Category Archives: Lumber

Why Post Frame Construction is So Efficient vs. Stick-Built

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/29 @ 8:00
Why Post Frame Construction is So Efficient vs. Stick-Built

I recently had this comment from a client, “In normal construction projects I would order at least 5% overage and it looks like closer to 1% here, I have like 20 extra screws total, a foot of extra eave trim, two whole extra pieces of vinyl soffit.” Obviously this client didn’t grow up being the cutoff […]

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How to Keep Post Frame Buildings ‘Pest-Free’

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/27 @ 8:00
How to Keep Post Frame Buildings ‘Pest-Free’

Post frame buildings have several benefits which make them the perfect choice for virtually any permanent structure like durability, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, quick assembly and versatility. They also serve multiple purposes. They are storage and machine sheds, horse-barns as well as pre-engineered for a plethora of uses. Woodwork can last for several centuries, but if pests […]

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Will My Poles Rot Off? Not If They Are Pressure Treated Wood!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/19 @ 8:00
Will My Poles Rot Off? Not If They Are Pressure Treated Wood!

Do the poles start to rot out after so many years? That depends on whether or not they are pressure treated. This question was recently posed to me by reader MARK in WOLCOTT. Typically my answer would include some snarky comment such as: “Most certainly, however it might not be during your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s lives!” […]

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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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Rough Cut Lumber, Insurance, and Girt Orientation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/13 @ 8:00
Rough Cut Lumber, Insurance, and Girt Orientation

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I’m planning on building a ( 32’ x 60’ x 12’ ) Pole Barn with 4/12 scissor truss.  I want to price out rough cut lumber on walls and ceiling.  How do I calculate the Amount of board feet lumber I need to cover the walls and ceiling. Thanks BRIAN […]

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Properly Pressure Treated Posts

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/27 @ 8:00
Properly Pressure Treated Posts

Trying to Buy Properly Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber Reader ZACH in BLACK CREEK has been challenged trying to buy properly pressure preservative treated lumber. He writes: “Hello, I would like to get your opinion on 2×6 grade board. I read the article you wrote about lumber pressure treatment. I have been looking around for .20pcf […]

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Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/21 @ 8:00
Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates

Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My pole barn is approximately 25 years old. My question is, does the foundation need to be treated for maintenance to prevent rotting? The wood that is underground was originally treated wood but how long does that last? The floor inside is concrete […]

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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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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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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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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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Dricon Fire Retardant Treated Wood

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/14 @ 8:00
Dricon Fire Retardant Treated Wood

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Managing Partner Eric had messaged me this morning to ask if I had ever heard of FRT lumber for roof trusses.  While I had never (in my days in the truss industry) manufactured any trusses using Dricon® Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) wood, I am familiar with it. Whether you’re using plywood or lumber, […]

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Perfect Pitch, Added Expense, and Endwall Roof Leak!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/26 @ 8:00
Perfect Pitch, Added Expense, and Endwall Roof Leak!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Could you tell me the pitch of the roof…for small pole barn…..front wall is 10 foot high…back wall is 8 foot high…rafter span is 13 feet. HERBERT in HAMPTON DEAR HERBERT: Roof slopes are expressed as the number of inches of rise per 12 inches of run. 24 inches of rise […]

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Open Endwalls in a Hay Barn

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/20 @ 8:00
Open Endwalls in a Hay Barn

There are plenty of bad structural things which can be done to post frame buildings. While roof only buildings can have their own set of challenges, these can be exponentially made worse by putting walls on the eave sides and leaving the building endwalls entirely open. Here is a good explanation of why this occurs, […]

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What Fails First in a Fire? Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/19 @ 8:00
What Fails First in a Fire? Part II

What Fails First in a Fire- the Truss Lumber or the Steel Truss Plates? Part II If you didn’t read my blog yesterday, you will think me out in left field until you do.  Take a few extra minutes and go back and read Part I. You will be glad you did! Continuing from yesterday’s […]

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The Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/04 @ 8:00
The Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber

Interpreting the Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber Pressure preservative treated lumber is a mystery to most consumers, builders and even building officials. Certainly all of the above parties understand the need for pressure preservative treated lumber when it is embedded in or in contact with the ground or concrete, or in locations where there […]

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Timbers Checking In

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/22 @ 8:00
Timbers Checking In

