I’ve previously expressed concerns about light gauge “carport” type buildings (read more at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/05/carports/).
(My advance apologies for the misleading title, it was used by the complainee below – VersaTube® buildings are NOT pole buildings!!)
Whilst doing some ‘net surfing, I recently came across this posting at www.pissedcustomer.com:
“I purchased a metal frame building from Versa Tube, which their engineers designed for the area of Minnesota I live in. The building collapsed!
I purchased a VersaTube metal frame building from Menards in Hermantown, Minnesota. The building was designed by the engineers at VersaTube, for the area of Minnesota I live in. The building was 32′ wide X 36′ long and 12.5′ tall. I purchased the building in September 2013 and it was built that same month.
On Febraury 21, 2014 only 6 months after the construction of the building, it collapsed during a snowfall. The warranty states “The VersaTube Product Pledge What exactly is a Product Pledge? It’s quite simple . .
. the Pledge is our way of showing that we’re proud of our products and the level of quality that they represent. Your building will go through an extensive inspection process prior to leaving our plant, but if any component should not meet your expectations, we’ll be glad to replace the part at no charge within 30 days of purchase. The only criteria that must be met is that you bought the building from VersaTube, the damage wasn’t caused by customer modifications or mishandling, and that the building was erected within 4 months of purchase.
This section of the Pledge applies to any of the materials supplied with our building kits for one year from the date of purchase. The second part of the VersaTube Product Pledge provides a 20 year structural warranty on all framing components of our buildings from the date of purchase. Of course, the defect can’t be caused by customer modifications or negligence, an unanticipated Act of God or nature, an accident, or any type of internal or external impact. Improper assembly or installation may also void the warranty.
The customer is responsible for performing standard building maintenance and inspections on a regular basis. We reserve the right to repair or replace any part that might not meet expectations. VersaTube is proud to put our name on the buildings we manufacture for our customers and stand behind their quality with our industry leading Product Pledge.” I have contacted VersaTube, and they are not willing to honor the Warranty. VersaTube told me that I should file a claim with my homeowners’ insurance company.
The building was designed by VersaTube Engineers for the part of the country I live in before I ever built it. Now they are saying that it has been an abnormally snowy winter and because of this, they don’t have to honor the warranty. We have not broken any snowfall records in Saginaw, Minnesota this year. These buildings should not be sold to customers in Minnesota or other states that get snowfall.
VersaTube uses Homeowners Insurance as a copout to honor their warranty. I paid 6300.00 for the metal frame from Menards.
Menards tells me that all warranty issues go directly thru VersaTube.”
From The Pole Barn Guru:
This is my humble opinion only:
Building owner – should have taken one look at this “thing” and realized there was no way it would ever withstand any significant amount of snow. Unless registered engineer sealed drawings for the design loads where the building was to be located were provided with the building purchase this, “their engineers designed for the area of Minnesota I live in”, was merely a poor assumption upon the part of the buyer.
Menards® – once again just me, I would personally have a very difficult time selling a building to a client which I did not have total faith in its ability to adequately carry the climactic loads where it would be located.
This is a case of, if it looks cheap, and the price is cheap, maybe it IS cheap! Want an affordable, permanent building which WILL stand up to the elements – then a pole building is probably the solution! And yes, you can get engineer sealed drawings plus full calculations on any pole building from Hansen Buildings.
You just saved me from buying one of these. I am in Germantown as well!
Having had a canvas carport come down on my car some years ago, your picture brought back bad memories. I just have a question about your building. From looking around for a building like this I have seen some give the option of running the roof cladding vertically rather than horizontally but this requires additional cross members which makes it more costly. But I am wondering if in doing so the snow would have a much better way of sliding off the roof without a large build up. Could this have possibly helped keep yours from collapse? Correct me if I’m wrong but yours looks like the roof cladding is horizontal and I would find it hard to figure how the snow can come off when they are horizontal.
With saying that I am surely not blaming you for the collapse. If what I am suggesting would make all the difference the manufacturer should be informing any customers that any place where snow load is a potential issue that having the chadding run vertically is a must. Either way the manufacturer should be informing customers of what snow load levels are and recommend ways to avoid what happened to you. The manufacturer should be making structural options for customers in snow load areas, as advising them to clear snow of roofs with snow on them is dangerous and should not be considered a solution.
