Tag Archives: building height

How Tall? Monitor Style Barns, and Planning a Building

Today’s PBG discusses “how tall a pole barn” can be, opening on a monitor style building, and planning a buildings for and shop and car storage.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How tall can pole barn be in Cape May County? BUD in CAPE MAY

DEAR BUD: This will depend upon how your property is zoned, as well as use of your proposed building. A call to the Cape May County Planning Department, with your Parcel Number or address, at 1(609)465-1080 should get you a correct answer.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: For one of your monitor style barns, project #06-0608, you do not list the eave lights at the top of the building in your materials list. Are these picture windows or awning style, or is this an open space? How important is it to use these windows for ventilation in a monitor styled shop. By the way, where are you located? FRED in WASHOUGAL

DEAR FRED: For this particular project our client provided his own fixed windows. For most installations, it is not needed to have ventilation at this location. Should your intended use be residential, you will probably want one or more of them to be able to be opened.

We have a sales only office in Fargo, North Dakota. We have sales, ordering, warehousing and shipping at our headquarters along the South Dakota side of Lake Traverse. We also have remote Building Designers across the country – including several in your home state of Washington.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Sir, I am in the planning stages of building a pole building to store some old cars and use as a workshop. The building will have storage trusses for a floored attic and eventually I plan on heating garage area with a forced air wall mount propane heater. I will have house wrap applied to the walls between the wall grits/ posts and the metal siding. So my question pertains to radiant barrier (double bubble) being applied to the roof. Is it better to apply the radiant barrier on top of roof trusses but below purlins or above the roof purlins against the metal roof. Additionally should I be concerned with enhanced condensation with purlin wood rot and metal deterioration if the radiant barrier is installed underneath the purlins? JIM in JARRETTSVILLE

DEAR JIM: Since you are in planning stages, I will throw lots of free advice at you.

If you have available space, it is less expensive and more practical for access to have a larger footprint, than it is to have storage trusses with a bonus room. Negotiating stairs ends up being problematic.

Propane heat adds a great deal of moisture to your inside air and could add to condensation issues.

Remember Reflective Radiant Barriers are not insulation (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/04/reflective-insulation-wars/). Properly sealed they can prove to be an effective condensation control. Double bubble will be no more effective than single bubble, but will be significantly more expensive. Your most effective condensation control with a reflective radiant barrier will be to install it directly between purlins and roof steel. Personally, I would use Dripstop or Condenstop (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/07/condenstop/) rather than reflective radiant barrier.

 

The “Best Price,” Increase Height? and the Hansen Buildings Way

Today’s Pole barn Guru answers questions about price and value, increasing ceiling height of a building, and if Hansen “builds” these structures.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the best price I can get for a riding arena 60 by 130 ft? MICHELLE in FREDERICK
DEAR MICHELLE: Free. Just place four immovable items at each corner and ride within their perimeter.
Now I will drop my snark and get serious. Shopping by “best price” becomes an absolute recipe for disappointment and disaster. In my humble opinion, you should be in search of best value for your investment.
Interior Clearspan ArenaAnyone can leave enough benefits (and features) out of a building to get to a best price. With your limited amount of supplied information, someone could easily quote you a galvanized roof only building with eight foot high walls! Certainly far too short to ride in and totally impractical. It would not surprise me to see you get responses for 12 and 14 foot eave buildings, when in reality it takes a 16 foot eave to truly make for a great arena.
You can find out a whole lot more about what makes a great riding arena here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/02/riding-arenas/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to increase the ceiling height from 9 ft to 13 ft. Is there a way to do this without tearing down and installing new poles? RICHARD in ROCA

DEAR RICHARD: You might be searching for a green handled board stretcher: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/08/snipe-hunting/.

In reality, there exists no easy solution for your challenge. In most instances, you will find a column size and grade working nicely with a nine foot ceiling, fails miserably with a 13 foot ceiling height. This will be due to beam forces (your poles act as beams to span from ground to roof) being distance of span squared. Your proposed taller building columns would need to withstand forces nearly double those of your shorter counterpart. This alone negates probability of splicing into posts to make them taller.

Best solution – saving most time, effort, angst and money, will be to construct a new, taller engineered post frame building meeting with your needs.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, do you build as well or you only provide the kits?
If you do build, can you build in Weschester, NY? Thank you. VERONIKA in YORKTOWN HEIGHTS

Hansen Buildings Construction ManualDEAR VERONIKA: I personally would like to believe I build very well, however I am not for hire.

Hansen Pole Buildings provides only complete post frame building kit packages, including fully engineered plans and complete step-by-step assembly instructions. We provide delivery to any continental United States accessible location.

We are not contractors. 

 

 

Building Height, Building on Existing Foundation, and Spray Foam

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about calculating the height of a building, Building on and existing foundation, and Spray Foam Insulation.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m looking for over all height of a building with a 14’ eave?
Thanks. DOUG in PILOT ROCK

DEAR DOUG: The overall height determination starts with a clear understanding of how eave height is to be measured: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/eave-height-2/.


