Category Archives: Pole Barn Design

Our Builder Has a Few Questions

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/26 @ 8:00
Our Builder Has a Few Questions

Our Builder Has a Few Questions Not a surprising statement, as few stick frame (stud wall) builders are willing to learn a new structural system, and few post frame builders have actually erected barndominiums or shouses (shop/houses). I was a first group member (although willing to learn) and frankly lost my posterior financially erecting my […]

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Builder Says

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/25 @ 8:00
Builder Says

Builder Says, “These designs are the Worse”! Like all good stories begin….. “It was a dark and stormy night” Oops, wrong beginning! Once upon a time I was a post frame building contractor. From 1991 until 1999 my construction company could only have been described as being prolific – at one time we had as […]

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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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11 Reasons Why Barndominium Crawl Space Encapsulation is Important

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/19 @ 8:00
11 Reasons Why Barndominium Crawl Space Encapsulation is Important

11 Reasons Why Barndominium Crawl Space Encapsulation is Important Today’s Guest Contributor is Joseph Bryson. Joseph was born in Alberta, raised in NYC and is living in New Zealand. He has been working in 4 different industries and helped numerous businesses grow. Now, he is focused on writing as his next career from home and […]

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A “Man Cave,” A Quote Request, and Snow Loads

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/16 @ 8:00
A “Man Cave,” A Quote Request, and Snow Loads

This Monday’s PBG discusses a “Man Cave” designed with SIP panels, a quote request from Texas, and what our snow loads are for our buildings. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Considering a monitor style pole building with RV storage in center and living quarters on one side (loft in rear of building only) When RV is […]

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Seven Reasons Why Your Next Barndominium Should Be Pole Frame Construction

Today’s blog comes from Don Howe, who is a retired sales executive but has a burning passion for barndominiums. Seven Reasons Why Your Next Barndominium Should Be Pole Frame Construction One of the first design details to consider when building a barndominium is the building process. Most barndominiums are built using a stud frame, steel […]

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Minimum Steel Substrate Coating

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/04 @ 8:00
Minimum Steel Substrate Coating

Minimum Steel Substrate Coating for Residential Steel Roof Panels When it comes to residential buildings – whether your barndominium or shouse (shop/house) is stick frame (stud walls), post frame, PEMB (pre-engineered metal building) or some other structural system with a steel roof, there is one import aspect of this roofing material frequently overlooked. Substrates Most […]

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Required Bracing or Not?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/11/03 @ 8:00
Required Bracing or Not?

When he was just a tyke (I considered adding in ‘little’ however he was 3’6” tall on his second birthday) my son Brent asked me in all seriousness what it was like to watch space aliens building pyramids. While I am not quite as old as Brent may have thought I was then, it has […]

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Air Sealing Your Post Frame Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/27 @ 8:00
Air Sealing Your Post Frame Barndominium

Unless someone reincarnates Nikola Tesla (and he is sane) chances are good energy costs are not going to decrease. Air sealing your post frame barndominium or shouse increases your comfort by reducing drafts and cycle time your heating and cooling systems are running. Air sealing your barndominium reduces humidity increasing comfort levels. A drafty barndominium […]

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Blower Door Testing Your New Barndominium Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/23 @ 8:00
Blower Door Testing Your New Barndominium Part II

Continued from yesterday’s blog; Aside from code compliance or indoor air quality concerns, another reason to get a blower door test is to properly size your furnace or air conditioner. How leaky or tight your barndominium is can change how much heating/humidification or cooling/dehumidification you need. This then ties into how carefully your mechanical system […]

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Vehicle Lifts for Post Frame Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/21 @ 8:00
Vehicle Lifts for Post Frame Buildings

A trending garage accessory is an addition of a garage vehicle lift. Vehicle lifts provide many benefits for your post frame garage or shop than just being able to work on your vehicle. A vehicle lift for your garage is exactly what it sounds like, it will elevate your vehicle so you can either work on […]

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Busting Post Frame Barndominium Myths

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/20 @ 8:00
Busting Post Frame Barndominium Myths

Busting Post Frame Barndominium Myths Yep, I have been web surfing again and I came across a stick frame building contractor’s website who obviously either doesn’t understand fully engineered post frame construction, or just frankly doesn’t care to add it to his arsenal of design solutions. My comments are in italics. MYTH #1. MOST BANKS WON’T […]