One of our clients, Matt from Chapel Hill, NC, sent us a few photos showing a concern of “timber checking” to Justine, the Hansen Pole Buildings Productions Wizard (she loves it when I come up with interesting titles for what she does).  Here is what Matt had to say: “Been a while since we spoke. […]

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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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Book Shelving? Ceiling Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/06 @ 8:00
Book Shelving? Ceiling Insulation

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have to set laminated pole so you see the 1.5 side of the 2×6’s while looking in or out of the building? I was thinking of using 4ply 2×6 post 10′ out of the ground every 8′ while book shelving with 2×6’s in between posts. I thought it would […]

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Furniture Making from a Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/24 @ 8:00
Furniture Making from a Barndominium

A year and a half ago, Michael Gibson had what he considered to be a brilliant idea. He and his bride, Andrea, would sell their home, move to his grandparents’ house and build a barn to live in while they invested their money in land they would one day build their forever home on. And, […]

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Making Your Own Glulam Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/18 @ 8:00
Making Your Own Glulam Columns

Should I Make my Own Glulam Columns? I’ve been internet chattering back and forth with a gentleman named Chris, who is probably never going to order a Hansen Pole Building, but it is okay – we have thousands of clients a year who are knocking at our doors (figuratively) ready to place their orders. Total […]

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Barn Doors? Houses? Materials!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/09 @ 8:00
Barn Doors? Houses? Materials!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Where can I find barn doors, sliding steel style? They have no internet presence, or else there is a secret name for them. Thank you! BONNY in FRANKFORT DEAR BONNY: If you are in search of a steel covered, metal framed sliding door (which is what the huge majority of sliding […]

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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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Why 10d Nails?

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/10/13 @ 8:00
Why 10d Nails?

Readers: This is another one of those “Dear Pole Barn Guru” questions where the answer is so lengthy it deserves an article all of its own! DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Why 10d nails? Do you know how difficult it is to get 10d nails? Every hardware store in my area has big boxes of 8d, 16d, and […]

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Pole Barn Design for Free

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/30 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Design for Free

Please Structurally Design My Pole Barn for Free This is one of those POLE BARN GURU questions which results with a lengthy enough answer I feel I must devote a whole column to it. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Could you please help clarify, for a 40 ft. wide x 64 ft. long x 15 ft. […]

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Termites and Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/31 @ 8:00
Termites and Pole Barns

A Buggy Situation A client writes to Justine (the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Order Fulfillment goddess) this week: “I was hoping to get some advice.  I’m still working on the building having just completed rafter placement and was starting to pull apart the two bundles of lumber for the purlins.  When I started pulling boards out […]

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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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When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/11 @ 8:00
When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect Part II

When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect (and the sky falls) Part II To refresh your memory a bit, we had a client recently email us a letter outlining some of his challenge in getting his building project going. Read yesterday’s blog for Part I of this client’s challenges with his building project. Nothing but problems seemingly […]

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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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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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FSC and Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/10 @ 8:04
FSC and Pole Buildings

FSC® Lumber When my youngest son Brent and I were helping Eric construct his self-storage pole building (you can read about it here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/06/builder/ we noticed some of the lumber had FSC stamps on it. I had heard of lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) but had never seen any of it in […]

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Pressure Treatment Beyond CCA

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/01/26 @ 8:00
Pressure Treatment Beyond CCA

Pressure Treating Beyond CCA My friend Sharon Thatcher is the editor of Rural Builder magazine. This article, written by her, was published in the December edition of Rural Builder and is so well done, I felt it was well worth sharing. It’s been nearly 12 years since new measures were put in place to help […]

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Categories: Lumber, Columns | Tags: | 1 Comments

Visually Graded Lumber Variability Can be a Problem

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/12/23 @ 8:00
Visually Graded Lumber Variability Can be a Problem

While it is impossible to get around the fact lumber is an organic substance, and therefore has inherent variability, it has always been used as the primary raw material of the residential construction industry. In fact, the growing reliance on the structural design properties of lumber by the US housing industry led to the development […]

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Categories: Lumber | Tags: | No Comment

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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Southern Pine is Not a Benefit!

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/17 @ 8:00
Southern Pine is Not a Benefit!

