Repurposing a Pole Building

The following is an actual true story, beginning with this client reaching out via email to the Hansen Pole Buildings Technical Support Department.

Hi Tech Support,

I can hear your engineers groaning already.  “Why didn’t you design that when you bought the pole building?”  They are completely right, and please feel free to ridicule me around your office.

Here’s the challenge.  I finished building one of your 24 x 36 buildings. I’m sure you still have records.  It’s got two 10 x 10 doors at the front gable end.

And I’ve got a really good deal on a 33 foot catamaran that I’d like to get into there, work on it for about two years, then get it back out and sail around the world.  Of course, catamarans are wide.  Like 16′ wide.  

 I can come at the building from any direction – the forward or back gable ends or the sides.  I’m guessing that there may be a way to span one of the side posts with temporary structure to hold the trusses up while I get the boat in.  But that requires cutting a post and then putting it back together.  

I know that anything’s possible with enough time and money – but how much of each are we talking here?  I can’t be the first dummy who’s needed to do something like this, right?



Things like this happen more often than one may think. Buildings end up being re-purposed often for things which were never dreamed about when they were originally planned. We are waiting for some information on your project to be retrieved from our archives – however the solution is most probably going to be to come in from the back endwall.

framed-endwallHere is the idea at this point – carefully remove all of the siding from the rear endwall of your pole building, then the framing up to the end truss.  Detach the top of the endwall column from any bracing or the end truss at the top. Cut this column off at the ground. Push the boat into the building. We have drill set anchors which can be used to put the endwall column back in place, then reassemble the end. When the boat is ready to sail, do the same process again. You might consider using #10 x 2-1/2″ Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive SD Connector Screws for reattaching the framing

Your monetary investment in this will be relatively small.

Good Luck on  your Around the World trip!  Be sure to send us pictures!
When considering a structural change to any existing pole building, it is always best to be in contact and have discussions with whomever provided your building. It allows their structural design team (often including a RDP – Registered Design Professional). Often they will have solutions which you might never have considered.

Or contact me J

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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