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Site Prep,

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/15 @ 8:00
Site Prep,

Thursday’s edition will tackle three more reader questions. First up is about how level a site must be before erecting a shop, second is about pole barn homes and the many options available, and third is a question about the best method to fix an issue left by a previous builder. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: […]

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Floor Plan Ideas, An “L” Shaped Building, and Floor Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/10/05 @ 8:00
Floor Plan Ideas, An “L” Shaped Building, and Floor Insulation

This Monday the Pole barn Guru answers questions about floor plan ideas for a monitor style building, plans for a “Zen Den” or “Party Barn” in an L shape, and whether or not it is worth adding reflective radian barrier under slab. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I am wondering if you have any floor […]

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A Future House, Eave Height, and Pricing for Horse Arena

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/28 @ 8:00
A Future House, Eave Height, and Pricing for Horse Arena

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about an ideal pole barn to convert into a house, the height of the exterior wall with an 11′ interior ceiling height, how clear span affects the costs of a horse arena. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good Morning, We just put in an offer on land in […]

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Small Pole Barns, Timber Screws for Purlins, and Turnkey Homes

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/14 @ 8:00
Small Pole Barns, Timber Screws for Purlins, and Turnkey Homes

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about what the smallest sized barn can be built, certifications for timber screws, and prices for “turn key” homes in Iowa. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you build barns that are smaller than 24’ wide?? I want a 20×20 barn/shed DAVID in MILAN DEAR DAVID: We have provided […]

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Helping a Student with His Post Frame Thesis

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/10 @ 8:00
Helping a Student with His Post Frame Thesis

Post frame buildings are becoming more relevant as a design solution for residential construction. I recently was contacted to assist a student and will let him tell his story: “My name is George xxxxxx, I am currently a thesis student at Auburn University’s Rural Studio, located in Hale County, Alabama. I am looking into pole […]

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Pole Buildings Quality, Price and Service

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/09/09 @ 8:00
Pole Buildings Quality, Price and Service

When it comes to investing in a new post frame building kit package, there are really only three major areas to cover – quality, service and price. Everyone wants to feel they have gotten a good value when they make a major investment, whether it is a vehicle, a house or a new pole building. […]

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SIP Floor Panels, Stack-able Hanger Doors, and Sliding Door Installation

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about installing a SIP floor instead of concrete, stack-able hanger doors for addition, and rough cuts on some sliding door lateral braces. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering installing SIP floor in my pole barn instead of a concrete floor (the barn will be a […]

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Top Chord Repair, Little Voices, and Building Use

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/31 @ 8:00
Top Chord Repair, Little Voices, and Building Use

Today the Pole Barn Guru tackles questions about repairing a rotted top chord of an existing truss, a little voice in a contractor’s head, and the use of an existing building on newly purchased parcel. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: When we bought our property the pole barn on it already had a rotting roof with […]

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Skylights in Barn You Built for Us Need Replacing

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/28 @ 8:00
Skylights in Barn You Built for Us Need Replacing

Skylights in Barn You Built for us Need Replacing Reader MICHELLE in ASTORIA writes: “Hello! You built our barn located in Astoria, Oregon. The sky lights that were installed now need to be replaced. My husband called and was told you’d get back to us with no response. We are hoping to either hire you […]

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Steel Roofing and Siding Over Purlins

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/27 @ 8:00
Steel Roofing and Siding Over Purlins

There is just plain a lot of bad (and scary) information floating around out there on the internet. For whatever reason, people will believe a random unqualified answer from a stranger, rather than going to a highly educated expert (e.g. Registered Professional Engineer). Reader DYLAN in BEDFORD writes: “I am building a 50×60 using 2×6 […]

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Building Department Checklist 2020 Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/26 @ 8:00
Building Department Checklist 2020 Part II

Yesterday I covered seven of what I feel are 14 most important questions to ask your local building department.  This not only will smooth your way through permitting processes, but also ensures a solid and safe building structure. Let’s talk about these last seven…. #8 What is accepted Allowable Soil Bearing Capacity? This will be […]

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Building Department Checklist Part I

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/25 @ 8:00
Building Department Checklist Part I

BUILDING DEPARTMENT CHECKLIST 2020 PART I I Can Build, I Can Build! Whoa there Nellie…..before getting all carried away, there are 14 essential questions to have on your Building Department Checklist, in order to ensure structural portions of your new building process goes off without a hitch.  I will cover the first seven today, finishing […]

