Tag Archives: basement

Basement Addition, Gambrel Modification, and a New Home

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the addition of a basement to an existing pole barn, the possibility of modifying an existing gambrel style horse barn, and the connection of a house and garage.

Ask The Pole Barn GuruDEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering building a partial basement under my existing Pole Barn Building (agricultural). There is currently even no slab there. I spoke to different contractors and got very different answers related to the maximum size of the basement. I learnt already that I need to step far away from the existing walls for safe slope excavation, but would love to hear your opinion if I can start digging 1:1 starting just from the wall, or need to maintain some additional horizontal distance before sloping. The building is 44’x60′, posts embed is 5′, and I would love to have 25’x45′ basement there. The worry which the most reasonable contractor has is that when excavating 1:1 starting from the wall edge, it may be not enough soil left to keep posts in place. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, ADAM in ROCHESTER

DEAR ADAM: Rather than reliance upon any contractor, I would recommend you contact an expert. Google search for “Geotechnical Engineers near Rochester, MN”. There are several listed. They should be able to visit your building site and develop an approach to safely maximize your proposed partial basement space, without compromising structural integrity of your existing building, based upon actual soils at your site.  Any other approach is going to merely be a guess.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I have a gambrel barn on the property I’m buying and am trying to figure out my options to configure it for my horses. I’m trying to find a structural engineer with some availability but in the meantime I wanted to ask for your opinion.It’s roughly 24′ x 32′. The side columns are spaced about 6′ and the ends have ~10′ door openings. I attempted to sketch it. I’d like to understand why the 4 center columns are clustered in the middle of the barn at 12′ from the ends and 6′ from the sides (the existing modular stalls are 12×12, not sure which came first). Is that normal spacing for a smaller building or gambrel style buildings? I’m guessing they are structural, but is there a chance they are just holding up the hay loft? Unfortunately I haven’t been up there yet to see what the trusses or rafters look like. Thanks for your insight! PAULA in WALDOBORO

DEAR PAULA: Taking an educated guess here – if columns are 6′ from each 32′ sidewall, then (without looking at your actual roof system) I would surmise they support not only loft, but also reach up to connect with pitch break of your gambrel roof. Even if they are only supporting building’s loft – they are then structural and should not be removed without review from a Registered Professional Engineer.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Planning to build a post frame house with an attached garage. Garage will sit perpendicular to the house, this giving me two different roof lines. My question is in where the endwall of the house and the sidewall of the garage meet. What does the endwall truss of the house attach to? I don’t believe the answer is having columns for the endwall and the sidewall. I assume they share a common column. Does the end truss run along the sidewall columns of the garage and I have to block beneath the truss for support? I have searched and searched for this online but have turned up empty handed. NUNTER in NASHVILLE

DEAR HUNTER: I will assume eave height of your garage is greater than eave height of house. Endwall truss of house will then be attached to face of sidewall columns of garage. In most instances, this truss can be designed with vertical webs to coincide with locations of columns other than at truss heels, allowing for adequate nailing to resist gravity loads. It may be necessary to have bearing blocks below truss heels, however all of these connections and required nails will be outlined on your engineer sealed structural building plans.

Should you be considering ordering a building from a provider other than Hansen Pole Buildings, make sure they are accounting for added weight of snow sliding off garage roof onto house, as well as unbalanced drift loads on each side of ridge lines (both of these are frequently overlooked by most providers).

 

 

 

A Basement Foundation, a Leaky Roof, and Raising Bays

Today’s “Ask the Guru” tackles reader questions about erecting a kit on a basement foundation, how to find and repair a leaky roof, and some advice on raising bays to add height to a structure.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to erect one of the pole barn kits on a basement foundation? LUCAS in LANDISBERG

DEAR LUCAS: Fully engineered post frame buildings adapt themselves very handily to being erected over a full, partial or walkout basement. We can engineer to have wet set brackets placed in concrete, concrete block or ICF foundation walls, or can provide post framed Permanent Wood Foundation walls. We encourage our clients with basements to utilize clearspan wood floor trusses, to create wide open spaces in basement levels, as well as to allow for utilities to be run through floor trusses, resulting in flat finished ceilings.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My pole building is 35 years old, the roof is leaking, how do you find where the water is coming in, it is nailed, should I replace the nails with screws? PETE in DU PERE

DEAR PETE: Older steel roofs most usually develop leaks at eave lines, closest to endwalls first. This is where greatest wind shear stresses occur.

Always wear appropriate safety equipment when on a roof.

You should replace all nails with screws of a larger diameter than nails and 1/2″ greater in length. Look for screws with EPDM washers (not neoprene rubber). If you find a location where water leaks have caused wood deterioration and screws are not “biting” place a wood ‘filler’ in hole – we’ve heard of people using wooden match sticks for this purpose, however would recommend ripping some small squares (roughly 1/8″ square) out of Douglas Fir using a Table Saw.

Once all nails have been replaced, you can test for leaks by using a hose and running water on roof. Start with eaves and work your way towards ridge line. It does take an observer inside to advise if any water is coming through.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering buying land with an existing 36×96 pole barn on it. The building has 10′ doors and the trusses are 12′ height. I have one truck that requires a 12′ door and clearance. It was suggested to me that i could raise one or two bays on the end of the building by sistering to the existing poles and lifting the roof two or four feet to make clearance, reuse the trusses and roof and add metal to the sides. My questions are is this possible and what should I be aware of to make sure the job is done correctly. Snow load is not a concern here and the building has a concrete floor. No heat or AC just storage. Thank you CRAIG in INDEPENDENCE

DEAR CRAIG: While it might be possible to raise a portion of the roof, it should only be done with involvement of a Registered Professional Engineer who can make a determination of adequacy of what you have, and what would need to be done to insure structural adequacy. Chances are good columns in area to be taller will need to be larger in dimension to properly withstand wind loads.

