Tag Archives: concrete foundation walls

Post Frame Design Questions

Regarding Post-Frame Home Design
Reader MAUREEN writes:
“Hello. I was forwarded to you because I have some questions for you regarding my home
What are the most economical size of trusses?
What brand of doors and windows do you use?
Can Hansen Buildings be built on a crawl space foundation?
Can in floor heat be used in crawl space foundations?
Are foundation designs sent for the foundation prep company?… to ensure the correct
And please send your financing options.
Thank you!”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru says: 

Planning your new home around what span of trusses might be most economical is likely to end you up with a less than desirable outcome as you are trying to fit your ideal spaces into a preordained box, rather than creating a box to best fit your spaces. With identical features, building shells (other than in extreme wind or snow situations) become less per square foot up
to 40-50 foot spans, then generally level off until clearspans exceed 80 feet.

Here are some thoughts you may find helpful:
Have professional floor plans and elevation drawings done before pestering a builder. Very
few builders are professional designers or architects – expecting them to be is unrealistic.
If you do not own the dirt, it is impossible to craft a barndominium plan to best fit with your
building site.

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 the South reverse this). 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-

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

We furnish Plyco insulated commercial steel entry doors, with steel jambs. Both doors and
jambs are factory finish painted. These doors are available in six panel and cross buck styles,
with a variety of glass options.

Our windows are dual glazed vinyl and can be ordered with tempered glass. They come from a
variety of manufacturers and have appropriate U-factor and SHGC rating for your particular
climactic conditions.
More window and door information can be found within our Product Guide

Yes, our fully engineered buildings can be erected with crawl spaces (and do not necessarily
require perimeter concrete foundation walls)

Radiant floor heat can be incorporated into post frame crawl space designs.
Most of our clients use embedded columns for their foundation. Regardless of whether you go
this route, use piers with wet-set brackets, thickened edge slab with wet-set brackets, poured,
ICF, or CMU foundations, our engineered plans will include foundation designs.

Here is information of our financing: www.HansenPoleBuildings.com/financing
This book (co-authored by me) may also prove helpful https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tips-Your-post-Frame-Home-

Don’t Want Pressure Treated Columns in the Ground?

Loyal reader GREG in KENTWOOD writes:

“We plan to build a house next summer with basically (2) – 40’x60’ units connected at 90°, wife is still in the planning stage, 2 story.  I feel that me and my sons should be able to erect a kit with directions from the supplier and tips.   I like your website and the pole barn guru – FYI.

Here is my first question(s):

Since this project will be a house, on a slab in Michigan, which will require 48” depth of some sort of pole / wall / perma-column / piers like CRS system / Cedar post / other.

I really can’t put a treated pole in a hole and expect it to last 100 years, even with a plastic cover.  But I do not want to break my “bank” going overkill.

I also kind of like the idea of laminated posts above ground, which could be untreated if some method was used to get posts above the ground, which would also allow them to be shorter and reduce cost.

Might even like the idea of pouring cement at the base of each pole hole for better support then use a perma-column, instead of a cookie.  (Wish they did not cost so much, alternative?

With my concerns, what method would you suggest to use for the poles?

My wife should be done with the exterior plan in a week or so then I will send it to you for a quote. 


How do I create a client account?”

Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building as well as your kind words. We have assisted thousands of clients just like you to erect their own beautiful buildings – basically anyone who is physically able and can read directions in English can become a success story.

While properly pressure preservative treated lumber will last for generations embedded in ground (even without any sort of plastic sleeves), we recognize there are those, just like you, who feel far more confident with columns above ground. With this in mind, your least expensive and easiest to construct design solution will be poured concrete piers with wet set brackets embedded into them to attach your building’s columns.

With this option, we do account for your columns being shorter in length. We do recommend use of true glu-laminated columns in markets where they are logistically available as they are stronger and straighter than similarly sized solid sawn columns.

Poured concrete foundation walls with footings (and wet set brackets in the top of the wall) will be a budget buster. Nine years ago the cost of a single 40’ x 60’ foundation for a two foot frost depth was roughly $12,000 (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/).

Permacolumns (besides just their cost) can prove to be unwieldy (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/perma-column-price-advantage/). They also would require a poured concrete footing beneath in order to adequately distribute roof and second floor loads plus building dead weight to supporting soils. Concrete cookies will rarely be adequate for even minimally sized buildings and loads.

Depending upon species of cedar, soil moisture conditions and amount of freeze and thaw cycles, it may last 15 to 30 years – so probably not a viable alternative.

A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be reaching out to assist you further.