Category Archives: About The Pole Barn Guru

Stilt Houses

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/21 @ 8:00
Stilt Houses

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey nearly all Americans have seen video of the devastation across the coastal lowlands of Texas. Over and over photos of water logged drywall and carpets being torn out of homes which were flooded by epic rainfalls of biblical proportion were enough to churn my gut. Especially as so much […]

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A Wood Floor in a Garage

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/12 @ 8:00
A Wood Floor in a Garage

A loyal reader writes: “Hi. Good morning! As I read your post about a wood floor in a work shop, it reminded me of my research into a garage with a wood floor. I have often wondered, can this be done? So I ask you, can this be done? I am not a rich man, […]

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Pole Barn Economy of Scale

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/06 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Economy of Scale

When building a pole barn, economy of scale can be your ally. Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Doug passed along to me this message from a client of his: “The last quote was for a 45′ x 42′ building with 2 garage doors and one person door. The new quote was for a 18′ x 42′ […]

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So You Want to Become a Post Frame Building Installer?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/10 @ 8:00
So You Want to Become a Post Frame Building Installer?
So You Want to Become a Post Frame Building Installer? I’ve dealt with a broad variety of post frame building installers over the years. Just like our clients, they come in all shapes and sizes, as well as all levels of price and quality. One of the better pole builders I have encountered was a […] Read More

Pole Barn Footings

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/04 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Footings

Some things in life amaze me – magicians are one of them. I have no idea how the do what they do, but I am totally fascinated by them (you can read about my college experience with a magician here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/08/lumber-bending/). One of the other things which amaze me are how clients will invest tens […]

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Best Agricultural Building Supply Company

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/25 @ 8:00
Best Agricultural Building Supply Company

Best Agricultural Building Supply Company – Midwest USA The awards just keep rolling in as Hansen Pole Buildings has been named the Best Agricultural Building Supply Company in the Midwest USA by Build-News! Now we would like to believe we do a pretty fair job at providing “The Ultimate Post Frame Building Experience™” to our […]

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Progress in Technology: Easy Build Pole Barn Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/20 @ 8:00
Progress in Technology: Easy Build Pole Barn Buildings

Progress in Technology: Dirt Late Model Auto Racing I am not as mechanically challenged as my lovely bride would have people believe. Modern technology has taken some things to the point where the average person just cannot do the work. Personal case in point, here is the story: I have been riding motorcycles since not […]

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Sometimes There Are Just Not Words: Hansen Building Disaster

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/27 @ 8:00
Sometimes There Are Just Not Words: Hansen Building Disaster

Sometimes There Are Just Not Words to Express…  Building Disaster How horrifically a build can be botched.   In a scene from 2013’s box office flop The Lone Ranger – Tonto (played by Johnny Depp) and the Lone Ranger (played by Armie Hammer) the heroes get themselves buried in the sand up to their necks. […]

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Why We Do Not Recommend Any Builders

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/14 @ 8:00
Why We Do Not Recommend Any Builders

Hansen Pole Buildings receives numerous requests every day from potential new post frame building owners, who are looking for a builder (in my terms technician) who can assemble their building kit. I am going to do both of us a favor and explain why we do not recommend any builders. Hansen Pole Buildings is a […]

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Lifesaving Bollard

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/05/17 @ 8:00
Lifesaving Bollard

The Day a Bollard Saved my Family’s Lives According to the sum of all knowledge (Wikipedia): A bollard is a sturdy, short, vertical post. Although it originally described a post on a ship or quay used principally for mooring boats, the word is now used to describe posts installed to control road traffic and posts […]

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2017 Architecture Awards

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/27 @ 8:00
2017 Architecture Awards

Hansen Pole Buildings, LLC has been nominated for BUILD News’ 2017 Architecture Awards. Pretty heady stuff, however it seems after 15 years of promoting building excellence and delivering “The Ultimate Post Frame Building Experience™”, our hard work and due diligence is paying off. From BUILD News: Shaping the built environment is a tough challenge for […]

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Hansen Buildings Testimonial

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/25 @ 8:00
Hansen Buildings Testimonial

Totally Unsolicited Hansen Buildings Testimonial When I was actively selling post frame buildings, I became adept at asking for written testimonials. They were actually quite easy to get. Immediately after the client has invested in his (or her) new post frame building, I asked them these four questions: Why did you invest in a new […]

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Propel Electric Door Openers

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/15 @ 8:00
Propel Electric Door Openers

