Feb 15 2022 / Buyer's Guide ,

Pole Barn Buyer’s Guide: Building a Pole Barn on Uneven Ground

One of the best things about building a pole barn in Sioux City is that it can be sited nearly anywhere. Key word: nearly. Any kind of construction poses challenges under certain circumstances and building on uneven ground calls for the expertise of an experienced post-frame building contractor like Koskovich & Murphy Developments. Construction Service That’s On the Level.

Addressing the Challenges of an Uneven Site Grade

While the Sioux Falls area is part of the Great Plains, the prairie isn’t as flat and smooth as a pane of glass. Erosion from wind, water, and agriculture leads to uneven ground, dry river beds, rock outcroppings, and other geological features that may be pretty to look at, but which give builders no end of headaches. That doesn’t mean the building is off the table; it just means a bit more care taken with the process.

Select Your Site

The first step in any project is selecting your site. Sometimes you’re lucky, in that you’re starting from a clean sheet of sorts; compare properties’ topography and features before buying. If, on the other hand, you’re building on a property you already own, your options for site selection may be limited by property lines and other considerations.

Evaluate Your Site

Once you’ve picked the land on which a building will sit, there are a few questions to ask before construction starts.

  • Where will the structure sit relative to the road, or other buildings on the property?
  • Will other buildings be joining this one later on?
  • Might I be expanding one or more of these buildings at some point?
  • Will my site choice trade one headache for another?
  • Are there any particular legal or zoning issues with the site in question?

It’s important to involve a builder or contractor at this stage. Your intentions are good, but your experience likely won’t match ours; we’re taking a more critical look at the property and project alike, and we’re likely to spot potential issues a layperson or handyman would miss.

Site Preparation and Remediation

Once you’ve chosen your site, it’s time for site preparation. Custom post-frame buildings are typically straightforward on level ground—clearing rocks and vegetation, and maybe a bit of leveling—but if you’re building on uneven terrain, it’s more complex. If the site is easily leveled, it may simply take longer, or require slightly more specialized equipment. On the other hand, a site with a significant grade may require leveling in some areas and backfilling in others; it’s important to consider load stresses, wind, drainage, and other factors that take on different contours than they’d have on a more conventional site.


Once site preparation is complete, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. While the superstructure of a pole barn doesn’t change much regardless of the site, there will be some changes to its foundation based on topography. You may choose to take advantage of a retaining wall or gabion baskets if you’re building on or near a steep grade, for instance. You may also choose to raise the building rather than having it rest on a slab. Other “defensive” measures, like drainage, are also extremely important, and we make sure to cover all the bases.


Pole barns and custom barndominiums in Sioux City require less upkeep, but they still need to be maintained. Having your structure inspected periodically and getting post-frame building maintenance on schedule matters on any site, but it’s especially important on more complex projects; we’ll want to make sure everything is holding up as it should.

Post-Frame Construction in the Sioux City Area

Simplicity is one of many reasons that pole barns, barndominiums, and other kinds of post-frame buildings are popular in the Sioux City area. A note of caution is important, however: the process isn’t always as simple as Koskovich & Murphy makes it look! Ensuring that your building performs and lasts as it should be as simple as a click or call, so get in touch with us today!