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Types of Foundations for Your Metal Building

Metal buildings, known for their durability and versatility, are becoming increasingly popular for various applications, including residential, commercial, and industrial uses. The foundation of a metal building plays a huge role in its overall stability. A well-designed foundation not only supports the weight of the structure but also protects it against environmental factors like moisture, wind, and seismic activity. Understanding the different types of foundations will help you to decide which type is right for your situation. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common types of foundations used for metal buildings, including those specifically designed for garages and sheds.

Poured Concrete (Slab-on-Grade) Foundation

  • Description – This foundation type involves pouring a single layer of concrete, several inches thick, laid directly on the ground. This type of foundation is suitable for regions that don’t experience long periods of freezing and thawing.
  • Application – It’s commonly used for garages and small metal buildings due to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
  • Benefits – Provides a solid, flat surface and is quick to construct. It also requires less ground preparation compared to other foundation types.

Floating Slab Foundation

  • Definition – This is a variation of the slab-on-grade foundation but includes a “floating’ concrete perimeter. It compensates for soil movement and is slightly elevated.
  • Application – Ideal for garages, especially in areas with expansive soils.
  • Benefits – Offers flexibility and is less prone to cracking due to soil movement.

Pier and Beam Foundation

  • Definition – This foundation consists of concrete piers or columns that support beams or girders. The building structure is then anchored to these beams.
  • Application – Frequently used for shed foundations, most often for sheds requiring concrete piers.
  • Benefits – This foundation type elevates the structure to prevents moisture-related issues and allows easy access to utilities.

 Concrete Pier Foundation

  • Definition – Concrete piers are long, cylindrical blocks of concrete that are installed deep into the ground. They act as support pillars for metal buildings.
  • Application – These are particularly suitable for sheds, providing a stable and durable base.
  • Benefits – Highly durable and resistant to shifting soil conditions. They can be a cost-effective option for smaller structures like sheds.

Trench Footing Foundation

  • Definition – This involves digging a trench and filling it with concrete, upon which the building is erected.
  • Application – Trench footing foundations are often used in the construction of garages, where garage footings and foundations require extra stability.
  • Benefits – Provides a deep, stable base, especially in areas with challenging soil conditions.

Frost Protected Foundation

  • Definition – This type incorporates insulation materials to protect the concrete from freezing temperatures.
  • Application – It’s a smart choice for garage foundations in cold climates.
  • Benefits – Reduces the risk of damage due to frost heave and can lead to energy savings due to its insulating properties.

Gravel Foundation

  • Definition – This foundation consists of laying a bed of gravel to support the metal building.
  • Application – Suitable for metal buildings like mobile homes and sheds.
  • Benefits – This foundation is affordable, provides excellent drainage, and can even be installed as a DIY project.

Wood Foundation

  • Definition – This type utilizes pressure treated lumber placed on gravel or concrete masonry blocks, creating a crawl space.
  • Application – This foundation is great for workshops, or other places where insulation is important.
  • Benefits – This foundation is quick to install, and the wood provides natural insulation.

Concrete Masonry Units (CMU)

  • Definition – This foundation consists of large cinder blocks held in pace with mortar.
  • Application – This type is ideal for commercial buildings, warehouses,  or buildings requiring a basement.
  • Benefits – This foundation has great load-bearing strength, requires little maintenance, and is resistant to fire and insects.

Concrete Block Wall Shed Footings

  • Definition – This foundation consists of footings made from concrete block walls built on a reinforced concrete footing.
  • Application – Particularly suitable for buildings without a wooden floor or used as a garage.
  • Benefits – This kind of foundation is extremely durable but is overkill for most shed types.


Choosing the right foundation for your metal building is a major decision that affects not only the construction process but also the long-term performance and maintenance of the building. Whether you’re building a garage with specific footings and foundations or a shed requiring concrete piers, an understanding of the various foundation types can help you to make an informed decision.

Rocket City Metal & Portable Buildings, with locations in Athens and Meridianville, AL, and serving all of the Tennessee River Valley, is known for their high-quality portable building solutions. We offer a wide range of metal carports, garages, barns, and more, and we aim to enhance property values while providing secure storage solutions. Our products are 100% American-made, and we provide a best value guarantee. Customization is one of the key features we offer, allowing you to choose from various styles, colors, and additional features like windows and doors. We provide hassle-free delivery and installation and have flexible financing as well as rent-to-own options. For those unsure about their design, we have a 3D estimator available on our website. You can use this tool to customize your new building, preview it, and receive an individualized quote. For more information about our products and services, contact us via our website or give us a call at either of our two locations: In Athens, 256-678-9898, and in Meridianville, 256-678-9798. We look forward to meeting you!

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Have an idea for a carport or metal building but aren’t sure how it will look once it’s constructed? No problem. Our online builder tool allows you to view a 3D rendering of your ideas before putting them into action. Use this tool to customize your structure, preview it, and receive an individualized quote!

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