Dear Pole Barn Guru: Vintage Barn

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are in the process of investigating our options re., the construction of a pole barn to serve as a retail antique mall/auction house. We have several sites in mind from 3-5 acres but have made no decision re., that yet as negotiations remain underway. Our facility needs to be vintage in appearance, resembling a mid-western barn/building with rustic (1800’s) appeal. Building size will be between 30K and 50K square feet with at least an 18′ clear height. Interior is open-plan, exposed beam. Is this something that your firm can handle? Thank you. BRYAN IN DES MOINES

Vintage BarnDEAR BRYAN: A post frame (pole barn) is probably the ideal design solution for the building you have in mind. Hansen Pole Buildings specializes in the design and provision of totally custom buildings, just like the one you have in mind. Bring us your wants, needs and ideas and we can craft a design solution which will keep both the practicality of the end use and your budget in mind.

From personal experience, make an offer on whatever appears to be the ideal piece of land subject to satisfactorily being able to meet the requirements of the local Planning Department. You will want to get on their docket for a pre-planning conference. You will have to submit, in advance, numerous sets of your proposed site plan, for review by each of the possibly effected departments.

With the kind of square footage you have in mind, a sprinkler system is probably going to be mandatory. This is just one of the items which will be addressed at the conference, however it will be an essential one as there must be adequate water flow for fire prevention.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Am looking for 40′ X 40′ square so we can put in 2 rows of 3 stalls, each 12′ X 12′ with a 12′ aisle.  We will enclose the pole barn ourselve.  Actually don’t need any doors, as we will use metal paddock gates. Please “clear”, the overhang option as well, because we are allowing for 3′ overhang on all sides.   Basically, I’d like a quote for a 49′ X 49′ X 12′ tall pole barn.  Thanks.  Email only.  My phone auto-rejects any unknown phone numbers.  Thank you. STACY IN LAKELAND

DEAR STACY: For several reasons I will recommend, since your phone auto-rejects any unknown numbers, you call our office and discuss your building needs with one of our experienced post frame building designers.

To create three 12 foot by 12 foot stall spaces on each side of a 12 foot width aisleway would probably work nicely in a 36 foot square “grid” barn, where columns are placed every 12 feet allowing for stalls to be built off from them. You can get more information on grid barns here:

You might find a 10 foot eave height to be more than adequate for stalls.

While many jurisdictions in Florida exempt buildings without concrete floors from building permits (as well as the Code), we would encourage you to only go with a building which is actually designed to withstand the wind conditions applicable to your particular site – as such, demand only an engineered building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do you align the rake trim when there is a slope transition. We do the lower rake first, then the transition flashing over that. Next the upper rake on top of that. It never seems to line up very well when viewed from the ground. CODY IN COLUMBIA

DEAR CODY: Kudos to you for being a building contractor who is not afraid to reach out to others in order to learn how to do things better. Personally, I’ve learned important tips and tricks from thousands of builders who have shared real world ideas with me.

You have the right idea as to the order of installation however underlying forces come into play here. The trick to making a slope transition work and the trim be smooth, is to make sure the framing is done properly to account for the change in slope as well as the thickness of the lower roof steel. You can read all about it here: Try it out on your next building and let me know how it works, I think you will be pleased by the results.

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