Category Archives: Lumber

Splash Boards, Roof Loads, and Truss Spacing

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/23 @ 8:00
Splash Boards, Roof Loads, and Truss Spacing

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about shrinkage of splash boards installed wet, roof load capacity, and truss spacing for an RV storage building. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have two questions (related) regarding splash boards and concrete floor top. My splash boards have been in place for quite a while, and […]

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Floor Trusses, Plywood Floor, and Post Frame Conversion

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/09 @ 8:00
Floor Trusses, Plywood Floor, and Post Frame Conversion

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about building to FEMA Flood Code for a raised wood floor, use of a plywood floor instead of concrete pad, and finding a certified engineer to help with conversion of pole barn to a home. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have to build according to the current […]

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Avoiding Being Driven Crazy With Barndominium Questions Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/08 @ 8:00
Avoiding Being Driven Crazy With Barndominium Questions Part II

Part II of a two part series. If you didn’t see Part I, go back one day. Mike’s answers are in italics.  In each house at ends of the “L” layout, I plan to have 1/3 open plan at two stories, for our great room, with nice windows for great views. The other 2/3 areas […]

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Post Frame Home Zero Barrier Entry Over a Crawl Space

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/02 @ 8:00
Post Frame Home Zero Barrier Entry Over a Crawl Space

Post Frame Home Zero Barrier Entry Over a Crawl Space Reader MARC in AUBURN writes: “I am asking what might be an odd question, but I need to ask it to see if it is even an option. Is it possible to build a post frame home with part of it having a concrete floor […]

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Post Frame Shouse Column Options

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/30 @ 8:00
Post Frame Shouse Column Options

Post Frame Shouse Column Options – Risk vs. Reward Loyal readers will recall a recent post involving GREG in KENTWOOD (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/dont-want-pressure-treated-columns-in-the-ground/). Our discussion continues and I share below: “Mike, Thanks for the quick response.    If I was a sane man, not sure I am, if properly pressure treated lumber will last a few generations, why […]

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Don’t Want Pressure Treated Columns in the Ground?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/18 @ 8:00
Don’t Want Pressure Treated Columns in the Ground?

Loyal reader GREG in KENTWOOD writes: “We plan to build a house next summer with basically (2) – 40’x60’ units connected at 90°, wife is still in the planning stage, 2 story.  I feel that me and my sons should be able to erect a kit with directions from the supplier and tips.   I like […]

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Pressure Treated Post Frame Building Poles Rot

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/17 @ 8:00
Pressure Treated Post Frame Building Poles Rot

Presenting actual factual evidence, from a peer reviewed and published study seems to have little bearing upon reality in today’s social media influenced world. Instead, people tend to rely heavily upon those with a vested (financial) interest in promotion of something other than actual and factual truth. Those invested interests vary from those selling alternatives […]

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Checks and Splits in Post Frame Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/16 @ 8:00
Checks and Splits in Post Frame Lumber

Checks and splits in lumber and timbers, especially timbers, are often misunderstood when assessing a structure’s condition. Checks and splits can form in wood by two means: during seasoning, or drying, and during manufacture. This article is concerned with checks and splits resulting from seasoning after installation.  Development of checks and splits after installation occurs […]

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Taking the Bow Out of a Glulaminated Column

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/01 @ 8:00
Taking the Bow Out of a Glulaminated Column

Taking the Bow Out of a Glulaminated Column Glulaminated post frame building columns are touted by their producers as being able to withstand warping and twisting. On occasion, however, they will bow. Hansen Pole Buildings’ client JOSH is self-building in SALMON, Idaho and wrote: “Good Morning Mike, Thought I would check with you, but probably […]

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Final Inspection, Framing Lumber, and Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/21 @ 8:00
Final Inspection, Framing Lumber, and Trusses

This Friday’s blog include some extra Pole Barn Guru reader’s questions about a final inspection, materials needs for a building, and the quantity of trusses for another. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: In a pole barn the inspector will not pass final inspection with a crushed concrete floor for storage of any kind of vehicle inside […]

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Stick Frame and Some Limitations

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/06 @ 11:00
Stick Frame and Some Limitations

Stick Frame and Some Limitations Perhaps stick built construction’s biggest advantage is builders and tradespeople are very comfortable working in and around stick framing. All registered architects and most building inspectors are very familiar with stick framing. The International Residential Code (IRC) provides a prescriptive ‘cook book’ to follow for adequate structural assembly, within certain limitations. […]

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Stick Framing?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/05 @ 8:00
Stick Framing?

