Category Archives: Building Department

My Response: Why We Need Building Codes

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/14 @ 8:00
My Response: Why We Need Building Codes

My Response: Why We Need Building Codes As promised, here is my response to the Coeur d’Alene Press article of December 5, 2017 (exactly as I wrote in the comments portion following the newspaper article regarding adoption of building codes): I will first qualify myself – I attended the University of Idaho in architecture. I […]

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Rare Desicion to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/13 @ 8:00
Rare Desicion to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir

Rare Decision to Not Adopt New Building Code Causes Stir The following article by Brian Walker (in its entirety, without edits, appeared December 5, 2017 in the Coeur d’Alene Press). Tune in tomorrow for my commentary. COEUR d’ALENE — Kootenai County commissioners’ decision to not accept the most recent version of the International Building Code […]

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Deep Fascia Overhangs

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/08 @ 8:00
Deep Fascia Overhangs

The definition of Fascia from the sum of all human knowledge (Wikipedia): “Fascia (/ˈfeɪʃə/) is an architectural term for a vertical frieze or band under a roof edge, or which forms the outer surface of a cornice, visible to an observer. Typically consisting of a wooden board, uPVC or non-corrosive sheet metal, many of the non-domestic fascias made […]

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Structural Engineering for $400

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/07 @ 8:00
Structural Engineering for $400

I’ll take Structural Engineering for $400 Alex Proper Engineering in post frame construction can not be overlooked. Alex Trebek has hosted Jeopardy!, the iconic daily syndicated game show, since 1984. With over 7,000 episodes aired, Jeopardy! has won a record 33 Daytime Emmy Awards. Some of you may even have tuned in for an episode […]

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Put the Architect in Charge?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/06 @ 8:00
Put the Architect in Charge?

Put the Architect in Charge? I spent several years paying off my college student loans from Architecture school, so I do have a profound respect for architects who have been able to make a living practicing their trade. This, however, does not mean I feel the intervention of an architect is appropriate in all situations […]

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The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/05 @ 8:00
The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings

The Dust Bowl and Post Frame Buildings My lovely bride speaks of her mother telling stories of the “Dirty Thirties” in Minnesota and the Dakotas. The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms which greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the American and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; […]

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My Building Inspector Made Me

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/28 @ 8:00
My Building Inspector Made Me

My Building Inspector Made Me….. An all to familiar tale from those who go by the premise, “penny wise and pound foolish”…. in the misguided attempt to shave a few dollars off the investment in a new building, the price of the engineer sealed plans has been deducted from the budget. Very rarely is this […]

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Truss Repairs, Never Field Alter a Truss

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/09 @ 8:00
Truss Repairs, Never Field Alter a Truss
Mike the Pole Barn Guru Writes: I spent years (and years) in the prefabricated metal connector plated truss industry. I cannot begin to count the number of times we saw trusses altered in the field without having consulted us beforehand. Without using any fingers, I can also count the number of times these in-the-field truss […] Read More

International Residential Code and Tension Ties

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/20 @ 8:00
International Residential Code and Tension Ties

International Residential Code and Tension Ties Reader DENNIS in TRAVERSE CITY writes: “ICC R602.10 is written to work with continuous foundations and vertical studs, not posts in holes and horizontal girts. How does a person translate bracing into post-frame language? An answer addressing tension ties would be helpful.” From the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC): […]

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Building a Pole Building Style Home

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/18 @ 8:00
Building a Pole Building Style Home

Building a Pole Barn Style Home Reader DAVID from NINE MILE FALLS writes: “I am building a pole barn style home. I am having a difficult time in finding what the requirements would be for post setting and post distance spacing in regards to a pole barn used for living spaces. I plan on using […]

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Can I Build a Pole Barn on my Concrete Slab?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/03 @ 8:00
Can I Build a Pole Barn on my Concrete Slab?

Can I Build a Pole Barn on My Concrete Slab? I dove off from the turnip truck a long time ago, so I have seen a lot of strange things constructed over my nearly 60 year lifetime. Sometimes strange is good, usually not so good. What is remarkable are the structures which are constructed directly […]

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Are My Columns Too Short?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/26 @ 8:00
Are My Columns Too Short?