Almost Anything Can be Sold as a Benefit Over the years I have noticed one thing about sales people (and sales organizations), almost anything can be run up the flag pole as a benefit (oftentimes it is actually a feature) and if it is touted highly enough, a certain number of people will believe it. […]

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Local Lumberyard Quote

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/16 @ 8:00
Local Lumberyard Quote

Local Lumberyard + Pole Barns = Scary Yes, the title looks to be a simple math equation. The problem with math equations is, not very many people can actually do them – at least not when they fly a desk at the local lumber dealer. Case in point –XYZ Lumberyard with multiple state locations. (name […]

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How to Untwist a Pressure Treated Post

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/26 @ 8:08
How to Untwist a Pressure Treated Post

This actually began as an “Ask the Pole Barn Guru” question: DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have installed the Pressure Treated Posts  and they were straight when the concrete was poured, now a couple of weeks later we are seeing the poles twist and warp. They are straight at the ground level but about half […]

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The Lumber Twist

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/04 @ 8:00
The Lumber Twist

Twisting Out of Control This morning I received a voice mail message from a builder. He has arrived at a pole building jobsite where the materials have been “on the ground” for some time. It is now August, in Central Washington – where temperatures over 100 and humidity of next to nothing are not unusual. […]

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Perma Column vs. Pressure Treated

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/24 @ 8:00
Perma Column vs. Pressure Treated

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rick has been working with a client who has a nose for knowledge – and I thank both of them for sharing information with me, so I can pay it forward. This particular client is weighing the use of Perma Columns against the more traditional design solution for post frame (pole […]

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MSDS

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/17 @ 8:00
MSDS

MSDS In the olden days, we were taught to look both ways before we went out in the street to play for the quarter dad offered us. Basically, we had personal responsibility – if we did something stupid, it was our own fault. MSDS is the Material Safety Data Sheet which actually is more than […]

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Does Aged Lumber Get Stronger?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/10 @ 8:00
Does Aged Lumber Get Stronger?

I’ll never be mistaken for either Jamie Hyneman or Adam Savage of the Discovery Channel’s popular and long running series MythBusters, however I can occasionally do some debunking of urban (and rural) legends. I do have to admit, watching MythBusters can become addicting – especially when it can be tuned in on Netflix and watched […]

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Pressure Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/26 @ 8:00
Pressure Treated Lumber

Preserving Wood Columns Beyond Code Requirements The Building Codes (IBC – International Building Code and IRC – International Residential Code) specify minimum requirements for pressure treated lumber used to structurally support buildings. My previous dissertations on pressure treating are available for your reading pleasure here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/ and http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/05/building-code-3/ Hansen Pole Buildings Designer Kelly brought to […]

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Part IV: Lumber Quality

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/20 @ 8:00
Part IV: Lumber Quality

We Don’t Always Do Things Perfect, But We Do Listen Part IV Last summer Hansen Pole Buildings Supplied a pole building kit package to a client who experienced a few challenges and took the time to address them. Here is the last portion of the email I was responding to (the past three days’ blogs […]

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Tongue and Groove Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/25 @ 8:00
Tongue and Groove Lumber

My first exposure to tongue and groove lumber was when I managed the prefabricated metal plate connected wood truss manufacturing facility at Lucas Plywood and Lumber back in 1979. I’d relocated from Northern Idaho to Salem, Oregon to take the position. (Read more about Lucas Plywood and Lumber here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/06/theres-no-education-like-real-life-business-experience/) The most common method of […]

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Dear Guru: Is Toe Nailing a Good Idea?

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/29 @ 8:00
Dear Guru: Is Toe Nailing a Good Idea?

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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All Graded Lumber is Not the Same

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/12/23 @ 8:00
All Graded Lumber is Not the Same

Standard & Btr and #2 Graded Lumber Are Not the Same Although I had a couple of years’ experience in the prefabricated metal connector plated truss industry, my first opportunity to truly “fly solo” was when I was hired, at the end of August 1979 to manage the truss plant at what was then Lucas […]

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Is There Really a Lumber Shortage?

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/10/09 @ 8:00
Is There Really a Lumber Shortage?