I’ve written in the past about our oldest daughter, Bailey. Bailey is a professional horse trainer (Tennessee Walkers) and is well respected within her industry at the now ripe old age of 27. She is a smart lady – she wanted overhead doors with electric openers on the sliding doors of her barn aisleways.. Why? […]

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Indoor Basketball Courts

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/13 @ 8:00
Indoor Basketball Courts

(Rob Hammer photograph) Our youngest son, Brent, will be graduating from Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington) in May with a degree in Kinesiology. Some of you may recognize the name Gonzaga as the team which just came within a minute or so of being the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) men’s basketball champions. Kinesiology means Brent […]

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Airplane Hangar Exposure C

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/12 @ 8:00
Airplane Hangar Exposure C

Why Your Airplane Hangar is Probably Exposure C I had the joy of growing up “hanging out” (pun intended) at airplane hangars and doing a lot of flying including having my hands on the controls of a Cessna 182 for many hours before I became a teen. One thing for certain about airplane hangars – […]

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Insulating an Attic Bonus Room

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/31 @ 8:00
Insulating an Attic Bonus Room

Attic bonus rooms seem to be the rage – Hansen Pole Buildings does more than a few of these and the trend seems to be increasing in popularity. With this comes how to properly insulate an attic bonus room. There are more than a few challenges when it comes to utilization of attic space for […]

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How Post Frame Building Lumber is Born

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/15 @ 8:00
How Post Frame Building Lumber is Born

I’ve been blessed with being able to have extensive tours of two very sophisticated lumber mills. The first being the Seneca Sawmill in Eugene, Oregon. Seneca Sawmill Company is one of the largest producing single-location sawmills in the United States. Tgd mills are capable of producing over 650 million board feet per year of premium grade […]

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Blog Review by an Expert

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/10 @ 8:00
Blog Review by an Expert

I’m a seat of the pants journalist – my training was as editor of the Post Falls High School newspaper back in 1975! This blog is one of several finalists in the 2017 Best Construction Blog competition. In the event you have been entertained or have learned from my articles, your vote would be appreciated […]

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Best Construction Blog Nominee

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/02 @ 9:00
Best Construction Blog Nominee

Best Construction Blog? For certain I know in my heart of hearts this blog is absolutely the best in the post frame (pole barn) building industry….no one, I repeat no one has penned over 1200 articles and answered over 600 questions from readers in post frame building blogs, like I have. Time to take it […]

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How to Cut and Install Base Trim at a Corner

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/22 @ 8:00
How to Cut and Install Base Trim at a Corner

How to Cut and Install Base Trim at a Corner In yesterday’s column, I mentioned how the base trim was improperly installed. Back in the 1990’s when I was constructing buildings, one of my building crew chiefs shared this trick with me. When properly done, it eliminates the ability of critters to climb up inside […]

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New in the Hammer World

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/20 @ 8:00
New in the Hammer World

New in the Hammering World     Estwing AL-Pro When the latest and greatest comes around, I try to be on top of providing information to my valued readers, many of whom have become trusted friends. Here is a new one for your reading enjoyment! Best known for its single-piece steel hammers Estwing is about to […]

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BUILD Magazine-Engineering Leadership Award

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/15 @ 8:00
BUILD Magazine-Engineering Leadership Award

BUILD magazine Just announced – Hansen Pole Buildings, LLC has been selected by BUILD magazine in their Engineering Leadership awards. According to Dominic Lloyd, Feature Executive at BUILD (www.build-news.com), “Hansen Pole Buildings LLC has stood out from the thousands of potential contenders due to your creative movements, dedicated team and brilliant quality of production and […]

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Sloping Concrete Floors

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/07 @ 8:00
Sloping Concrete Floors

Another great and well thought out question, which is best answered at length. Dear Pole Barn Guru: The construction manual states that concrete slab floors should be poured so there is 3-3/4” of skirt board left exposed above the slab. What do you do if you want or need to have a typical slab slope toward […]

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Post Racks

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/06 @ 8:00
Post Racks

Recently Eric Graff, managing partner of Hansen Pole Buildings, and I have been discussing the possibilities of a new post frame building at our home distribution center in South Dakota. Eric is a shrewd buyer and has negotiated some significant discounts from vendors for the purchase of materials in bulk quantities (think of a semi-truck […]

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Adaptive Snow Skiing Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/29 @ 8:00
Adaptive Snow Skiing Pole Barns