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Gothic Arch, Steel Board and Batten, and Engineering Services

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/24 @ 8:00
Gothic Arch, Steel Board and Batten, and Engineering Services

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru discusses Gothic arches, steel board and batten, and engineering services. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am going to build a 24×36 barn and have become infatuated with the Gothic arch roof line from looking at existing arch roofed barns in my area (one is amazing…built in 1911). Any thoughts […]

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Struggles to Define What a House Should Look Like

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/20 @ 8:00
Struggles to Define What a House Should Look Like

With barndominiums, shouses and post frame homes rising in popularity, jurisdictions are struggling to define what a house should look like. To follow is an article by Arielle Breen in August 13, 2020’s Manistee, Michigan News Advocate detailing their city’s challenges. “Does the building plan look like a pole barn or a house? The answer […]

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A Shouse, Eliminating Condensation, and Building Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/08/17 @ 8:00
A Shouse, Eliminating Condensation, and Building Trusses

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the design of a shouse (shop house), a resolutions for condensation, and building trusses. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi – We are looking into pole barn buildings however we’re clueless on where to start and how big we actually need it to be. My husband […]

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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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Truss Spacing and Design

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/23 @ 8:00
Truss Spacing and Design

Truss Spacing and Design for Sheathed Post Frame Roofs In most instances, there is not a structural or Code requirement for solid roof sheathing (plywood or OSB – Oriented Strand Board) to be placed below through screwed roof steel for post frame buildings. In some cases, clients look upon this as being an easier installation […]

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Steel Roofing Over Living Areas

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/21 @ 8:00
Steel Roofing Over Living Areas

 Steel Roofing Over Living Areas Requires Solid Decking? Barndominiums, shouses and post frame homes have become a recent and trendy rage. Seemingly everyone wants one, at least as gauged by hundreds of weekly requests received by Hansen Pole Buildings would attest to. Reader STEVEN in BOONE writes: “I visited with the building inspector with your […]

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Lofty Barndominium Ambitions

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/16 @ 8:00
Lofty Barndominium Ambitions

Lofts and mezzanines (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/03/a-mezzanine-for-your-barndominium/) are popular inclusions in barndominiums. Even though my lovely bride and I have a mezzanine in our South Dakota shouse, they are not often truly practical from an accessibility or economics stance. Reader Devin in Porun writes: “I’m designing and building a 42’x50′ pole barn home with 10′ exterior walls. Viewing […]

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Barndominium Building on Expansive Soils

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/08 @ 8:00
Barndominium Building on Expansive Soils

Barndominium Building on Expansive Soils Expansive soils in many United States areas pose a significant hazard to foundations for barndominiums. Swelling clays derived from residual soils can exert uplift pressures of as much as 5,500 PSF (pounds per square foot) and can do considerable damage to barndominiums, shouses and post frame homes. Insurance companies pay […]

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What Features Should Your Barndominium Have?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/07 @ 8:00
What Features Should Your Barndominium Have?

What Features Should Your Modern Barndominium Have? Seemingly there are a million and one things to consider when planning for your new barndominium. Hopefully, somewhere buried in your lists, are features your new home should have in order to make it appealing to future buyers (although this may be your ‘forever’ home – sadly to […]

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Safely Erecting Post Frame Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/03 @ 8:00
Safely Erecting Post Frame Buildings

Safely Erecting Post Frame Buildings Most post frame buildings can be easily erected DIY (do it yourself) by an average physically capable person who can and will read instructions. In fact, most DIY post frame buildings turn out far nicer (in quality of workmanship) than those done by professional builders – because as a building […]

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Barndominium Features Worth Having?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/07/02 @ 8:00
Barndominium Features Worth Having?

Barndominium Features Worth Having? New barndominium owners often assume any upgraded features will make their place more valuable. While it is true upgraded kitchen features, a carriage style garage door, or real wood floors may add value and make your home more desirable for resale, there are other projects providing very little return. Here are […]

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Tim Carter Explains Ideal Two Car Garage Dimensions

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/30 @ 8:00
Tim Carter Explains Ideal Two Car Garage Dimensions

Tim Carter is best known for his weekly syndicated “Ask The Builder” column. You can read more about Tim here: https://www.askthebuilder.com/tim-carter-autobiography/ Q. I can’t tell you how many thousands of dollars I’ve spent on remote storage facility fees. I want to put all my stuff on my own land in a dream garage. I realize a […]