Stick Framing? A continuing debate, in picking a structural system for a new barndominium, is what is going to be best? Due to years of conditioning, many assume a traditional wood framed, stick built barndominium, assembled on site is what will be right.  Granted, stick built houses, with traditional wood framing, are by far America’s […]

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Subcontractors for Your Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/24 @ 8:00
Subcontractors for Your Barndominium

Welcome – you are maybe here because you have followed my biggest money saving tip in building a new barndominium, you are acting as your own General Contractor. If you are not yet convinced, please take a brief pause to jump back to: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/02/does-my-barndominium-need-a-turn-key-general-contractor/. There are those who have time and patience (or skills) to […]

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Building a Workshop, Chemical Reactions, and a Retaining Wall

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/22 @ 8:00
Building a Workshop, Chemical Reactions, and a Retaining Wall

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about building a workshop, if there should be concern for a chemical reaction attaching steel siding to a PT skirt board, and building a shop near a new retaining wall. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, we are looking to do a workshop build in the next 2-4 […]

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Footers, Building Over Old Pool, and Home Made Glu-Lams

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/27 @ 8:00
Footers, Building Over Old Pool, and Home Made Glu-Lams

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about need for a “footer,” building over an old pool, and the efficacy or viability of building ones own glulaminated posts. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: You have most likely answered this question before. I don’t seem to be able to find it. I am thinking about building a […]

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How Roof is Done, “Logs” for Kits, and Two-Story “Shoffice”(?)

This Monday, Mike the Pole Barn Guru discusses the ins and outs of a roof, lumber provided with the Kit, and if we can offer a two story shed/office (“Shoffice”?). DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How is the roof done? Do you use screws or nails? Is the frame wood or steel? MARY in MT. PLEASANT […]

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Creating Extra Work in Barndominium Framing

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/09 @ 8:00
Creating Extra Work in Barndominium Framing

Creating Extra Work In Barndominium Framing A supposed downside of post frame (pole barn) buildings for barndominiums is having to frame a wall inside of an exterior wall in order to create an insulation cavity and a way to support interior finishes. This myth is created and propagated by post frame kit suppliers and post […]

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A Miracle Cure to Prevent Twisted Timber Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/08 @ 8:00
A Miracle Cure to Prevent Twisted Timber Columns

A Miracle Cure to Prevent Twisted Timber Columns In 1960 Chubby Checker did a cover of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters 1959 song “The Twist”. Checker’s cover reached Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 both in 1960 and again in 1962, becoming the only single to reach number one in two different chart runs. While […]

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Load Duration Factor in Wood Design

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/26 @ 8:00
Load Duration Factor in Wood Design

Load Duration Factor in Wood Design Considering a barndominium, shouse or other post frame (pole) building with wood framing? While this article is somewhat technical, you (as a future building owner) can use it to determine if who (builder or supplier) really knows what they are talking about when it comes to structural design. And […]

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Where Your Barndominium Dollars Go

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/04 @ 8:00
Where Your Barndominium Dollars Go

Where Your Barndominium Dollars Go Recently published by NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) was their 2019 Cost of Construction Survey. I will work from their ‘average numbers’ to breakdown costs so you can get a feel for where your barndominium, shouse or post frame home dollars go. Please use this as a reference only, […]

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A Barndominium Can Be a Carbon Storage Warehouse

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/14 @ 8:00
A Barndominium Can Be a Carbon Storage Warehouse

Designed right, your new barndominium can help prevent global warming. By utilization of a wooden post frame structure, rather than steel or concrete, carbon can be stored (like a warehouse), rather than being released into our planet’s atmosphere. The carbon cycle demonstrates various phases of carbon through living things, soil, water and atmosphere. If carbon […]

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Barndominium Warrantees

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/22 @ 8:00
Barndominium Warrantees

Barndominium Warrantees Regular readers of my articles are aware I have joined and regularly read and contribute to every Facebook and Linkedin group about barndominiums and post frame buildings I possibly can find. My goal always is for people to get their best possible value for their investment, even should they somehow decide Hansen Pole […]

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What Is Keeping Posts Above Ground Worth?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/10 @ 8:00
What Is Keeping Posts Above Ground Worth?

What is Something Worth? I can be overly anal. Sometimes I have to really work hard to get around it – I purposefully have conundrums on my desk and for some perverse reason I feel comfortable in them.  I inherited my maternal grandmother’s counting gene. Even into her nineties, if I called her up and […]

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Calculating Stairs Rise and Run

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/09 @ 8:00
Calculating Stairs Rise and Run

What is Wrong With this Picture? Stairs, they seem to confound and befuddle just about everyone. In my early years as Sales Manager at Coeur d’Alene Truss, I used to volunteer to go measure houses up to confirm plan dimensions would match up with what was actually being built. Usually yes, but on occasion – […]

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Free Home Milled Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/08 @ 8:00
Free Home Milled Lumber

Every few years it seems there arises a need for young (remember I am only 62 years young) men to head into forests and become loggers. I have been there personally – there is just something manly about hacking down some snags with a chain saw! Myself, there is a sudden rush when a tree […]

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Remodel or Not?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/01 @ 8:00
Remodel or Not?

