Building Interior Height

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ask-the-guruDEAR POLE BARN GURU: As a suggestion for future non-metal roofed/sided buildings, I would suggest that drawing 12/S-3 of the plans be re-done to show the roof sheathing extending about 3/4 inch beyond the beveled fascia to allow for room to install 3/4 fascia trim instead of the sheet metal fascia provided with the kit.  The steel fascia really does detract from the look of my building, but as I already have the roof completed, there is nothing I can do about it. STEVE IN ELIZABETH

DEAR STEVE: Wonderful suggestion, however installing 3/4″ fascia trim would not hold the soffit panels in place. The 1-1/2″ bottom “lip” of the fascia trim is needed to hold them in (and also covers and imperfectly cut edges, etc.).  If you overhung the edge of our fascia board far enough with your shingles, you could install a wood or composite fascia board over the steel trim and no one would be the wiser.

Many of the procedures outlined in our construction manual, or details on our plans, are the resultant of decades of feedback from both DIYers and/or their builders. We are always looking for ways to provide the best possible post frame building experience.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: in ordering a building that I want a 16′-0″ clearance from finish concrete to bottom of truss, what would the eave height be to accomplish this dimension? ART IN SULPHUR

DEAR ART: First it might be handy to do a review of the definition of “eave height”:

In most cases, adding 3-1/2 inches for the concrete slab and six inches for the roof system are adequate. Unless you have a very wide clearspan on the trusses, an excessive wind load, or a partially enclosed building it is generally fairly safe to add a foot to the wanted interior height to determine the needed eave height.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  Is it possible to reduce the width of an existing pole barn by two feet by reconfiguring the walls, support system, roof, etc., without demolishing the barn? NATALIE IN GRESHAM

DEAR NATALIE: Possible, yes – almost anything can be done with enough money.

Practical, probably not.

My educated guess is there is a ‘Paul Harvey’ to the story which, if I had to surmise, would be involving a property line somewhere.

It may take more time, effort and money to accomplish, than the building (or its replacement) is worth. To do it right, a registered professional engineer should be contracted with who can properly evaluate the existing building and make recommendations as to what the end resultant should be in order to be structurally sound.

There will be lots of factors which will come into play, among them (but not limited to) are:

The roof trusses. The truss manufacturer will need to be contacted to provide a repair for the trusses, as the bearing point will no longer be at the end of the truss. If the two feet is being eliminated (cut off), then this will also need to be accommodated for.

The roof system will need to be adequately supported while individual columns are taken out and probably replaced entirely. I say replaced, as the new eave height will be taller on this side than previously constructed. If existing columns are concreted in, it might be easiest to just cut them off at the ground.

Done carefully, there is a chance the sidewall framing materials can be reused. The siding will no longer be long enough (the wall height is increasing by the slope of the roof) – so will need to be replaced.

If the building is other than brand new, it may require upgrades in order to meet with the latest version of the Building Code as well.

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