From the age of six, alpine (aka downhill) snow skiing has been a part of our family culture. As my three youngest children (Bailey, Allison and Brent) graduated from being toddlers – I took them to the slopes and taught them to ski as well. It was not my being the greatest skier on the […]

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Powerlifting in Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/24 @ 8:00
Powerlifting in Pole Barns

Power Lifting Pole Barns They might seem like typical teenagers, but Joshua and Kaitlynn Naert are worlds apart from most pair of siblings in Michigan. The brother-sister combo come from a good, blue-collar home, living with their mother and father, Tracy and Jeff, and their dogs. It’s not until Joshua, Kaitlynn and their father step […]

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Trail Maintenance Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/17 @ 8:00
Trail Maintenance Buildings

Trail Maintenance Buildings All across America old railroad beds are being converted into trails for uses such as walking, running and biking. According to www.railstotrails.org over 30,000 miles of trails now criss-cross our country. My personal favorite is the Hiawatha Trail (www.ridethehiawatha.com) which begins in Western Montana (near what was once the boomtown of Taft) […]

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Pole Barn Event Center

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/10/06 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Event Center

Event Centers A little over four years ago, I introduced you, my gentle readers, to my late Grandma Jerene and her boyfriend Bob, the “Weather Cat” (http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/weather/). They are going to play a part in this story. Earlier this summer my lovely bride and I had just gotten home when a couple pulled up in […]

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Snow Drift Loads

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/29 @ 8:00
Snow Drift Loads

I started snow skiing back in 1963, shortly after my sixth birthday. My dad and uncles were the framing contractors for the first condominium units at Schweitzer Basin, near Sandpoint, Idaho and somehow we ended up with a unit shared with the families of my uncles Lyle and Gil. Uncle Lyle’s wife, my Auntie Joyce […]

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How to Avoid a Disastrous Pole Barn Project Part III

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/09 @ 8:00
How to Avoid a Disastrous Pole Barn Project Part III

How to Avoid a Disastrous DIY Pole Barn Project This is part three in a three part series on how to better ensure a great pole barn project, by getting rid of the pitfalls. I’d like to thank Bret Buelo of Wick Buildings for the basis of this article, which appeared on the Wick Buildings […]

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How to Avoid a Disastrous Pole Barn Project

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/08 @ 8:00
How to Avoid a Disastrous Pole Barn Project

Part two of a three part series. See yesterday’s blog for part one. I’d like to thank Bret Buelo of Wick Buildings for the basis of this article, which appeared on the Wick Buildings website (www.wickbuildings.com) August 12, 2016. Information from Bret’s article appears here in italics along with my comments as well. Part of […]

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Pole Barn Vetting

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/06 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Vetting

Colorado Springs, Colorado Post Frame Buildings “It’s all about the building”, one of my favorite quotes from my favorite writer – me. In all seriousness, the quote is one of my favorite sayings, and I have lots of favorite writers with far better literary skills than I. Part of what, “It’s all about the building”, […]

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All Columns Are Not Created Equal

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/01 @ 8:00
All Columns Are Not Created Equal

Back in 2000, I had the pleasure of working with Dale Schiferl when we were both with Gruenwald Engineered Laminates, Inc.™ (http://gruen-wald.com/) , manufacturers of (among other things) glu-laminated columns for post frame (pole) buildings. Dale and I both moved on, Dale to open Timber Technologies, LLC, the manufacturer of Titan Timbers™. Dale and his […]

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Pole Barn Classrooms

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/30 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Classrooms

When I attended Bowdish Junior High School in the early 1970s it was located in a rapidly growing area of the Spokane Valley of Washington. When the classrooms were filled beyond capacity, the school district opted to throw their resources into the rental of temporary classrooms (also known as portables). As an adult, and knowing […]

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Just Say No!

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/26 @ 9:30
Just Say No!

You Want It When? A week from Tuesday is going to find a life milestone has been passed – it will be after Labor Day. Or as we know it in the pole barn industry, the Panic Point. When I was a post frame (pole) building contractor in the 1990’s based in Northeast Washington state, […]

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Just Another Reason to Love Builders

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/23 @ 8:00
Just Another Reason to Love Builders

Please keep in mind, I was a post frame (pole) building contractor in a past life. With as many as 35 crews erecting buildings in six states – if something could possibly go awry, one of my crews would find a way to achieve it! Seriously. Some of them were creative in methods which I […]

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Fabric Covered Hoop Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/20 @ 8:00
Fabric Covered Hoop Barns

South Dakota Department of Transportation Fabric Covered Hoop Barn I’ve been in South Dakota all but a few days in 2016, I figure another 50-60 years or so and I might even be considered to be a “local”. Last Saturday I was a participant in a 5k “fun run” in conjunction with Sisseton’s Horse and […]

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Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/24 @ 12:06
Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Self-Disclosure People are fascinating, we all have life stories to tell, and most of us are merely looking for others who have listening ears so we can share our stories. This dates back to the days of prehistory, when early man sat around campfires and swapped lies. The homes of a hundred years ago were […]

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Hansen Pole Buildings Owner is Back!

