What is a Truss?

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/20/2012
What is a Truss?

Having grown up the son of a framing contractor, then working framing for my father and uncles as a teen, I take for granted everyone knows what trusses are. When my first daughter, Annie, was just a wee tyke, she used to fold napkins into triangles – she told me she was, “building trusses”, like […]

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Myth Busters and All Steel Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/19/2012
Myth Busters and All Steel Buildings

As mentioned in a recent post (last Wednesday), recently while ‘net surfing, I stumbled across some interesting reading on a website for a hybrid steel frame – wood girts and purlins building. The same website also had the benefits and/or disadvantages of all steel buildings. Again, I’ll present their information and then either agree or […]

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Construction Costs: It is Not Getting Any Cheaper

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/16/2012
Construction Costs: It is Not Getting Any Cheaper

We’ve seen prices of materials creeping up fairly steadily for the past year, and according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the era of cheap construction materials may be slipping away. The price index for construction costs input — a weighted average of all materials used in construction, plus items consumed by contractors, […]

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The 3 Hour Post Frame Firewall Test: Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/15/2012
The 3 Hour Post Frame Firewall Test: Part II

By guest blogger J.A.Hansen, owner of Hansen Buildings Where I left you yesterday was watching an inferno blazing away at 1800 degrees, 3 feet from a wood framed firewall.  This carefully monitored firewall test was carried out in a UL testing facility under strict conditions to see if a structurally independent wall made of wood […]

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The 3 Hour Firewall for Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/14/2012
The 3 Hour Firewall for Pole Buildings

Guest blog by J.A.Hansen, owner of Hansen Buildings… There were several concurrent conferences with great speakers at the NFBA expo Mike the Pole Barn Guru, Eric (my business partner and President of Hansen Buildings) and myself recently attended in St. Louis, MO. The National Frame Builders’ Association website: www.nfba.org gives this description:  “NFBA is the […]

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Myth Busters: Wood Only Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/13/2012
Myth Busters: Wood Only Pole Buildings

Recently, while ‘net surfing, I stumbled across some interesting reading on a website for a hybrid steel frame (posts and roof framework) – but with wood girts and purlins building. I’ll present their information and then either agree or debunk it. This list was for the benefits and/or disadvantages of wood only pole buildings. My […]

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Pole Building Price: It’s $8000 Less!

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/12/2012
Pole Building Price: It’s $8000 Less!

Saturday night….nearly 9 p.m. I know what you are thinking, it is after beer:30 and if anything I should be out listening to my step-son Adam’s band Skyline from Fargo (yes….a blatant plug for his band) play. Nope – we’re working! And the office phone rings. Now I am not certain who is playing with […]

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Wind Exposure & Confusion

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/09/2012
Wind Exposure & Confusion

If you are a registered design professional, or a building official, then you are trying to make sense out of this subject on a daily basis. Most people who are selling buildings (either constructed or kit packages), tend to ignore wind exposure, or pretend it somehow doesn’t exist. For sake of utter confusion, I’ll list […]

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Post Holes: How do I get the Bottoms Even?

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/08/2012
Post Holes: How do I get the Bottoms Even?

In construction of a typical standard stick frame (stud wall), masonry, all steel, or probably just about any other type of building, it is essential for the footings and foundation walls to be level. In layman’s terms – all at the same height. Pole buildings are much more forgiving than other types of construction, and […]

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Pole Barn Post Spacing Revisited

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/07/2012
Pole Barn Post Spacing Revisited

Pole Barn Post Spacing Revisited By far, my most read blog has been on, “Pole Barn Truss Spacing”. With nearly 50% more reads than any other blog I have written, it clearly is a fan favorite. I’ve had it referenced by clients, building contractors and code officials. So when one of our clients wrote: “After […]

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Hutyaharapast Szorevel: Overhangs, yes!

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/06/2012
Hutyaharapast Szorevel: Overhangs, yes!

Had you going with the title, didn’t I? Kutyaharapást szőrével is Hungarian for “The hair of the dog”. The English saying “the hair of the dog” dates back to the days of Shakespeare, and deals with curing a hangover with even more alcohol!  Similarly, I want to cure the lack of building overhangs, with information […]

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Overhangs, not Hung-over

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/05/2012
Overhangs, not Hung-over

Just my personal opinion, but I feel every building should have overhangs. How important are they in my book? I would rather do without doors, than without overhangs. Doors can be added in later on; with overhangs there is only one opportunity to do it right, or wrong. Here is a place where size matters. […]

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Interior Walls: Not in My Inside

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/02/2012
Interior Walls: Not in My Inside