Remodel or Build New? I am as guilty as most – my initial reaction is always to remodel, rather than build new. Even when it makes no practical or economic sense. Reader JIM in LAWTON is working through one of these situations. He writes:  “I have a 30 x 40 pole barn 32 years old. […]

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Prefabricated Endwall Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/12/24 @ 8:00
Prefabricated Endwall Trusses

Most post frame (pole) buildings use prefabricated wood roof trusses to support their roof systems. Luckily (as well) most of these also use a truss on each endwall, rather than having crews (or unsuspecting DIYers) cobbling together rafters onsite. As a former owner of two prefabricated metal connector plated truss companies for 17 years, this […]

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Why Not Use 6×6 or 8×8 Posts Up North?

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/11/22 @ 8:00
Why Not Use 6×6 or 8×8 Posts Up North?

Reader DARRELL in LUCEVILLE asked this question and included photo below. While this photo is not of a Hansen Pole Building, I can comment upon it. Featured in this building photo are glulaminated columns – they are a great product, high strength to weight ratio, straight, highly resistant to warp and twist. They are strong […]

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Checks and Splits in Post Frame Timbers

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/10/30 @ 8:00
Checks and Splits in Post Frame Timbers

Checks and Splits in Post Frame Timbers Checks and splits in post frame timbers (wall columns) are often misunderstood when assessing a structure’s condition. There are two means where checks and splits can form in wood elements: during seasoning, or drying, and during manufacture. Development of checks and splits after installation occurs after wall columns […]

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Pre-construction Termite Treatment

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/09/26 @ 8:00
Pre-construction Termite Treatment

Why would anyone building a pole barn, barndominium, shouse or post frame home need to be concerned about treating for termites? Isn’t pressure preservative treated wood going to solve any potential long range problems from pesky termites? Regardless of whether you build a post frame (pole) building, stick frame, steel frame or even concrete building […]

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How to Order Lumber for a New Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/09/04 @ 8:00
How to Order Lumber for a New Pole Building

This is Wrong in So Many Ways There is nothing wrong about trying to get the best deal for one’s investment. How do you think wealthy people got wealthy? Most of them didn’t just fall into money, they worked to get the best deals for their money spent. However, sometimes, it just doesn’t pay. Recently, […]

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An Oops from a Competitor’s Architect

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/06/20 @ 8:00
An Oops from a Competitor’s Architect

The Pole Bar Guru reviews an oops from an architect in today’s blog. Back in 2017 Hansen Pole Buildings was contacted by a gentleman I shall call “Dan” who had an interest in a post-frame home or ‘barndominium’.  For those not familiar with this term: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/02/barndominium/. I have to admit, Dan spoke with a Hansen […]

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Storing Lumber for a New Pole Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/06/12 @ 8:00
Storing Lumber for a New Pole Building

Storing Lumber for Your New Post Frame Building Ideally, use lumber promptly. Otherwise store in a cool, dry location, avoiding direct sunlight and preferably indoors where humidity variations will be minimal. Dry lumber Unlike green lumber, keep kiln or air-dried lumber away from moisture, otherwise product may lose value added by careful seasoning. Dry lumber […]

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When Size (or Lack Thereof) Matters- 4×6 Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/04/16 @ 8:00
When Size (or Lack Thereof) Matters- 4×6 Columns

Prior to Hansen Pole Buildings’ client’s plans being sealed by our third-party engineers, their preliminary plans are uploaded for client review through a login. While review goal is to make certain everyone is working from a same left and ensure doors and windows are properly located, it does trigger some interesting discussions at times. Here […]

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How Lumber is Pressure Preservative Treated

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/03/28 @ 8:00
How Lumber is Pressure Preservative Treated

How Lumber is Pressure Preservative Treated Most people never have an opportunity to tour a pressure preservative treatment plant in operation. I have had this privilege several times and have always found it to be fascinating. Rather than reinventing things, our friend Bob Vila (https://www.bobvila.com/) and Georgia-Pacific (https://www.buildgp.com/wood/lumber/) have produced this wonderful video for your […]

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Addition to House, Stone Floor Moisture Barrier

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/03/25 @ 8:00
Addition to House, Stone Floor Moisture Barrier

Today the Pole Barn Guru discusses a post frame addition to a house, whether or not one should use a plastic barrier under the stone floor in a steel building, and the ability of a truss carrier to handle imposed loads. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi! We are considering a sizeable addition to our 600 […]

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Fight Knee Braces

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/03/08 @ 8:00
Fight Knee Braces

Long time readers (as well as most people with a lick of common sense) know knee braces are not a good thing. Besides taking up valuable interior space, they do more harm than good. Reader TY from QUINTON has run into a dilemma regarding knee braces. He writes: “I pulled a permit to self build […]

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Smartphone App to Test Lumber Strength

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/03/07 @ 8:00
Smartphone App to Test Lumber Strength

I have been a proponent of machine rated lumber since I bought my first truckload to be made into trusses at Coeur d’Alene Truss (http://www.cdabuilders.com/) back in 1978. Years later I spent five terms on the Board of Directors of the Machine Stress Rated Lumber Producers Council (http://www.msrlumber.org/). I have opined previously on the merits […]

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Bookshelf Girts or Stud Walls?

