Can This Building Be Saved?

Can This Building Be Saved?

Reader BRAYTON in NORTHEAST WASHINGTON writes: “I’ve been previewing your website and am glad I found it!


I have been contacted recently by a potential client who had a 40′ x 60′ pole building constructed. The original contractor walked off the job. This client wants me to fix the building.

Here’s the situation:

The trusses are sheeted with OSB on one side of the gable trusses. The trusses are leaning toward one gable end. They appear to be warped and seem to have been installed this way. I figure this because the gable ends are not leaning as much as the trusses. The roof purlins are mounted to purlin blocks on top of the trusses and have joints meeting at each set of double trusses (the trusses are mounted on either side of the post).

The trusses were not braced laterally across the bottom chord, nor cross-braced at either gable end. There are missing wall girts and there doesn’t appear to be any bolts and/or hardware attached. The structure sat through a north eastern Washington winter like this. Half of the OSB roof sheathing was installed this spring, when the contractor walked.

The posts are not in line. The posts at the gable ends are inset from the wall posts. The owner states the posts were backfilled with sand. The existing soil has a lot of clay/dirt.

So, is this building salvageable? I was considering temporarily bracing the trusses, removing the roof sheathing, loosening the purlins at one end, and then truss by truss attempt to plumb them – bracing them as I go.

If you have any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

Thank you.”

Thank you for your kind words. We would be interesting in talking more with you about future builds (please reach out to 1.866.200.9657 Friday). Yes, it can be fixed. It will not be cheap – personally I would look at quoting either an hourly or daily rate, plus any equipment rental, as you will have no idea what you are getting into, until you are there. I’d think if you get it stripped down to framing, you could properly align columns (make sure to check if it is even square). Get one endwall straight and plumb, then adjust purlins bay-by-bay, as needed, to straighten each set of trusses.


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