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  1. #1
    New Member David.B's Avatar
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    Default Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    I'm starting a few small projects on a recently purchased property. I'm new to this kind of work, so I need some good advice.

    I graded a small area (30' x 30') yesterday, to build an equipment shed. I used 2 trucks of clay/sand mix to fill a big hole in the graded area and to give me something to work with. There is a ravine nearby, just off camera to the left in the first picture. The idea was to create a gentle slope, right to left in the first picture... maybe a 1 foot drop over the 30 feet of grade. The shed will be dirt floor. Do I need a substantial pad?

    How do you guys determine when to stop for a small project like this? Is there a book or internet reference for grading?I found myself going over the area again and again, seeing tiny little things that I wanted to fix each time. I spent about an hour spreading dirt, and then 2 more hours touching up with the skid steer and spreading the dirt around with my boots when the skidsteer became too unwieldy for the really fine work. Am I just anal?

    The last picure is the finished? product. I may go back with a garden rake and clean it up some more.

    Is a skid steer an appropriate tool to use for a small grading project? If I use a tractor, what attachments should I use? I'd like to do my own grading for a garage next spring, and I've got some roads/trails to maintain. But I'm struggling with the basics.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -fromskidsteer-jpg   -fromtrees-jpg   -finishingwithboots-jpg  

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    I don't know much either.

    But, if you filled in a hole by dumping a foot or 2 of dirt on it & spreading it around, don't expect it to be level a year from now. Such things settle over time. Probably be ok for a dirt floor you can level out again later, but you would _not_ wantt o pour concrete over something prepared that way.

    Good fill needs to be tamped down with a vibrating plate every 6 inches or so to make it nice and solid like the surrounding dirt.

    --->Paul

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    If you are where it rains and snows a raised area inside the shed footprint extending away from the walls is a must. Gutters and a graded slope away from the pad will help keep it dry. Use gravel if possible.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    David welcome to the forum. Looks to me like you did a fine job for a first time. As others said you will get some settling over time so don't get too anal now, you will be doing finish grading again anyway.

    Are you planning on a pole building or one built on concrete footings? I am also a fan of placing the building on a raised pad when possible. Water just don't run up hill.

    For an area like you are working I would rather have the skid steer than a tractor in there any day. It can be done with a tractor but the skid steer excels in maneuverability in smaller areas.

    MarkV

  5. #5
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    I second powerpace, use gravel. I constructed my shed without it and it's always muddy in the spring. I plan to gravel it but it would have been a lot easier to do it before I put up the walls.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  6. #6
    New Member David.B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    Ok. I'll put in a small pad this afternoon. Will 6 inches or so be enough? The shed will have a dirt floor, so I do not need to prepare the pad for concrete. I'm 3 miles from Lake Superior, so we get sunstantial snow from the lake effect.

    I've been looking at a rotary laser level online. Does anyone have experience with these things? Are they significantly better than a string level or a water level?

    What tools do you use when leveling/grading?

  7. #7
    New Member David.B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    I just read your reply ToadHill. I've got easy access to some gravel and loose rock. How thick a covering of gravel will I need?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by David.B View Post
    I'm starting a few small projects on a recently purchased property.
    Can't tell from the pics or description. Did you strip back the existing sod and topsoil? As a rule, for anything termed shed or pole barn I strip back existing stuff to subgrade, then backfill to a 12" (4" CR6 top coat) level depth with a 1'' crown. Then move the topsoil back to regrade to the pad.

  9. #9
    New Member David.B's Avatar
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    tlbuser - I took a few swipes at the topsoil with the skidsteer, prior to adding the fill. There was an extensive root system in the area and the skidsteer really wasn't up to the task of removing the roots completely. I was also worried about killing nearby trees if I go too agressive with the roots. I did get most of the loose soil/sod out of the area.

    What is a CR6 topcoat? When you say 12" backfill, does that mean you put 12 inches of fill dirt on top? And how can you get the accuracy needed to determine that you've got a 1" crown? I'm really just eyeballing it right now.

    Thanks. This is exactly the kind of stuff I need.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Equipment Shed - Need Grading Advice

    Basically, yes. Build up the base to get a level, compacted (oops) 12" which may mean 4" on one side and 24" on the other CR6 is a compactable road mix which is basically a #57 stone with fines. Thanks to my SO, I'm in the barn building process now for her horse. The chosen site required 12" on left side and 22" right side. Laser levels are the latest and greatest, but a builders level and rod or water level work just dandy too. According to the history books, the pyramids were built with water levels and they are here how many years later
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -barn-jpg  

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