Do we grow enough wood to build a significant number of new wood framed buildings? Most people have the belief the world’s forests are shrinking. They are worried about a lumber shortage. This is one of the marketing ploys frequently used by producers and builders of non-wood framed buildings. A Yale University-led study published in […]

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Glulams vs. Solid Sawn Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/10/08 @ 8:00
Glulams vs. Solid Sawn Columns

A Hansen Pole Buildings client recently called his Building Designer Rick. The client was concerned as three ply glulams were provided for his pole building kit package, instead of the 4×6 and 6×6 solid sawn columns which were on his plans.  He is concerned his inspector will give him trouble about this and would like […]

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Dimensional Lumber Sizes

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/17 @ 8:00
Dimensional Lumber Sizes

Craig Webb to the Rescue Yesterday I wrote about what has become known as the “Lowe’s 2×4” judgment. For those of you who have read the post regarding lumber nominal sizes versus actual dimensions – you’ve probably been left in wonderment over the article! I know I was still frothing over it. Luckily, up came […]

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Lowe’s 2×4 Judgment

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/16 @ 8:00
Lowe’s 2×4 Judgment

“Unlawfully Advertised’ 2x4s Cost Lowe’s $1.6 million When I first read this story, it was enough to cause blood to squirt from my eyeballs. My reaction was this is yet another case of government run totally amok! For the handful of American adults who have NOT ever purchased or used a 2×4 – the rest […]

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Cut Ends of Pressure Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/04 @ 8:00
Cut Ends of Pressure Treated Lumber

What to do about Cut Ends of Pressure Treated Lumber? One of my sons works for an auto parts store. He seriously enjoys his job. However he has some misgivings about portions of it. Raises and promotions are based, in part, upon how much extra stuff (with high profit margins) the staff is able to […]

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PET Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/08/27 @ 8:00
PET Lumber

A Builder’s PET The stereotypical builder appears to be characterized as driving a four-wheel-drive extended cab pickup (of course jacked up so a ladder is required to get in), having a jobsite stereo system which can be heard for miles with the sound turned to only 30%, and of course – the ever faithful pet, […]

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Lumber Bending Stress

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/08/14 @ 8:00
Lumber Bending Stress

The Big Stick is Better than the Little Stick – Right? Those of you who are regular readers know I am fascinated by all things magical. I don’t know how they do it, but I will watch a good magician over and over. When I was in architecture school at the University of Idaho – […]

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Incising Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/08/13 @ 8:00
Incising Lumber

Incising My former wife (mother of my two youngest children – Allison and Brent), was by training an RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist). In order to keep her registration current, she had to obtain CEUs (Continuing Education Credits). One way to generate CEUs was to attend the annual state dental convention. One year I went along […]

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Wane

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/03 @ 8:00
Wane

In the construction of Eric’s new self-storage pole building, my son got to experience first-hand the effects of wane! What exactly is wane? When a log enters a sawmill, it is first cut into boards. Before further processing, most boards cut from the outside edges of the log exhibit wither residual bark or jagged edges […]

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Eased Edge Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/07/01 @ 8:00
Eased Edge Lumber

¼” EE In my exploration of lumber grade stamps, 1/4″ EE was one which I was familiar with, but had no idea what the history was behind it. When I remodeled my 1909 home 24 years ago – it was for the most part down to the bare studs and floor joists. The lumber, having […]

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Heat Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/27 @ 8:00
Heat Treated Lumber

In yesterday’s article, I was explaining lumber grade stamps to my son, Brent. One part of the stamp which is not in the five “required” designations (grading agency, producing mill, product grade, species and moisture content) was the “HT”. HT designates the wood is heat treated lumber. Many countries require imported lumber to be heat-treated […]

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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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Poles for Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/06/12 @ 8:00
Poles for Pole Barns

Some days it seems there are nearly as many possible design solutions for pole barn “poles” as there are pole barns! Here is a brief overview of the organic (think coming from trees) ones. For the sake of brevity, I will limit this article to only applications where the columns are embedded in the ground. […]

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Finger Jointed Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/05/15 @ 8:00
Finger Jointed Lumber

The recent National Frame Building Association (NFBA) 2014 Frame Building Expo was a reunion event for me with several long-time friends. One of these is Ferg Evans. In the 1990’s I was elected to the first of five terms I was to serve on the Board of Directors for the Machine Stress Rated Lumber Producers […]

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Dear Pole Barn Guru: What Size Glulam Should I Use?

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/07 @ 8:00
Dear Pole Barn Guru: What Size Glulam Should I Use?

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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TimberSIL® – A Great Idea?

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/02/19 @ 8:00
TimberSIL® – A Great Idea?

