Category Archives: Professional Engineer

18 Foot Span Roof Purlins?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/04/04 @ 8:00
18 Foot Span Roof Purlins?

The Possibility of 18 Foot Span Roof Purlins? Reader CHRIS writes: “I have a building I want to build but I am not able to add the height I need on the side walls.  My plans are 24 deep by 30 wide with 8 foot walls.  Roof trusses would be 24 ft.  My problem comes […]

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Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/03/13 @ 8:01
Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge

The Both Ends Open, Pole Barn Wind Load Challenge There are plenty of people who just do not understand the basic concepts of how wind loads are transferred through a pole barn (post frame building) to the ground. Included amongst these would be those who desire buildings which are enclosed on both long sidewalls and […]

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Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4′ Centers?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/02/22 @ 8:00
Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4′ Centers?

Indiana Class 1 Building Must Have Posts on 4’ Centers? Reader GARY in CONNERSVILLE writes: “I am going to build a 60 x 160 , 18′ ceiling height for a sawing operation at our plant. I am told being a class 1 building, employee occupied, that the side posts need to be on 4′ centers, […]

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Top Plate

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/30 @ 8:00
Top Plate

Top Plate (Truss Carrier) Size With Attic Trusses Question from reader JEFFREY in STAPLETON: “I’m building a gambrel pole barn 30ft x 50ft , these are attic trusses with a 16ft room sitting @ 2ft oc, will 10ft pole spacing with double 2×12 top plate be sufficient, any suggestions?”   Mike the Pole Barn responds: […]

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Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/25 @ 8:00
Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years

Builders Who Make No Upgrades in Twenty-Five Years. Why? We’ve Been Building This Way for 25 Years In the event you happen to hear this from a pole builder – run away from them as quickly as possible. Why? Because every three years there is a new version of the Building Codes and often those […]

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Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/23 @ 8:00
Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Converting a Barn to a Residence Reader MARK in PORTLAND writes: “I have a pole barn structure that was converted to a residence without a permit. The slab is 4″ thick with a 4×4 skirt edge around the perimeter. Since the foundation is a pole (pier) system, does the slab edge (non-load bearing) need a […]

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A Retro-Fit, Truss Support? and Sliding Door Installation

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/22 @ 8:00
A Retro-Fit, Truss Support? and Sliding Door Installation

The pole barn Guru looks at a Retro-Fit, truss supports, and installing a sliding door. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question about Retro-Fit insulating my pole barn. I live in Southwest Michigan and bought my house with an existing 40’x60′ building, just used for storing farm equipment before I acquired it. Steel roofing […]

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8 Questions to Ask When Investing in a Pole Barn

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/10 @ 8:00
8 Questions to Ask When Investing in a Pole Barn

8 Quick Questions to Ask When Investing in a Pole Barn Will my building be fully-engineered? Be sure all of your building’s components are engineered to work together and to last – this entails a complete building system, designed specifically for your site, with your openings and sealed by an RDP (Registered Design Professional – […]

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Flood Rebuilding, Retrofitting Stem Wall, and Platinum Engineering

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/08 @ 8:00
Flood Rebuilding, Retrofitting Stem Wall, and Platinum Engineering

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi. I am an architect with a flood victim client in Houston whose 1500 sf house must be rebuilt 5′ above grade. C panel, aluminum sliding windows/doors, low budget. Is it crazy to think they could buy a custom kit from you and have a crew from MN install it in […]

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Don’t Hire a Contractor Unless You Are Willing to Take a Risk

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/04 @ 8:00
Don’t Hire a Contractor Unless You Are Willing to Take a Risk

From The Dalles (Oregon) Chronicle December 26, 2017: “A theft report was filed Wednesday morning concerning a theft by deception when a woman reported she paid a contractor $30,000 to build a pole barn on her property by the end of October and no work has been completed.” Most people assume when they hire a […]

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Moving Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/22 @ 8:00
Moving Pole Barns

Moving a Pole Barn Most of us American adults have, at some time in our lives, visited a county or state fair. Adjunct to these events is the inevitable midway – where carnies (those wonderful and frequently interesting folks) hock their wares and try to interest one and all in a game of chance. Amongst […]

