Tag Archives: concrete collars

Framing Loads, Footing Pads, and a Pole Barn Home

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru kicks off 2022 with reader questions about framing loads using heavy duty steel roof trusses, a stone siding wainscot, and lap siding. Mike then addresses questions about footing pads, and finally creating a pole barn home.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am planning to build a pole barn 36×40 on 10’ centers with heavy duty steel roof trusses on 6×6 posts. The wall height will be 10’ and I would like to have 3’ faux stone for siding at the bottom with the rest of the siding hardi plank cement board. Would the weight be too much for a traditional pole barn style framing? NICK in CROSBY

DEAR NICK: Unless you are using some sort of heavier duty steel roof trusses much more significant than typical welded up ones, they are generally not capable of carrying any sort of a roof snow load – it won’t make any difference in Texas, but would further North.

It is likely your building’s engineer will require wall girts bookshelf style in order to make them stiff enough to meet Code deflection criteria for deflection (walls have to be much stiffer when using sidings other than steel). He or she should also be verifying diameter of footings under each column will be sufficient to support weight being added. You are making a significant investment here, I would hate to see your hard earned dollars go for naught due to under engineering.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: You all have an article on the use of Footing Pads.  https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/footingpad/
Are you all having luck with these?  Concrete is a little sky high right now.  Just trying to find people / companies that have utilized these and the pros and the cons! FRAN in NORMAN

DEAR FRAN: Our engineers typically detail bottom of roof supporting column holes with an eight inch thick concrete footing mono poured with 10 inches of concrete up each side of columns, resulting in a total depth of pour of 18 inches.

With a 24 inch diameter hole (largest size footing pads are manufactures in), this pour would take 4.71 cubic feet of concrete (just under 1/5th of a yard), ignore amount of concrete displaced by column itself. At $200 per yard, this would equate to under $40 per hole. To compare, a 24 inch diameter Footing Pad sells for $64.99, making poured concrete both less expensive as well as a design solution capable of resisting column uplift.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have single “shed roof” plans that I want to use on my owned Washington state property, although I do not have an architect. I have attached a drawing of the home. Is it possible to work with Hansen to create a pole barn home. I want to use metal roofing and siding. Thank you STACIE in LEAVENWORTH

DEAR STACIE: In most instances, homes do not require an architect’s investment. Our team can work with you to customize and/or tweak drawings you have sent to best meet your wants and needs.

Here are some considerations:

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 some day 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. Roof overhangs on 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/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Our team will be reaching out to you as well.

 

 

Raised Floor in Flood Area, Drywall Framing, and Water in Holes

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about post frame with a raised floor use in a flood area, framing for drywall in a post frame house, and post holes full of water could be bigger soil issue.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have a kit that can be used in a flood area to raise floor about 10 feet. RAY in HOUSTON

DEAR RAY: Yes we do – they are stilt houses and have to be custom engineered for each individual circumstance. Rear more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/stilt-houses/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We’re considering post frame construction for our residence. I’m sill researching and learning. One big question I have is: why does is seem like most people are putting stud walls against the exterior walls of the structure? Are the existing walls not sound enough to support the weight of drywall or wood finishing? Is it necessary for running plumbing/electrical? Is it overkill? WILL in ISLANDTON

DEAR WILL: Congratulations upon considering post frame construction as your structural design solution. Sadly, most kit providers and builders are selling building shells based upon cheapest price, rather than meeting their client’s needs. With this low price, most often comes what is known as externally mounted wall girts – wall framing to support siding being attached wide face to wind on outside of columns. While this is quick, easy and takes little thought, it rarely meets Building Code requirements for meeting deflection criteria. There is a way to solve wall framing to be a one step process – bookshelf wall girts every 24 inches. This creates a very stiff wall structurally, provides an insulation cavity and requires no extra framing to add interior finishes.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Holes for barn posts were full of water. Installed drain tile and water ran off. Now the post holes are very soft and I don’t believe they will support the structure. Ideas? STEVE in Michigan

DEAR STEVE: If you place a 2×4 vertically in a hole and push downward on it and it just keeps sinking, you have a challenge going on. Your best solution then is going to be to hire a geotechnical engineer to visit your site and do a determination of how to adequately support your building based upon actual soil conditions. It may be able to be solved by use of larger diameter footings, or use of rebar within your slab (tied to columns), piers down to solid bedrock or some combination of these. Your building will only be as strong as your foundation, so this is not a place to mess around or guess.

Should your 2×4 above only go down a few inches, then you only need to remove loose soil at bottom of holes and pour concrete pads as indicated on your engineer sealed plans.