Great Ideas May Not Always Bring Great Results Much ado has been made about alternatives to CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) pressure preservative treated lumber. CCA has been used to pressure treat lumber since the 1940s. Since the 1970s, the majority of the wood used in outdoor residential settings (as well as pole buildings) has been […]

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LVL: I Woodn’t Use It

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/01/22 @ 8:00
LVL: I Woodn’t Use It

I Woodn’t Use It (pun intended) For those of you who are unfamiliar with LVLs (Laminated Veneer Lumber) here is a good primer: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/01/lvl/ For the thousands of my regular daily readers, you know Justine well – she is the one who makes sure all of the good stuff arrives at client’s jobsites when they […]

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Allowable Lumber Defects

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/12/11 @ 8:00
Allowable Lumber Defects

As a teenager I worked for Blaine Johnston Construction in the Spokane Valley twice, the summer after my freshman year of college, and again after I was out of school. The second time around, I was the “change order guy” – if a client wanted something changed on their house, I got to go do […]

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Dear Guru? Use Galvanized Nails or Not?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/12/09 @ 8:00
Dear Guru?  Use Galvanized Nails or Not?

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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Should a Treated Post Look Treated all the Way Through?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/11/18 @ 8:00
Should a Treated Post Look Treated all the Way Through?

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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OSB versus Plywood

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/31 @ 8:00
OSB versus Plywood

Plywood or OSB; OSB or Plywood? Oriented strand board (OSB) long ago became the market leader, in relationship to plywood. As much as 75% of all sheathing is now OSB, thanks mostly to cost conscious buyers. OSB versus Plywood Prices Prices for commodities like structural panels are notoriously volatile, and plywood can often be nearly […]

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Construction Tape, Instead of Nails to Build Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/09/03 @ 8:00
Construction Tape, Instead of Nails to Build Pole Buildings

I’m always on board (pun intended) for new, interesting and different ideas. This one certainly qualifies! German researchers are working on a quick-setting construction tape which can bond lumber members together. They’ve developed an adhesive tape, which sets in under a minute to reliably and durably bond together individual components. The construction tape doesn’t dry […]

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Composite Grade Board

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/08/28 @ 8:00
Composite Grade Board

Typically post frame (pole) buildings have a pressure treated board at the base of all enclosed walls. Known also as a Bottom Girt, Grade Girt, Skirt Board or Splash Plank, it is a decay and corrosion resistant girt which is in soil contact or located near the soil surface. It remains visible from the building […]

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MCA: Micronized Copper Technology

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/08/23 @ 8:00
MCA: Micronized Copper Technology

Particulate (micronized or dispersed) copper preservative technology has recently been introduced in the USA and Europe. In these systems, the copper is ground to micro sized particles and suspended in water rather than being dissolved in a chemical reaction as is the case with other copper products such as ACQ and Copper Azole. There are […]

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Pressure Treated Lumber: Copper Azole

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/08/22 @ 8:00
Pressure Treated Lumber: Copper Azole

Most of us – both those who specify wood treating and those who use it, look upon the litany of possible wood treatments like alphabet soup. Or maybe more like Scrabble – where my 19 year old daughter always seems to either draw the right letters, or make otherwise incomprehensible words (to her Dad anyway) […]

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Nail-Laminated Posts

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/08/21 @ 8:00
Nail-Laminated Posts

Nail It Up, Call It a Problem Eric, one of the owners of Hansen Pole Buildings, was contacted by a prefabricated roof truss manufacturer recently. They weren’t interested in selling just trusses; they wanted to provide their nail-laminated posts as well. Among their selling points were the columns were, “stronger than even the glu-laminated columns”. […]

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Dear Guru: Will a Treated Post Rot in the Ground?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/08/19 @ 8:00
Dear Guru: Will a Treated Post Rot in the Ground?

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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Dear Pole Barn Guru: Will Poles Rot?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/07/22 @ 8:00
Dear Pole Barn Guru: Will Poles Rot?

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.  Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Will the poles y’all use […]

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Steel Wrapped Poles & Sprinkler System

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/06/27 @ 8:00
Steel Wrapped Poles & Sprinkler System

Steel wrapped poles Hansen Pole Buildings Designer Alan came up with a new client concern recently. His client lost his last barn to a fire, so the client’s idea for his new pole barn is to wrap the poles with light gauge steel, in order to keep them from burning. Of course Alan and I […]

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Pole Barn Detective: Is it a Glulam?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/06/05 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Detective: Is it a Glulam?

