Framing for Sheetrock, Exterior Stairs, and Board & Batten Siding

This Wednesday, the Pole Barn Guru addresses hanging of sheetrock on horizontal girts compared to conventional framing, the best method to install or add stairs to a structure to comply with building codes, and proper installation for board and batten siding.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have read about the benefits of hanging sheetrock on horizontal members (exterior wall with bookshelf girts) that you wrote ( Just recently I installed some on an existing wall which I had shimmed 2 ft. o.c. horizontally due to the wall not being level. I found that to be an easier install compared to 16″oc stud wall. My question is, when we get ready to frame our interior walls, non- load bearing, is it ok to frame 2 ft. o.c. horizontally with blocks? Any pros and cons would be appreciated. thanks for the wealth of knowledge that you provide on this website. ALLEN in CABOT

DEAR ALLEN: Thank you for your kind words sir, much appreciated. Excited you were able to take advantage of benefits of hanging sheetrock vertical on horizontal members. I would frame interior walls conventionally (vertical studs 24 inches on center), then add horizontal blocking for sheetrock. Should make door openings and wall intersections easier to frame.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, my building is recently completed and I am interested in adding concrete stairs in front of the four foot man-doors. Should I cut out the splash plank, drill and insert rebar in the slab to anchor, pour under the now exposed 1 1/2″ reveal under the door threshold? Or, Frame in the steps and pour concrete against the splash board? KEVIN in SILVERDALE

DEAR KEVIN: 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) Section R311.5 states exterior landings, decks, balconies, stairs, and similar facilities shall be positively anchored to primary structure to resist both vertical and lateral forces or shall be designed to be self-supporting. Attachment shall not be accomplished by use of toenails or nails subject to withdrawal. Due to possible differential settling of soils, we would recommend your stairs be designed as self-supporting. Leave splash plank intact and pour your stairs up to it.


DEAR POLE BAR NGURU: How would the bracing effect of full height 5/4 x10 wood siding (board & batten) attached directly to the girts compare to the bracing provided by metal siding on a pole barn? Thanks. KEVIN in WEST CALN

DEAR KEVIN: 5/4 x 10 board and batten should be able to be applied directly to 24 inch on center bookshelf wall girts and perform similarly to 29 gauge through screws steel panels. Boards should be dried to a 19% or less moisture content before installing. 2021 IBC Table 2304.10.2 provides appropriate fastening in Section 20: (3) 8d common nails (2-1/2″ x 0.131″); (4) 8d box nails (2-1/2″ x 0.113″); (3) 10d box nails (3″ x 0.128″) or (4) 1-3/4″ x 16 gauge staples with 1″ crown. It would be strongly recommend (and may be a local Code requirement) to apply a well-sealed Weather Resistant Barrier between wall girts and siding. Message:



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