Pole Building Construction
We’ve spent the last few days in the capitol city of Quito, Ecuador. If it wasn’t for our daughter having spent her sophomore year of high school here as a Rotary Exchange Student, we probably never would have visited Ecuador. Once we were here, we were hooked however. The scenery is breathtaking and amazingly diverse, but it is the people and their culture which makes the country a true treasure.
Quito is an interesting city, at 9350 feet above sea level, I huff and puff pretty quickly, but the over two million residents get along just fine with it. What really amazes me is – every building seems to be under construction. Many have occupied first or lower floors, with rebar “fingers” projecting towards the sky, in preparation for the next level, which might be added soon, or decades in the future.
Our friend Wolf is an engineer and building contractor in Crucita, a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. In his experience, his crews will construct an average new home in about ten months. With an average wage scale of just over $300 per month, labor is inexpensive, so man power often trumps the use of equipment.
Wolf explained the “do-it-yourself” construction process of the average Ecuadorian.
In his words, it starts off like a horse race, with a huge flurry of activity. After some time and lots of hours of labor, the building gets to where a portion of it is able to be utilized. This is where the thoroughbred horse becomes a mule, things start to plod along. The Ecuadorian D.I.Y. guy has lost interest, or run out of money (or both), and the project stagnates – oftentimes for years.
How does this apply to building one’s own pole building in the U.S.? An average pole barn of about 1500 square feet can be erected by a typical weekend warrior in about 200 man hours (with good plans and complete instructions). Get together a couple of buddies (or recruit relatives) and in a month of weekends or less, it is done!
The ease and speed of pole building construction allows the race horse to stay in the race to the finish line – before hitting the “mule phase”.