Is it a Glulam? Usually the process works this way – check with the Planning Department to confirm the desired building can be constructed on the property, have pole building plans prepared by a registered design professional (RDP – engineer or architect), apply for and be granted a Building Permit, then build. The photo of […]

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Finger joints

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/05/09 @ 8:00
Finger joints

The first time I was exposed to finger joints in wood and actually noticed them, was when I was working for Lucas Plywood and Lumber of Salem, Oregon in 1979 (yep, back in the Dark Ages). I will digress momentarily…. My son recently turned 18, but when he was younger he had some interesting questions […]

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PRF Adhesives

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/04/30 @ 8:00
PRF Adhesives

In prior posts, I’ve mentioned phenol-resorcinol glues. When it comes to putting two or more pieces of wood together (like a glu-laminated column), this combination just can’t be beat for both performance and cost effectiveness. For those who want to be “in the know”, here is the straight scoop! WARNING: Failure to have aced high […]

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Glulam Column Sizes

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/04/26 @ 8:00
Glulam Column Sizes

Glu-laminated columns are a laminated composite product manufactured from high-strength lumber. By using multiple plies of materials, natural defects are randomized creating greater column strength and a higher degree of reliability. Hansen Pole Buildings provides glulam columns manufactured by several different companies, so there are some slight variations. This article will speak more to the […]

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Lumber Prices: You Got Wood?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/04/17 @ 8:00
Lumber Prices: You Got Wood?

Got Wood? While very few consumers visit retail lumberyards or big box home improvement centers nearly as often as I do, if it has been over a year since your last visit, prepare for some serious sticker shock. The sheet of 7/16” osb (oriented strand board) which retailed for a five spot and change last […]

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Coriolis Affect on Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/04/02 @ 8:00
Coriolis Affect on Lumber

Coriolis Affect on Lumber My oldest step-son, Jake is a very smart lad and teaches high school physics. He does his part to keep students involved, including having created a Facebook page “Mr. Roarks Science Group”. In a recent post he wrote: “One of the science “facts” I always hear is that water spins down […]

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Poplar, not Popular

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/03/21 @ 8:00
Poplar, not Popular

I’ve been having back and forth discussions involving board and batten siding. The opposite side of my discussion (who has been considering using yellow poplar) writes: “I too was Worried about board and batten, however our barns are 60-100 years old and still are in good shape.  At least ones that still have a good […]

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Pole Barn or Block Foundation?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/03/01 @ 8:00
Pole Barn or Block Foundation?

A prospective client recently posted this question about block foundations: “Our family farm was started around 1850. During this time there were 12-14 barns and 1 house. Most barns deteriorated due to bad roofing. But we’re talking about stuff that lasted 100 years and some longer. We still have 4 barns left and the house […]

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Lumber: When a Foot is not a Foot

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/02/20 @ 8:00
Lumber: When a Foot is not a Foot

This article was a recent Internet rage: Subway customers are whipping out their measuring tapes after Internet postings that claim a short-shifting of the worldwide chain’s famous footlong sub, putting the Milford, Conn.-based company in the hot seat. The controversy began Tuesday in Australia, when a very precise customer, identified as Matt Corby of Perth, […]

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What does 2×6 Lumber Weigh?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/02/08 @ 8:00
What does 2×6 Lumber Weigh?

Is 2×6 lumber heavy? This is actually fairly important, not just to determine how many boards can be toted around a jobsite by one person, but also in calculating the dead loads which must be carried by structural members such as roof trusses and rafters. Like most things played around with by engineers, and other […]

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Wood Preservative

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/02/05 @ 8:00
Wood Preservative

What I Learned Today – Wood Preservative Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel had an interesting story today. She reported, “A builder says he uses Borax around the bottom of the steel.  I thought this was strange and he didn’t say why he was using it.” Being the naturally curious sort, Rachel started researching on the […]

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Lumber Prices to Hit All-Time Highs?

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/01/17 @ 8:00
Lumber Prices to Hit All-Time Highs?