Are My Columns Too Small or Too Short? We receive and answer lots of questions. Even with a Construction Guide which extends over 500 pages, covering a plethora of topics and how to’s, there is always an unanswered question (sometimes two). One of our good clients recently sent a query to the Hansen Pole Buildings’ […]

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Spokane? Roof Steel Starts? and Winging It!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/28 @ 8:00
Spokane? Roof Steel Starts? and Winging It!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Your from Spokane area? Can one construct a custom pole building as home Spokane county? Would you have any references of builders in my area to consider? TERRY in MEAD DEAR TERRY: Yes, I was born and raised in Spokane – still have a plethora of family members there (as well […]

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Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/25 @ 8:00
Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Treated Lumber – Justine Schools a Major Lumberyard Chain When it comes to pressure preservative treated lumber, ignorance from the supply side seems to be bliss and there are way too many folks out there happily selling under treated product. For your entertainment pleasure I bring you a discourse between Hansen Pole Buildings Lumber Wizard […]

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Need a 13′ Tall Door With a 12′ Mean Height Restriction

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/23 @ 8:00
Need a 13′ Tall Door With a 12′ Mean Height Restriction

Need a 13’ Tall Door With a 12’ Mean Height Restriction Planning Departments can be the bane of a property owner’s existence. They are the folks who are delegated enforcement of what some might feel are unrealistic expectations as to building heights and footprints. Many times there are solutions, and chances are if a solution […]

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Non-commercial Plot Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/17 @ 8:00
Non-commercial Plot Plans
Non-commercial Plot Plans Considering adding onto an existing non-commercial building, or constructing a new one? If you live in an area governed by Planning and Building requirements, then you are most likely going to need to have a plot plan – and soon! When Will You Need It? Before you ever think about the structural […] Read More

What Classification is a Horse Riding Arena?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/09 @ 1:20
What Classification is a Horse Riding Arena?

True horse riding arenas are big buildings. Even a relatively small one at 60 foot wide by 120 feet long is a big building – 7200 square feet. Add on a decent width (12 foot as a minimum) aisleway and (10) 12 foot square spaces for stalls, wash racks, tack and/or feed rooms and we […]

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Maximizing Sliding Door Heights

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/08 @ 8:00
Maximizing Sliding Door Heights

While post frame construction (in my humble opinion) gives the most value for construction dollars invested, there are just some cases where clients just are not aware. This reader wants to maximize the height of a sliding door opening on a stick frame building. HOWARD in COEUR d’ALENE writes: “Greetings, I am stick-building my own […]

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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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Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/02 @ 8:00
Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

In the land where I first became acquainted with pole barn (post frame) building construction, was used a term known as commercial girts. These are actually what is more appropriately named “bookshelf girts” designed so as to create an insulation cavity which would extend 1-1/2 inches outside of the columns. The commercial girt is sized […]

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Roof Trusses? Contractor Reviews, and Insulation Installation!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/08 @ 8:00
Roof Trusses? Contractor Reviews, and Insulation Installation!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to rip off my current roof of trusses that are made of 2x4s 2 feet on center with new one of mono-pitched trusses that are every 4-ft or less on center. The roofing material on top of the new trusses would be a SIP panel of some sort. […]

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Overhead Door Columns in Pole Barn Enclosure

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/06 @ 10:02
Overhead Door Columns in Pole Barn Enclosure

No Columns for Overhead Doors There are a few clients out there who leave parts of one or more walls open, with the idea of enclosing them at a later date. Most often this is done with the idea of being able to save money, however it is not always much of a money saver, […]

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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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Hangar to House?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/21 @ 8:00
Hangar to House?