 

With this in mind, the rise of the roof can be calculated by multiplying the distance from sidewall building line to the center of the building, in feet and multiplying this by the roof slope. Here is an example for a 36 foot width gabled roof with a 4/12 roof slope:  36′ X 1/2 (half the building width) X 4″ / 12″ = 6 feet. Adding this to the eave height gives an overall height of 20 feet, in this particular example.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can they be built on a poured basement wall from a previous home? PAT in GREENEVILLE

DEAR PAT: As long as the concrete is structurally sound you should be able to utilize dry set column bases (ones designed specifically for post frame construction) to mount columns to the top of the foundation.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing Hansen pole barn 24×24 with a 9ft eave height and full length ridge vent, it has reflective roll insulation between the roof panels and the purlins. How can I further insulate it from Florida heat? I insulated the walls with rigid insulation. Can I add insulation under the existing reflective insulation at the roof? STEVE in ROSELAND

DEAR STEVE: I’d be contacting local installers of closed cell spray foam insulation. You will get close to R-7 per inch of foam (again, must be closed cell) and do not have the ventilation issues posed by using batt insulation between purlins. You will need to block off the eave and ridge vents for this to be an effective solution.

 

 

 

 

Spray Foam, Up Instead of Out, and a B-Ball Court

Mike answers questions about spray foam releasing agents, Going up instead of out, and a Post Frame Basketball Court.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thank you for this blog of informative words on the world of post frame construction. I am a confirmed fan of spray foam insulation. What are your thoughts on the use of a release agent when applying spray foam directly to metal, be it sidewalls and a conditioned attic? CHUCK in MERINO

DEAR CHUCK: Thank you for your kind words. I’ve become a closed cell spray foam convert over the past few years. I am seeing more and more practical applications for it as folks become more energy conscious about their post frame buildings.

Spray foam release agents are a blend of specialized parting agents, specifically designed to prevent polyurethane foam insulation from adhering to most surfaces where the product is applied.

I am far from an expert on spray foam, so I’ll have to go with the common sense answer of I want the closed cell insulation to stick. I suppose it might work on sidewalls, with the idea of perhaps wanting to replace a damaged steel panel someday – provided the insulation remained rigid enough between the wall girts to stay in place. Below roof steel, I would have some concerns about the force of gravity causing it to drop off the roof. It could also lead to a gap where moisture could collect (especially if a roof leak occurs).

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Curiously. I’m wanting to build post frame. I know the rule of thumb is if you have the space to build bigger on the ground before going up, but my lot is limited to only 1/4 of an acre, and strict building codes only allow so much square footage to be taken up but doesn’t go against additional levels only ground floors and basements.  So my question is: Will post frame structure support a second level, and also attic trusses for a future room later down the road? Can I even buy a kit like this? JESSE in LEESBURG

DEAR JESSE: It is always most affordable to build the largest footprint one can, on a single level. It also is most practical in terms of accessibility. Even for those who are not mobility challenged, going up and down stairs gets to be old far before we are!

You can have a post frame building designed to support both a second floor and even a third if so desired. And attic bonus trusses can be incorporated into the design. Make sure to be talking with your local Planning Department, as they often have rules which may restrict heights. The building height can also affect setbacks from property lines and other structures as well.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are considering a pole barn construction for a community recreation center which would include a basketball court. We want to have second story six foot wide walking track around the interior of the building. Do you have thoughts regarding the difficulty of doing the track? BILL in ALBION

DEAR BILL: Post frame construction is most certainly the way to go for basketball courts (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/indoor-basketball-courts/). Having a mezzanine walking track is most certainly doable by utilization of prefabricated metal connector plated truss frames which could be connected to the sidewall columns and cantilever over the court area below. Joists can them be placed between the frames, with ¾” thick OSB or plywood on top, then your choice of floor coverings (rubberized floor matting might be an idea).

The design should incorporate some fairly significant deflection limitations, so as not to feel bouncy to those who are utilizing the space.

The track should also be placed fairly high on the walls, so the thickness of the frames does not interfere with activities below.

 

 

 

Measuring Eave Height

A Tape Measure Idea

The design upon which most modern spring tape measures are built was patented by Alvin J. Fellows in 1868. But even a better mousetrap doesn’t always catch on immediately. In 1922 Hiram Farrand received another patent and within a few years the Farrand Rapid Rule was being mass produced and was slowly adopted by carpenters.

As a provider of pole (post frame) building kit packages one of the biggest challenges faced by mostly the very same carpenters as those Mr. Farrand dealt with is proper use of the tape measure. While the majority of Americans seemingly can hook one end of a tape measure over a point and measure to another point, when it comes to pole building eave heights these abilities appear to be as remote as the South Pole in the dead of winter.

The measure of eave height is indicated no less than at least five times on every set of Hansen Pole Buildings plans, as well as 51 times in the Hansen Pole Buildings Construction Manual, which is provided with the investment into each building kit. Being as the term “eave height” is used so frequently, the errors cannot possibly be due to failure to read and recognize.

(For another good read on the definition of eave height: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/eave_height/)

Therefore, I have determined (as the “idea” guy), it must be due to faulty tape measures!

Having a “light bulb” moment, I suggested to the Hansen Pole Buildings owners a solution to the problem. The company could have tape measures made with the company logo on them – and ship one to each person as they invest in a new pole building kit.

The clue to successful measuring would be to have the eave height for each building indicated on each tape measure with permanent marker.

Problem solved. (So far the two owners are not quite endorsing my idea however).

Now if I could just figure out the Acme “Hole Kit”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PYPfJyIFrA