The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an architectural marvel which has spanned the centuries. As iconic as this building may be, modern-day contractors would shudder at the thought of a foundation which would allow their buildings to lean at such a precarious angle. One of the major selling points of metal building construction is durability and the potential to remain intact through the most devastating of natural disasters. In order for those qualities to stand (pun intended), the building must be have a strong foundation.
If you are planning to erect a metal building, make sure your contractor understands exactly what is required to build a metal building foundation that will last.
Steps for Building a Strong Metal Building Foundation
Ask for a Blueprint. If you are erecting a pre-fabricated metal building, there is a good chance the foundation blueprints are not included. Talk to your foundation engineer to obtain the proper blueprints. The more precise and expert instructions you have, the better.
Soil Sampling and Amendment. Before a foundation is even poured, it's essential that the soil has been tested and amended to provide a solid, level and erosion-free base. In fact, the foundation design engineer typically requires this before design can begin. Once the underlying soil is in good shape, your concrete contractor can begin his/her work.
Quality Concrete Foundation. Make sure that you hire a concrete contractor who has experience with pouring a metal building foundation. While we never encourage cost-cutting at the expense of experience and quality, the foundation is one place you definitely want to invest in someone who knows what s/he is doing. You can imagine the monetary and energetic nightmare which can ensue if there are weak spots, cracks or visible deformities which affect the overall construction of the building, or even worse, allow water to seep in and wreak permanent damage. The foundation needs to be perfectly level with zero surface imperfections. Your metal building needs to attach firmly, without gaps or spaces which can allow water intrusion.
Patience, Patience! There is no way to rush the drying process. Concrete foundations can - and should - take as long as 7 to 14 days in order to make sure they are solidly set. Cutting corners at this phase can completely alter the strength and shape of your foundation and will create an incredibly expensive repair down the road.
Pouring the Floor. Make sure the anchor bolts are installed exactly as indicated on the plans. Use a slick finish if you are using a flooring product and add texture - for slip protection - if you've opted for a concrete floor finish.
Hiring the right concrete contractor and having proper supervision throughout the pouring of the foundation will help to ensure a strong foundation for the construction of your metal building.
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