We do not provide VersaTube or similar buildings. My recommendation is to invest in an engineered post frame building – they are permanent structures and can be designed by the engineer to handle any snow or wind load condition you desire or to meet at least the minimum requirements of your Building Department.
absolutely! I don’t know why anyone would sell that building to that location… to meet the snow load it would have had twice as much steel in there at least. I sell VersaTube buildings and in my area I let my customers know if we can or can not meet or exceed the snow load. if they choose to buy a 40 psf snow load building and place it in a 120 psf snow load area…they’ve heard from me several times that it’s not a good idea and they better be ready to remove that snow ASAP Common sense in this situation would have been nice.
Common sense is not so common, on both the part of consumers and of providers sadly.
I bought an RV carport through versa tube what a joke collapsed with a foot of snow on top when I purchase it there was a disclosure stating 30 pounds per square foot from my area so I purchased it. Well needless to say 2 1/2 years later it collapsed actually folded backwards I found the legs were welded at the end of the 2 x 4 galvanize steel very poor design I would never recommend buying any of their garbage. I asked for their attorneys information but they did not respond must be a backyard company.
Sorry for your experience. You might consider having your attorney write them a demand letter.
we jave installed hundreds of these versatube structures..never lost one yet..everyone knows they are not designed for heavy snowfall areas even here in arizona..
Ro, I have my versatube building 12×21 arriving in two weeks are they pretty simple to put up or should I hire an installer? Thanks
Having never assembled one, I cannot speak to how easy or difficult they are to erect.
Changed my mind, I won’t be buying one.
They’re super ez to put together
What about using a roof rake?
Why invest in something you have to constantly monitor in winter to make sure it does not collapse?
Sorry to be a spoiler but the building collasped because you went with the wrong roof in a snow belt. You must have a verticle ribbed roof for snow to slid off. Your picture shows a horizontal roof that cannot shed snow. When you install acmetal roof on a home or business you install it vertically to shed snow. To bad you did not read the specs and understand the snow load and the need to shovel a horizontal ribbed roof. A few hundred dollars more for the vertical ribbed roof and your building would be just fine for your area. I live in Maine, everyone with a vertical roof does nothing. Those who wanted to save money on a horizontal ribbed roof always need to clear their roof when the piles up.
Feb 16 2021 my over 14 yr old 40′ wide Versatube carport in NE Mississippi collapsed. We had 2 ice storms back to back and there was about 4″ plus of packed wet snow/ice on the horizontal roof.
I was not surprised.
Due to climate change we are getting more extreme weather events. What was standard design for decades ago won’t work now.
Replacement will have vertical roof.
The versatube garage they purchased, according to the versatube site is only rated for 25psf snow load. This is not nearly enough strength for a snowy climate. There are standard versatube structures with much higher psf ratings, and you can also custom order them to the load you need. People should not blame versatube due to their own ignorance. There was well over a foot of snow inside the garage. It seems like they clearly exceeded the documented design of the structure.
Putting up buildings is not like buying a TV. You are responsible to ensure you are buying and installing something that is rated for your site. It probably violated his local building code to even put this garage up. If you are going to be cheap and install a building yourself, then be responsible and understand the building codes and requirements. Otherwise, yes your roof could collapse, as it might not have been DESIGNED for how you used it.
That helped me out on if I want to buy a frame from Versatube I live in Michigan’s lower peninsula but the upper part so snow load is important.
My recommendation would be to invest in a fully engineered permanent structure.
I am a bit late to this story, but a quick google check said that the code in Minnesota was for 42 pounds/sqft in the north, and 35 pounds/sqft in the south. If it was rated for 25, it was quite woefully under strength, and the lateral direction on the sheet metal contributed to it retaining more snow than otherwise.
2023, My 3 years old versatube 18×20 roof with trustee added to it for snowload in northwest Wisc. but the roof still collapsed. the panels on the roof were caved in, frames were bent maybe 1/2 inch downward. That really disappoints me.
My 30’x32’ Versa Tube building also collapsed from this year’s icy heavy snow. Each end caved toward the center, breaking the welds on the bottom rail. It took over 2 years to get the pieces they finally said I needed for my area in Minnesota. It didn’t even make it through the first heavy snowfall. The kit came with no perlings. Tried using conduit but it wasn’t enough