This article was triggered by an article I read recently by Karen L. Chandler at www.readingeagle.com in regards to a post frame building in Perry County, PA., excerpted below: “In other business, attorney Zachary A. Morey of Hoffert & Konis PC of Reading asked the supervisors to consider allowing an addition to Peter Lombardi’s pole […]

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Engineer Wanted for Pole Building Garage

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/02 @ 8:00
Engineer Wanted for Pole Building Garage

Wanted an Engineer for Pole Barn Garage In deference to the attorneys at Menards, who seem very interested in the articles I write, this ad appeared on Craigslist recently, so it is a direct quote and has not been changed from the original posting: “I am looking for a Colorado registered engineer for a pole […]

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Pole Building Plans for Sale

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/01 @ 8:00
Pole Building Plans for Sale

Pole Building Plans for Sale Ah, Spring time, when a young man’s heart turns to how to “get a deal” on a new pole barn. Oftentimes it starts rather like this, “Can I just buy the building plans from you guys stamped and all? I need a 40×60 40 wide 60 deep 16′ tall so […]

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The Correct Vapor Barrier, Home Prices, as well as Why I Need an Engineer!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Framed a 12x30x8′ room in pole barn. Insulated ceiling & 1-30′ wall w/fiberglass, the outside wall will be spray foam. Do I need the vapor barrier the ceiling and the 1 wall. I will be using plywood on the ceiling and all the walls for a finish. Thank You for your […]

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Building Homes, Valley Rooflines, and Size Does Matter!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/24 @ 8:00
Building Homes, Valley Rooflines, and Size Does Matter!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just wondering if you build homes? I’m interested in building an open floor plan home with this style of architecture. NICK in SICKLERVILLE DEAR NICK: We do not happen to build anything, as we are not contractors. We do, however, design and provide the materials for post frame homes. Post frame […]

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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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Prohibition of Pole Barn Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/23 @ 8:00
Prohibition of Pole Barn Construction

The Construction of Pole Barns is Prohibited Seriously? This is directly from the White Bear Lake Township (Minnesota) ordinances related to Building Codes, buried deep in their Ordinance No. 8: 5-34. POLE BUILDINGS. The construction of pole barns/buildings is prohibited in the Town. I found this as a result of an article in the White […]

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Building Site Preparation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/08 @ 8:00
Building Site Preparation

I’m a Bit Confused… No, not me – one of our clients who is about ready to invest in his new Hansen Pole Buildings’ Post Frame Building kit. Just like me, when I have something new on the way, Phil is chomping at the bit to be doing something! Anything! DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  I’m trying […]

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And the Survey Says

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/03 @ 8:00
And the Survey Says

July 12, 1976 had Richard Dawson (Corporal Peter Newkirk of Hogan’s Heroes fame) uttering these words, “and the survey says” on the very first Family Feud television game show.  Sadly Mr. Dawson has met his demise, however the show goes on with Steve Harvey as the current host. Well, when it comes to placing your […]

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Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/25 @ 8:00
Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code

Not All Pole Barns Are Designed to Code Mandated Wind Loads Photo by Lewis Geyer, Longmont Times-Call Debris are all which remains of a pole barn formerly belonging to Tom Bennett of Berthoud, Colorado. According to Berthoud Fire Chief, Rob Stumpf, their office received a call about 9:15 on Monday morning, January 9, 2017 to […]

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Pole Barn Comparisons

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/17 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Comparisons

Differentiation- Pole Barn Comparisons In today’s world savvy shoppers can go on the internet and fairly quickly track down the best buy on virtually any commodity item. Sometimes even pole barn comparisons. According to the sum of all knowledge, Wikipedia: “The term commodity is specifically used for an economic good or service when the demand for it […]

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Snow Sliding off a Roof

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/13 @ 8:00
Snow Sliding off a Roof

Snow Slides Off Roof – Kills Child I’ve recently been searching the pages of the IBC (International Building Code) for a section which I was just certain I had viewed in an earlier Code edition – preventing accumulated snow  sliding off roofs, in particular at door openings. I even went so far as to post […]

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Builder Shaming

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/30 @ 8:00
Builder Shaming

The Builder Knows More Than We do…. After Hansen 18k Plus Buildings Very few things in life frighten me. Among them are heights (growing up in a family of framing contractors and having vertigo issues were not a good mix) and builders who tell me, “I can build anything”. This last one usually sets off […]

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HOA Requirements

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/29 @ 8:00
HOA Requirements

Some Temporary Holiday Cheer Back in May of this year I wrote about how the neighbors of a new post frame barndominium had ganged up under the auspices of their HOA Requirements to try to force the demolition of the building under construction. (You can read about it here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/05/not-mess-hoas/). Well, the building owners have […]