Lumber prices are expected to soar in 2013 before hitting all-time highs the following year, according to a report by the Vancouver consulting group International Wood Markets. Wood Markets president Russ Taylor said the dynamics have been in place since 2008 for a so-called “supercycle” which will push lumber prices into the stratosphere. The only […]

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Pink 2×4 Studs

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/01/16 @ 8:00
Pink 2×4 Studs

In December I had the opportunity to call on one of our “partners” in the southeastern United States. One thing I began to notice with regularity, as I went from location to location across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana was “pink” 2×4 studs. Using my limited mental facilities, I could only associate these with some sort […]

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LVL: Laminated Veneer Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/01/14 @ 8:00
LVL: Laminated Veneer Lumber

What is an LVL? Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is an industry standard in framing of new wood frame buildings. LVLs are used to replace solid wood beams and joists. They are made in a process similar to plywood, where rotary peeled wood veneers (usually pine or fir) are dried then laminated together with glue and […]

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Debate Over Pressure Treated Wood Stairs

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/27 @ 8:03
Debate Over Pressure Treated Wood Stairs

While doing research for a recent post on pressure treated lumber for pole buildings in Hawaii, I stumbled across a YouTube video entitled, “Think Twice before Using Pressure Treated Lumber for a stairway”. The maker of the video purports to have decades of construction experience and is based in Southern California. The video is specifically […]

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Pole Building in Hawaii Using Pressure Treated Wood

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/26 @ 8:00
Pole Building in Hawaii Using Pressure Treated Wood

Over the past few decades, I’ve been involved in several pole building projects on the Hawaiian Islands, and they all had one thing in common – the use of pressure preservative treated lumber throughout, included the prefabricated wood roof trusses. The use of pressure treated wood has been standard building practice in Hawaii and the […]

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Machine Graded Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/12/24 @ 8:00
Machine Graded Lumber

Lumber grades take into account natural characteristics, including knots, splits, checks, shake, and wane. Lumber design values are assigned to lumber grades to provide a means for using this material in structural applications. These values are published in Design Values for Wood Construction, a supplement to the National Design Specification® (NDS) for Wood Construction. The […]

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Reasons to Buy Used Utility Poles for Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/11/23 @ 8:00
Reasons to Buy Used Utility Poles for Pole Barns

Here are the top three reasons – Money, Availability, and Recycling/Reusing. Trying to save a few bucks on your pole barn and don’t care about longevity or ease of use, then used utility poles may be the answer. Most people, who are going to invest an average of $50,000 into a new building, prefer to […]

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How Long Will Utility Poles Last?

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/11/21 @ 8:00
How Long Will Utility Poles Last?

If I had a dime for every time, over the last three plus decades, I have had a potential client even bring up using old telephone (utility) poles for constructing a new pole barn, I would be retired and sitting on the beach in Ecuador now! Pole buildings are designed with the thought of being […]

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PCP Treated Poles

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/11/20 @ 8:00
PCP Treated Poles

I first became involved in the post frame (pole) building industry over three decades ago, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. At the time, many of the region’s pole barn builders were buying the lumber for the pole buildings they were selling to consumers from Withers Lumber in Brooks, Oregon. The “special” thing about this […]

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Pressure Treated Posts: 1807.3.1

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/10/31 @ 8:00
Pressure Treated Posts: 1807.3.1

Not near as exciting as 867-5309, but this one Section of the International Building Code (IBC) is one of the most important and least understood sections. The American Wood Preservers Association (AWPA) addresses in, Section UC4 wood, which is pressure preservative treated for “Ground Contact”. The “UC” is short for “Use Class”. UC4A is for […]

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Tuff Posts for Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/10/01 @ 8:00
Tuff Posts for Pole Buildings

This is a product review for Tuff Posts,  a product I have never used. Now how can I feel qualified to do such a review? Thanks to the miracle of the internet, a plethora of information can be gleaned on nearly any product. Tuff Posts are prefabricated columns for use in pole buildings. As a […]

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Parallam® Plus PSL

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/09/19 @ 8:00
Parallam® Plus PSL

Justine (a Hansen Buildings Project Coordinator) recently needed to order some glu-laminated columns for a pole building kit package. One of our vendors recommended she instead order Parallam® Plus PSL columns instead, insisting they would be as strong as or stronger than glu-lams. Parallam® is the brand name for an engineered wood product developed by […]

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Competitor’s Quote: A Paul Harvey

Posted by polebarnguru on 12/08/10 @ 8:00
Competitor’s Quote: A Paul Harvey

Client to Hansen Pole Buildings Designer, Jim; “I talked to a local lumber yard and received a quote from them for a similar 40×60 with attic truss at 40#/sq and they were about 20K lower than your quote.  The 54K that you quoted seemed a little high when I received it.  The other quote did […]

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