Pole Barn Plans – Goin’ For A Plans Check
You did your homework….you have been through the hoops of your local planning department, and they have told you the dream pole building you want can indeed be constructed on your property, where you want it. After their blessing, you have stopped in at the building department and verified all of the required building code and loading information. This has been passed along to your pole building provider, who has given it to their engineers to produce the plans for your building.
Finally, plans in hand, you head to apply for your building permit. Somehow, this all feels like waiting for a new baby to arrive. The fears pop up in your head – what if my plans will not pass?
In some cases, building departments have prescriptive requirements for pole barns. This means, as long as your building fits within the dimensional limitations (width, length, height) and you construct the building “their way” you will be issued a structural permit. Some problems with this scenario – rarely are the prescriptive methods the most practical or cost effective way to construct your new building, but even a worse danger may lie hidden within them!
The danger is – often prescriptive requirements have inherent structural deficiencies, some of them enough so as, (under extreme load conditions), your new building could fail.
If your building department has prescriptive requirements, the best solution is to have your new pole building plans produced by a registered professional engineer. The engineer’s seal overrides any prescriptive requirements.
Back to fighting the fears – as long as you have provided the correct code and loading information to the engineer, you will obtain a structural permit for your pole barn.
In some instances, the plans you submit will not be reviewed at all, and a permit will be issued “at the counter”. In most cases, a plans examiner (or plans checker) will look over the plans to make sure the required information is stated on them (correct snow load, wind load, etc.). In many cases, your local building department does not have an engineer on staff. Only in rare circumstances will a design professional be reviewing your plans for structural adequacy. In fact, usually when your building permit is issued it includes a statement which absolves the building department and its staff of any liability, in the event your building fails structurally!
Do your homework in advance and have your pole barn plans produced by a registered design professional, and the process will be relatively painful – other than having to write the check for the permit fees.