Tag Archives: clear span pole barn

Covered Arena, Nail Numbers, and Clear Spans!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My daughter has taken up roping, and I would like to build a covered arena so she can practice year round. Note I said covered, not enclosed. I am not sure I can afford an enclosed arena, but can a covered arena. My question is, what size should this be? I have read that 120 x 240 is the smallest. Also, she does poles and barrels. We would use the arena for this also.

Arena InteriorDEAR GEORGE: Having raised a “horse” daughter, I can empathize – it is not a hobby for the faint of pocketbook. In post frame construction, it is often more economical to cover some or all of the sides, rather than constructing just a roof. For roping, even the professionals usually stick to 70 to 80 foot widths and 18 foot eave heights, in order to keep the investment down. For barrel racing, 120 foot does seem to be the most common competitive width, however when faced with erected costs which can run easily upwards of a quarter of a million dollars compromises are usually made to fit within a more comfortable budget amount (again, usually going with a narrower width).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do you figure per SQ FT how many nails you will need. MIKE in SIOUX FALLS

DEAR MIKE: Square footage really has nothing to do with the number of nails needed. For 10d common framing nails, a general rule is five pounds for each 20 dimensional 2” lumber pieces. Nailing T1-11, wood or composite sheeting with 8d commons? Usually a pound will do about two 4’x8’ sheets. For joist hanger nails, conventional 2×6 hangers take a pound of 10d common x 1-1/2” nails for each eight hangers.

Keep in mind these are merely approximations. Actual usage may vary due to specific building design requirements or individual installation techniques.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m looking at your 60×120 pole barn kit.
Is that a clear span? I’m planning on making a riding arena and not wanting poles in the riding area.


Horse ArenaDEAR MIKE: Unless you for some reason wanted to have interior columns, the 60’ x 120’ pole barn (post frame building) kit package would indeed be a clearspan. We can also provide wider, longer or a combination of the two. For more reading on perfect riding arenas: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/the-perfect-indoor-riding-arena/.



Pole Building Design

Available Space, Budget and Imagination

I’ve always said these three things – available space, budget and imagination are the only limitations when it comes to pole building design.

Available space – I’ve now been personally involved in around 16,000 pole buildings. Yes, for those who are curious, it is a lot of pole buildings. After 35 years in the industry I am still waiting for the first client to contact me after they construct their pole building and say, “My building is just too big”!

business-storage-buildingIn the mid-1990s I constructed an 80 x 150 x 20’ tall pole building for one of the businesses I owned, Apex Roof Truss. I remember standing in the middle of the floor of this huge empty building, looking around and thinking, “We will never use all of this space”. Not two years later the building was filled to the ceiling and I was wishing I would have constructed a larger building!

Budget – It doesn’t matter if the building was free, if the budget is zero. Realistically create a budget of what can be spent on your new pole building(s). A great planning tool is available for FREE here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pole-barn-planning-guide.htm

And don’t just count available cash in hand. For those with FICO scores of 680 or better, it is possible to borrow (on approved credit) up to $45,000 with monthly payments of not much more than 1% per month of what was borrowed. For information on all available financing programs available through Hansen Pole Buildings go to: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/financing.htm

Imagination – Plenty of it to go around. We’ve had clients do some unique things with their pole building design – over 54,000 square feet under one roof; 44 feet tall; three stories; even 100 foot clear spans! How about a cantilevered deck off a second story? Dormers? Cupolas so large you can entertain 6 friends while looking out through windows 50’ above the ground?

One of the more imaginative uses appeared in an article I wrote recently: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2015/02/loafers/

What the article didn’t show was the inside, so we’ve provided a bar’s eye view with this article!