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/01/29 @ 8:00
Bookshelf Girts or Stud Walls?

Why Use Bookshelf Girts Rather Than Studs? Long time readers may recall my Grandpa Pete was a home builder and his sons – Sid (my father), Neil, Lyle, Gil, Dave and Amund were all framing contractors. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/06/before-the-pole-barn-guru/. Besides being raised with “wood is good”, I had a concept of vertical stud walls permanently ingrained in […]

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North Carolina Students Learn Post Frame Construction

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/01/22 @ 8:00
North Carolina Students Learn Post Frame Construction

North Carolina College Students Learn Post Frame Construction The following article by Dan Grubb appeared first in the December 5, 2018 Sampson Independent “Sometimes the building blocks to success look more like beams than blocks. Students at Sampson Community College’s Building and Construction program know this first hand as work continues on a facility the […]

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Elevated Floors, Snow Loads, and Species of Wood in Posts

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/01/14 @ 8:00
Elevated Floors, Snow Loads, and Species of Wood in Posts

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about elevated floors, heavy snow loads, and what species of lumber posts are cut from. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We own a site that was fully treed so the soil is not so great. We are interested in doing a pole barn design however a few engineers […]

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Site Built Roof Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/12/26 @ 8:00
Site Built Roof Trusses

Site Built Roof Trusses In penning my recent article about sexy prefab roof trusses, recalled from recesses of what little mind I have yet, was a story I will share with you about site built roof trusses. I was not long into my position as truss plant manager for Lucas Plywood and Lumber when a […]

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Prefab Wood Trusses are Sexy

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/12/21 @ 8:00
Prefab Wood Trusses are Sexy

Prefab Wood Roof Trusses Are Sexy Though In 1952, in Pompano Beach, Florida, an inventor named Carroll Sanford had been experimenting with building prefabricated roof trusses using plywood gusset plates and varying concoctions and combinations of glue, staples, nails and screws. Eventually he conceived of light gauge steel plates with punched teeth to connect wooden […]

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Starting from the Ground Up- UC-4B Treated Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/12/06 @ 8:00
Starting from the Ground Up- UC-4B Treated Columns

Starting From the Ground Up- UC-4B Treated Columns Decades ago, when I began training a sales staff for Momb Steel Buildings (my 1990’s post frame construction company) I developed an outline we called, “From the Ground Up”. Just as implied by its name, this training went through features and benefits of a typical post frame […]

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A Residential Pole Barn, Missing Lumber, and Building on Existing Slab

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about plans for a residential pole barn, lumber going missing, and to building an existing slab. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I’m looking to build a residential pole barn. I would need enough space for 3 bedroom 2 bath. How big of a pole barn would I need? […]

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CDX Plywood for Pole Barn Siding

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/11/16 @ 8:00
CDX Plywood for Pole Barn Siding

CDX Plywood for Pole Barn Siding? We recently had a client order a new post frame (pole barn) building kit package sheathed with 5/8” CDX plywood. The client’s intention – use plywood as a low budget siding. This one waves red flags as CDX plywood isn’t intended for prolonged exposure to weather. A vital difference […]

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Avoiding Using Pressure Treated Wood

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/09/13 @ 8:00
Avoiding Using Pressure Treated Wood

Avoiding Using Pressure Treated Wood Pressure preservative treated wood remains a mainstay in modern wood construction. United States’ manufacturing and sales of pressure treated wood has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Even with all of this, there are some skeptics. Reader DIANE in MORGANTOWN writes in: “ I want to avoid pressure treated wood. Even […]

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Isolating Truss Connector Plates from Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/09/04 @ 8:00
Isolating Truss Connector Plates from Treated Lumber

Isolating Truss Connector Plates from Treated Lumber Assembly time for Hansen Pole Buildings’ client BRAD in MOUNT VERNON. Construction has begun upon his new post frame building. Brad had some great questions for Technical Support! “I’m not sure if you can answer my question or can possible point me in the correct direction.  We are […]

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DIY Savings, Moving an Existing Building, and the Ideal Building Size

Today the Pole Barn Guru discusses potential DIY savings, moving an existing building, and the ideal building size. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am out of the area of which I can order a premade kit and have it shipped to me. If I wanted to still build it myself and buy the parts local […]

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Frost Foundations, Painting Metal Buildings, and Hawaii

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/07/16 @ 8:00
Frost Foundations, Painting Metal Buildings, and Hawaii

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about frost protected shallow foundations, repainting metal buildings and a kit in Hawaii. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What type of frost foundation would you use if planning on doing a finished space in part of the building? ERIC in WINTERSET DEAR ERIC: I’d do a Frost Protected Shallow […]

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What Size Posts Should I Use?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/07/13 @ 8:00
What Size Posts Should I Use?