 

Posts and Collars, Girts, and Non-Vented Soffits

This week’s edition of Pole Barn Guru visits the topics of post and footing sizes, bookshelf girts for drywall, and non-vented soffits for building with spray foam insulation.

treated postDEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am currently 68 but I built pole barns as a younger man the biggest being a hay barn 24′ eaves X 80 clearspan trusses that we built X 160′ long. I am going to build a 30×60 and will use 6X6 posts 12′ to eaves, engineered trusses with 2X6 purlins 12′ span.

What diameter hole do I need?

I was thinking of using a 16 or 18 sonotube top of an 8″ footing below pour.

Does that sound reasonable?

I am in Grant county Wa.

Thanks for your time 🙂 JOSEPH in SOAP LAKE

DEAR JOSEPH: We have had clients much older than you, with no prior experience, successfully erect their own beautiful post frame buildings. Your 80 foot clearspan x 160 foot long and 24 foot eave must have been quite impressive structure!

Most of your area’s building sites are Exposure C for wind (open to the wind in one or more directions – https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/), which is default value for Grant County. If this is indeed your case, neither 6×6 posts or 18 inch diameter holes would be adequate. One of our Building Designers will reach out to you to further discuss your building needs.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: After reading all of the advantages of bookshelf girts I still find the idea of installing drywall sheets vertically over them a bit perplexing. Is vertical “strapping” of some sort required in addition to the girts or is there enough rigidity between the girts to keep the seam together? I’m assuming this would require the use of 5/8 thick sheets. We are planning on doing as much of the work as possible so our plan would be to have all of the ceilings hung by a pro and do the vertical wall hanging ourselves. All of the details for top of wall to truss connections and the prep make perfect sense to me, why does this detail escape me.
Always thankful for all of the useful info we have learned from your site. We are getting closer by the day to being ready to have our plans prepared for building. RUSS in PIPERSVILLE

DEAR RUSS: Thank you for all of your kind words, they are appreciated. The horizontal bookshelf girts will be stiff enough being attached to both the exterior siding (whether wood or steel) as well as the interior drywall to keep your seams together, without need for blocking at seam edges. You will find your sheetrock joints will be much smoother with vertical installation across these girts (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/11-reasons-post-frame-commercial-girted-walls-are-best-for-drywall/). I used 5/8″ Type X drywall in my own shouse (shop/house) – because it is much more durable, absorbs sound better and provides fire resistance, however 1/2″ would have worked equally as well for standard performance.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking at purchasing / installing a 30’X50′ pole barn style building with 16′ ceilings, including two 12’X50′ lean-to on each side and 12′ ceilings
I want to enclose about 12’X25′ of the left side lean-to for a canning kitchen area.

I am going to have a non-vented insulated roof assembly since we are using a closed cell foam spray, My question is would using 12″ closed soffit overhang be acceptable for the entire building.

Thank You in advance for the support, SAMUEL in CORINTH

DEAR SAMUEL: In my humble opinion most buildings without overhangs look overly industrial. Overhangs help to keep your building sidewalls cleaner and push rain runoff away from your structure. We can provide non-vented soffit panels and they would work perfectly for your application.

 

 

 

How to Repair a Sagging Pole Barn

My bride tells me I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the ‘net. She is probably right, but I surf with a goal in mind – researching topics so there are more satisfied pole building owners!

I stumbled across an interesting video on “How to Fix a Sagging Pole Building” today at: https://wn.com/how_to_fix_a_sagging_pole_building

Now, I know the easiest solution to this problem….DON’T LET IT HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

Yes, I was yelling when I used CAPS!

Inadequate footings beneath columns are one of the banes of my existence. In the name of saving a few dollars in concrete, there are so many wrongs which are never going to be added up together to create a right. Here is one of my previous takes on footings: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/08/footings/

There are numerous instances of famous structures which had inadequate foundations. Perhaps the most famous being the Leaning Tower of Pisa (read more at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/soil-compaction/)

The old armory in St. Paul, Minnesota actually sank over 20 feet into soft clay!

I spend a lot of time dispelling bad advice found on the ‘net. The video above, includes some of this same bad advice.

sagging-barnThe “star” of the video relates his supposition as to there being either no or inadequate concrete beneath the sinking columns. He also tells us the sagging pole barn is in frost country. His restorative process is all well and good, until he pours what would be otherwise known as a “top collar” around the column. Provided the four sacks of premix adequately bond to the column (read about concrete-to-wood bonding here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/04/pole-barn-post-in-concrete/) a brand new problem has been created – frost heave! https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/pole-building-structure-what-causes-frost-heaves/

Our “star” is planning upon the concrete top collar to only have to hold the post in place until a concrete slab is poured. My prediction – frost heave will cause the concrete slab to crack (or entirely break) at these columns.

The solution should have included excavating to the base of the 6×6 (yes it would have been more work) and providing an adequately sized concrete footing pad below the frost line. Involving a competent engineer, rather than winging it (in my humble opinion), would have been dollars well spent to fix his sagging pole barn!

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