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Designing a Single Slope Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/21 @ 8:00
Designing a Single Slope Pole Building

Designing a Single Slope Finished Pole Barn Reader JIM in ROCHESTER writes: “I am looking for an immediate response. I am building a 30×50 single pitch pole barn that I will eventually insulate and drywall. I plan to run a row of posts down the center of the barn to support the rafters. I will […]

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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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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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Zip Codes, Insulation Options, and Free Quotes!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/04 @ 8:00
Zip Codes, Insulation Options, and Free Quotes!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you do business with zip code 33478? I like to explore Pole Barn homes but with the strict hurricane code, I was not sure if you are allowed to do business with South Florida. PATTY in JUPITER FARM DEAR PATTY: Hansen Pole Buildings has provided post frame buildings in every […]

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Problems in Steel Truss Building Land

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/01 @ 8:00
Problems in Steel Truss Building Land

Problems in Steel Truss Building Land Disclaimer – Hansen Pole Buildings does not provide steel truss post frame buildings and I have never personally been involved in the structural design of one, however there are a plethora of readily evident challenges with this building which should be properly addressed. Reader JAMES in TALLAHASSEE writes: “I […]

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Don’t Be An Engineering Fool

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/17 @ 8:00
Don’t Be An Engineering Fool

Don’t Be an Engineering Fool Proverb: “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client”. I would paraphrase this to, “A man who is his own engineer has a fool for a client”. Donald Hamm is running for re-election to the Franklin (New York) town board. In a November 2, 2017 […]

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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

How Should I Backfill My Pole Barn Holes?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/24 @ 8:00
How Should I Backfill My Pole Barn Holes?

How Should I Backfill My Pole Building Holes This is a subject which is repeatedly brought up. Usually it is ones who are constructing a post frame building which was not designed by a registered design professional (RDP – architect or engineer). The wrong answer could easily lead to a catastrophic failure of the building! […]

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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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Loft Storage Solutions, Insulation, and Home Insurance?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/14 @ 8:00
Loft Storage Solutions, Insulation, and Home Insurance?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I like the idea of a 2-stall garage with second level for storage. Is a second level storage area more economical than increasing the square footage of the building? Lot less concrete. JOEL in INDEPENDENCE DEAR JOEL: Only in rare instances is it more cost effective to go up, instead of […]

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Post Size? Convert to OHD? & Cleaning Dirty Vinyl

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/25 @ 8:08
Post Size? Convert to OHD? & Cleaning Dirty Vinyl

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have to use the same size posts on the end walls even if it is non load bearing? so if I use 6×6 posts that hold the trusses can I use smaller lumber on the non load bearing ends? Thank you. CAMERON in BOISE DEAR CAMERON: This is why […]

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Loft Door, Antique Barns, and Footing Sizes?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/18 @ 8:00
Loft Door, Antique Barns, and Footing Sizes?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an upstairs (loft) exterior opening that is 50″ wide by 68″ tall. I want to build a door with the National Hardware tab-loc frame and cover it with r-panel siding. How much overhang on each side, and top and bottom do I need to make the door? What should […]

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Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/15 @ 8:00
Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Reader BAILEE in LARAMIE writes: “Hi, I have a few questions about the structure of turning a pole barn to a residence in the Laramie, Wyoming area. The current project I am working on has pole spacing of about 10-12 feet. I wanted to know if this is still structurally stable with traditional framing with […]

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Don’t Sink the Pole Barn Floor

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/22 @ 8:00
Don’t Sink the Pole Barn Floor

Don’t Sink the Pole Barn Floor Reader Clay has contributed the beginnings of this article, with a concern his pole barn floor might sink. Thank you Clay. “I am about to construct a 24’x32′ building to be used as a woodworking shop. I am strongly considering a pole barn.  Now I do not want a […]

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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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Miracle Truss Concerns

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/03 @ 9:00
Miracle Truss Concerns

One of the great things about being the Pole Barn Guru is helping people who have construction challenges of all sorts – even those who do not have post frame buildings. Here is a recent one: Hi Pole Barn Guru, and thanks for your informative website and blog. I’m using email rather than the website […]

