Dear Pole Barn Guru: Average Building Cost

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: LVL beams, 24 ft bay width, telephone/power poles as verticals. Should I sit the LVL on top of the poles, or bolt them to the sides? GEORGE IN WAKE FOREST

DEAR GEORGE: You asked for my advice, so here it comes. I have to tell you this is wrong in so many ways. Telephone/power poles are absolutely the wrong way to start your building.

Here are a couple of articles you should read before diving in further: and

Regardless of what you are going to use for columns, the solution lies between your two proposed plans – notch the LVLs into the columns. This solves a myriad of potential problems – the LVL now can’t slide down the column due to a potentially inadequate connection and it can’t rotate as the remainder of the column keeps it upright.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I just want to know the average cost,of building one,from small to large,so i could decide if I would want to go that route..thank you in advance. BARBARA IN INDIANAPOLIS

DEAR BARBARA: This is a loaded question as there is no such thing as an “average” cost which will cover your needs, as well as the provider’s.

When asked how much a building would run, my lovely bride used to reply, $3 per square foot. When she was given a then incredulous look, she would expound, “As long as the building is over an acre is footprint, has no large clearspans, no walls, very short eave height and a galvanized roof”. Obviously this would meet the needs of very few clients, but it was an accurate statement.

This would be akin to asking the price to remodel a bathroom – will it be completely gutted and have all new fixtures? Tile floors or vinyl? Custom cabinets or something cheap off-the-shelf from Menards? Granite counter tops? Starting to get the drift?

I can assure you, post frame (pole) buildings will be the most economical structure for your building dollar. Your best results will come from the utilization of this FREE Planning Guide:

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a wood frame barn with 2×6 trusses set 8’ on center. All walls are framed in 2×6 and 4×6 posts The span from bearing wall to bearing wall is 50’. It appears that the previous owner added 4×4 post to build stalls etc. The posts are set on top of dirt and attached with one bolt at truss. Can I remove posts safely? JOHN IN DEXTER

DEAR JOHN: Yes, please remove them. Not only are they not a structural asset, it is possible, during extreme snow conditions, they may cause a truss failure due to a load being imparted to the truss at a point where it is not designed to be placed.

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