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ASCE Changes in 2017

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/27 @ 8:00
ASCE Changes in 2017

ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures The times, they keep a changing, and as they do Building Codes and Building Design becomes increasingly more complex. My long time readers have read my preaching about why all buildings should be designed by Registered Design Professionals (RDP – architects or engineers) to insure […]

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Design Wind Speed Changes

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/23 @ 8:00
Design Wind Speed Changes

Design Wind Speed Changes with Building Code Editions Every three years a new version of the International Building Code (IBC) is printed, which brings with it the latest and greatest information for building design as approved by Code Officials. State and local permit issuing jurisdictions then can either adopt or amend the Code as they […]

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Buying a Used Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/20 @ 8:00
Buying a Used Pole Building

40’ x 60’ Used Pole Building – $14000 (Silverton)  SERIOUSLY? The following ad appeared in the Salem, Oregon Craigslist December 6, 2016 in for sale > farm & garden – by owner: “I have a nice fully enclosed 14 foot tall pole building. It is fully disassembled and ready for transport. All the metal is […]

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When Buildings Fall Down

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/16 @ 8:00
When Buildings Fall Down

When Buildings Fall Down, People Can Die It was a busy Friday morning in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 2nd of this year. About 10:30 a.m. near the corner of East 10th Street and South Phillips Avenue, Boyd McPeek was inside the Coffea coffee shop, when the 1916 building across the street collapsed. […]

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Retrofit for Wind Uplift Protection

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/13 @ 8:00
Retrofit for Wind Uplift Protection

Another great question from a reader! DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I bought my house from you a few years ago and know that you all have a very good engineering group. I was wanting to see if they could come up with a plan to retrofit an existing pole barn for wind uplift. The […]

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Scary Pole Barn Design

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/02 @ 8:00
Scary Pole Barn Design

Scary Design A one-time potential Hansen Pole Buildings’ client, who is a friend of mine on Facebook, didn’t invest in one of our engineered post frame buildings. Most likely it was due to price – people so easily believe they have gotten a great deal, when instead they set themselves up for nothing but potential […]

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Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/30 @ 8:00
Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

This article by Randy Edison about cordwood masonry first appeared at www.gfwadvertiser.ca November 24, 2006 and has not been edited “When Paul Johnson first heard of the construction method from a friend it became a curiosity. He was curious enough, in fact, to turn it into a handyman project that, despite the challenges, brought a […]

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Gymnasiums Perfect for Post Frame Truss Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/18 @ 8:00
Gymnasiums Perfect for Post Frame Truss Construction

This article’s content was published in Construction Magazine, October 28, 2016 Post-frame construction is ideal for non-code-exempt buildings of many shapes and sizes. One category of such structures that is often overlooked by post-frame builders is gymnasiums and multipurpose recreational buildings. Gymnasiums and multipurpose recreational buildings are a perfect fit for post-frame construction for several […]

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Free Engineered Pole Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/08 @ 8:00
Free Engineered Pole Building Plans

FREE Engineered Pole Building Plans! Yep, you heard it here first…. on Roller Derby (borrowed from Cheech and Chong’s 1973 album Los Cochinos from a skit about the “Evelyn Woodhead Sped Riddin’ course”). Today’s article was sparked into being by an email I recently received: “I’m an architect trying to provide bid documents for a […]

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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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When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/16 @ 8:00
When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

One of the great things about post frame (pole) building construction is the ability to add interior raised spaces (think lofts, mezzanines and second stories). One of the most overlooked things about adding such space is proper engineering design. In general I have found them to be inadequate to support the loads. This can result […]

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Pole Barn Gone Awry with Building Contractor

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/12 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Gone Awry with Building Contractor

When things appear to be going from bad to worse The original question was posed by the reader, Jimmy, as to the adequacy of materials supplied to construct his new pole barn (by a builder, not a Hansen Pole Building). His story first appeared in my column just a few days ago. Here is Round […]

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History of a National Design Standard

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/29 @ 2:00
History of a National Design Standard

History of the Development of a National Standard of Practice for Wood Design From time-to-time you might see the term NDS® (National Design Specification® for Wood Construction appear in my blogs, and it is referenced on every set of Hansen Pole Buildings plans, as well as within the International Building Codes. Me, being the curious […]

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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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Cross Laminated Timber

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/21 @ 8:00
Cross Laminated Timber

And long-time reader Vincent Phelps has another great question: “CBS Sunday morning had a segment on CLT, Cross Laminated timber. It brought timber frame construction to mind. Your thoughts on this technique for the Pole builder?” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/living-the-high-life/ Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel. Lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, […]

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How Long Will a Pole Barn Last?

