Tag Archives: building Risk Category II

When Barndominium Batman Light Illuminates

When Barndominium Batman Light Illuminates Dark Sky

Loyal reader MARCO in EDINBURG brought a smile to my face when he wrote:

“*Batman light illuminates dark sky*

Pole barn guru! Help! I am building my pole barn house, Finally. This will be a DIY project with help of friends and family. I will more than likely be building in stages over time. I’d like to start with a 60x 40 hay barn tall enough for two stories, 20 feet maybe? Would I be able to buy plans we can build from off this site? Are DIY plans like that even sold? I see you provide detailed floor plan services and that kits do come with engineered detailed framing plans. We would love to have some plans with the Hansen seal of approval. We have grown to trust your expertise. The information you provide is very much appreciated. We first saw your posts on FB and have spent hours reading on this website. We are not ready to buy or finance an entire house/build but we do have land and are eager to start. Any help would be great. Thanks!”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru advises:

Now I know you are in Texas, where building permits are pretty much a “meh” issue. You are putting your hard earned dollars and lots of sweat equity into this and I want your barndominium to be still standing when a storm of the century sweeps everyone else’s homes out into the Gulf of Mexico (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/11/500-year-storm/).

Let’s start with your “hay barn” concept – when you invest in a roof only hay barn structure, it is designed for Risk Category I loads (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/08/minimum-design-loads-and-risk/). Residential (R-3) requires Risk Category II, effectively designing your home’s probability to last twice as long against climactic conditions. Hay barn design ignores any wind loads against walls – because there are no walls. You also end up with some fairly massive columns due to forces on a purely cantilevered column being four times greater than those of a building with enclosed walls and designed so loads can be transferred from roof to endwall sheeting. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/04/roof-only-pole-buildings/

This should help you with determining an appropriate eave height https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/05/how-tall-should-my-eave-height-be-for-two-stories/

This would be my encouragement and advice to you – start by having professional floor plans and elevation drawings produced.

Some plan tips to consider:

Direction of access – driveways are not cheap and shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Curb appeal – what will people see when they drive up? This may not be important to you, however someday someone will try to resell your barndominium.

Is there an appealing view?

North-south alignment – place no or few windows on north walls, but lots of windows on south wall (in South reverse this). Roof overhangs on the south wall should provide shade to windows from mid-day summer sun.

Is there a slope on your building site?

Work from inside out – do not try to fit your wants and needs within a pre-ordained box just because someone said using a “standard” size might be cheaper. Differences in dimensions from “standard” are pennies per square foot, not dollars.

Popular home spaces and sizes need to be determined:  https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/room-in-a-barndominium/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/the-first-tool-to-construct-your-own-barndominium/.

With all of this in mind, order your custom designed floor plans here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/

Order your building shell including second floor from us – even if you have to finance a portion of it. This way you do not have to reinvent a structural wheel (so to speak) and you know everything is going to be engineered appropriate for what your final outcome is to be. Currently you can borrow money at below what real inflation rates are, so it does make sense, should you need to.

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), our industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings.

Turn a Horse Barn into a Home?

Re-purposing buildings is a popular American past time, as evidenced by the proliferation of big box lumber stores across the country. Here is a story about a new owner of an existing Hansen Pole Buildings’ horse barn, who is contemplating it becoming a home.

Tim writes:

“Hello, I just purchased a property that has a Hansen Pole barn that is new on it and I am wanting to convert to home any ideas and /or plans , I have attached a photo of barn  center section is 48×28 x14 and the 2 side sections are 48x12x10”.

Drum roll please:

You emailed me because you know and trust I am the expert and will not lead you astray. Or, this was the email address you happened to find, either one of which is totally fine.

In order to give you definitive answers I would need to know who the original purchaser of the building was, so we can pull up the plans and specifications for it, if they are available.

In the meantime, I will hope to give you my best guess answers. The existing building is most probably designed under Risk Category I of the International Building Code (being as it is used as a horse barn) which is for buildings of low risk to injure someone in the event of a catastrophic event. These would be non-residential structures. A residence is a Risk Category II structure – which has more stringent requirements for wind, snow and seismic events.

The real issues are most likely to come in designing to gypsum wallboard (sheetrock aka drywall) the walls and ceiling.

