Dear Pole Barn Guru: Can I Run Pole Barn Wiring Through the Posts?

New!  The Pole Barn Guru’s mailbox is overflowing with questions.  Due to high demand, he is answering questions on Saturdays as well as Mondays.

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 or Saturday 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 going to do commerical girts, what is the best way to run the pole barn wiring.Can I drill through the poles? thank you. MEANDERING IN MONROE DEAR MEANDERING:For those readers who are unfamiliar with commercial girts, please read more here: Most people just run the wires around the outside of the columns through the space created by using a commercial girt one dimension larger than the size of the wall columns (e.g. 2×8 girts with 6×6 columns). Code does allow for holes to be drilled through columns (as well as other framing members) to accomodate pole barn wiring. To research allowable size and spacing of drilled holes:


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My 60×60 pole building fell down last month under the weight of the snow. The building was situated in the middle of a large blacktopped area and had 6×8 poles set in concrete. (I hope I am explaining this right.)

My question is this. My contractor wants to dig out the existing holes and use them again for the rebuild (setting 6×6 poles into the holes and surrounding them with poured concrete). Do you have any thoughts on this pro or con? His logic is that it will save us from disturbing the blacktop.

Thank you for your help. I have read every question/answer in your blog and am very grateful to you for taking the time to help us. Sincerely OVER IN OTTSVILLE

DEAR OTTSVILLE: And thank you so much for your kind words. Loyal readers are so appreciated.

I really see no issues with placing the new columns in the old holes, provided they have been totally cleaned out (no loose material at the bottom of the hole. The holes must meet the depth and diameter, as specified on the plans approved by your Building Official, as designed by the registered design professional (RDP – engineer or architect).

Backfilling the column holes with premix concrete, should more than be adequate to resist most potential uplift issues.

Without knowing the details of your new building, I would perhaps question how it is to be rebuilt with columns smaller than the original ones.

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