What Size Posts Does My Building Need and How Deep Should They Be? Reader ANONYMOUS in BENTON writes: “1. If my building has 16 posts and posts are 12 feet apart do I need 4×6’s or 6×6’s? 2. If the plan shows 16 feet above grade how much do I need underground? 3. If the […]

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Do Screws Back Out of Steel Roofing?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/05/24 @ 8:00
Do Screws Back Out of Steel Roofing?

I had a question posed of me recently which included: “Where will the water go when the screws back out of my steel roofing”? While I answered the question at hand, I didn’t actually get into the why this might happen, or the solutions. How to avoid the potential problem completely……use the right part, properly […]

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The Effect of Temperature Upon Concrete and Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/05/11 @ 8:00
The Effect of Temperature Upon Concrete and Lumber

The Effects of Temperature Upon Concrete and Lumber Every time I begin to think I could never possibly hear something new, I have to be corrected as something new crops up. In this particular instance it was a reasoning to not embed properly pressure treated columns in the ground surrounded by concrete. Rot? Nope – […]

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The Dual Splash Plank Dilemma

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/05/10 @ 8:00
The Dual Splash Plank Dilemma

The Dual Splash Plank Dilemma I’ve never been a fan of stacking splash planks. Even when they are center matched (think tongue and grooved) the two boards never seem to want to bend, twist, warp and/or cup the same direction leading to gaps. Gaps which lead to water getting through and spoiling an otherwise fun place […]

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Japan and Hansen Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/05/02 @ 8:00
Japan and Hansen Pole Buildings

As I keyboard this, it is the seventh anniversary of the passing of my Uncle Neil Momb. I had reminded his daughter, my cousin Amy, of how I loved her Dad’s ability to make profound statements with a smile. Back in 2014 I wrote a couple of articles about my uncle’s adventures in building in […]

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The Perma-Column Price Advantage?

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/04/06 @ 8:00
The Perma-Column Price Advantage?

My good friend John owns (among other things) Heartland Permacolumn. I’ve borrowed this from his website (https://www.heartlandpermacolumn.com/products/the-perma-column-price-advantage/): “Perma-Column products give you the ultimate price advantage. You simply cannot put up a building on a concrete foundation for less money. Yet some may say, “They’re too expensive…” HOWEVER, the only people who ever say this install buildings using […]

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Formula for Calculating Wall Girts

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/02/15 @ 8:00
Formula for Calculating Wall Girts

An Excel Formula for Calculating Wall Girts, Post Size and Hole Depth John Minor and I have been friends for nearly 30 years – since his then father-in-law (and my business partner at the time) convinced me John could sell post frame buildings. Well Rod was correct, John could sell buildings – not only for […]

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PVC Pipe for Post Sleeves

Posted by polebarnguru on 18/01/31 @ 8:00
PVC Pipe for Post Sleeves

Reader TOM in PURVIS shares a concept I had neither seen before nor had I even contemplated – using PVC pipe to protect post frame (pole building) columns from decay. TOM writes: “ I know your posts are treated, but I live in the damp state of MS. In recent years 3 of my friends […]

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Why Post Frame Construction is So Efficient vs. Stick-Built

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/29 @ 8:00
Why Post Frame Construction is So Efficient vs. Stick-Built

I recently had this comment from a client, “In normal construction projects I would order at least 5% overage and it looks like closer to 1% here, I have like 20 extra screws total, a foot of extra eave trim, two whole extra pieces of vinyl soffit.” Obviously this client didn’t grow up being the cutoff […]

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How to Keep Post Frame Buildings ‘Pest-Free’

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/12/27 @ 8:00
How to Keep Post Frame Buildings ‘Pest-Free’

Post frame buildings have several benefits which make them the perfect choice for virtually any permanent structure like durability, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, quick assembly and versatility. They also serve multiple purposes. They are storage and machine sheds, horse-barns as well as pre-engineered for a plethora of uses. Woodwork can last for several centuries, but if pests […]

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Will My Poles Rot Off? Not If They Are Properly Pressure Treated Wood!

