Dear Pole Barn Guru: What Makes for a Good Sliding Door?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

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DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am building a Pole Barn myself and will be using sliding doors. I have not bought the hardware yet but have received a quote for Cannonball sliding door hardware and quick frames. What I am trying to find is detailed framing for how the sliding door and trim mount along with the metal siding and was wondering if you have any details of such? Also, I like the idea of the quickframe w/ metal girts. Are there other manufacturers of these products that you know of that will hold up? I am about inland about 40 miles from the Coast so I want decent hardware. Thanks in Advance. RARING TO GO IN ROSHARON

DEAR RARING: There are several manufacturers of quality sliding door components. You are heading in the right direction with the use of metal framed doors, as well as the expectations for having “decent” hardware.

 In my mind, decent hardware includes round or round bottom track, integrated bottom guides and secure locking mechanisms.

 Along with providing all of your sliding door components, including delivery to your site from our warehouse, we also provide the complete framing and installation instructions for the door opening, as well as the door assembly itself.

 Unlike instructions supplied by the door component manufacturers, our instructions actually have been field tested on thousands of buildings, and they work!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing pole building, with metal building insulation between the 2×6 on edge roof purlins and the roof steel. How would you put in roof insulation (add to the insulation there)? There are no soffit vents and no eaves. If a ceiling was put in, the ceiling would be at 7.5 ft tall which is very short. Any ideas are welcome. COOL CUCUMBER

DEAR COOL: If you are going to finish a flat level ceiling, with a dead attic space above, you would need to add sufficient gable vents to provide adequate insulation. Figure 1 square foot of vent for every 150 square feet of attic space. If you can get the vents entirely in the upper 1/2 of the attic, then you can go with 1 per 300 sft. While a 7’6″ finished ceiling is short, it is within Code minimums – pretty tough to change unless the entire building was to be made taller, which would not at all be an easy, or economical proposition.

As long as you do not finish the underside of the roof purlins, you could install unfaced fiberglass batt insulation between them (as built, the purlins do not have the strength or stiffness to support materials such as sheetrock). This insulation could be held in place by materials such as chicken wire or lathe strips.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 30 year old pole building and am having ridge cap leakage problems. The building has plastic covered fiberglass insulation throughout. I don’t want to allow that to keep getting wet. What products do you have available to replace my roof seal. LEAKING

DEAR LEAKING: Your problem is probably not the ridge cap, but is more than likely a failure to install UV resistant form fitting closure strips under the ridge cap. 30 years ago, most post frame buildings either had no closures installed, or an open cell foam strip was used. The second just delayed the problems caused by no closures, as the open celled version deteriorated in a matter of a few years – allowing the elements to blow in under the ridge cap.

First, check to see if closures are intact under the ridge (highly doubtful).

Next, if your ridge cap is screwed on, we can probably provide for you closures which can be placed between the cap and the roof steel, by removing and reinstalling the ridge cap. If the ridge cap is nailed on, or the steel is an uncommon pattern, we do have an expanding closure, which can be slid under the edge of the cap and will expand to completely fill voids up to an inch in size.


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