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/06 @ 8:00
Hansen Pole Buildings Owner is Back!

Hi! This is one of the founding owners of Hansen Pole Buildings, and for whom the company is named, J.A.Hansen. I thought we’d take a break from the usual Friday “rerun” blogs, for me to tell you a story. Bear with me here… It was September 26th of last year, 2015. I was on my […]

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Golfing for Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/01/29 @ 8:00
Golfing for Pole Barns

I swore I would never golf. My Dad was a scratch golfer. And when I was in architecture school, they told me to be a good architect I would need to learn to golf. I quit school. Seriously. Aww…but lust will do strange things to a man. I met a woman (she is now my […]

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Pole Building Shipping Disasters

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/18 @ 8:00
Pole Building Shipping Disasters

Convoy For those of you not old enough to remember, or those of us too old to remember, the late 1970’s were a time of 55 mph speed limits and C.W. McCall’s iconic: https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=cw+mccall+convoy Interesting things can happen to pole building kit packages once they get loaded on to one of those big rigs and […]

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Steel Roofing Stair Stepping

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/14 @ 8:00
Steel Roofing Stair Stepping

I’m Truly Trying to Stop As the everyday readers of this column know, I have been reviewing the pole building going up across the street from our home in South Dakota. If you have not been keeping up, run back a few episodes! I’ve been away from SD for a couple of weeks, so have […]

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Lake Traverse Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/05 @ 8:00
Lake Traverse Pole Building

Pizza Hut® Back in the late 1970’s I was jack of all trades, master of a few at Coeur d’Alene Truss in northern Idaho. While we were the “only game in town” with our nearest competitors 30 miles away in Spokane, every once In a while there was a roof truss job I did not […]

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10d Nail Length

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/09 @ 8:00
10d Nail Length

Trivia Time at Hansen Pole Buildings My children have often accused their father of knowing more worthless trivia than anyone else on the planet. Having stumbled across an occasional television game show, I have to say the title certainly long belongs to others than me. However from time to time I do know some weird […]

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Dear Mike Burkholder

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/03 @ 8:00
Dear Mike Burkholder

Dear Readers: For those of you missing the past two days, or yesterday’s blog at most, please back up a day or two to bring you up to speed for my response to a seemingly heated rejoinder by Mike Burkholder of Ohio Timberland Products to a blog I wrote.  This is published in it’s entirety. […]

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Mike Burkholder’s Retort

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/02 @ 8:00
Mike Burkholder’s Retort

If you didn’t read my blog yesterday – I suggest you may want to flip back and read that one first – so you know where I am coming from …. And Now a Word from…..  The following is a word-for-word comment on my article of June 17, 2015, which was received June 23:  “Dear […]

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Post Frame Building Saga

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/01 @ 8:00
Post Frame Building Saga

A Day Which Will Live in Infamy Most United States citizens who have at least taken a high school U.S. History class will recognize this line from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Dec. 8, 1941 speech given to a joint session of Congress. For those of you who need a quick refresher: https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=dec.+7+1941+roosevelt%27s+speech I know I […]

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Horse Riding Arena

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/24 @ 8:00
Horse Riding Arena

Once Upon a Time My nearly four year old grandson Colton overnighted with Grandma and Poppa last night. Colton is Jake’s son (you might remember Jake from various pole building adventures such as http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/07/construction-time-2/). Colton likes Papa Mike just a little, so we got into some serious pre-bedtime reading and like every good story, they […]

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Hansen Buildings Designer of the Month

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/18 @ 9:00
Hansen Buildings Designer of the Month

Hansen Buildings April 2015 Building Designer of the Month We’re proud to announce Wayde Staiger as April’s award winner! In Wayde’s own words: “My focus when working with a client is spending time finding out what is best for the them. Having a building which does not fill the need is of no value. Taking […]

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Home Improvement TV Shows

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/10 @ 8:00
Home Improvement TV Shows