Do the poles start to rot out after so many years? That depends on whether or not they are pressure treated. This question was recently posed to me by reader MARK in WOLCOTT. Typically my answer would include some snarky comment such as: “Most certainly, however it might not be during your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s lives!” […]

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My Building Inspector Made Me

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/28 @ 8:00
My Building Inspector Made Me

My Building Inspector Made Me….. An all to familiar tale from those who go by the premise, “penny wise and pound foolish”…. in the misguided attempt to shave a few dollars off the investment in a new building, the price of the engineer sealed plans has been deducted from the budget. Very rarely is this […]

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Rough Cut Lumber, Insurance, and Girt Orientation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/11/13 @ 8:00
Rough Cut Lumber, Insurance, and Girt Orientation

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I’m planning on building a ( 32’ x 60’ x 12’ ) Pole Barn with 4/12 scissor truss.  I want to price out rough cut lumber on walls and ceiling.  How do I calculate the Amount of board feet lumber I need to cover the walls and ceiling. Thanks BRIAN […]

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Properly Pressure Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/27 @ 8:00
Properly Pressure Treated Lumber

Trying to Buy Properly Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber Reader ZACH in BLACK CREEK has been challenged trying to buy properly pressure preservative treated lumber. He writes: “Hello, I would like to get your opinion on 2×6 grade board. I read the article you wrote about lumber pressure treatment. I have been looking around for .20pcf […]

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Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/21 @ 8:00
Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates

Properly Treated Poles, Ceiling Loads, and Uplift Plates DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My pole barn is approximately 25 years old. My question is, does the foundation need to be treated for maintenance to prevent rotting? The wood that is underground was originally treated wood but how long does that last? The floor inside is concrete […]

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Building a Pole Building Style Home

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/10/18 @ 8:00
Building a Pole Building Style Home

Building a Pole Barn Style Home Reader DAVID from NINE MILE FALLS writes: “I am building a pole barn style home. I am having a difficult time in finding what the requirements would be for post setting and post distance spacing in regards to a pole barn used for living spaces. I plan on using […]

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Are My Columns Too Short?

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/09/26 @ 8:00
Are My Columns Too Short?

Are My Columns Too Small or Too Short? We receive and answer lots of questions. Even with a Construction Guide which extends over 500 pages, covering a plethora of topics and how to’s, there is always an unanswered question (sometimes two). One of our good clients recently sent a query to the Hansen Pole Buildings’ […]

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Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/25 @ 8:00
Treated Lumber for In Ground Use

Treated Lumber – Justine Schools a Major Lumberyard Chain When it comes to pressure preservative treated lumber, ignorance from the supply side seems to be bliss and there are way too many folks out there happily selling under treated product. For your entertainment pleasure I bring you a discourse between Hansen Pole Buildings Lumber Wizard […]

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Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/08/02 @ 8:00
Bookshelf Girts for Insulation

In the land where I first became acquainted with pole barn (post frame) building construction, was used a term known as commercial girts. These are actually what is more appropriately named “bookshelf girts” designed so as to create an insulation cavity which would extend 1-1/2 inches outside of the columns. The commercial girt is sized […]

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Dricon Fire Retardant Treated Wood

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/07/14 @ 8:00
Dricon Fire Retardant Treated Wood

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Managing Partner Eric had messaged me this morning to ask if I had ever heard of FRT lumber for roof trusses.  While I had never (in my days in the truss industry) manufactured any trusses using Dricon® Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) wood, I am familiar with it. Whether you’re using plywood or lumber, […]

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Perfect Pitch, Added Expense, and Endwall Roof Leak!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/06/26 @ 8:00
Perfect Pitch, Added Expense, and Endwall Roof Leak!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Could you tell me the pitch of the roof…for small pole barn…..front wall is 10 foot high…back wall is 8 foot high…rafter span is 13 feet. HERBERT in HAMPTON DEAR HERBERT: Roof slopes are expressed as the number of inches of rise per 12 inches of run. 24 inches of rise […]

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Open Endwalls in a Hay Barn

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/20 @ 8:00
Open Endwalls in a Hay Barn

There are plenty of bad structural things which can be done to post frame buildings. While roof only buildings can have their own set of challenges, these can be exponentially made worse by putting walls on the eave sides and leaving the building endwalls entirely open. Here is a good explanation of why this occurs, […]

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What Fails First in a Fire? Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/19 @ 8:00
What Fails First in a Fire? Part II

What Fails First in a Fire- the Truss Lumber or the Steel Truss Plates? Part II If you didn’t read my blog yesterday, you will think me out in left field until you do.  Take a few extra minutes and go back and read Part I. You will be glad you did! Continuing from yesterday’s […]

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The Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/04/04 @ 8:00
The Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber

Interpreting the Mark on Pressure Preservative Treated Lumber Pressure preservative treated lumber is a mystery to most consumers, builders and even building officials. Certainly all of the above parties understand the need for pressure preservative treated lumber when it is embedded in or in contact with the ground or concrete, or in locations where there […]

