Pole Buildings on Concrete Foundations

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’m looking to build what my fiancé calls an outbuilding to store his boat and also create a room for all of his guns and reloading gear, heavy emphasis on safety and security. Personally, I would like to build a barn with the above accommodations and shelter on the sides as well as extra storage room. We live on 2.5 acres and our climate is very arid. I was considering a straw bale structure. He is very frugal and has worked in the construction business as a superintendent for 22 plus years so how do I even get him to consider something other than a steel framed unit? YIELDING IN YAKIMA 

DEAR YIELDING: Whether it is a personal issue, or a new building, the only way to get another person to consider a solution other than what their preconceived notion is, is to communicate. If you are trying to appeal to your beloved’s sense of frugality – then a pole (post frame) building is going to come out the winner every time, especially if it is steel roofed and sided.

Keep in mind you can put any roofing or siding material on a pole building, it’s just that steel will be your least expensive and longest lasting. If your goal is an alternative, then you will need to do your research to try to show why something else might prove to be at least close to a similar cost, and yet afford some advantage. The advantage might very well be aesthetics.

Good Luck!

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I already have a 30’x60′ pole barn want to add some length 20 to 40 feet. KNOWING ON KNOTTS ISLAND

DEAR KNOWING: Thank you very much for your interest. There is a lot involved when adding onto an existing building which most people do not initially realize. We’d be more than pleased to assist you, however we do need a way to contact you, as you provided no contact information.

And yes, we do “add-on” buildings to existing structures.The best way and quickest ways to get information are to either request a quote online at:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/freequote.htm or call (866)200-9657.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’ve seen the articles and blogs about posts sitting on top of concrete not being AS STRONG and more costly that traditional pole building construction. However, homes are built this way every day with sill plates and top plates

I am wondering if using a poured concrete stem wall say 3ft high 6 inches wide on a traditional footer with drainage could work.

The concern is the twisting and bending forces so I wonder what the best way to counteract those forces would be? Possibly bracing at the top of the posts, let in bracing like in modern framing techniques… Anthony in Bloomington, IN

DEAR ANTHONY: You can certainly pour a “traditional” (in the stick frame sense) concrete foundation and footing system, however my question to you would be, “Why”? Concrete foundations are inherently expensive: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/

Posts can be mounted to concrete foundations (for more reading: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/concrete-brackets-2/)

A properly designed post frame (pole) building will utilize the shear stiffness of the roofing and siding to eliminate the need for other unnecessary bracing such as “let-in diagonals”.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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