Part IV: Lumber Quality

Pole Barn Guru Blog

We Don’t Always Do Things Perfect, But We Do Listen Part IV

Last summer Hansen Pole Buildings Supplied a pole building kit package to a client who experienced a few challenges and took the time to address them.

Here is the last portion of the email I was responding to (the past three days’ blogs dealt with his items #1-5):
“On the design flaws, and other issues, here is what I have experienced.

6-Lumber Quality

WaneI know you sub this out as well but I was appalled.  The 2X6’s I picked up from Home Depot to finish the job were 10 times better than the stuff I received with my kit.  I had 2X6’s with BARK still attached to them.  I had to use some of them for scrap to cut up because there was not enough edge to screw anything to, on either side!!!”

My response: The “Allowable Defects” section of Chapter 3 of the Construction Manual address your lumber quality concerns. Excerpted from it:

  • Wane – up to 2/3 thickness and 1/2 width for 1/4 length.   An example would be on a 12’ long 2×6, wane could be 2-3/4” on wide face, 1” in depth across 1-1/2” face and 3’ in length.

In the event you received lumber which was outside of the defects allowed within the lumber grading rules, our office would certainly have arranged to have had them replaced at no charge to you. This is why we insist clients inspect and report damages within 48 hours, to give adequate time for replacing any lumber which does not meet standards. We rarely get this complaint about lumber quality, but you can be sure our lumber buyer, Justine, will be having a discussion with this particular lumber supplier. We don’t expect every stick of lumber to be perfect, but we do expect ALL of it to meet lumber quality grade standards….and then some. Once again, we can’t fix what we don’t know is a problem, until “after the fact”.
“7-Delivery Timing

I will preface this by saying that I was not ready for construction by the time all my materials arrived, which was a good thing.  If I was counting on delivery to build in a timely manner I would have been in trouble.  The last thing to arrive, almost 3 weeks after everything else had been delivered, was the hardware needed to attach the trusses.  If I was on a timeline, and not building by myself (literally), I would have been stuck waiting on fasteners and nails.  (Those 20D nails might be a bit much for some of that Kiln Dried lumber as well)”

My response: Our goal is to have materials arrive before they are needed. As such some suppliers will deliver early, especially if it minimizes their transportation costs. This helps to keep the price of your (and any other) building kit as reasonable as possible. As our warehouse controls shipments we make (such as your hardware), the schedule for delivery of your fasteners and nails was timed to coincide fairly closely to the arrival of the specially ordered and manufactured glu-laminated columns.

Folks tend to forget this is an online internet sale. If you purchase from other vendors on-line, (such as Amazon.com) I doubt you can specify when you want things delivered.   We do really strive to deliver things in an organized sequence: construction manual, plans, lumber & hardware, doors and windows, steel roofing and siding. And all within a 2 week “target”. Justine, our materials coordinator, works diligently at this. But even she can only do so much when the actual manufacturing, loading and delivering are outside of her direct control.

From Chapter 11 of the Construction Manual: Pre-drill 20d nail holes to avoid splitting.

As our youngest daughter would say, “Comments, questions or credit cards”! Either of the first two will always be appreciated as well as responded to, the last one is what gets used when people go off on their own without following the building plans, Construction Manual, or asking for assistance. We offer free technical support, and answer questions 7 days a week by email.

It’s apparent this client had several challenges along the way, most of which were not reported until his building was completed. We expect our clients to get a top quality building, at a fair price, each and every time. I started with pole buildings/trusses several decades ago. I continue to be in this business because every single day I am excited to solve people’s problems – with a building that fits their needs, and one I’d be proud to own myself. Someday I want to do a tour of all the buildings I have been involved in over the years. I’d like to be met at every client’s door with a smile, a handshake, and possibly an invitation to sit down and have a beer…and not a shotgun.

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Your Building. Your Way.


A building can be a tough decision. Call 866.200.9657 for a free consultation now!

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