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The Cheaper Roof Style, Plan Sales, and Engineering!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/31 @ 8:00
The Cheaper Roof Style, Plan Sales, and Engineering!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: For a span of 84 feet, which is cheaper, a single slope roof or a gabled roof? ANTHONY in NEW ORLEANS DEAR ANTHONY: At almost any span a gabled roof is going to be less expensive. At an 84 foot span, without question it will be significantly so. DEAR POLE BARN […]

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It Is Exactly the Same Building: Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/27 @ 8:00
It Is Exactly the Same Building: Part II

Well, maybe not exactly the same building. Yesterday I ran a beginning list of comparison’s between a Hansen Building quote and a quote by one of our competitors espoused to be “exactly the same” by a client of ours. The saga continues: Powder coated diaphragm screws vs. #10 diameter painted screws . Those who are […]

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Hire a Local Engineer and Work With a Lumber Yard?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/19 @ 8:00
Hire a Local Engineer and Work With a Lumber Yard?

Should I Hire a Local Engineer and Work With a Lumber Yard? Let’s hope not. Here is the email which triggered this article: “Hello,  I am building a 50×60 pole building with 22′ eaves. I’m shopping right now to either hire a local PE to design the structure and work with my local lumber yard to […]

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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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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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Need an Engineer in Utah?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/20 @ 8:00
Need an Engineer in Utah?

I’ve never met or spoken with engineer Max Gregersen, engineer. I don’t even know for certain if he is an excellent engineer or not. What I DO know is he is not so egotistical as to believe he knows it all and he will reach out to others for assistance. This in itself speaks volumes […]

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Sliding Doors, Codes, and Quonset Huts!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/12 @ 8:00
Sliding Doors, Codes, and Quonset Huts!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to get a quote for sliding garage door for commercial building. The size that I would like to have is 8′ wide 12′ tall. If I can get two slide garage door it would be perfect (two 4’x12′ garage door) if not One door is fine. White garage […]

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Spot the Post Frame Problem

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/06 @ 8:00
Spot the Post Frame Problem

Spot The Post Frame Problem – Reprised In our last episode, I left you all with a cliff hanger. I did clue you into it being a structural issue, which rules out our builder in the air with his safety harness hooked to an invisible sky hook. While you all ponder the photo and look […]

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To Retro-fit Sliding Doors, Insulation, or Windows!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/05 @ 8:00
To Retro-fit Sliding Doors, Insulation, or Windows!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing pole barn with a rough opening and I want to retro-fit a sliding door over it to block wind and rain. If I can supply you with the rough opening dimensions, can you quote the parts kit to assemble a metal frame and hangers that I can clad […]

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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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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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Mobile Home Snow Roofs

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/05/10 @ 8:00
Mobile Home Snow Roofs

Most mobile (a.k.a. manufactured) homes are designed with roofs which are only engineered to support a minimal snow load – most generally the maximum design roof snow loads range in the 30 to 40 psf (pounds per square foot) range. Besides the issue of snow, many mobile homes are designed with roof slopes of less […]

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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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The Lowdown on Column Uplift

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/11 @ 8:00
The Lowdown on Column Uplift

Let’s Not Uplift I learn new things every single day, much in part to loyal readers, the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Building Designers and our clients. Column uplift seems to be a repeating point of contention for me, as it is (in my humble opinion) poorly addressed, if not totally ignored. Reader Dan has some uplift […]

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Plan to Avoid Failure, Closed Cell Foam, and Addition to Building?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/03 @ 8:00
Plan to Avoid Failure, Closed Cell Foam, and Addition to Building?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are planning to build a pole barn in the near future and, I need some advice on the footings. depth width etc. We are planning to use rough cut 6×6 pine for the posts and plan to use anchors. The soil here on the property is very sandy. I’ve set […]

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Cantilevered Roof Extension

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/30 @ 8:00
Cantilevered Roof Extension

I’ve designed a fair number of interesting cantilevers in my time, but they have always been as original construction, not as an “add on” after the fact. Here is a request for a cantilevered roof extension from FRED in BURLINGTON: DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My 30′ x 54′ x 12′ pole barn was constructed in […]

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Will My Trusses Hold Added Ceiling Dead Load?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/28 @ 8:00
Will My Trusses Hold Added Ceiling Dead Load?

