Extra Building Pieces: Which ones?

Pole Barn Guru Blog

One thing I’d really like to discuss is… over the years, every now and then we get folks who ask, “Why don’t you send extra?”  They mean extra lumber? Steel?  Extra posts?  How about trusses?!  Which parts of what may be over a hundred different pieces do you want me to send “extra”?  How many extra?  I could send 14 extra sheets of steel siding, but you needed 1 extra piece of roofing (because you backed over one with the loader tractor)….in a different color and length.  How does that work for you?

I have no problem sending “extra” building pieces– if you want to pay for it.  What are you going to do with all the extra pieces you really didn’t need?  I frankly am a bit confused when I put together a bookcase or desk and the vendor has opted to include a “few” extra parts.  I’ve spent more time scratching my head trying to figure out where the 3 extra “gangly nuts” went on the bookcase I just built (and seemed to have all the right parts), than if they’d just not included them.  For years I kept all those “extra parts” left over from put together projects and for the life of me, I have no clue why I did!  In fact, those parts grew to fill spaces in the kitchen “junk drawer”, the garage cabinets, and boxes in the attic space above the garage.  My wife threatened to throw them all out a time or two over the years, but of course I frantically argued “I may need those parts someday, and then what will I do?!”

So once again, what are you going to build with those extra building pieces if you don’t need them on your building?  Half a dog house (if you have a dog)?  Replace 3 sheets of steel (when it takes 24) on the roof of your house or old barn?  Or will you hide the wood and extra steel out behind the building for the next 20 years, where you have to mow and weed around it?  Or hire an exterminator to get rid of the extra mice, bugs and gosh knows what built nests in the piles of “extra parts” you have lying in and around your building?

One thing we do include as “extra” in your project is an overage of 5% on screws.  I’ve been on a roof one too many times, had a few screws slip out of my grip, or my pouch caught and tipped over my screw supply to the ground below. Towards the end of constructing a building, it’s not fun to go digging around in the dirt or grass trying to hunt up those dozen or more screws I dropped but need to finish. And it’s handy to have a few extra, in case I end up accidentally poking an extra row of holes in a steel panel I should not have, but need to fill them with screws to make it look less like a mistake.

If we short you on something, we certainly didn’t mean to, and will quickly replace it if you are diligent in following our directions on promptly inventorying all your materials as they arrive.  If you end up with a very small pile of “extra parts” – a few screws, cutoffs from the lumber – this is the “right answer” to your project.  Over the years I’ve had a few folks who said, “Whew, when I got done with my new pole building garage, there was just this little pile of scrap lumber left.”  I asked, “So, were you short on anything?”  “Umm, no, not really.”  I persisted, “Then you had enough to do a good job and your building is completely done?”  “Oh yes, it’s beautiful, just look at these pictures!”  And this, my friends, is the right answer.

Why did this subject of extra parts come up?  I came home from work the other day and could see my wife was on her yearly Don’t-Even-Argue-With-Me-On-What-I-Throw-Out-Fall-Cleaning-Mission.  This means she takes apart every cupboard, closet and box inside the house, garage and storage building, and anything she deems “has not been used in the past year and has no intrinsic value or emotional attachment, is “O-U-T…Out”!  She had a huge pile of boxes of all kinds of “junk” lying in front of the garage.  Not immediately recognizing all my carefully stored “extra parts”, I asked her why she had those boxes of junk lying outside, and quickly added we needed to get rid of them, as the pile was an eyesore! Before I could blink an eye, she quickly smiled her most beguiling smile and next thing I knew I was loading up a mountain of boxes to take to the local refuse center.  Yep, there go thousands of “extra parts” I’ve saved for years, and not once used.  Good thing I was the one hauling the boxes out too, as I quickly rescued the torn, worn and faded old brown leather jacket I’ve had since…well, my college days?  I’m sure it was in the pile of boxes by mistake, right honey?

Have an amazing day!

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