Tag Archives: building size

Correct Pole Size, The Better Building Size, and Drip Edge Placement

The Pole Barn Guru assists with questions about pole size, the “right” sized building, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question on a pole barn.  I’m thinking of 50 by 60 and about 14ft high or so.  On the 4/4 poles, how far apart should they be.  Also on the headers, that are at the top and go all the way around, are they usually 2 by 8?  Thanks, JOE in BOWLING GREEN

DEAR JOE: Hopefully you trust me enough to believe I will steer you in a correct direction, because you are heading in a wrong one. Only one right way exists to get answers you seek, to order yourself a post frame building kit package with plans sealed by a registered design professional (RDP – engineer or architect) specifically for your building (not a generic photo copy). Done right – there will be no need to have headers all around your building, as double trusses should be placed directly to bear upon columns, insuring best possible structural connections. As to columns, they will need to be much larger than 4×4, regardless of how far apart they are spaced.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am trying to design a small hard apple cider production building. It does not need to have a retail portion; that is elsewhere at our farm; just a convenient 20×30 work room that can accommodate lots of washing/spraying down of equipment, temperature control, allow vehicle entry for loading/unloading, and some viewing windows for customers to see the process. Do you have some plans/designs/kit for such a building?

Thanks and kind regards, TOM in ROSE HILL

Hansen VisionDEAR TOM: You’ll want to make certain your proposed 20′ x 30′ area will be adequate for all of your needs. You may find increasing building footprint to say 24′ x 36′ to not be significantly more expensive of an investment, whilst providing 44% more space. With every building we provide being a custom design to best fit client needs, we can certainly provide exactly what you are looking for. A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be in contact with you shortly.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 14 foot side wall panels with 2×8 skirt, what is my measurement on the skirt either from top of skirt or bottom to install my rat guard, I will have a 12 inch overhang (eaveside) using fj channel. CARL in NEWAYGOl






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

Today the Pole Barn Guru discusses potential DIY savings, moving an existing building, and the ideal building size.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am out of the area of which I can order a premade kit and have it shipped to me. If I wanted to still build it myself and buy the parts local how much savings would you say I could expect to save by doing that and still subbing out most of the work? PRESTON in IDAHO FALLS

DEAR PRESTON: Hansen Pole Buildings delivers post frame building kits into your area of Southern Idaho frequently, so we could certainly meet your needs. Hiring your own engineer to design the building and purchasing materials locally on your own will probably add 15-20% to the cost of investing in a complete kit package which includes the engineered plans. Acting as your own General Contractor and subbing out most of the work should save you around 25% as opposed to hiring a general to do everything for you.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a Morton pole barn 35 x 62 that I would like to relocate .The location is 91 xxxxxxxxx rd Hackettstown NJ If you google the location you will see the green Morton building. I would like it to go behind the small white pole barn which will be removed.


DEAR WAYNE: You might be able to contract with a house mover in your area to relocate your building. Here is a link to a previous article on this very subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/shop/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Does it make more economic and structural sense to build a 40’ deep x 56’ wide or 32’ deep x 56’ wide pole barn to house tractors and farm equipment and why? BRENDA in FENELTON

DEAR BRENDA: For starters – always construct the largest building you can economically justify and which will fit on your property. In the almost 20,000 post frame building projects I have personally been involved with, I have yet to have a client contact me after they were using their building and tell me it was just too big.

Economics – As a general rule of thumb, with identical features the price per square foot will most generally decrease as the footprint gets larger. Buildings closer to square are normally more affordable than ones the same size which are long and narrow (this is the structural issue, as properly designed the diaphragm strength of the more square building is more effectively utilized.

Buildings which are even numbers for width and length, width and length divisible by three, and length a multiple of 12 feet are most normally the most cost effective for utilization of materials. Lumber comes in multiples of two feet long, steel roofing and siding is three feet wide, the 12 foot length multiple is generally the “sweet spot” for requiring the least number of columns, trusses and pieces to handle.





Building Homes, Valley Rooflines, and Size Does Matter!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just wondering if you build homes? I’m interested in building an open floor plan home with this style of architecture. NICK in SICKLERVILLE

DEAR NICK: We do not happen to build anything, as we are not contractors. We do, however, design and provide the materials for post frame homes. Post frame construction is a very effective method for getting an open plan, as it allows for large clearspans without the need for interior walls or columns.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Are there any problems with building a pole barn that has two perpendicular roof lines. I want an open truck/vehicle port incorporated into the barn that I want to build but because of site location I need the open vehicle port ridgeline to run perpendicular. I know this will create a valley and I am not sure with this type of construction what unforeseen problems could occur. will the roof purlins match or just how to handle the mating of the two roof lines. Thanks, VERNON in BURGAW

DEAR VERNON: The biggest problem is very few post frame building contractors or suppliers understand the intricacies of melding two opposing roof lines together. In snow country, drifting loads on roofs such as these can become problematic. Roof leaks can occur along improperly flashed and sealed valleys, resulting in all kinds of unexpected results.