Understanding the Needs of Load Bearing Finish I sadly hear this story all too often. A brand new post frame building which quite possibly will not meet the load needs of the owner due to lack of due diligence upon the part of whomever sold the building. Here is the story and my response: DEAR […]

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Engineered Design, Steel Gauges, and Instant Pricing!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/27 @ 8:00
Engineered Design, Steel Gauges, and Instant Pricing!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am building a pole barn with rafters at 16″ OC. We sheeted the roof and sides of it. The building is 16′ wide with and engineered ridge pole. Do I need knee bracing at each of the posts along the walls? Can I skip putting the bracing on the corners? […]

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Panic Mode! We’ve All Been There

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/08 @ 8:00
Panic Mode! We’ve All Been There

When Clients get into Panic Mode Most of us have been there with a major purchase – we were all excited about it and then somewhere before it gets delivered we start to second guess ourselves. Here is an example: Dear Mr. Xxxxxx ~ Thank you for your investment into a new Hansen Pole Building. […]

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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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Should I Buy This Building?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/01 @ 8:00
Should I Buy This Building?

Some Unsuspecting Person Will Buy This Building (or one like it) The post frame (pole barn) building industry is relatively unfettered by needs for buildings to have structural plan reviews (In My Humble Opinion [IMHO] BAD), building inspections (again IMHO – BAD), and plans sealed by a registered design professional (architect or engineer – again […]

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Shopping for Pole Barn Engineering

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/31 @ 8:00
Shopping for Pole Barn Engineering

Shopping for Pole Barn Engineering When most of us shop for a new computer or a new car, we don’t go shopping for the best deal on the design so we can go buy the pieces on our own – we shop for the finished product which best meets with our needs. Getting a “great […]

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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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When the Truss People Do the Dog

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/04 @ 8:00
When the Truss People Do the Dog

Yes, it happens. My long time readers will recall I owned two prefabricated light gauge metal plate connected wood truss plants in a not too distant past. And yes – this may come as a surprise – truss people are not perfect. In this particular case, we had set out what we needed explicitly as […]

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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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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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An Apartment Addition?

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/26 @ 8:00
An Apartment Addition?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you supply me with a copy of the sparrow barn in Texas plans It is a wedding venue I would like to copy. JAMES in HAMPTON DEAR JAMES: Certainly we can, stamped by a registered professional engineer, and custom designed for your climactic loads – and for free. They come […]

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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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Design Review is Important Component!

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/12/08 @ 1:09
Design Review is Important Component!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am building a pole barn 50 foot clear span wide, and 70 foot long, 16 foot to the eve. I am using 4×4 metal uprights on 20 foot spans, red iron purlins and stringers, and 4×4 metal welded all around the top. I am using conventional wood trusses engineered for […]

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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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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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All Columns Are Not Created Equal

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

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

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Pole Barn Classrooms

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

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

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An Engineer Didn’t Design This Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/19 @ 8:00
An Engineer Didn’t Design This Building

If an Engineer Didn’t Structurally Design This Building, Then Who Did? Many of you have been reading the ongoing and sad saga of Jimmy’s building…..here is the next installment: Jimmy: “You should go buy a lottery ticket, I asked the builder, he told me only on industrial buildings do they use engineering plans. There is […]

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Why Pole Barn Columns Settle

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/18 @ 8:00
Why Pole Barn Columns Settle

Don’t be Like Jimmy’s Parents A new post frame (pole) building or barn is an investment, a very permanent investment. Readers have been following a couple of articles involving Jimmy’s new building, which is NOT a Hansen Pole Building and Jimmy is not very happy. This is how the building was purchased (in Jimmy’s words): […]

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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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Cutting Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/28 @ 6:00
Cutting Trusses