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Concrete Piers, RV Carport, a Wedding Venue

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/29 @ 8:00
Concrete Piers, RV Carport, a Wedding Venue

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about building with concrete piers, design of storage for an RV, and how wide a venue for weddings can be built. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I will start with the biggest question I have. Can you design a Pole Barn building 40x60x14 Gable roof 5/12 to be […]

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A Real Life Climate Controlled Post Frame Wall

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/26 @ 8:00
A Real Life Climate Controlled Post Frame Wall

Reader BRANDON in WICHITA writes: “Hello Mike!  I am in the engineering field and we are just about to put up a personal climate controlled post frame building.  I have followed many of the teachings of Dr. Lstiburek on wall and roof assemblies.  I also enjoy your very detailed write ups.  I am conflicted in […]

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How to Avoid Your Barndominium Being Kicked to the Curb

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/23 @ 8:00
How to Avoid Your Barndominium Being Kicked to the Curb

How to Avoid Your Barndominium Being Kicked to the Curb Welcome back from last Thursday! When it comes to resale value, you want your barndominium’s curb appeal to add to value, not kick you to the curb. There are things you can do during design and build phases to improve appeal and good news is, […]

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Bonus Round 2– Backfill Compaction, Blueprints, and Insulation

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/19 @ 8:00
Bonus Round 2– Backfill Compaction, Blueprints, and Insulation

Today’s BONUS Round of PBG discusses backfill compaction, finding an engineer to draw blueprints for a building of reclaimed wood, and the ins and outs of insulation. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have 18” diameter x 60” deep pits for 6×6 posts. My backfill material and method is ¾”less gravel with every 8” compacted. But how to […]

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Why Curb Appeal is Crucial for Your New Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/18 @ 8:00
Why Curb Appeal is Crucial for Your New Barndominium

I have had people try to convince me curb appeal for their new barndominium is not important. Their reason has ranged from, “I am never going to sell this house” to “It is far into a forest no one will ever see it”. A shocking reality – some day, someone will be selling your barndominium. […]

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A Shouse, Adding Tin to Block Siding, and Truss Carriers

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/08 @ 8:00
A Shouse, Adding Tin to Block Siding, and Truss Carriers

This week the Pole Barn Guru tackles the subjects of building a shouse with RV storage, how to add tin to block siding, and truss carriers vs notched posts. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning! My wife and are currently going to market with our home in Lakeville and are considering our next steps.  We […]

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An Architect’s Guide to Drawing Your Own Barndominium Plans

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/06/04 @ 8:00
An Architect’s Guide to Drawing Your Own Barndominium Plans

An Architect’s Guide to Drawing Your Own Barndominium Plans Architect David Ludwig (www.LudwigDesign.com) has over 50 years of construction and design experience. A frequent contributor to assisting those interested in barndominiums, but without knowledge to create their own plans, David has offered his sage advice: 1. Draw to scale. Use 1/4” graph paper. Make each […]

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Cutting Barn Trusses

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/28 @ 8:00
Cutting Barn Trusses

Just a Little Nip Here, Tuck There As so many of us have entered an age of Covid-19 binge television watching, I can imagine there are more than a few who have consumed calories while watching 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck (originally aired on FX from 2003-2010). While nipping and tucking can solve many human cosmetic […]

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Not Your Average Kitchen in a Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/27 @ 8:00
Not Your Average Kitchen in a Barndominium

Not Your Average Kitchen in a Barndominium When my lovely bride Judy first came up with an idea to construct our now shouse (shop/house) gambrel building 15 years ago, it was not with a thought as to it becoming a barndominium. Indeed, it was to be a place to have offices along one side and […]

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Isolating Heated and Unheated Barndominium Concrete Floors

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/22 @ 8:00
Isolating Heated and Unheated Barndominium Concrete Floors

Isolating Heated and Unheated Barndominium Concrete Floors Loyal reader MIKE in COUPEVILLE writes: “I see you recently posted a detailed drawing on insulating the perimeter of a pole barn, very helpful.  https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/03/meeting-barndominium-slab-requirements/ I’m currently looking at purchasing a large pole barn, it will be 84’x42′ with posts 12′ apart.  I plan to make 2 of […]

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“One-Pour Post Frame Concrete Footings

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/21 @ 8:00
“One-Pour Post Frame Concrete Footings