As Seen on TV Reality TV has truly infiltrated, if not saturated, the lives of most cable television watchers. Amongst the favorites seem to be “home improvements” and “makeovers”. We’ve been asked to participate in several of these home improvement tv shows and this is our take from being the supplier of pole (post frame) […]

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Custom Painting Steel Siding

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/03 @ 8:00
Custom Painting Steel Siding

Arborvitae Green To my friends Jim Betonte, the Oglevie Brothers (Mike, Doug and Randy) and Kimron Leach – this blog’s for you! Somewhere about 35 million years ago the Willamette River of Oregon was created by plate tectonics. A few miles to the south of what was Willamette Falls, the river makes a sharp bend, […]

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Concrete after a Fire

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/04/02 @ 8:03
Concrete after a Fire

We recently received a request from a client who had a building burn to the ground. The client proposed to reuse their existing concrete – which to me has always resonated as a bad choice. But is it actually a bad choice? Concrete can be some amazing stuff. In June of 1987, I was privileged […]

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I Love Pole Building Photos

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/13 @ 8:00
I Love Pole Building Photos

My wife, not so much – because she says I manage to pick out things which are wrong in nearly every one of them. Weirdly enough, when I do find errors, it is nearly always on buildings which have been constructed by “professional” barn builders. More often than not, when our clients do the work […]

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Galvanized Steel for the Golden Gate?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/06 @ 8:00
Galvanized Steel for the Golden Gate?

What if the Golden Gate Bridge Had Been Hot-Dip Galvanized? For those of you who are reading my articles for the first time, I will warn you – I am a little bit of a structures nut. I really want to know about how things work and are assembled, and why. Besides being a structures […]

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Metal Arts Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/03 @ 8:00
Metal Arts Buildings

A couple of years ago Hansen Pole Buildings Designer Rick and I had a discussion about interesting people I had done pole building projects for. (Read more about them at: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/03/pole-building-11/). One person I had left off my previous list was famous Pacific Northwest sculptor and artist Harold Balazs. While most folks outside of the […]

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Is Hansen a Pole Building Contractor?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/02 @ 8:00
Is Hansen a Pole Building Contractor?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” […]

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Varge Trim on 4 & 8 Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/06 @ 8:00
Varge Trim on 4 & 8 Buildings

Thin Hair and a Flat Forehead In my most recent past life (a.k.a the 1990’s) I was a post frame (pole) building contractor based in Spokane, Washington. At one time we had as many as 35 crews constructing buildings in six states. Even though I jokingly tell people this is why my hair is thin […]

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Dunning Kruger Effect

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/01/29 @ 8:00
Dunning Kruger Effect

Most of us have never heard of the Dunning Kruger effect. Although you may not recognize the title, there is a better than fair chance you know one or more people who are affected by it. Wikipedia defines the Dunning Kruger effect as “a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating […]

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Mike the Pole Barn Guru Published

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/25 @ 8:00
Mike the Pole Barn Guru Published

Here’s How I Did It The full title of the book is, “Here’s How I Did It! World’s Top Experts Share Their Stories, Insights and Perspectives” by Raam Anand. It is available at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Heres-How-Did-Insights-Perspectives-ebook/dp/B00OUVDFL6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415731572&sr=8-2&keywords=Here%27s+How+I+Did+It As Mike the Pole Barn Guru, I’m highly flattered to have been selected to author a chapter in Volume II […]

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Pole Building Design Innovation

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/10/30 @ 8:00
Pole Building Design Innovation

Innovation Requires Failure Recently I read a Harvard Business Review article written by Dorie Clark which contained this, which spoke to me: “Recognize that innovation requires failure. In a world where competitive advantage is increasingly short-lived, as Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath has described, successful companies have to bake innovation into their standard […]

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OMSI

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/24 @ 8:00
OMSI

Last summer my friend Shelean and I were visiting my favorite biker watering hole Stateline Cruisers (read more about Cruisers at: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/05/pole-building-13/). I was enjoying a tall cold one, when a fellow patron of the establishment approached me and asked if I remembered him. Turns out, I did. Back in the early 1990’s, when I […]

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Stick Built vs Pole Barn Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/23 @ 8:00
Stick Built vs Pole Barn Construction

Why are the stick-built and pole-barn businesses so different?  This question was posed to me recently, along with the following commentary:   “Forgive me if this strikes you as a dumb question, but I’m having trouble figuring out why the pole-barn and residential construction businesses are so divided. From what I can tell, companies that […]