On the walls, the deflection criteria for walls which support drywall is much greater than a wall with only steel on the exterior. This can affect the size(s) of the columns and they may have to be added onto in order to provide adequate stiffness. It is likely you will use bookshelf girts on the walls to create an insulation cavity. If so, and they are properly sized, they should be stiff enough to support drywall.

The trusses, rafters and roof purlins are not designed to support the weight of a ceiling. This will require an engineered truss repair, as well as probably upgrades to the rafters on each side (addition of more members). If you are planning on attaching sheetrock to the underside of the roof purlins, more purlins will need to be added to reduce deflection – and the only real way to insulate between the purlins on the sheds is to use closed cell spray foam, which is not an inexpensive proposition.

Ventilation is going to pose an issue (which is why the closed cell insulation is the solve for the sheds). In the main portion of the building, if a dead attic space is created, it must be ventilated. I cannot determine from your photo if the building has enclosed overhangs or not. If they are enclosed and the ridge is vented, you are in luck. If not, then gable vents are the alternative and would need to be added.

My best recommendation – leave the barn and design a post frame home which truly fits your needs and lifestyle, rather than trying to fit what you want inside a preexisting box which requires a boatload of work to upgrade.

Overhead Door Trim

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN: I am working on insulating and installing a tin liner in my pole barn. My question is about my overhead doors and how to add overhead door trim on the door frames behind the metal door track. I was thinking of slipping 6″ fascia trim behind the door track and then reinstalling the lag bolts for the tracks. I would like your opinion on how you would apply overhead door trim so there is no wood exposed. DAVE IN ALBANY, IL

DEAR DAVE: In most instances, we see folks put J Channel around the perimeter of the overhead door brackets, which (as you mention) would leave wood exposed. Your idea of using fascia trim (a 1-1/2” x 5-1/2” L trim) would probably work well.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: With the 29 gauge painted roof is there OSB or plywood to go under it or is it just fastened directly to roof truss? LEROY IN ERIE

DEAR LEROY: Most 29 gauge ribbed steel roofing panels can be applied directly to the roof purlins (framing which runs perpendicular to the roof trusses). Your RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect) can confirm as to whether a particular product will be adequate to withstand the applied climactic conditions (snow or wind) without the need for sheathing.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good Afternoon, I am curious if your buildings are ok to be built into a hill?  I have a hill in my back yard that part of the back and 2 sides would be built into to get the size unit that I would like to put up.  Are your sides ok to have the dirt filled back in onto or would I have to keep it away with a retaining wall?  Or can the materials be cut to sit on top of a block wall which can have the dirt filled back to?  Thank you for any information you can provide. RONALD IN WHITEHALL

DEAR RONALD: Pole (post frame) buildings are not designed to support the weight of dirt backfilled against them, however they can easily be mounted to the top of a foundation wall – either poured concrete or block – with the materials cut to fit the wall.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m doing a build out for client who has pole barn 55×30 we are building 20 x30 2 bed, small family room, bath and kitchen. No vapor barrier….client is worried about mold. So my question is do I put up Tyvek on the inside before I put up interior walls? I’m installing drywall 1/2 off floor. Help is appreciated. LARRY IN LEMONT

DEAR LARRY: I’d caution you to make sure the building itself was originally designed as a Risk Category II structure, as many post frame buildings (pole barns) are not designed for residential occupancies. If the engineered building plans show Risk Category I, are not engineered, or can’t be found, a RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect) should be engaged to determine the structural adequacy of the as built structure and specify corrections which will need to be made in order to assure the integrity of the building, as well as the safety of the occupants.

Also – many jurisdictions require approval for Occupancy changes by the Planning Department as well as a structural permit from the Building Department. Don’t get on the wrong side of either of these – it is far better in this case, to ask for approval, rather than plead for mercy later.

Provided your client has screwed on steel for siding, remove the panels and install Tyvek between the siding and the sidewall framing. Tyvek is a building wrap and is designed so, when properly installed, water vapor can escape the wall.

My first choice for wall insulation is BIBs (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/bibs/) with unfaced batt insulation as the second pick.

With either of these – a vapor barrier such as six ml clear visqueen (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/07/moisture-barrier/) should be placed on the inside of the insulation, prior to gypsum wallboard installation.

There will be a plethora of different answers for any ceiling, and to give best recommendations would require knowledge of how the existing building is constructed – as well as the “vision” your client has for how this space should look and perform when completed.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru