What parts go into a Hansen Pole Building?


Won't poles in the ground rot?

With today's pressure-treating technology it is highly unlikely. In over 30 years in the industry we've spoken with every major pole builder in the country. We have yet to meet a builder who can state they have had a properly treated post rot off. Should you have concerns about the longevity of pressure-treated wood in the ground we offer Post Protectors and Plasti-Sleeves. These are a vinyl sleeve which isolates the lower portion of the column from the surrounding environment.

From the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program on line: "The most effective method of chemically treating wood is through pressure treatment. Pressure-treated lumber is toxic to termites and discourages new kings and queens from establishing colonies in it."

Arsenic-free preservatives, such as Wolman Natural Select, render wood useless as a food source for termites and fungi. Engineers at the Good Housekeeping Institute have even deemed Wolmanized Outdoor wood to be worthy of the Good Housekeeping Seal.


How does the pressure treating process work?

This is the simplified version of the process: Most pieces of wood (South Yellow Pine among the exceptions) are incised, prior to being pressure treated. The incising procedure is what puts the familiar "divots" in the lumber surface. Incising allows the treating chemicals to more thoroughly penetrate the lumber. After incising, the lumber is loaded onto what looks like a railroad flat car. This flat car is pushed into a long tube called a retort. Once in the retort, preservative chemicals in a water solution are forced into the lumber. This is done under pressure until saturation is reached. After removal from the retort, the treated lumber is allowed to drip dry. It is then tested to make sure preservative chemicals have penetrated adequately in depth and quantity.


Doesn't pressure treated wood tend to twist?

Trees grow naturally with a spiral twist to their grain. If you have ever looked closely at a standing dead tree that has lost its bark, the twist is readily noticeable. During the pressure treating process, the lumber has moisture (water and preservative chemicals) added to the point of saturation. This excess water exits the wood cells during the natural drying process. This huge loss of moisture tends to accelerate the natural twisting tendencies of lumber.

Most, if not all of this twisting, can be prevented or held in check by using the material as soon as possible after delivery. If the wood is incorporated into a structure (such as a pole building) it helps to prevent it from following its natural twisting tendency by bracing each piece of lumber.


What happens if my building is delivered and some of the treated wood appears to be too warped or twisted to use?

While our suppliers take extra precaution to ship only the best materials on our building kits, there is always the unlikely possibility of this happening. Any warped, twisted or otherwise unusable material can be returned to the supplier within the first two days after delivery. It will be replaced without any charge to you. This is why inspection upon delivery is so important!


How many pieces are there in each beam?

Since "beams" are not usually used in pole buildings, except across wide sidewall door openings, we can only assume the reference is to the main building frames. These consist of the sidewall posts (or columns) and the pre-fabricated roof trusses. In most cases an entire frame consists of the two sidewall posts and a doubled pre-fabricated truss which is bolted and/or nailed to the columns.


What is a bay?

The definition is "the space between frame center lines or primary supporting members in the longitudinal direction of the building". Got you confused? Us too! In plain English, it is the distance between the centers of adjacent truss supporting posts. This is usually 10 to 12 feet.


How far apart are your posts?

As a general rule they are every 10 to 12 feet on center. This can vary depending upon loading requirements and door locations.


What species of wood will be used in my building?

This varies depending upon what part of the country you are in. Pressure-treated lumber is usually Hem-Fir in the West and Southern and Yellow Pine in the East and South. The framing lumber is also regionally dependent. It can be Douglas-Fir, SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir), SYP (Southern Yellow Pine) or Hem-Fir. The roof trusses can also be a variety of the same species, but will usually have msr (Machine Stress Rated) lumber for chords.


Do you use green lumber?

Green lumber is dimensionally unstable. It can easily warp, twist, cut, split and is guaranteed to shrink. We use only framing lumber dried to a moisture content of 19% (commonly referred to as kiln dried) or less in our buildings.


I have some rough sawn lumber cut from trees on my property. Can I use it in my building?

Other than for non-engineered uses (like horse stall walls or arena liners), no. Unless you have some other use for it, we suggest you sell it. Engineered buildings do not structurally allow the use of lumber which is not grade stamped.


What is the spacing of girts and purlins?

The spacings will vary, depending upon bay spacing, wind and snow loads. Wall girts, which support the sidewall and endwall steel, are typically evenly spaced up the columns, normally ranging from 24 to 30 inches between. The roof purlins, which support the roof steel between the trusses, will be up to 32 inches on center.


Are the wall girts set flat or outside of the posts?

Our standard buildings have wall girts turned flat (like shelves) between the columns (with the outside edge of the girt 1-1/2" beyond the edge of the column to be flush with other framing members). This affords greater strength against wind loads.


What is the interior structure made of?

Wood. The basic pole building structure is composed of pressure preservative treated columns (sawn timbers, not actually "poles", a pressure treated skirt board around the base of the walls, dimensional lumber (primarily 2x6s) for wall girts and roof purlins (supports the steel between poles and trusses) and pre-fabricated roof trusses.


Why do I hear your truss system is better?

Hansen Pole Buildings uses the only TRUE interior double truss system. Research shows two adjacent roof trusses have nearly a 0% chance of having the exact same weak point. By physically nailing the trusses together face-to-face with no blocking in between, true load sharing is achieved. Further, our double trusses are set into a notch in the column at each end and bolted through. This connection makes it impossible for the trusses to slide down the pole, as may happen with trusses on one or both sides of the pole.


Can I finish the ceiling of my building?

Yes, as long as you have ordered trusses designed to support a ceiling load. Simply ask your designer for the ceiling load truss option with joists to get quoted.


Do the walls have trim at the bottom?

Unlike many pole buildings, yes! All of our Premier buildings come with base trim, which, when properly installed, seals the bottom ribs of the steel to prevent rodents from entering your building. We feel this is an essential feature of any pole building.


Does all the hardware come with these buildings?

Other than the nails needed for the joist hangers and framing, we provide all of the hardware, including any nails larger in size than 16d, all bolts, washers and nuts and all of the joist hangers.


What size are the truss connectors?

Typically we use a 5" Ledgerlock screws for our truss to pole connection. These fasteners are strong and easy to install with a 3" threading and washer head for increased holding power. For applications that require a strong connection we will use a 5/8" lag bolt through the trusses and pole.


Do you offer cupolas?

Yes. They are available in several popular sizes with a broad variety of color choices and weathervanes. Download our free product guide from our home page to view more information on our cupolas.

Can I get Dutch doors?

Yes. We offer only a top of the line pre-fabricated Dutch door. This 4' x 7' door features a heavy-duty metal perimeter frame with crossbucks. It is a 3/4" plywood core and has a variety of steel insert colors.


Is there a standard roof slope?

Our buildings are typically 4/12 slope, however, we can design for any slope you require.


What are the minimum design loads?

For roofs 20 pounds per square foot (subject to allowable code adjustments), for wind loading, under the new International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) it is now 85 miles per hour wind load. Many areas require higher loads than these, so always consult with your local building official.


What is the difference in thickness between steel gauges?

The "gauging" game has been played far too long in the pole building industry. The true measure of the thickness of steel is to measure it with a micrometer after the paint has been removed:

Somehow, over 20 years ago, a steel roll forming company found a gauging "system" which it felt justified calling steel sheeting measuring between .0142" and .0172" as 26 gauge. Fortunately, most legitimate manufacturers are honest about the products they manufacture. We use a minimum of 29-gauge steel for our roofing and siding.


Don't I need 26-gauge steel?

No. The 29-gauge steel we use, manufactured by companies leading names like American Building Components, Union Corrugating, McElroy and Fabral, will support up to 236 pounds per square foot (psf) over supports at 24 inches on center or 151 psf over supports at 30 inches on center. These are far beyond the loads which will ever be applied to your building.


I want more interior height. Can you provide scissors trusses?

Yes. However, this is rarely the most cost-effective method of gaining interior clearance. In most cases, for every pitch change made to the inside ceiling the same needs to be added to the exterior. For example, a 2/12 interior slope normally requires the exterior slope to be increased from 4/12 to 6/12. Besides the added cost of the scissors trusses themselves, you will also have more cost due to longer roof and endwall steel, more roof insulation, perhaps more purlins, longer endwall posts and, in some cases, larger sidewall posts. Also, scissors trusses only give a gradual increase in height as the center of the building is approached. In nearly every case, it is better to use a conventional truss and just make the interior clear height greater.


Why don't your buildings require knee braces?

Extensive research has shown knee braces to not only be ineffective in resisting wind forces in completed pole buildings, but also they may impose forces into the roof trusses that the trusses are not designed to carry. Our engineers utilize the shear strength of the steel roofing and siding as determined from full-scale laboratory testing in their designs. This allows wind and seismic forces to be carried by the steel and eliminates the need for inconvenient knee bracing.


What if I want gutters?

We do not, as a practice, furnish gutters and/or downspouts. They are best done when ordered and installed by your local continuous gutter manufacturer, who is generally listed in the Yellow Pages of your phone book.


What is the warranty on a Hansen Building?

Warranties are typically offered by building contractors on buildings they construct. If you hire a contractor to build your Hansen Pole Building, make sure to get a copy of his written warranty on workmanship.

To the best of our knowledge, the engineer sealed Premier Hansen Pole Building kit is the ONLY all-steel or pole building kit which offers a written LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY, covering major structural components. Further, many of the individual component manufacturers offer their own warranty. These include items like the paint systems on the steel roofing and siding, screw fasteners, sliding door track and hardware, and overhead door components, just to list a few.

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