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/15 @ 8:00
How Long Will a Pole Barn Last?

This was a question asked of Hansen Pole Buildings’ Managing Partner Eric Graff, by one of our Building Designers, Elijah. To begin with, let’s examine the 2012 International Building Code requirements for the Risk Category of the building. 1604.5 Risk category.  Each building and structure shall be assigned a risk category in accordance with Table 1604.5. Where […]

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Proposed Building Code Change to Add to Construction Costs

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/14 @ 8:00
Proposed Building Code Change to Add to Construction Costs

During each 3-year-cycle of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC), there exists an opportunity to propose modifications and improve the codes to recognize new and innovative construction.  During the final two weeks in April, the code proposal hearings were held in Louisville, Kentucky where several hundred proposals were discussed and considered […]

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The Argument Against Building Codes

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/09 @ 8:00
The Argument Against Building Codes

The Argument Against Building Codes The argument against building codes isn’t a haphazard attempt to loosen restrictions. Instead, it’s often made by experienced contractors and other industry veterans who are frustrated by certain trends and aware of hazards or risks the general public may not realize. When construction teams “build to code,” what does this […]

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Some Building Code History

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/08 @ 8:00
Some Building Code History

Some Building Code History I’ve reflected some in the past about Building Codes from history, where the generally accepted first code was in the Code of Hammurabi: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/engineer/. In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to […]

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Cool Solar Stuff

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/31 @ 8:00
Cool Solar Stuff

I’ve been doing some of my own research on solar power lately, and have found some interesting stuff. The real interesting part of this article is not in the cool solar product – it is on how to solve the problem they do not know they have with the pole barn (post frame) building in […]

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Prefabricated Roof Trusses Part Two

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/26 @ 8:00
Prefabricated Roof Trusses Part Two

Prefabricated Roof Trusses – They can Make You or Break You In yesterday’s blog, Mike the Pole Barn Guru started to share some secrets which should both increase your bottom line as well as allow you to sleep soundly at night. A short recap here, for the full account, read Part One posted yesterday, May […]

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Redwood Columns in Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/18 @ 8:00
Redwood Columns in Pole Buildings

Redwood for Post Frame Building Columns Just this week we had a client in the California Bay area interested in a roof only post frame structure. His caveat, he really wanted to have Redwood columns, as opposed to properly pressure preservative treated timbers. The characteristics of redwood make it a popular choice for outdoor applications. […]

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Why Not to Mess with HOA’s

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/17 @ 8:00
Why Not to Mess with HOA’s

Why NOT to Mess With HOAs Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are normally begun with every good intention in mind, however in my humble opinion they are a restriction upon how one determines their own property should best be used. An HOA is an incorporated association, usually created by a developer who prepares the Covenants, Conditions, and […]

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Understanding the Differing Goals Behind Building Codes & Standards

This article’s content was published by the following source: Retrofit Magazine – March 17, 2016 Unless otherwise noted, the content below has not been altered by Hansen Pole Buildings We’ve come a long way since the first recorded building code was passed in 1772 B.C. Things were a lot simpler then and the penalties were very straightforward: “If a […]

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Helping Avoid Jobsite Code Violations

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/19 @ 8:00
Helping Avoid Jobsite Code Violations

Portions of the content for this post were courtesy of Charlie Wardell’s February 5, 2016 article in The Journal of Light Construction (JLC). About 45% of residential field inspections result in a jobsite code violation. The majority of post frame (pole building) construction is residential or accessory to a residence, which makes this highly relevant. […]

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When Pole Barns Fall Down

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/05 @ 8:08
When Pole Barns Fall Down