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Stanford University

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/19 @ 8:00
Stanford University

In 1876, former California Governor Leland Stanford purchased 650 acres of Rancho San Francisquito for a country home and began the development of his famous Palo Alto Stock Farm. He later bought adjoining properties totaling over 8,000 acres. Leland and his wife had only one child, Leland Jr., who died in 1884 of typhoid when […]

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Historic Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/11 @ 8:00
Historic Barns

Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to drive nearly every one of the contiguous United States – many of those miles over what might be considered to be back roads. This has afforded me the opportunity to view literally thousands of historic barns. These barns come in all shapes and sizes, […]

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Snipe Hunting

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/08/28 @ 8:00
Snipe Hunting

In yesterday’s article, I made reference to one of the most beloved tool at any lumber yard – the green handled board stretcher. And then – I gave no details about it! A cliffhanger indeed! Before we get into the green handled board stretcher, a few words about a North American rite of passage: In […]

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Most Read Pole Building Blogs

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/08/15 @ 8:05
Most Read Pole Building Blogs

A Baker’s Dozen – The Most Read Articles of 2013 Sometimes, in order to know where to go, it is helpful to see where we’ve been. These are the most read blogs from 2013. #13 Board and Batten Siding http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/03/board-and-batten-siding/ While popular, board and batten siding should be installed considering shear values. Advice on installing […]

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Japanese Framing Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/22 @ 8:00
Japanese Framing Part II

Continued from yesterday’s blog….. The Typical House Besides introducing the Japanese to glulam lumber, we worked to promote 2×4 construction. For centuries homes have been built in Japan with 90mm x 90mm (approximately 3-1/2 inches) square posts and beams. The small-dimension materials are not very strong, so the posts are usually only about 6 feet […]

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Japanese Framing Part I

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/18 @ 8:00
Japanese Framing Part I

ON SITE IN JAPAN: OBSERVATIONS OF A U.S. FRAMER My cousin Amy was recently visiting Japan and happened to share on her Facebook page an article written by her Dad, my Uncle Neil Momb, written about his adventures in building in Japan. Although my Uncle Neil was the only one of my Father’s siblings who […]

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Storage Wars

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/17 @ 8:00
Storage Wars

We don’t have network television access out here in the sticks where I live, so we see little TV except for Netflix. Our 19 year-old son Brent was out to visit one afternoon and started watch a program originally aired as a reality TV series in 2010 on the A&E Network. I suppose I always […]

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Pole Building Fire Stations

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/16 @ 8:00
Pole Building Fire Stations

Scott Norwood and Fire Stations My loyal readers are going to be amazed at how I manage to tie these two subjects into relating to pole buildings. To find out, please read on…… For those who are old enough to remember, the 1991 Super Bowl featured the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants. The high […]

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Star Wars Lightsaber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/09 @ 8:00
Star Wars Lightsaber

After working on Eric’s self-storage pole building – I looked like I had brought a child’s play Star Wars lightsaber to a sword fight…..blood dripping down my face from being attacked by the blunt end of a flying 2×4 smacking me in my right eyebrow! Yes, safety is important, and although my hat was not […]

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Guru: Where is Hansen Pole Buildings?

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/30 @ 8:00
Guru: Where is Hansen Pole Buildings?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday or Saturday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with […]

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Grade Stamps

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/26 @ 8:00
Grade Stamps

Walk into your local lumber dealer – whether a big box store (aka The Home Depot® or Lowe’s®), a national lumber dealer (think ProBuild®, Stock Building Supply®, or 84 Lumber®) or the local mom and pop lumber seller and pickup any piece of dimensional lumber. On it will be a grade stamp – which is […]

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Not Burger King Crowns

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/25 @ 8:00
Not Burger King Crowns

My readers will recognize my 19-year-old son Brent’s name from recent articles on the construction of a pole building storage building here in Browns Valley. After two weeks of working together, I have learned something important (yes, 56 year old Dads can learn new things). Growing up, my brother Mark and I worked for Dad […]

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The Flying Gable Crash Lands

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/20 @ 8:00
The Flying Gable Crash Lands

Over the years I’ve experienced many various clients who have constructed pole building kits as “bonding” experiences. These have included a couple in their early 80’s, five brothers who built a new shop for their Dad for Father’s Day, and a man and his 14 year old daughter. We’ve built two pole buildings with our […]

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Hansen Self Storage Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/19 @ 8:00
Hansen Self Storage Building