Don’t Cut Trusses! In regards to cutting trusses, an excerpt from the NDS® (National Design Specification for Lumber®) is quoted in the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual: “Cutting and altering of trusses is not permitted. If any truss should become broken, damaged, or altered, written concurrence and approval by a licensed design professional is required.” […]

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Five Reasons to Choose a Pre-Engineered Post Frame Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/01 @ 8:00
Five Reasons to Choose a Pre-Engineered Post Frame Building

Undertaking a commercial building development is a big step for many businesses and it’s an investment which shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means. Unfortunately, too many commercial developments are rushed into for one reason or another—time constraints force the project ahead and before you know it, you’re left with a project coming in overtime […]

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Can I Take Out Knee Braces?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/11/20 @ 8:00
Can I Take Out Knee Braces?

One of my loyal readers asked this question in regards to a previous blog post: “We have a pole barn/shed which is 50 X96 plus an additional 16 leant-to tied to posts which creates a total building size of 66 X96. Question is, Can I take out the knee braces on the side with the […]

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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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Voids Under Concrete Slabs

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/05/19 @ 8:00
Voids Under Concrete Slabs

From Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel: “A nice lady from Pennsylvania called and said she was looking to get some advice.  Her husband died five months ago and she is having a pole building put up.  It sounds as though they have the poles up, skirtboard on and the concrete poured although there is a […]

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Let’s Talk Snow Load

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/05/07 @ 8:00
Let’s Talk Snow Load

Even though it is now May – the heavy snowfalls in the New England states this past winter have left many with concerns. Here is an actual conversation, between a client who recently invested in a new Hansen Pole Building kit package, and our Technical Support Department: Client: “Good Afternoon, Quick couple of questions.  The […]

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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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When is it Time to Remove Roof Snow?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/19 @ 8:00
When is it Time to Remove Roof Snow?

Regardless of what side of the climate change argument one is on – it has been snowing in Massachusetts this winter. A lot. Late January’s Winter Storm Juno alone brought up to 36 inches of snow in some parts of Massachusetts. http://www.weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-juno-snow-totals-wind-gusts As if Juno wasn’t enough, another storm followed – leaving so much snow […]

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Wide Clearspan Sheds Using LVL’s

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/02/18 @ 8:00
Wide Clearspan Sheds Using LVL’s

Back in 2007, we designed and provided a pole building kit package for Chris W. in North Carolina. Chris’ building is 40 foot wide by 50 feet long enclosed with a 14 foot eave height. Along one sidewall his building has a 20 foot wide roof only shed, with a 10’ low eave. In order […]

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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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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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Torpedo Heaters

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/21 @ 8:00
Torpedo Heaters

Michael Perry is a Wisconsin author, humorist and intermittent pig farmer. Below I have excerpted from his November 10, 2014 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, “Weather just might call for a torpedo heater”. For more about Michael Perry’s work see www.sneezingcow.com “Nothing captures the changing seasons like that moment when your cousin the carpenter […]

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Changing Pole Building Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/11/11 @ 8:00
Changing Pole Building Plans

You Want To Add What to Your Building? For the most part, adding random extra framing members to a new pole building kit package is not a big deal. There is at least one crucial exception – which could result in a catastrophic collapse if included. We go to great extremes to supply original pole […]

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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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Old Pole Barn Inspection

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/09/29 @ 8:00
Old Pole Barn Inspection

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My school district has two adventure courses on our property. One has been up for approx 20 years. It is made with telephone poles. We are concerned that the poles may be in need of replacement. How would we know? Is there testing we could have done? ROWING ON LAKE RONKONKOMA […]

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The Most Asked Question by Post Frame Builders

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/05/22 @ 8:00
The Most Asked Question by Post Frame Builders

My regular “day job” is as Technical Director for Hansen Pole Buildings. This is a fancy title for, “the guy who solves problems when things go astray”. DIYers are frankly hilarious, as they come holding hat-in-hand saying things like, “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve done wrong, it has to be the worst mistake ever!” In […]

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The Theory of Adequate Building Connectors

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/05/20 @ 8:00
The Theory of Adequate Building Connectors