Information for this article includes contributions from a recent article by Val Van Meter in The Winchester Star. “With snow melting from the record-breaking winter storm, Clarke County is collecting information on the damage it has left behind. At that time, the information will be sent to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The state […]

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Kudos to a Planning Department

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/02/04 @ 8:00
Kudos to a Planning Department

No, I did not hit my head on anything. My general opinion of Planning Departments is they are happiest when a property owner’s ability to use their property as they best see fit is highly restricted. Changes to Hutchinson, Minnesota city codes allowing larger garages on some residential lots gained unanimous recommendations from the Planning […]

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You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/01/09 @ 8:00
You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Building Officials Are Your Friend Back in 1972 the late Jim Croce recorded and released the song, “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”. As recorded, the refrain goes like this: “You don’t tug on superman’s cape You don’t spit into the wind You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger And you don’t mess […]

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Table for Two? A Local Building Ordinance Story

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/11/02 @ 8:00
Table for Two? A Local Building Ordinance Story

In 1990, I had sold my first business – M & W Building Supply Company of Canby, Oregon and had retired to the city of my birth Spokane, Washington. At the time of my return, Spokane County had enacted an ordinance which greatly restricted the ability of home owners to use their own property as […]

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Life of Pressure Treated Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/28 @ 8:00
Life of Pressure Treated Columns

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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Requirements by Building Departments

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/11 @ 8:00
Requirements by Building Departments

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions Around about 1150 Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is thought to have originated the phrase. It is highly unlikely he had the prescriptive requirements provided by Building Departments for post frame (pole building) construction in mind at the time. More powerful people than I have ranked and […]

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Following Pole Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/16 @ 8:00
Following Pole Building Plans

Build to Match the Pole Building Plans Picture this, if you will….. A monitor style post frame (pole) building. The center portion is 24 feet wide by 48 feet long with a 24 foot eave height. On each side of the center is a 12 foot wide “wing”. The right wing is a roof only […]

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Reviewing Your Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/08 @ 8:00
Reviewing Your Building Plans

Every Hansen Pole Building Kit Package comes with building plans which are drafted by a real live human being! They are then reviewed not once, but twice, by upper level team members – who catch just about every errant line. To insure the final building plans are correct (usually it is an issue of “no, […]

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Wood Construction in High Wind Areas

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/30 @ 8:00
Wood Construction in High Wind Areas

New Guides to Wood Construction in High Wind Areas My long time readers will probably recognize the name Dr. Frank Woeste, as he has appeared in a plethora of my articles. When it comes to wood design, and especially post frame buildings, Frank is at the top of the game. For the curious, here is […]

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Building Permit Application

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/26 @ 8:00
Building Permit Application

When Sometimes Submitting all the Right Stuff, Is not Enough I recently wrote about the lack of challenges involving acquiring a Building Permit in some jurisdictions: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2015/06/building-permit-4/. The process can be as simple as no process at all (you can build anything you want without a permit) to as difficult as feeling signing over your […]

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Overhead Door Trim

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/15 @ 8:00
Overhead Door Trim

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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Obtaining a Building Permit Around the World

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/09 @ 8:00
Obtaining a Building Permit Around the World

Building Permits Around the World One might have the mistaken idea obtaining a Building Permit is the same pretty well anywhere in the United States. Unless you have had the opportunity to be involved in construction in various locales across the country, you might have the idea what happens where you are in “the norm”. […]

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Minimum Wind And Snow Loads

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/06/02 @ 8:00
Minimum Wind And Snow Loads

Hansen Pole Buildings is a proud member of the NFBA (National Frame Building Association http://www.nfba.org). Pretty much every Monday the Association sends out a newsletter, via email, to its members. In today’s newsletter was a link to an article written by Stephen Szoke and published in Construction Executive, May 5, “Building Codes: One Size Does […]

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Don’t Build Without a Building Permit

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/04/29 @ 8:00
Don’t Build Without a Building Permit

ASK THE POLE BARN GURU is for everyone – those who own, or hope to own, a pole building, contractors as well as Building Officials. Here is a real life interaction with a Building Official: “I have a customer erected pole barn 50 x 60 and very concerned with 50 foot span engineered trusses resting […]

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Prescriptive Requirements

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/04/09 @ 8:00
Prescriptive Requirements

Larimer County, Colorado I drive through the Fort Collins area about once a year. Other than the urbanized areas, the terrain is a classic example of Exposure C for wind (for a “fun” wind exposure story read http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/wind_exposure/ or to get more technical: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/). One of our clients had been discussing with Hansen Pole Buildings […]

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New Post-Frame Building Design Manual

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/05 @ 8:00
New Post-Frame Building Design Manual

Post-Frame Building Design Manual Back in 2000 the National Frame Builders Association (NFBA www.nfba.org) published the ground breaking first edition of the Post-Frame Building Design Manual. In the foreword, then NFBA President James T. Knight so aptly wrote: “The movement of the post-frame building into the commercial marketplace has obviously necessitated compliance with building codes. […]

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Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/13 @ 8:00
Building Plans

Plans, plans, plans…. As one might imagine, with about two hundred new clients contacting us every day, we have some conversations amongst ourselves which are frankly at the least – interesting. I listened in on a discussion between Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Matt and Managing Partner Eric recently. Matt, “I have a lead that the […]

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Size & Species of Purlins

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/05 @ 8:00
Size & Species of Purlins

From the Client Mailbag… Lots of good stories out there and I have been in the mode to share stories lately. Here is one which went through our Technical Support Department recently: “Today I visited the building inspector. I was confirming my intentions of building a Hansen designed structure. The reason is I already have […]

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My Pole Barn is Hosed!

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/01/13 @ 8:00
My Pole Barn is Hosed!

Readers – The following is from the Dear Pole Barn Guru questions I get weekly, and the issues are so important when it comes to dealing with a contractor, I wanted to take time out to hi-light a few of them. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have some serious issues with a pole barn I […]

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Building Use Classification

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/26 @ 8:00
Building Use Classification

Recently I had a client pose the question, “What is the difference between Use Classification S-2 and U?” Chapter three of the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) provides provisions which control the building use classification of all structures as to use and occupancy. Section 312 specifically addresses “Utility and Miscellaneous Group U”. In general, Group U […]

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Free Pole Barn Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/24 @ 8:00
Free Pole Barn Plans

Humor me here – do a Google, Yahoo or Bing search for either “Free Pole Barn Plans” or “Free Pole Building Plans”. Up should come a million or so choices. With all of those possibilities, it has to be a great way to go….right? To begin with, keep in mind free pole barn plans are […]

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Do’s and Don’ts of Attic Remodeling

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/10 @ 8:00
Do’s and Don’ts of Attic Remodeling

If it is On the Internet, It Must be True The internet is a great and wonderful place, a highway with a plethora of information rapidly available on nearly any subject. And for me, it has been my livelihood for the past dozen years. On the ‘net can be found websites like Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), or […]

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Building Officials

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/28 @ 8:00
Building Officials

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Building Officials Building Officials…..these words alone spark fear in the hearts of some folks, although they shouldn’t. Your local Building Inspector or Plans checker is there to help make certain the next building project undertaken by you, your neighbors or friends is Code compliant – protecting the safety of […]

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Registered Design Professional

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/27 @ 8:00
Registered Design Professional

National Lampoon’s Vacation In the iconic 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation, the Griswold family plans a trip to Wally World to see Marty Moose Just like the Griswold’s plans, sometimes best laid plans for buildings don’t come out just as anticipated. Wrong turns are made, dimensions sometimes go astray. Face it. In life, stuff happens. […]

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Residential Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/26 @ 8:00
Residential Pole Barns

Common Sense – It Isn’t Common Any More As reported in the West Frankfort, Illinois Daily American, in an article posted November 12, 2014 by Leigh M. Caldwell: “The much-discussed ordinance establishing codes for mobile homes, modular homes, portable buildings and pole barns will go back before city commissioners tonight for a vote. West Frankfort’s […]

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Building Code & Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/10/29 @ 8:00
Building Code & Pole Buildings

When Plans Examiners Try to Apply the “CODE” to Pole Buildings Today’s example happens to come from the State of Michigan, however it could happen in any Building Permit issuing jurisdiction in the U.S. What is most interesting to me about this particular example is, last November I was invited to be a presenter at […]

