Question About a Pole Building Under Construction

If you are like me, when you hire a professional to do professional work, you expect them to be experts and to do things correctly. Few things in life piss me off more than when a builder gives a client a great price and then cuts corners in order to make a profit.

Facebooker CHRIS in TENNESSEE messaged me:

“Question about our 30×40 pole barn that is being built. Our builder set our 6×6 post straight into the ground without any type of base at the bottom and just back filled the hole with dirt. Our plans from the company show a small concrete area at the bottom of each hole but they did not do that. I wanted to reach out to you to see if you can think of any long term issues I’m going to have down the road. Just looking for some education before talking to the company. Thanks.”

Sigh…..without an adequate footing beneath columns your building is going to sink. A minimum 6″ thick concrete footing needs to be poured under every column. There should also be a provision to prevent uplift. I would recommend no further payments to them until this issue is resolved. They should be providing an engineer certified solution to this.


“They just finished the metal on the building yesterday and it dawned on me I never noticed them putting concrete in the holes. We have a security camera on the corner of the house so I pulled up the video footage and they went straight from the holes being drilled to dropping the post in. Can that even be fixed that they are this far in the build?”

It can be fixed, but it is going to take a lot of work on their part. At this point, any repair should be done only with involvement of a Registered Professional Engineer to design a fix, supply sealed drawings and to sign off on completed work as being adequate. Most important part of your building is its foundation – this is not a place to compromise. Do not get bullied into backing down, you have paid for a good building and should expect to receive one.

“I’ve been confused about how the post should be set after trying to search the Facebook group. I saw people say never use concrete that it will rot the post and cookies are useless.”

There is a lot of bad information out there and a lot of armchair engineers (including builders). Concrete does not contribute to decay of properly pressure preservative treated wood. In most cases cookies are inadequate in both thickness and diameter.

“I just got off the phone with my builder (******** Barn Company) and of course they said they build 100’s of buildings like this and don’t have an issue.”

It doesn’t matter if they have built a million this way. Unless they are willing to provide an engineer sealed drawing (specifically for your building) to confirm it is adequate – call b.s.

You are likely going to get a lot of pushback from them, as they have screwed up and this fix is going to cost them money.

“My drawings show the concrete at the base and I questioned that and I got some story that “Oh, that’s in our software by default and cannot be remove on our plans.””

8 x 12 would not have been adequate anyhow. Again – if what they have done can be verified by an engineer, then okay – reality is it cannot.

Be prepared to have to hire a Construction Attorney and whatever you do, under no circumstances pay them anything more unless this condition is resolved, or your attorney tells you it is okay to pay.

“Thank you for all the professional advice.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1.866.200.9657
Building KitPrice

Know more about our pricing.

Pole Barn Guru Blog

The industry’s most comprehensive post frame blog.

Ask The Guru

This guru will grant you the answer to one pole barn question!

Pole Building Learning Center

To help guide you in the design of your new pole building.

Photo Gallery

Look at our collection of building photos for creative ideas!

Paint Your Building

Lets pick out some colors!