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Timbers Checking In

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/22 @ 8:00
Timbers Checking In

One of our clients, Matt from Chapel Hill, NC, sent us a few photos showing a concern of “timber checking” to Justine, the Hansen Pole Buildings Productions Wizard (she loves it when I come up with interesting titles for what she does).  Here is what Matt had to say: “Been a while since we spoke. […]

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How Post Frame Building Lumber is Born

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/03/15 @ 8:00
How Post Frame Building Lumber is Born

I’ve been blessed with being able to have extensive tours of two very sophisticated lumber mills. The first being the Seneca Sawmill in Eugene, Oregon. Seneca Sawmill Company is one of the largest producing single-location sawmills in the United States. Their mills are capable of producing over 650 million board feet per year of premium grade […]

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Book Shelving? Ceiling Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/02/06 @ 8:00
Book Shelving? Ceiling Insulation

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have to set laminated pole so you see the 1.5 side of the 2×6’s while looking in or out of the building? I was thinking of using 4ply 2×6 post 10′ out of the ground every 8′ while book shelving with 2×6’s in between posts. I thought it would […]

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Furniture Making from a Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/24 @ 8:00
Furniture Making from a Barndominium

A year and a half ago, Michael Gibson had what he considered to be a brilliant idea. He and his bride, Andrea, would sell their home, move to his grandparents’ house and build a barn to live in while they invested their money in land they would one day build their forever home on. And, […]

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Making Your Own Glulam Columns

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/18 @ 8:00
Making Your Own Glulam Columns

Should I Make my Own Glulam Columns? I’ve been internet chattering back and forth with a gentleman named Chris, who is probably never going to order a Hansen Pole Building, but it is okay – we have thousands of clients a year who are knocking at our doors (figuratively) ready to place their orders. Total […]

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Barn Doors? Houses? Materials!

Posted by polebarnguru on 17/01/09 @ 8:00
Barn Doors? Houses? Materials!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Where can I find barn doors, sliding steel style? They have no internet presence, or else there is a secret name for them. Thank you! BONNY in FRANKFORT DEAR BONNY: If you are in search of a steel covered, metal framed sliding door (which is what the huge majority of sliding […]

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Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/11/30 @ 8:00
Cordwood Masonry Appears to be a Contradiction in Terms

This article by Randy Edison about cordwood masonry first appeared at www.gfwadvertiser.ca November 24, 2006 and has not been edited “When Paul Johnson first heard of the construction method from a friend it became a curiosity. He was curious enough, in fact, to turn it into a handyman project that, despite the challenges, brought a […]

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Why 10d Nails?

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/10/13 @ 8:00
Why 10d Nails?

Readers: This is another one of those “Dear Pole Barn Guru” questions where the answer is so lengthy it deserves an article all of its own! DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Why 10d nails? Do you know how difficult it is to get 10d nails? Every hardware store in my area has big boxes of 8d, 16d, and […]

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Pole Barn Design for Free

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/09/30 @ 8:00
Pole Barn Design for Free

Please Structurally Design My Pole Barn for Free This is one of those POLE BARN GURU questions which results with a lengthy enough answer I feel I must devote a whole column to it. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Could you please help clarify, for a 40 ft. wide x 64 ft. long x 15 ft. […]

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Termites and Pole Barns

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/31 @ 8:00
Termites and Pole Barns

A Buggy Situation A client writes to Justine (the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Order Fulfillment goddess) this week: “I was hoping to get some advice.  I’m still working on the building having just completed rafter placement and was starting to pull apart the two bundles of lumber for the purlins.  When I started pulling boards out […]

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When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/16 @ 8:00
When the Loft Design Seems Inadequate

One of the great things about post frame (pole) building construction is the ability to add interior raised spaces (think lofts, mezzanines and second stories). One of the most overlooked things about adding such space is proper engineering design. In general I have found them to be inadequate to support the loads. This can result […]

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When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/08/11 @ 8:00
When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect Part II

When Everything Doesn’t Go Perfect (and the sky falls) Part II To refresh your memory a bit, we had a client recently email us a letter outlining some of his challenge in getting his building project going. Read yesterday’s blog for Part I of this client’s challenges with his building project. Nothing but problems seemingly […]

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History of a National Design Standard

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/07/29 @ 2:00
History of a National Design Standard

History of the Development of a National Standard of Practice for Wood Design From time-to-time you might see the term NDS® (National Design Specification® for Wood Construction appear in my blogs, and it is referenced on every set of Hansen Pole Buildings plans, as well as within the International Building Codes. Me, being the curious […]

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Cross Laminated Timber

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/06/21 @ 8:00
Cross Laminated Timber