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Buying a Non-Engineered Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/10/24 @ 8:00
Buying a Non-Engineered Building

The One Simple Secret to Pole Buildings Which Stand Up HINT: It has nothing to do with how it is built! Regardless of what anyone pays for a new pole building, whether investing in a complete kit package, piece mealing it together, or having it constructed – the general idea is to have the building […]

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New Product Building Code Approval

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/30 @ 8:01
New Product Building Code Approval

How to Get Building Code Approval for Something New Some folks have the idea Code approval is something easy. Well, not so much….but there is a quicker and less costly approach than what most folks might have initially envisioned. The information below was provided by Qualtim (www.Qualtim.com), and at the least gives some insight into […]

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Building Official Out on a Limb

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/31 @ 8:00
Building Official Out on a Limb

Don’t get me wrong – in case I have not previously gotten my message across in earlier articles – I genuinely like Building Officials. Most of them really do care, and go out of their way to help both do it yourselfers and building contractors. With very few exceptions, Building Officials, field inspectors and plans […]

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Pole Barn House Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/30 @ 8:00
Pole Barn House Part II

If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog – it may be helpful to go back and read about my personal pole building house, inspired by my bride of 14 years. And then, moving on to sharing from another pole barn house challenge: A CLIENT’S EXPERIENCE We have a client in Colorado who has been trying to […]

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Pole Barn House Part I

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/29 @ 8:00
Pole Barn House Part I

About a decade ago my bride took a phone call from a potential pole barn purchaser. The female caller identified herself and then said despairingly, “My husband wants me to live in a pole barn house…and I don’t want to live in a barn!” Unfortunately the level of her panic told my wife this caller […]

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Acquiring a Building Permit

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/04 @ 8:00
Acquiring a Building Permit

Unless one has grown up on a foreign planet, they are probably familiar with Hertz® Rent-A-Car. My lovely bride and I rent lots of cars (usually for about 50% of the year), so we are intimately familiar with Hertz. Hertz is not only #1, they also are nearly everywhere on the face of the Earth. […]

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The Building Code Ostrich Syndrome

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/05/27 @ 8:00
The Building Code Ostrich Syndrome

I have a very dear friend who tends to avoid possibly challenging situations, by pretending they didn’t occur. This is known as the ‘Ostrich Syndrome’. Post-frame, as an industry, sometimes suffers from some of the same ailment. I present, for your entertainment pleasure, International Building Code (IBC) Section 1807.3.1, which may very well be both […]

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Building Permit Stop Order!

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/29 @ 8:00
Building Permit Stop Order!

Government Gone Wild It never ceases to amaze me how politics does (or does not) work. Here is an ongoing, real life story involving a Hansen Pole Buildings client in Illinois. From an article by Sarah Hayden in the April 22, 2014 Moline, Illinois Dispatch/Argus: “Trustees on Monday also took an emergency vote an unauthorized […]

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Violating Setbacks: As Big as Texas

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/15 @ 8:00
Violating Setbacks: As Big as Texas

I believe in as little government interference in what a person constructs on their own property, as possible. The physical size of the state and the bigger-than-life attitude of some of its inhabitants has led to the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas.” Among things which appear to be bigger in Texas are the size […]

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Planning Department: Get Permission!

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/03/27 @ 8:00
Planning Department: Get Permission!

Planning Department – Get Permission First, Don’t Beg Forgiveness Every once in a while I read a story and it just makes me wonder, “What were they thinking”? The story below appeared February 25, 2014 in a Post-Tribune article written by Kitty Conley: Variance granted for pole barn already under construction  CROWN POINT — The […]

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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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Tips for Locating a Backyard Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/02/12 @ 8:00
Tips for Locating a Backyard Pole Building

Whether the backyard is large, or small, it often ends up being the target landing zone for the pole building which needs a place to be. Usually, those with large lots are at an advantage, unless huge setbacks, weird easements, or strange zoning laws mess up ideas, before they can be brought to fruition. Before […]

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A building can be a tough decision. Call 866.200.9657 for a free consultation now!

Your Building. Your Way.


A building can be a tough decision. Call 866.200.9657 for a free consultation now!

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