I was blessed to have been a member of the then American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) Structural Committee back in the latter half of the 1980s. Blessed because there were many brilliant engineers on the committee who were very focused on moving what had been “pole barns” into the Code conforming “post frame” buildings. […]

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Nationwide®Insurance on Pole Building Failures Part 2

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/03 @ 8:00
Nationwide®Insurance on Pole Building Failures Part 2

As my loyal readers know, I recently attended the NFBA (National Frame Building Association) 2014 Expo in Nashville, TN.  The NFBA (http://www.nfba.org) is the only national trade association which represents post-frame industry professionals. The association is the country’s primary source of post-frame building resources, research, networking, news and education. This is Part II on a […]

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Nationwide®Top Three Reasons Pole Buildings Fail

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/04/02 @ 8:00
Nationwide®Top Three Reasons Pole Buildings Fail

Nationwide® Insurance and Common Pole Building Failures As my loyal readers know, I recently attended the NFBA (National Frame Building Association) 2014 Expo in Nashville, TN.  The NFBA (http://www.nfba.org) is the only national trade association which represents post-frame industry professionals. The association is the country’s primary source of post-frame building resources, research, networking, news and […]

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Flood Plains and Education

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/01/08 @ 7:00
Flood Plains and Education

After Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans by flooding (remember, most of the city is below sea level), my then 11 year old daughter had a brilliant insight, “Instead of rebuilding, why don’t they move everyone to Wyoming”? Even though it may have been a less costly solution, the reality is, not everyone can […]

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Structural Plan Review & Inspection

Posted by polebarnguru on 14/01/02 @ 8:00
Structural Plan Review & Inspection

While contractors and future pole building owners may moan and groan about having to provide detailed plans for new buildings to their permit issuing authorities – it does better assure the new construction will prove to be Code conforming. Structural plan review, along with site inspections done by certified inspectors help to make sure work […]

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The Great Purlins Caper

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/12/31 @ 8:00
The Great Purlins Caper

Here is the scene…. Our client has ordered a pole building kit package which is designed around sidewall columns spaced every 14’. For those who care, the building has a design roof snow load of 30 psf (pounds per square foot) and the actual roof dead load carried by the roof purlins (including the purlins […]

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Wind Speed & Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/12/17 @ 8:00
Wind Speed & Pole Barns

Wind Happens… …even close to home (or home of Hansen Pole Buildings anyhow) in Roberts County, SD! Friday, October 11, at 5:25 p.m. a tornado touched down about 10 miles northeast of Dumont, (just across the border into MN) in a soybean field. As the tornado moved to the northwest, it struck a barn which […]

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Finding Stuff on the Road: Building Department Documents

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/24 @ 8:00
Finding Stuff on the Road: Building Department Documents

Finding Stuff on the Road Author’s Note: This is part 7 of a series of blogs written from a 6500+ motorcycle trip from WA to Ohio and back.  See Blog from Oct. 15th for the beginning…and hang on for the ride! There are many Building Departments who offer nifty little handouts to property owners who […]

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Building Code: Things Which Make My Head Hurt

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/10/04 @ 8:00
Building Code: Things Which Make My Head Hurt

The International Building Code (IBC) is the resultant of years of practical experience and sound engineering practice. The authors are a collective group of Building Officials and engineers, whose mission is to protect the safety of those who will be utilizing the structures built under the auspices of the Code. For practical purposes, every word, […]

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Oregon Agricultural Exemption

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/09/27 @ 8:00
Oregon Agricultural Exemption

Personally, I am no fan of having buildings exempted from structural plan reviews. As most of the agricultural exemption buildings tend to be pole buildings, some of them are prone to being under designed, under built, and subsequently fall down – which does not cast a fair light on the providers of pole buildings (such […]

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Larger Aircraft Hangars

Posted by polebarnguru on 13/09/10 @ 8:00
Larger Aircraft Hangars

Not everyone wants to conform to the rigid (and in some cases minimalistic) requirements of a “residential” (according to the Building Codes) airplane hangar. While a bit more work, a Building Permit can often still be obtained. Some permit issuing jurisdictions are tougher than others. In the case of an aircraft hangar which does not […]

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

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