“One-pour” Post Frame Concrete Footings and Bottom Collars As originally engineered Hansen Pole Buildings’ column encasement design, had pressure preservative columns placed to the bottom of an augured hole. Pre-mix concrete was then poured around each column’s lower 16-18 inches to form a bottom collar. Concrete to wood’s bond strength was sufficient to enable this […]

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Adding to a Floating Slab Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/19 @ 8:00
Adding to a Floating Slab Building

Adding to a Floating Slab Building Most buildings need foundations to transfer the structure’s weight as well as roof and floor loads into the ground. Small sheds and backyard structures like gazebos and pergolas may not need elaborate foundations because they are so light. But, for any building over about 150 square feet, a strong […]

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Is This Floor Plan Doable as a Post Frame Barndominium Kit?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/13 @ 8:00
Is This Floor Plan Doable as a Post Frame Barndominium Kit?

Is This Floor Plan Doable as a Post Frame Barndominium Kit? This question was posed by Reader TIFFANY in HOPKINSVILLE. My answer is yes. Whether an existing floor plan or a custom design – virtually anything you can imagine, can be converted to a post frame barndominium kit, provided it is possible to do structurally […]

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Prescriptive Structural Requirements for Post Frame Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/05/07 @ 8:00
Prescriptive Structural Requirements for Post Frame Buildings

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 their Building Department’s door and wants to construct a post frame building, as long as the building owner (or builder) agrees to build to match […]

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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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Post Frame Purlin Blocking

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/23 @ 8:00
Post Frame Purlin Blocking

Every time I begin to rest on my laurels and think I have covered all post frame (pole barn) building basics up jumps yet another one to bite me where I deserve to be bitten due to my overlooking it. Our independent drafting team at Hansen Pole Buildings (thanks Kristie) came up with this question […]

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End Truss Overhang Dilemma

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/22 @ 8:00
End Truss Overhang Dilemma

Reader ANDY in HAYDEN has an end overhang challenge. He writes: “Hello Mr Guru. I’m building a 30x40x12 post frame with 18″ eaves. My trusses builder doesn’t build drop cord ag trusses for my gable over hangs. I was advised to lower the gable truss on the corner post to allow room for my on […]

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Raised Floor Over Crawl Space, Engineered Plans, and a Pool House

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/20 @ 8:00
Raised Floor Over Crawl Space, Engineered Plans, and a Pool House

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about a raised floor over a crawl space, purchase of engineer sealed plans, and moisture issues in an above ground pool house. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Appreciate all the information on your website very awesome it’s a lot to take in we are thinking of building a […]

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Another Post Frame Builder Blunder

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/15 @ 8:00
Another Post Frame Builder Blunder

Another Post Frame Builder Blunder In our last exciting installment of “As The Builder Burns” I shared a photo of a prefabricated end truss deeply in need of a sky hook in order to remain suspended in space. Today, it gets even better, with this very same builder showing off his ability to pretty well […]

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Commercial Post Frame Building Blunder

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/14 @ 8:00
Commercial Post Frame Building Blunder

Commercial Post Frame Building Blunder My Facebook friend Dan recently commented upon this article https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/03/there-is-a-right-way-and-this-way/ wanting to know if I could show some other building blunders. Yes Dan, I can. As Technical Director for Hansen Pole Buildings since 2002, I have gotten to assist a few DIYers and post frame builders with their building questions. […]

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Insulating an Existing Post Frame Building Attic

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/02 @ 8:00
Insulating an Existing Post Frame Building Attic

We are in an era where climate control of brand new post frame buildings is extremely common. It is also much easier to insulate (or plan for it) at time of construction, rather than having to go back and do it afterwards.  For new post frame buildings, here is my Ultimate Guide to Post Frame […]

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Hi, I Should be an Engineer

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/04/01 @ 8:00
Hi, I Should be an Engineer

Hi, I Should Be an Engineer. Can You Tell Me What I Left Out? Seemingly every Spring I receive an email similar to this one from JOHN in UNION DALE, who it sadly appears has not done much (if any) homework in reading my articles. JOHN writes: “ Hi, I have been doing a couple […]

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Percentage of Price Difference by Building Profile

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/31 @ 8:00
Percentage of Price Difference by Building Profile

This ended up being an interesting exercise and it yielded results pretty much as I had expected. Reader RON in MONROE writes: “Can you tell me the approximate percentage difference in pricing or cost of the different building styles? I know this will vary according to the size of the building, etc., so let’s pick […]

