foundation use standard building measurements. If you make your width and length evenly divisible by four feet you’ll have very little material waste. Your framing will line up with 16 on center or 24 on center and your sheathing will stagger at half sheets. When deciding on your foundation placement and running strings, use the 3 4 5 triangle to square your corners then measure each corner diagonally. If your diagonal measurements match, you’re good to go. The 3 4 5 triangle can be extended out as far as you want. The further the extension the more accurate the right angle becomes. I usually extend 6 feet 8 feet and measure my 10 feet.
Find your frost line and dig your footers deeper Dig your footers out twice as wide as your wall is going to be, ,depending on your soil structure, you might have to go wider. The right person to contact, if your in doubt, is an Extension Service engineer. Go with cement block on top of your footers. Cement would be great all the way up, but you really don’t need it. Cement block is a little more labor intensive, but it’s well worth the effort. You don’t need to make barn walls cement block all the way up. Three courses of cement block will do wonders for keeping your barns framing from rotting. Three courses at ground level will give you about two feet. This will also give you an opportunity to put up a termite shield. You don’t need to use anything fancy for a termite shield, old flashing will work fine. Just angle the flashing downward and hanging out three or more inches.

Here are some great Plans To Build Barns & Sheds


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