Dear Pole Barn Guru: Mouse Proof

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  Hello. Can you give me an estimate for a concrete slab only? Specs are below. Just looking for an approximate ballpark figure. 3,600 square feet 6” thick 3,000 PSI

Heavy duty as plan to install a car lift at a later date. Heavy duty anchor bolts.

Please advise. Thank you. SHERYL

DEAR SHERYL: Thank you very much for considering Hansen Pole Buildings, we are the leader in online post frame KIT packages, we do not construct anything, for anyone, anywhere. This would include not installing concrete slabs on grade. You may want to give some consideration to the thickness of the slab, with a properly prepared site, which is well compacted is far more important than the thickness of the concrete. For 3600 square feet, a nominal four inch thick floor will take 45 yards, six inches 67.5. In most areas concrete runs about $100 a yard, meaning the extra two inches of thickness is well over $2000! Also, post frame buildings do not require any anchor bolts.

Here is some appropriate reading about site preparation: and

And about concrete finishers:
DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can the construction of these buildings be guaranteed mouse and bat proof? ANDY IN PANGUITCH

DEAR ANDY: As long as you never open a door or a window without a screen on it, you should be able to build entirely free of bats and mice. The reality is, critters exist and were here before us humans, so they are going to make every attempt to reclaim their turf. Things we do to help keep the critters on their side of the roof and walls – we use base trim around the bottom of the steel wall panels, so the mice can’t crawl up the high ribs. The ribs on the roof are sealed at the eaves by closed cell foam closures and the space between the roof steel and ridge cap has closures between them as well.

Our home on Lake Traverse (in South Dakota) has about 8000 finished square feet (yes, it is a post frame building) and despite taking what we felt was every precaution to keep the mice out (except we have doors – four each overhead and entry) we still had them until a few months ago when we invested in several ultrasonic pest repellers, which supposedly do not work, but have rid us of the pests.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: That kind of thinking shows you’re an expert. SPUD IN VERMONT

DEAR SPUD: Thank you very much for your kind words. I certainly do not profess to know it all (or even close to it all). I do happen to know enough folks who collectively have a good share of the answers and they are kind enough to assist me with crafting educated answers.

I make my share of mistakes and then some. If brilliance is measured by the number of mistakes we have learned from in one’s life, then I should be getting there any time! I’ve always figured, the day I stop making mistakes, is the day I have stopped living.

As parents, we try to share what we have learned from our mistakes with our children, in hopes they will not repeat them (and sometimes they even listen). My hope is, in sharing some of my defeats (as well as the successes), it will aid a few kind souls to end up with dream buildings which are close to ideal.

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