What Hansen Pole Buildings Offers for Prospective Barndominium Owners

What Hansen Pole Buildings Offers for Prospective Barndominium Owners

If you are considering building a barndominium or shouse (shop/house), whether DIY or with a contractor’s involvement, there is one very important question to ask:

“Do you personally live in a barndominium?”

If you do not receive a resounding, “YES” for an answer, you may want to rethink your choice.

My lovely bride and I have lived in our Hansen Pole Building along South Dakota’s Lake Traverse for 15 years now. This being my third personal barndominium, dating back some thirty years, I can speak with experience few others can.

Hansen VisionAt Hansen Pole Buildings, we are literally “All About the Building” and we strive to provide “The Ultimate Post Frame Building Experience™”. Every single one of our fully engineered post frame buildings is custom designed to best fit our client’s wants and needs. Rarely will we be least expensive, however we will always provide a best value solution.



This process ideally begins in infancy stages, with a determination of fiscal reality – highly tempered by individual tastes and how much effort one is willing or able to put into their new home. Those willing to be their own General Contractors can plan upon saving roughly 25% over hiring a builder to turn key and 50% for DIYing as much as possible. We have found any physically capable person, who is willing to read step-by-step directions in English can successfully erect their own beautiful building, and many do. We have even had septuagenarian couples do their own construction!

Most often a DIY barndominium turns out with better results than one could ever hire done – because you truly care about how it turns out.

Once a budget has been established, it is time to ‘find the dirt’. Without knowing where your barndominium will be located, it is impossible and impractical to determine how your new home should be planned. Important aspects such as direction of access, curb appeal and views play into a well thought out design.  Directional orientation is important, with heat loss or gain determined by location and number of windows, as well as design of shading from overhangs. Slope of site determines needs for significant grade work or placing upon a full or partial basement or crawl space.

Moving closer to actuality we provide direction and encouragement in determining your family’s needed spaces, sizes and orientation to each other. Work from your home’s inside rather than trying to fit what your needs are into some pre-ordained space. With this information in hand, we offer a potentially free, professional floor plan and building elevation service to take all of your ideas, wants and needs and actually craft a floor plan best melding them with realities of construction.

Whether you have utilized our plan service, or have a plan of your own, your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will work directly with you to make recommendations to provide a home most practical for you. You have total choice over a virtually unlimited number of aspects. Your being directly involved eliminates builders taking advantage of you in order to pad their bottom line. Hansen Pole Buildings does have a unique Instant Pricing™ system, allowing your Building Designer to make changes and have a near instantaneous answer as to what your investment will be as various dimensional and feature changes are contemplated.

We are very conscious about design for energy efficiency. Power is unlikely to ever become less expensive, so getting at or as close as possible to a net zero design is paramount.

Need financing for your new barndominium? We work with several lenders who actually understand post frame barndominiums and can assist with this phase.

After your building order has been placed, it moves from your Building Designer’s desk to our design team. Before going to one of our skilled draftspeople every building comes across my desk for personal review – mostly in an aspect of what will or will not work structurally, Building Code compliance and how to increase building efficiency without compromising functionality.

Once your structural building plans are completed, you get to review them for accuracy prior to our independent Registered Professional Engineer going over every member and connection as a final assurance of structural soundness. Only after all of these steps have been completed are your engineer sealed plans, along with verifying structural calculations, sent to you to acquire necessary building permits.

Even if your jurisdiction does not require building permits, structural plan reviews or do inspections, having engineer sealed plans is your assurance of structural adequacy. There are insurance companies who give discounts to those who build fully engineered homes, so ask your agent for yours.

You have access through our online portal to follow your building’s process, reschedule build dates, report any damaged or missing materials, as well as requesting unlimited technical support from those who have actually built post frame buildings.

Even after your barndominum is complete and you have sent us digital photos of your beautiful new home, our commitment to you does not end. Hansen Pole Buildings provides a Limited Lifetime Structural warranty covering your home and regardless of how many years you have had your building, should you have questions or concerns, we are available to assist.

Basements, Foundations, and OHD Back-Hangs!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to have a full basement with a residential build? What would a basement do to overall cost percentage wise? NATHAN in OAK LAWN

cutting stairsDEAR NATHAN: It is very possible to have a full basement beneath a post frame home. According to www.HomeAdvisor.com installing an unfinished basement will cost from $10-$25 per square foot. With this alone in mind, it makes it less expensive to have a larger footprint on a single level, than to build over a basement. There also becomes the issue of accessibility – going up and down stairs becomes tedious for the able bodied and prohibitive for those with disabilities.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thinking about a pole barn home in Michigan. Can you bury wood poles for foundation or do the wood poles need to go above grade on concrete foundation or piers. Thanks. TIM in MARION

 

DEAR TIM: Post frame (pole barn) homes do not have to be constructed on a continuous concrete foundation or on piers. The properly pressure preservative treated columns are more than adequate to support your new home.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: When installing ceiling liner panels in a pole barn….. there are 2 14’x14’ garage doors. Where the bracing for the garage door track are screwed to the bottom side of the trusses, can I lower those braces, install the metal (3/4” ag panel) then put those braces back up in the same spot with the track being 3/4” lower than they were originally? JUSTIN IN GREENFIELD

DEAR JUSTIN: If you attach the angle irons in the flats of the liner panels, then the track will be at the very same height. Attachment through the ribs of the steel would not be recommended as the fasteners will have flexibility between the top of the rib and the underlying trusses. This could result in several problems – slots forming in the liner panels as well as the possibility of the track developing enough movement so as to cause the door to come out of the track and land on the floor.

 

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