The Things One Finds on Craigslist

Wanted – Pole Barn Builder, Carpenter, and skilled handyman to help me rebuild this 20+ year old pole barn that was recently taken down. It is 65′ x 100′. I need to lay it out, put in the holes, pour the concrete pole piers, and erect all the superstructure (including 65′ wide trusses), and the metal.”

People get the absolute strangest ideas, especially when they have purchased a used building for next to nothing (or maybe even got it for free).

To begin with a 20 plus year old building was designed under an entirely different set of building code requirements than what must be used today. Does it mean the building was bad? No, what it means is building structural technology has improved. Today we have a much better understanding of how wind and snow loads effect buildings, and the Code reflects this improved technology.

There is not a snowball’s chance on the beach in Hawaii of a structural building permit being acquired for this building, under the current Code in effect.

craigslist pole barnWhile the ad refers to 65 foot wide trusses, if you examine the photo – the building does not have trusses. The building actually has “I” joists which I suspect are way overstressed in their ability to support a roof snow load. The roof purlins have been placed so as to go over the top of the I joists. They appear to have been attached merely by toe nailing them into the top flange of the I joists. While this may have been easy, the Code (even back then) required members like these to be attached to prevent rotation (overturning). The easiest solution would be solid blocking on top of the inadequate I joists, in between the purlins.

When (or if) this rebuild is ever done, it is going to be a true chore to apply the steel skin (especially the roofing). Trying to realign holes with the purlins is going to be nothing but a chore.

In my humble opinion, if offered a building for free in exchange for moving it, just say no – you will come out far ahead.

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