And long-time reader Vincent Phelps has another great question: “CBS Sunday morning had a segment on CLT, Cross Laminated timber. It brought timber frame construction to mind. Your thoughts on this technique for the Pole builder?” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/living-the-high-life/ Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large-scale, prefabricated, solid engineered wood panel. Lightweight yet very strong, with superior acoustic, […]

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FSC and Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/05/10 @ 8:04
FSC and Pole Buildings

FSC® Lumber When my youngest son Brent and I were helping Eric construct his self-storage pole building (you can read about it here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/06/builder/ we noticed some of the lumber had FSC stamps on it. I had heard of lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) but had never seen any of it in […]

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Pressure Treatment Beyond CCA

Posted by polebarnguru on 16/01/26 @ 8:00
Pressure Treatment Beyond CCA

Pressure Treating Beyond CCA My friend Sharon Thatcher is the editor of Rural Builder magazine. This article, written by her, was published in the December edition of Rural Builder and is so well done, I felt it was well worth sharing. It’s been nearly 12 years since new measures were put in place to help […]

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Categories: Lumber, Columns | Tags: | 1 Comments

Visually Graded Lumber Variability Can be a Problem

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/12/23 @ 8:00
Visually Graded Lumber Variability Can be a Problem

While it is impossible to get around the fact lumber is an organic substance, and therefore has inherent variability, it has always been used as the primary raw material of the residential construction industry. In fact, the growing reliance on the structural design properties of lumber by the US housing industry led to the development […]

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Categories: Lumber | Tags: | No Comment

Pole Building Shipping Disasters

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/18 @ 8:00
Pole Building Shipping Disasters

Convoy For those of you not old enough to remember, or those of us too old to remember, the late 1970’s were a time of 55 mph speed limits and C.W. McCall’s iconic: https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=cw+mccall+convoy Interesting things can happen to pole building kit packages once they get loaded on to one of those big rigs and […]

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Southern Pine is Not a Benefit!

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/17 @ 8:00
Southern Pine is Not a Benefit!

Almost Anything Can be Sold as a Benefit Over the years I have noticed one thing about sales people (and sales organizations), almost anything can be run up the flag pole as a benefit (oftentimes it is actually a feature) and if it is touted highly enough, a certain number of people will believe it. […]

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Local Lumberyard Quote

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/09/16 @ 8:00
Local Lumberyard Quote

Local Lumberyard + Pole Barns = Scary Yes, the title looks to be a simple math equation. The problem with math equations is, not very many people can actually do them – at least not when they fly a desk at the local lumber dealer. Case in point –XYZ Lumberyard with multiple state locations. (name […]

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How to Untwist a Pressure Treated Post

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/26 @ 8:08
How to Untwist a Pressure Treated Post

This actually began as an “Ask the Pole Barn Guru” question: DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have installed the Pressure Treated Posts  and they were straight when the concrete was poured, now a couple of weeks later we are seeing the poles twist and warp. They are straight at the ground level but about half […]

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The Lumber Twist

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/08/04 @ 8:00
The Lumber Twist

Twisting Out of Control This morning I received a voice mail message from a builder. He has arrived at a pole building jobsite where the materials have been “on the ground” for some time. It is now August, in Central Washington – where temperatures over 100 and humidity of next to nothing are not unusual. […]

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Perma Column vs. Pressure Treated

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/24 @ 8:00
Perma Column vs. Pressure Treated

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rick has been working with a client who has a nose for knowledge – and I thank both of them for sharing information with me, so I can pay it forward. This particular client is weighing the use of Perma Columns against the more traditional design solution for post frame (pole […]

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MSDS

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/17 @ 8:00
MSDS

MSDS In the olden days, we were taught to look both ways before we went out in the street to play for the quarter dad offered us. Basically, we had personal responsibility – if we did something stupid, it was our own fault. MSDS is the Material Safety Data Sheet which actually is more than […]

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Does Aged Lumber Get Stronger?

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/07/10 @ 8:00
Does Aged Lumber Get Stronger?

I’ll never be mistaken for either Jamie Hyneman or Adam Savage of the Discovery Channel’s popular and long running series MythBusters, however I can occasionally do some debunking of urban (and rural) legends. I do have to admit, watching MythBusters can become addicting – especially when it can be tuned in on Netflix and watched […]

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Pressure Treated Lumber

Posted by polebarnguru on 15/03/26 @ 8:00
Pressure Treated Lumber

Preserving Wood Columns Beyond Code Requirements The Building Codes (IBC – International Building Code and IRC – International Residential Code) specify minimum requirements for pressure treated lumber used to structurally support buildings. My previous dissertations on pressure treating are available for your reading pleasure here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/05/building-code-3/ Hansen Pole Buildings Designer Kelly brought to […]

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