Strong Way Columns

Pole Barn Guru Blog

Strong Way Columns

Now I have neither used this product, nor have I actually seen them used in real life. However, part of my mission is to entertain and inform, so as a new product (at least to me) I feel a certain responsibility to expose readers to them.

According to the manufacturer, all of Strong Way Systems innovative products are designed to be installed quickly and easily. They provide both customers and contractors with a wide range of benefits which their systems deliver.

The design features of the Strong Way Column allow it to be installed with precision in a short timeframe without needing extensive equipment. Heavy hammer drills and circular saws are unnecessary, allowing crews to save time and effort transporting heavy equipment to the work area. Each Strong Way Column comes pre-assembled and pre-drilled. Because of the precision, this system offers it eliminates the need to cut columns on site thus speeding up the installation process. Because the Strong Way Column allows for easy adjustments, hole depth does not need to be exact prior to installation, allowing crews to save time preparing the site. Together, these features mean the Strong Way Column needs a much smaller crew than other column systems. The Strong Way Column foundation can be installed in half the time of traditional methods. The speed of installation makes the Strong Column ideal for stub ahead projects; crews can dig, set the columns and install the splashboard prior to concrete backfill.

This leads to significant savings on labor costs.

Moreover, the ease of the Strong Column’s installation process makes it safer for construction crews. Because it is lighter than alternative foundation systems, crew members are less likely to be injured while lifting the Strong Column into place. The reduction in equipment and cords needed during installation leads to a cleaner and safer job site. Combined with the overall simplicity and accuracy of the installation process, these safety features allow crews be more productive with higher morale.

When used in the foundation of a new post frame building, the Strong Way Column system completely eliminates the need to use any wood below grade, resulting in a permanent foundation which is perfectly level, plumb, and offers superior long-term durability. In order to bring their revolutionary product to more customers, Strong Way Systems is partnering with qualified contractors to enable these builders to utilize the Strong Way Column in their building and construction projects.

The benefits of using the Strong Way Column for your new agriculture or industrial building construction are substantial. All Strong Way Columns arrive at the construction site pre-assembled and ready to install.

Installation itself takes ½ the time of traditional post frame foundation systems. This includes time for height adjustments, grade board attachment, and concrete backfill, resulting in significant savings on labor costs. This ease of installation also makes the job easier on your crew by reducing the needed equipment and the heavy lifting required for digging and setting columns, leading to boosted morale on the job site.

Moreover, the end results using the Strong Way Column speak for themselves. Unlike a wooden column, the Strong Way Column won’t warp, rot or twist and is invulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle. The Strong Way Column also is not susceptible to blowouts the way a concrete column is. This durability means the Strong Way Column provides greater strength and longevity which many agricultural and industrial customers are increasingly demanding. When you choose the Strong Way Column for your post frame building projects, you can provide your customers with faster installation, more precise results, and greater long-term resilience against rot, decay and weather effects.

Because Strong Way Systems only partners with qualified contractors, you can rest assured the Strong Way Column system will maintain its reputation for quality. Together, Strong Way Systems can help your business realize substantial cost and labor savings as you deliver superior foundations to your customers.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru comments:

One thing I have done personally is to have constructed a few (thousand) post frame buildings. In reading through the Strong Way Systems’ information it all sounds lovely, however I am just not seeing where the savings in time or money is coming from. If you have used these, I’d be interesting in hearing feedback from you.

6 thoughts on “Strong Way Columns

  1. George

    I think these guys are missing the target market. They should be aiming them at the DIY builder who likely would feel a lot more comfortable installing these posts than humping a 20 foot glulam up in the air and trying to ensure its plumb, square and level with its partners.

    I think the saving might come from being able to use non preservative treated lumber, the ease/speed of getting all the bases and thus the overall poles level without a lot of hassle. I’m absolutely certain that an experienced and competent post frame building crew wouldn’t see much savings at all but the weekend DIY guys like me probably would. My greatest fear in a post frame building is installing the poles so as to be plumb, square and level because I intend to build one to live in. Be terrible if you screw up the most important aspect of the building.

    I would feel VERY comfortable installing these because I can do it on my own with a rotating level and not a lot of effort. I can use my handy dandy plumb level and be very much more confident its all good rather than swinging a long heavy glulam around. It might not work for everyone but for me? Yep, yep and yep. As always, thanks for the blog, truly a great source of information.

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Historically the greatest fear DIYers have is in setting the columns properly – when in reality it is a very simple process. One of the simple beauties of the traditional column in the ground is the posts can be easily maneuvered in the hole without the fear of it coming crashing down to the ground (the length of the column in the hole, in relationship to the diameter of the hole, precludes the ability of the column to fall over).

      If we are talking about 3 ply 2×6 glulaminated columns – a 20′ long column (which would be appropriate on a 16′ eave) weighs about 100 pounds. Reducing the length by four feet saves only about 20 pounds. The difference now being one has to lift the 80 pound column vertically and fit it between the “ears” of the bracket.

      This might indeed be the greatest invention since sliced bread – however I am looking for feedback from those who have actually used them in the field before I pass judgment.

      1. George

        I appreciate your points as they are very valid. I am an independent cuss and prefer to ask for help from friends only when I really need it. I think I can set all of the bases by myself, ensure every thing is level and cut all the glulams to length, including the notches prior to anyone else arriving at the site which would only leave the posts to be lifted and set into place. I can see the advantage of the grade board too; concrete can be poured ahead of the posts being set which would give a nice level working area for the rest of the assembly of the building.

        I have no idea what the price difference is between properly pressure treated glulams and regular glulams but I’m fairly certain these Strong Way columns will be fairly costly and won’t be cheaper. However, for those folks who are building on their own rather than from one of your kits, it might be easier to source non pressure treated glulams?

        Truly, I have learned so much from your blog over the last 18 months or so and you have saved me from making so many mistakes in planning my family’s forever home.

        1. admin Post author

          Happy to know the articles are proving to be informative for you.

          I think you are going to find setting a column of any sort of length into the “ears” of the base and getting it braced up by yourself is going to prove to come with some significant challenges. It looks to me like a two person job, or one involving having some lifting equipment which can also hold the column in place vertically while it is braced and bolted.

          The pressure treated glulam columns most commonly used for post frame buildings are designed so only the bottom portions (usually a 6′, 8′ and 10′) are treated. The are also usually a product of 1650 Fb (fiberstress) material and are not surfaced for architectural use. When one invests in an untreated glulam, they are usually going to be 2400 Fb and have been filled and surfaced as if they were going to be exposed – they are aesthetically pretty besides being strong. The untreated ones are going to (again in most cases) be more expensive, even though they are four feet shorter in length.

  2. Geoff

    Thanks for sharing the information on the Strong Way Column. I have sold hundreds of post frame buildings over the years and this looks like a legit foundation system. It appears that they would be easier to install due to their height adjustability, ease of handling , and dry-set method. The integrated grade board bracket is brilliant! All the columns and grade board can be installed, leveled, and plumbed, prior to concrete backfill. From the research I have done on their product and the videos I have watched they look like they are easy to handle and I can see a definite labor savings. The columns would be a solid connection to the walls and reduce if not eliminate any column movement, reducing the need for additional temporary “A” frame wall bracing for systems that use a dirt or gravel backfill.

    1. admin Post author

      Your feedback is appreciated, once you have had your crews use them on a few buildings I would like to hear more. Hopefully you will do some actual time studies so the true measure can be evaluated.


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