The customer is responsible for any site preparation, site accessibility and permits needed for the structure.
Permit requirements vary from town to town. Please check with YOUR town building department for info on permits. Below are general recommendations and common site preparation, however you may need to do something entirely different to meet YOUR code.
Please make sure to tell them that this is a prefabricated structure. Our company does not build the structure on-site but our modular structures do require on-site finishing work. It is usually helpful for you to bring in one of our brochures, so that you can show them the product. You may even be asked to submit architectural drawings. While we don't have professional drawings available for every one of our buildings, we do have many of them on hand.
Make sure your site is accessible to a full size pickup truck and trailer (maximum 43' in length) OR a larger tractor trailer set-up. If it's a large building or double wide, tractor trailer access may be necessary. Please be aware of mud, overhead branches, wires, or any other overhangs or obstructions. Clearance should be several feet wider than the structure on all sides unless it is a straight line in and on level ground. THE BUILDING WILL BE NO HIGHER THAN 13' 6" ON THE TRAILER, so a safe 15' of height clearance is optimal.
Note: Many double wide 2 story buildings are 'direct deliveries'. If the structure is over 12' in width from edge to edge it will require an escorted tractor trailer for transport from our PA builders to your location. Open access for a large load is required! The truck must have space to back up and onto the foundation pad, lowering the building onto the pad, and then pull straight out from under it, gently dropping building into place.
This method is best for structures that include a wood floor and PT runners. The site that you choose should be fairly level and well-drained and all low spots need to be filled. Some folks still have that 'old school' thinking of any shed can be placed up high on cinder blocks. We don't recommend this for several reasons; today's storage sheds are built with high grade pressure treated, ground,rated runners. To avoid water or moisture damage, you need air space under the shed. Placing the structure on a stone pad, will keep moisture away from the bottom of your structure. On larger structure, especially garages, we highly recommend having a foundation pad. Our larger buildings are more substantial in weight and it is imperative that all of the pressure treated 4 x 4's installed under the sub floor be resting on a firm, level surface. With the added weight of heavy equipment or vehicles, blocking up only low spots can make the middle floor of the structure feel bouncy, and could possibly cause warping over time. We cannot and will not crawl under the shed to insert blocks for you. So, protect your investment and please be sure that you provide a firm foundation for the buildings. A poorly prepared foundation may void any implied warranties.
If the ground needs to be leveled, we recommend scraping the area flat and then laying a pad using Item #4 stone or #2 Crusher Run which compacts very well. DO NOT USE shale, pea stone, bank run or any other loose or large stone that can shift and ultimately become unstable. For larger buildings, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to do the job for you; someone who is experienced in building pads for this purpose. Preparing a level and firm pad is not an easy task! Don't let a contractor talk you into using cinder block for a shed base, these buildings are built for ground contact and the 4 x 4 PT runners should sit flush with the pad. Again, you may need to scrape the ground in order to level it out before you lay the stone.
Listed below are some tips on preparing your site yourself. We recommend that the base of your pad be at least 12" wider all the way around the base of the overall structure.
To prepare a BASIC shed pad:
• Drive stakes into all 4 corners of the building site. To be sure that the base is square, measure diagonally in both directions and check that the measurements are equal. • From the highest ground point, mark the first stake at least 4 inches up from the base (the ground). Attach a string and string level to the 4 inch mark on the stake with a nail. Stretch out the string until level and attach it to the next stake. Continue until the string is level around all four stakes. • Fill the area with Item #4 stone to the height of string lines, tamping down using a tamper or roller until it is very firm. Driveable firm, not walkable firm! Repeat this step until the entire site is level and compacted.
You can also build a box of 4 x 4's or 6 x 6's. Use a level on the wood and raise/lower as needed. If using this method, please remember to remove the front 4 x 4 or 6 x 6, so the trailer can back directly onto the pad. Once the structure is set, you can replace the 4 x 4 or 6 x 6. If you have any questions, please call us at (607) 257-1070, we will be happy to answer any of your questions about site preparation.
The recommended depth is at least 3-4” for sheds and 12” for garages, with more, as needed, in any low spots to be certain the entire surface area is level.
NOTE: All building measurements are outside and approximate. Due to highway travel; Measurements are from overhang to overhang. The actual footprint of the building may be slightly less than the purchased dimensions.
This method is required for floorless structures like garages (but not animal shelters). Generally, a slab consists of footings that must be deep enough to go below the 'frost line' and at least 4" thick of concrete. Actual specifications are dependent on your local town codes.
The slab should have no pitch along the first 6" of the entire perimeter or in the center where the support walls will join. The 6 x 6 PT perimeter of the building should sit completely flush on the concrete. For best results; the size of the slab should be the same or slightly less than the footprint of the purchased building. Keep in mind; the exact footprint will usually be less than the purchased dimensions; as our building measurements are approximate and from eave to eave due to highway travel. There should be no anchors, hooks or anything else implanted in the concrete prior to the delivery of your building. We must be able to slide the building off of the trailer and onto the pad without any obstructions. The slab should be no more than 4" above grade; as we need to be able to drive up and on the slab during the delivery process. We also cannot place our buildings on raised foundation walls, cinder blocks, over basements or any other hollow center. Anchoring floorless structures is customer’s responsibility.
FINALLY, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL IF YOU OR YOUR CONTRACTOR HAS ANY FOUNDATION QUESTIONS! It's not worth taking a chance and hoping it will be right, when a 5 minute phone call can resolve any uncertainty. Many contractors just aren't familiar with the pre fab Amish Structures, the delivery process and our site requirements. They let pride stand in the way of just "asking us". We've seen many questionable foundations done by supposed "Professionals with 25 yrs. in the business". Well, guess what? It's you, the customer, who is left with the chance of a voided warranty and a building that isn't supported property over the long haul if the foundation isn't properly prepared. While firm & dead level is obviously best, we can work with slight level issues for ordinary sheds. The levelness and firmness becomes super important for larger buildings and especially for modular buildings (any size). It's simple, two words: FIRM and LEVEL!