Self Storage & Twas the Week Before Brent Landed….. For regular readers – you read yesterday about my son joining our volunteer construction crew on the 5040 square foot self storage building. In the week before Brent’s arrival, we experienced some of the fun things which will endear anyone who has ever constructed their own […]

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The Builder Gene

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/18 @ 8:00
The Builder Gene

Children are interesting – especially as they arrive at adulthood and we start to truly recognize what “genes” they have inherited. My Dad was a builder and his father before him was a builder as well – not much question I had inherited the “builder gene” from them. Our nearly 21 year old daughter Allison […]

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Father’s Day

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/14 @ 8:00
Father’s Day

Mike the Pole Barn Guru is taking the day off from answering Pole Barn questions  – to enjoy the weekend with his 19 year old son. He will be back Monday with more Pole Barn Guru questions and answers.   Email all questions about pole building construction to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com Have a great weekend everyone – […]

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TripAdvisor & Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/13 @ 8:00
TripAdvisor & Pole Buildings

Being on the road roughly ½ of the year, I stay in hotels. A lot. Before booking my next room, I always try to get the latest skinny on reviews from TripAdvisor®. Once I get settled in, I also use the TripAdvisor information to help select eateries which are nearby. I do take reviews with […]

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Arborist or Tree Feller

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/03 @ 8:02
Arborist or Tree Feller

My family and I live on a lakeshore in the woods Northeast of Spokane, Washington – about six miles from the nearest state highway. When our youngest daughter Allison was probably four – we were driving almost to the state highway. A new business had put up its sign. Allison, wanting to show off her […]

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Rural Builder Magazine

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/05/28 @ 8:00
Rural Builder Magazine

For those of us in the post frame (pole building) industry, Rural Builder magazine is a must read. Published seven times a year – I always await receiving my Rural Builder in the mail with a degree of anticipation and excitement. I have probably not missed reading (and rereading) an issue in three decades. Until […]

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Pole Buildings and the 2014 Winter Olympics

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/16 @ 8:00
Pole Buildings and the 2014 Winter Olympics

From February 7-23 I was among millions of Americans who spent their evenings glued to their televisions to watch the 2014 Winter Olympics (officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games). Held in Sochi, Russia, a total of 98 events were held during the games. I inadvertently became a fan of men’s freestyle skiing, when […]

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Pole Building Pioneer Robin Speronis

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/03/26 @ 8:00
Pole Building Pioneer Robin Speronis

Off The Grid A fair number of our clients, who construct their own pole buildings, have the pioneering spirit which made the United States a great country. They want to be as independent as possible, and avoid having to deal with governmental agencies as much as possible. Freedom, in the “Land of the Free” is […]

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Pole Barn Prices

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/03/12 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Prices

At Half the Price… Every once in a while there is an exchange with a potential client which I cannot resist sharing. This one is about pole barn prices…at half the price of! In this particular case, as the request came in at 7:39 a.m., I was afterwards wondering if the inquiry came after a […]

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Frame Building Expo

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/02/28 @ 8:00
Frame Building Expo

The National Frame Building Association (NFBA) began 45 years ago when a group of Midwestern post-frame (pole) builders gathered in Chicago to mount a challenge to pending changes in the Indiana building code which would have threatened the post-frame industry. This group, along with interested engineers and architects, was able to prove the structural reliability […]

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Art From a Pole Barn

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/01/16 @ 8:00
Art From a Pole Barn

When my brother and I were but youngsters, we rode our bike’s a couple of miles from our family home in the Spokane Valley, to where our Aunt Donna lived. Aunt Donna was very artistic, and she taught art lessons in the summers, seemingly primarily to our extended family of cousins (my Dad’s five brothers […]

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Pole Building: Honest Architecture

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/12/26 @ 8:00
Pole Building: Honest Architecture

I recently read an article in Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave about “Historic barn enthusiasts preserve living agricultural heritage” written by Zinta Aistars. In the story Steve Steir, president of the Michigan Barn Preservation Network is quoted, “Barns are a symbol of peace and quiet, you can see the bones of the building when you walk […]

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Nebraska on the Motorcycle: Classic Vehicle Storage

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/30 @ 8:00
Nebraska on the Motorcycle: Classic Vehicle Storage

Author’s Note: This is part 10 of a series of blogs written from a 6500+ motorcycle trip from WA to Ohio and back.  See Blog from Oct. 15th for the beginning…and hang on for the ride! Nebraska on the Motorcycle: Classic Vehicle Storage Day ten, I was on the last leg of my motorcycle journey […]