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Staging Deliveries for DIY Pole Buildings

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/27 @ 8:00
Staging Deliveries for DIY Pole Buildings

For those who are considering a Do It Yourself (DIY) post frame barndominium, shouse or just a good old barn – not everyone can work at it expediently, or rouse enough person power for a barn raising. There do exist some options. Reader LEE in LOUISIANA writes: “I am in the process of conceptual design […]

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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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A Multi-Use Building, Backhoe or Auger, and Loft Floors

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/23 @ 8:00
A Multi-Use Building, Backhoe or Auger, and Loft Floors

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about a Multi Use building, using a backhoe to dig post holes, and the proper method to add floors to a post frame house. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking at building a pole building want it to be about 72 ft long, 50 ft wide […]

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A Post Frame House Photo

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/19 @ 8:00
A Post Frame House Photo

A Post Frame House Photo – and More Post frame buildings are amazing, after four decades in this industry I am still amazed at what can be accomplished with them. We are just now barely scuffing surfaces of a burgeoning residential housing market! I will begin with a disclaimer, this is not a Hansen Pole […]

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Fire Separation Requirements for Barndominiums

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/18 @ 8:00
Fire Separation Requirements for Barndominiums

Fire Separation Requirements for Barndominiums and Shouses Loyal reader CHUCK in MERINO timed asking this question perfectly, as fire separation requirements for barndominiums, shouses and post frame houses had just made it to my list of subjects to research and comment upon. Chuck writes: “I was wondering if you could pen your interpretation of the […]

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Should My Barndominium Have a Vapor Barrier?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/17 @ 8:00
Should My Barndominium Have a Vapor Barrier?

Should My Barndominium Ceiling Have a Vapor Barrier? With barndominiums, shouses (shop/house) and post frame homes becoming immensely popular, I have been learning more than I ever thought I wanted to learn about them. Rather than me just spewing on, today’s expert advice comes courtesy of building scientist Joe Lstiburek. Plastic vapor barriers should only […]

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Snow Retention in Building Codes

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/13 @ 8:00
Snow Retention in Building Codes

For all of my friends in locales where it does not snow, you are welcome to take a nap through this article. For those of us who are seriously tired of winter, but choose to endure shovels and plows, please read on. Now snow retention is a subject well ignored by probably everyone you are […]

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Beginning a Shouse Journey in Washington State Part II

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/12 @ 8:00
Beginning a Shouse Journey in Washington State Part II

For many readers, you might be considering your new barndominium to be constructed in a jurisdiction without state energy requirements such as those in Washington State. Granted, Washington is a state either on the forefront, or totally out of control, when it comes to mandated energy efficiency, however fuels are not going to get any […]

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Beginning a Shouse Journey in Washington State Part I

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/11 @ 8:00
Beginning a Shouse Journey in Washington State Part I

A shouse (shop/house), barndominium or post frame house project may seem daunting, however by doing lots of reading, research and asking questions, an average individual can craft for themselves a home they love, tailored to meet their family’s wants and needs. Loyal reader ROBERT in OLYMPIA writes: “Hello to the Pole Barn Guru or whoever […]

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A Mezzanine for Your Barndominium

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/03/10 @ 8:00
A Mezzanine for Your Barndominium

A mezzanine is a common design feature found in all types of buildings- very possibly even your new barndominium, shouse or post frame home. Think of a mezzanine as being a lofted area above a room. International Building Codes outline some basic rules for mezzanines to help determine if it is an intermediate level within […]

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SIPS for Barndominiums

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/28 @ 8:00
SIPS for Barndominiums

It has only been five years since I first opined about using SIPs for post frame building construction: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/sips/. Since then, post frame homes (frequently referred to as barndominiums) have become quite the rage. Easily half of Hansen Pole Buildings’ inquiries are now for some combination of living space! I had recently done some further […]

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What Makes Some Buildings Better Than Others

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/27 @ 8:00
What Makes Some Buildings Better Than Others

I answer literally hundreds of building related questions every day. These questions come from many different sources – our staff, drafts people, engineers, architects, building officials, clients, builders and social media (just to name a few). This question, posted in a Facebook group, is an exceptional one and I felt it necessary to share: “What […]

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Things Roof Truss Manufacturers Should Ask

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/26 @ 8:00
Things Roof Truss Manufacturers Should Ask