Can it be done and done correctly? Most certainly. Yours is a situation we deal with on a frequent basis and can provide a design which is structurally sound without creation of a myriad of extra work on your part. The other solution is to hire a RDP ( Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) to design your new post frame building, however most do not have the experience in post frame design to come up with what might be the most practical solution.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What size pole barn do I need to store a 23.6 x 7 x 7.6 gooseneck horse trailer a 20.5′ Glastron boat on a trailer (longer) a 7.6 x 7 x 11 bumper pull horse trailer and a 2500hd GMC truck. Along with small miscellaneous things. And what is the set off required in Indianapolis. TAMMY in INDIANAPOLIS

DEAR TAMMY: Let’s start with the people who are in the know on what is allowable for your property – your local Planning Department. They should be your (or anyone’s) first point of contact when considering the construction of a new building of any sort. Set backs will vary depending upon how your property is zoned, and each jurisdiction has their own ideas as to what the requirements will be. They can also give you information on the maximum allowable footprint and any restrictions on heights.

Here is more information on Planning Departments (you will want to read it): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/01/planning-department-3/.

When planning for a new building, it is always prudent to allow enough space between vehicles and/or other pieces of equipment to be able to safely walk around them, as well as swing doors open and not compromise wall space (which there is never enough of).

At a minimum, it sounds like a footprint of 48 feet in width and 30 feet in depth should allow for all of your vehicles and trailers to fit in. Notice I say 48 feet in width – it is because I typically recommend having large doors in the endwalls so rain and snow are not coming off the roof in front of your doors. Overhead doors for each of these should be at least 10 feet in width, which allows for two feet between each of the doors. Heights obviously will depend upon the height of each individual piece, but should all be a minimum of eight feet in height.

Even better yet, would be a width of 52 feet – which would leave three feet from corners to the door, or 55 feet which would also then put three feet between each door.

Whatever size you do decide upon, it will never be too big!

The Right Size, Connection, and Foundation!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering using pole barn construction to add on to an existing metal building I have I also already have a 24×34 foundation were I want to put the add on. This will be a residential building. Would you recommend using drill in slab brackets to connect the post to the slab? COLT in EDGEWOOD

DEAR COLT: Pole barn (post frame) construction is going to be your most cost effective addition. If your foundation is adequate enough to support the weight of the new building, then drill set brackets would be the way to go. If you are unsure of the capability of the slab, you could consider using typical post frame construction, placing embedded columns just outside of the existing concrete. This would slightly increase the footprint of the proposed addition. For more reading on dry set brackets: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/dry-set-column-anchors/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: High of building, siding and ceiling or no ceiling, floors, concrete, use of lube pit? Find out as much about deferent aspects of the construction good or bad? Any comments you might have for having been around designs. As different materials used in the construction, heating and cooling? Would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! ROBERT in DENVER

DEAR ROBERT: Your question is pretty broad, however I will do my best to give answers which will prove helpful.

Construct the largest footprint and height building which you can fit on your property within Planning Department limitations and will fit in your budget. It will never be big enough.

Use post frame (pole building) construction, it will be the most economical and easiest and fastest to construct (and time is money also). Pour a concrete slab on grade, over properly compacted fill with a vapor barrier.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the suggested foundation for a 40’ x 80’ pole barn we plan to build on a slightly sloping site that has a rock shelf at ground level on the upper long and short sides? We live in mid Missouri. Thank you. GREGORY in EUREKA

7-31-12-Blog-Image-from-HPBDEAR GREGORY: Whilst it might be tempting to pour a continuous footing and foundation, I believe in the long run it will be easier and less expensive to go with post frame.


Because foundation costs are astronomical! (read about how astronomical here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/)

Rock can be dug through. Start by calling your local power company and ask them if they have equipment for boring through rock, or if they don’t who does it for them. You can bet they have a solution for this – and many power companies are happy to make a few bucks putting their equipment to work which would otherwise be sitting idle.

Another alternative is to rent a skid loader with ram hoe attachment.