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Sliding Door Openers

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/29 @ 8:00
Sliding Door Openers

Author’s Note: This is part 9 of a series of blogs written from a 6500+ motorcycle trip from WA to Ohio and back.  See Blog from Oct. 15th for the beginning…and hang on for the ride! It IS a Small World As my “Zen” motorcycle trip approached the home stretch, I was enjoying glorious beautiful […]

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Pole Building Kit Packages: Part 4 of Cycle Series

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/18 @ 8:00
Pole Building Kit Packages: Part 4 of Cycle Series

Further Down the Highway Author’s Note: This is part 4 of a series of blogs written from a 6500+ motorcycle trip from WA to Ohio and back.  See Blog from Oct. 15th for the beginning…and hang on for the ride! I am the curious sort. I enjoy finding out how other people do things, as […]

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On the Road with Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/17 @ 8:00
On the Road with Pole Buildings

Author’s Note: This is part 3 of a series of blogs written from a 6500+ motorcycle trip from WA to Ohio and back.  See Blog from Oct. 15th for the beginning…and hang on for the ride! The Browns Valley to Browns Valley part of my “Zen” ride (yes I made a loop) involved 9 days […]

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Pole Barns – From the Seat of My Motorcycle!

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/15 @ 8:00
Pole Barns – From the Seat of My Motorcycle!

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance In my first year of architecture school at the University of Idaho, Robert M. Pirsig’s 1974 book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was required reading for one of my second year architecture classes. The book describes a 17-day motorcycle journey from Minnesota to California. Earlier this […]

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Design Engineering Software

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/07/09 @ 8:01
Design Engineering Software

I’ve spent nearly four decades actively involved in the construction industry. From “gopher” on jobsites, framer, drywaller, sawyer in a truss plant, truss designer, salesman, forklift and truck driver, crane operator, general contractor, business owner and a litany of other job titles, I’ve covered a lot of turf. From experience I generally know how to […]

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Post Frame Building Purchase: Local or Global?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/06/21 @ 8:00
Post Frame Building Purchase: Local or Global?

Very few post frame building kit package providers service more than a very small geographic area. While this may give them an intimate knowledge of a local marketplace, how buildings are most often constructed in their area, and expectations from Building Officials – it does come with some risks. In the event their local economy […]

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Interesting People I’ve Done a Pole Building For

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/03/15 @ 8:00
Interesting People I’ve Done a Pole Building For

Building Designer Rick Carr and I were discussing a client’s proposed building in Idaho today. 80 feet wide by 204 feet long, the building would have a 16 foot high sidewall. The client really wanted to have scissor trusses (trusses with an interior roof slope, which has a peak in the center). Given the dimensions […]

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Pole Barn Guru’s Roof Rules Part Two

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/02/04 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Guru’s Roof Rules Part Two

From Friday – Nothing is worse than a roof gone wrong. Leaks frustrate everyone involved, and are usually avoidable. Poor design and poor installation are equal factors in the roofs which just are not happy. If you missed my blog Friday –you may want to review it as the first part of my Rule for […]

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Pole Building New Year 2013

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/01/01 @ 8:00
Pole Building New Year 2013

On the first of each year, I tend to get a bit nostalgic, especially for my family, my home, and how my pole building career really took off. Bear with me as I take a step or two back in time. At the ripe old age of 33, I sold my first business in Oregon […]

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My Early Urban Garage Experiences

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/31 @ 8:01
My Early Urban Garage Experiences

In the 1980’s one man stood alone when it came to whether City of Portland (basically the same thing as Multnomah County), Oregon homeowners could acquire a Building Permit for a residential accessory building or not. Charles “Chuck” Frazier Now Chuck was a registered Structural Engineer, who took his position very seriously. His expectation was, […]

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Garage Construction Video

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/28 @ 8:00
Garage Construction Video

As I write this, the end of the world as we know it (yes, I know it is a 1987 R.E.M. tune) did not happen yesterday, December 21, 2012. What did happen is… it is now officially winter. In Browns Valley, MN this means typical T shirt and shorts weather, highs in the teens and […]

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Christmas with The Pole Barn Guru

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/25 @ 8:00
Christmas with The Pole Barn Guru

Christmas Greetings! As much as possible, if I “reuse” a blog I’ve written previously (a re-run), I do it only a few times a year….like today, when I am spending time with family and friends, which my wish for all of you is as well. It is also a time when I tend to look […]

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