Things Roof Truss Manufacturers SHOULD Ask, But Don’t Always I didn’t just fall off of a turnip truck yesterday, even though there are a few who may doubt my claim! Prefabricated metal plate connected wood trusses and I became close friends back in April of 1977. Yes, we had electricity then and no, I did […]

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Proper Screw Location for Post Frame Steel Cladding

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/25 @ 8:00
Proper Screw Location for Post Frame Steel Cladding

Proper Screw Location for Post Frame Steel Cladding It was a pleasant October evening back in 1985 in Blacksburg, Virginia. My friend Dr. Frank Woeste was then a College of Agricultural and Life Sciences professor at Virginia Tech (officially Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) and he had invited me to teach one of his […]

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Monitor Style, Cost to Build a Floor Plan, and Adding OHD Openers

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/24 @ 8:00
Monitor Style, Cost to Build a Floor Plan, and Adding OHD Openers

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about the possibility of an open floor plan Monitor style building, what the costs of building s specific floor plan might be, as well advice on adding overhead door operators to a building. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you design a truss system for a monitor style […]

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Barndominium: One Story or Two?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/21 @ 8:00
Barndominium: One Story or Two?

Barndominium: One Floor or Two? Welcome to an ongoing debate about whether it is more cost effective to build a one story or two story barndominium. Commonly I read people advising two stories is less expensive than a single story. Reader TODD in HENNING put me to work when he wrote: “I’m curious why “Going […]

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Barndominium on a Daylight Basement

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/20 @ 8:00
Barndominium on a Daylight Basement

As post frame construction moves into a world filled with barndominiums, shouses and homes, there are of course those who would prefer (or need due to lot slope) to build upon either a full or partial (daylight) basement. Post frame buildings are ideal for this situation. Reader LOUIE writes: “Hi, I just started the process […]

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Getting the Best Deal on Your New Post Frame Building

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/18 @ 8:00
Getting the Best Deal on Your New Post Frame Building

A price quote is merely a number without a complete understanding of exactly what is or is not included in said quote. You have requested quotes for your new post frame building from a dozen or more providers and actually gotten four back, even after having to hound all of them for pricing! Frustrating when […]

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Footing Size? A “Reverse Barndominium?” and a Loft Bedroom?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/17 @ 8:00
Footing Size? A “Reverse Barndominium?” and a Loft Bedroom?

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about the footing size for an open car porch and why a person should use a registered design professional, building a “reverse barndominium” where one build a post frame shell around an existing structure, and if one can build a loft bedroom in a footprint of 20’x […]

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Are YOU a Potential Hansen Buildings’ Client?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/13 @ 8:00
Are YOU a Potential Hansen Buildings’ Client?

Please note, I use “client” rather than “customer”.  A customer is someone who buys a commodity from a shop.  A client is a person or company receiving a service from a professional person or organization in return for payment. Unfortunately, too many future barndominium, shouse and post frame building owners are either unable or unwilling to […]

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Working With a Building Official for Footing Design

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/12 @ 8:00
Working With a Building Official for Footing Design

Working With a Building Official for footing designs Long time readers have read me opine on how Building Officials are our friends: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/04/i-like-building-officials/ One of our clients recently received this email from his Building Official and shared it with me (red added by me): “The Town of xxxx stopped plan review on your project because […]

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Does my Barndominium Need a Turn-Key General Contractor?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/11 @ 8:00
Does my Barndominium Need a Turn-Key General Contractor?

Does My Barndominium Need a Turn-Key General Contractor? Often a goal of barndominium (especially post frame) construction is to be able to get your most building, for your dollars invested (think biggest bang per buck). When a turn-key general contractor is hired to provide a constructed building, normally about 25% of what you pay is […]

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Quonset Hut Homes

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/06 @ 8:00
Quonset Hut Homes

With the proliferation of barndominiums, shouses and post frame homes there is always someone looking for a cheaper answer. I have found cheaper generally gets me exactly what I paid for – cheap. Well for some, cheap may be living in a Quonset hut. Considering a Quonset building for your new home? Consider resale value […]

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Building Codes Apply to Shouses

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/05 @ 8:00
Building Codes Apply to Shouses

Building Codes Apply to Shouses Recently I shared with you, my faithful readers, a Park Rapids Enterprise article penned by Lorie R. Skarpness as Nevis, Minnesota attempts to deal with a shouse. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/12/a-shouse-in-the-news/ Below is Lorie’s update from January 18, 2020: “The discussion of a proposed shouse (a word that means a shop with living […]

