Probably the highlight of my career as a pole barn builder came October 30, 1996. On live television, in the 30 minutes prior to Bob Villa, Momb Steel Buildings set a world speed record, as we constructed a fully featured, two car garage, in a client’s limited access back yard. This was a Sunday morning, and everyone went all out. The City of Millwood blocked off a 20 square block area for parking and equipment. Spokane County arranged for a Building Inspector to work on Sunday. The television people even erected bleachers in our client’s backyard. We printed up a gross of long sleeve T Shirts with “World’s Fastest Pole Builder” on them, and they were so popular I didn’t even get one! One of the most fun parts of the whole experience was pumping concrete OVER the house (I am sure to the shock of our clients).
Prior to the event, the building crews which helped us were positive we could not construct it in under an hour. After the event, we took all of those who participated out for lunch. Instead of eating the free food, they all were drawing on napkins with carpenter pencils figuring out how “next time” we could shave off 5 seconds here, and ten seconds there… by doing things differently!
For a short time in 2000, I was a manufacturer’s representative for a company which manufactures glu-laminated columns for the post frame industry. Great product, but seriously lacked in distribution, and soon found myself back in the pole building business working for another contractor. During this time, I became intrigued with products being offered over the internet and felt this would be a prime place for pole building kits.
In 2000 I made probably the smartest and happiest decision of my life, I married my “bride” of now eleven years. With her background and mine, I quickly envisioned a business structure so “out there”, even my bride thought I was nuts. I wanted to sell pole buildings completely off the internet. No bricks and mortar sales office, no lumberyard, truss plant or even in-house sales staff. Just she and I, and maybe a few others to handle some of the paperwork. After talking about it for two years, my idea became an exciting reality. In 2002, Hansen Pole Buildings was born. It quickly became a huge success, and today, we remain predominantly an internet based business, heavy on automation, technology and cutting edge business savvy.
In my now over 30 years in the industry, I’ve had buildings delivered and built in all 50 states, over 14,000 of them. Recent innovations have been many. With CCA pressure preservative treating being pretty much eliminated due to a settlement between the EPA and the CCA chemical producers, some alternative preservative chemical formulas were found to react with steel, when water was present. To combat the negative effects of this reaction, we’ve added a protective barrier between the pressure treated skirt boards and the steel base trim. This also has necessitated the use of stainless steel screws to attach steel to pressure treated lumber.
For clients concerned about the chemicals being used in treating, plastic sleeves are available to isolate the treated wood from the surround soils. Steel brackets have been developed to allow pole buildings to be constructed on top of concrete piers, foundation walls and slabs.
We’ve replaced paint on screws with powder coating, offering a finish which will outlive the steel panels (http://lelandindustries.com/productpdfs/page%2048.pdf). The screws themselves are now coated with superior finishes to resist corrosion.
The advent of the International Building Codes in 2000, caused significant changes to the way code conforming buildings are designed. Deflection criteria has made girts (horizontal wall framing) attached wide face to the wall columns not meet the more stringent deflection criteria. In response to this, we’ve designed most of our buildings with wall girts installed flat (like book shelves) to resist deflecting.
We are constantly upgrading and innovating our design solutions. As better products are developed, we look for ways to make construction faster, easier to install and more reliable in performance. More than ever, we look for ways to produce eye pleasing buildings which are not hard on the budget.
I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Mike Momb ~ The Pole Barn Guru