Which Roof Style is Cheapest?

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.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a self-created plan that is 64×64 with lean-to porches on two sides. My question is, what is the safest and most economical roof style I can use? I love a saltbox with a shed dormer. Or even a gambrel with a shed dormer. I’ve even considered a clerestory but haven’t done much research on it. The roof covering will be galvalume. Is this span too much? Will I need interior support posts? It is an open floor plan with a loft that overlooks the great room and a balcony overlook accessed through the loft area. This will be a self-contracted project on rural farmland and I intend to do everything myself except the slab floor and plumbing. SQUARED IN LITTLE ROCK

DEAR SQUARED: The safest and most economical route will be a gabled roof – peak directly in the middle of the building, and probably a 4/12 roof slope. Prefabricated metal connector plated roof trusses can easily clear span the 64’ and then some, without the need for interior support columns. If you intend to have a second floor loft or mezzanine, then it will be less expensive to support these areas with interior columns.  With the possible complexities of your project, I’d greatly recommend you having some discussions with one of the Building Designers here at Hansen Buildings – they can take your concepts of floor plan and layout, and give you numerous suggestions on roof styles, with the goal being to craft a building which will meet with your needs, as well as provide the most bang for your investment. Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I wanted to know the best location to place the screws on my pole barn roof. Should I place them on the raised rib or in the lower flat area? Thank you!

WILLING IN WAVERLY DEAR WILLING: Screws should always be placed in the “flat” areas of the steel panels. The first panel will have an overlap on the leading edge (closest to the end of the building). Place a #10 x 1-1/2” screw next to this rib, into a roof purlin, and continue to place screws every nine inches across the roof.  The exception will be at the eave and the ridge, as this is where the greatest shear forces are. At these locations use either a diaphragm screw or a #14 x 1-1/2” screw on both sides of every high rib. Diaphragm screws will have some advantages over the #14 part (and can be used everywhere on the building). They have a narrower #12 shank, other than just below the head, so they are easier to drive and less likely to split the purlins. They also have a ¼” hex head, so driver bits do not have to be switched back and forth. You can read more about the development of these screws at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/08/this-is-a-test-steel-strength/Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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