Pole buildings afford one of the great luxuries of buildings, without a premium price – large, open clearspan spaces. Without the need for interior walls to support roof systems, walls, if needed, can be placed anywhere. In stick frame (stud wall) construction, interior walls often become load bearing points to carry roof loads to the […]

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Stairway to Heaven

Posted by polebarnguru on 03/01/2012
Stairway to Heaven

Stair design and location seems to be fairly baffling. There are some general rules which, if followed, make things much easier. These are based upon the International Building Codes and there do exist some localized code exceptions (always check with your Building Official prior to building stairs). In order to keep things simple, spiral stairs […]

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Grade Change: Part of the Building is Underground

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/29/2012
Grade Change: Part of the Building is Underground

I have a pole building in my backyard. Now I live on a lake, in the mountains. My lot is a parallelogram – 60’ x 225’ and 14 degrees out of square. From the lake, the back of my lot is probably 150 feet higher in elevation. Hmmmm….grade change? Yes indeed, there is grade change […]

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Building Code: It’s Just a Pole Building…Who Cares?

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/28/2012
Building Code: It’s Just a Pole Building…Who Cares?

For the most part, obtaining a building permit for a pole barn, or a waiver of the need to obtain one, is very easy. In my humble opinion, far too easy. The reality is… code enforcement agencies generally do NOT require engineering design documents for pole buildings. Pole buildings are highly stressed, structurally indeterminate structures […]

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Spray Foam Insulation: What’s the Stink?

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/27/2012
Spray Foam Insulation: What’s the Stink?

What’s the Stink? One popular, although expensive, method of insulating pole buildings is with spray foam insulation. Besides cost, spray foam can also bring with it problems in the form of lingering odors.  These odors are coming from a catalyst in the foam, or from foam which is off-ratio, not mixed well or sprayed too […]

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Fastest Building Retains Construction Quality

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/24/2012
Fastest Building Retains Construction Quality

And I Thought I Was Fast Sunday, October 27, 1996 was a special day for my pole building construction company. Bob Vila’s Home Again was airing at 10 a.m. Pacific. Beginning at 9:30, live on the same network, we set a world record for a “fastest building”,  the fastest site-constructed two car garage, completing the […]

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The 3 Largest Non-Construction Mistakes: Pole Barn Planning

Many people have literally built their own pole buildings – from digging the holes, until the last screw is driven. Some do portions of the work themselves and hire a builder to drive the nails, while others employ a general contractor to do everything for them. Most adore their new buildings. Some are deeply disillusioned. […]

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Dial 9-1-1 for Pole Building Contractor!

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/22/2012
Dial 9-1-1 for Pole Building Contractor!

When I opened my first business, back in 1981 (yes, I am dating myself), my first regular repeat client was a fireman from Woodburn, Oregon. He was a great person to deal with, always paid his bills on time, and never complained. I’d nearly forgotten about him, until I heard the following saga from a […]

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Love, It Includes the Pole Barn

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/21/2012
Love, It Includes the Pole Barn

It may not be possible to put a price on love, but the square footage and location of where the love story takes place is a different story. Many couples take their potential partner’s “digs” (which includes the garage/shop and any other pole building) into account before entering into a relationship, according to a new study, […]

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Wood vs All Steel Buildings and Fire

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/20/2012
Wood vs All Steel Buildings and Fire

Wood. It Doesn’t Melt The steel/wood steel/wood debate, as far as building structure, seems never ending. The “all steel” building manufacturers highly tout the resistance of their heavy steel frames against fire. But just maybe, the all steel buildings are not everything they are promoted to be. I’m a member of several discussion groups on […]

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Pole Building Footings and Frost Depth

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/17/2012
Pole Building Footings and Frost Depth

“Except where erected on solid rock or otherwise protected from frost, foundation walls, piers and other permanent supports of buildings and structures larger than 400 square feet in area or 10 feet in height shall extend below the frost line of the locality, and spread footings of adequate size shall be provided where necessary to […]

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Pole Building Prescriptive Requirements

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/16/2012
Pole Building Prescriptive Requirements

In a misguided effort to make things “easier” for potential building owners and builders, some Building Departments have prescriptive requirements for non-engineered pole buildings. This means if someone walks in the Building Department door and wants to construct a pole building, as long as the building owner (or builder) agrees to build to match the […]

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Should You Invest in Pole Building Engineering…or Not?

Posted by polebarnguru on 02/15/2012
Should You Invest in Pole Building Engineering…or Not?

Clients ask me, “What is the difference between your engineered and non-engineered buildings”? In the case of Hansen Buildings, the only difference is the engineered buildings have been reviewed by a professional engineer, who is registered in the state where the building is to be constructed. This review is for structural adequacy.  And, following the […]

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