Is it possible to build a building/shed with no foundation?

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Posted by: from St. John's
8/14/2018 at 4:08:01 PM

I want to build a building/shed without a concrete foundation. It will be 20X30 block construction and I plan on doing a footer. Is it possible to do such a thing? and how would I do the footing? Do I build it as you would a block wall or no? Do I have to fill the blocks and reinforce with rebar? ect. ect. It is going to be a type of barn and storage for feed and such and I don't want a floor, just dirt.

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Date/Time8/14/2018 at 6:29:03 PM

Hi Aara,

To start, you should look into local building codes to verify.

However, if you're doing a block foundation you can do that. You wouldn't typically go more than two or three courses. Because you want to make it a foundation you will need to fill it with mortar solid. As far as a footing goes, yes you will need to make a footing. Typically, it will be 6" proud each side of the block. As for rebar, you don't need it, nor in a cinder block wall would it help.

- Tim

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Date/Time8/14/2018 at 6:30:51 PM

I forgot to add, the footing you would reinforce with wire mesh.

Again though, research local building codes to see how foundations can be built in your area.

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Date/Time8/15/2018 at 12:50:20 AM

I have seen some garages built with a wood pile style foundtion. You can cast wooden 4x4 or 6x6 into the ground as you would with fence posts and then build your garage off of these. This was a typical construction practice in smaller communities in the 80's and is still used in barn construction in Canada.

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Date/Time8/17/2018 at 9:53:54 PM

If this was a residential building (garage) you would be required to get engineering for your proposed foundation (anything over a 24' x 24' garage). However as a farm accessory building you should be exempted from Codes, permits, etc.

and you will just want to make sure the building wont be threatened by frost action, settlement, etc.

Basically it all depends on the underlying soils what is best and you haven't mentioned what you've got. If it's good hard dry clay (or better) you should be able to add a little gravel to make a bed for whatever kind of strip footing you choose. Also no requirement to fill or reinforce block walls.

Ian Derksen; Safety Codes Officer - Building

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