Progress Report 3 – 30×48′ Pole Barn build


Time for an update. Crews will be showing up starting tomorrow! This will bring us up to date on the pole barn pad and some pre-work we have been doing with skid steers, chainsaws, stump grinders, and trailers.

Just one more week.

It has been WAY too long since I posted a shop update, but that isn’t for a lack of trying to make progress.

My first dirt contractor went MIA on me and totally stopped replying. Out of frustration I made a post on Facebook and had a guy reach out to me that he was interested. He was actually just a homeowner with his own skid steer but ended up doing a better job than the ‘professional’. I was really impressed and will try to get him again when it comes time to finish grade outside the building.

I also turned in my plans to the city for permits. This is the part I was most nervous about for some reason. It turned out to be not that big of a deal. We did end up discussing a couple of different things but I didn’t have to change a single thing. The builder did a good job of making sure they checked all of the boxes since they had done work in my city before. After a month they finally got approved on Sept 11th.

Lumber shortages? Thanks 2020

After I had the pad done and permits, it was on to bugging the building contractor. Thanks to 2020 there is now a lumber shortage and price spike. Luckily I signed contracts before the price hike but un-luckily that didn’t change the fact that there was a lumber shortage. So I went from hoping to have it started by my birthday (end of Sept), to maybe November, then to just hoping that it will get started this year.

Enough with the text, pictures are more fun anyways.

Finishing the dirt work

We left off Part 2 with about 10 yards that I was struggling to find a contractor to spread out.

Steps to building a pole barn
Finally found another guy to finish spreading out the last 10 yards and get pretty close to grade.
Steps to building a pole barn
It was raining the entire time he was working so we had some pretty good boogers to knock down but overall he did a VERY good job getting it nice and flat.

Final smoothing the dirt

Steps to building a pole barn
I borrowed a fence rake thing from my neighbor, threw some I beams on it and pulled it around with the mower while it was still a little damp.
Steps to building a pole barn
Next up I hooked it on to PJ and drug it around for quite a while in 4lo. This is the part that really made a difference.
Steps to building a pole barn
Mostly done. This pic was from August. The pad is even flatter and smoother now since it has sat and been rained on for a couple of months.

It is always a good idea to give your pad as long as possible to settle prior to building the building on it. The rain over the last couple of months has since flattened out the dirt and got it packed down really hard.

Quick 6 min video of all the prep work up to this point

Other prep

Steps to building a pole barn
Had this huge ELM tree taken out by a company but had the last 4 feet of trunk to contend with. Gave the ol’ MS250 (and myself) a workout. It was all she could handle to get through this 5′ diameter trunk.
Steps to building a pole barn
This part was only fun for the first 10 min. It took me 3 different stints on a couple of different days to finally work through it all.
Steps to building a pole barn
I rented a stump grinder and did the stump myself. This part was also only fun for the first 10 minutes (ended up taking multiple hours). I didn’t even get a quote on having somebody else do it because I knew it would be ridiculous.

Planning shop layout

Steps to building a pole barn
In part 2 we discussed staking out the corners of the shop. I found that driveway markers are a great way to mark other things like the ends of the garage door and where the bathroom would be. Parked the cars inside to get a feel for layout.
Steps to building a pole barn
I was toying with putting the 2 post lift at an angle in the shop in this picture but ended up deciding it would be better off straight. The yellow marker is the edge of the garage door and the orange markers are where the full bath will be.

These driveway markers are handy and cheap. Once I get done with them here I am going to move them over to the driveway for when I am snow plowing.

Prepping for plumbing

Steps to building a pole barn
Dug by hand in the yard to find my septic line. Again, I marked it with a driveway stake so I could bury the pipe again but still know where it was. I wanted to be sure where it was before I rent a mini-x later this week to do my trenching.
Steps to building a pole barn
Moved some decorative rock so I can get at the basement wall where my potable water will be coming through. 36″ deep trench will go from here to the shop.
Steps to building a pole barn
Killer FB/Garage sale find $40 for a pair of these kerosene heaters (the other one is quite a bit rougher though…). This will get me by until I get the building closed up and wired. It is awesome how fast this thing heats my attached 3 car garage, but it is LOUD.
Steps to building a pole barn
Bought 50 sheets of 2″ XPS foam (Foamular 250) for under the slab. I decided to go ahead and plumb for radiant heat. I’m going to do a separate post with a parts list of everything I bought for the radiant floor so stay tuned for that!

That is all the updates for the last 6 months or so. I have been doing A LOT of waiting, planning, and part purchasing to get ready. Now it is finally time to start building in the next couple of weeks. Concrete footings for the bathroom start tomorrow morning.

Now YOU, go outside and work on something!

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