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Barndominium Brick Wainscot

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/04 @ 8:00
Barndominium Brick Wainscot

Actual Brick Considerations for Barndominium Wainscot With post frame buildings becoming a ‘rage’ for use as homes, barndominiums and shouse (shop/houses) alternatives to dress them up are quickly arising. Amongst these options are clients looking to have actual brick wainscot, as opposed to using a different color of steel siding, thin brick, or other cultured […]

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Wall Girt Spacing, Roof Only to Fully Enclosed, and Dade Cty

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/02/03 @ 8:00
Wall Girt Spacing, Roof Only to Fully Enclosed, and Dade Cty

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about “proper wall girt spacing,” enclosing and insulating a roof only building, and if a post frame meets code in Dade County Florida. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I just contacted a contractor to build my pole barn and he said 2 x4 wall girts at 36″ I don’t think […]

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Top of Barndominium Slab

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/31 @ 8:00
Top of Barndominium Slab

Where Should the Top of Barndominium Slab Be? Loyal reader DANIEL in OWENSVILLE writes: “Mike, First I want to say thanks for all that I have learned from your Blog. I am confused on a couple of points you made concerning floor height… “Occasionally we have clients who ask why they can’t run the concrete […]

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Floor Trusses for Barndominiums

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/28 @ 8:00
Floor Trusses for Barndominiums

In my last article I discussed limiting deflection for barndominium floors. Today I will take this one step further with a floor truss design solution. Most of us don’t think too much about floors we walk upon – unless they are not level, squeak when we walk on them, or are too bouncy. Traditionally wood […]

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Plans Only? Moisture Barriers? and Two Story Houses?

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/27 @ 8:00
Plans Only? Moisture Barriers? and Two Story Houses?

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about “plans only” purchases, proper use of moisture barriers when adding insulation to an existing building, as well as the possibility or building a two story post frame house. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you offer just the plans? I own a sawmill and would like to […]

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Barndominium Wood Floors

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/24 @ 8:00
Barndominium Wood Floors

Barndominiums, shouses (shop/houses) and post frame homes have become a true ‘thing’. As they have developed from bootlegged boxes to serious planning being given to them, there has been a rise in people wanting them over full or partial basements, crawl spaces and multiple floors. In nearly every case, these floors are made of wood […]

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Putting Everything Under One Post Frame Roof

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/15 @ 8:00
Putting Everything Under One Post Frame Roof

Putting Everything Under One Post Frame Roof I have been an advocate of one larger roof, rather than an enclosed building with a roof only side shed for years. This allows for greater headroom in ‘shed’ area without having to deal with pitch breaks (transition from a steeper slope main roof to a flatter shed […]

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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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Barndominium Airplane Hangars and More

Posted by polebarnguru on 20/01/07 @ 8:00
Barndominium Airplane Hangars and More

I really suppose it is unfair of me to limit this article to just airplane hangars, as I have had instances to design hangars for helicopters as well. As an elementary school student, my pre-teen friends and I were all very impressed when a girl down our street’s father landed his helicopter in a field […]

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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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Column Types, SW Missouri, and Site Preparation

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/12/30 @ 8:00
Column Types, SW Missouri, and Site Preparation

Today’s Pole Barn Guru discusses reader questions about types of columns used in Hansen Pole Buildings, what type of car for a small 2 story barn, and the best site preparation. DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning. I was just running through your website looking at the different materials you guys use for your buildings […]

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Jai Alai Court

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/12/27 @ 8:00
Jai Alai Court

Jai Alai Court In my now rapidly approaching 40 year career in and around post frame buildings, I have covered lots and lots of very diverse things. These have included train and trolley car refurbishing, Las Vegas zoo’s giraffe barn, a United States Marine Corps rifle range, steer roping, basketball and volleyball courts, baseball batting […]

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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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Lumberyards-Don’t Burst Customer’s Dreams

Posted by polebarnguru on 19/12/18 @ 8:00
Lumberyards-Don’t Burst Customer’s Dreams

Lumberyards – Don’t Burst Customer’s Dreams A week or so ago I was contacted in regards to a 42 wide by 48 foot long 12 foot eave post frame (pole) building kit. This person had actually ‘purchased’ this building from a vendor local to him for just over 12,000 dollars with steel roofing and siding, […]

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