Tag Archives: Conversion

Upstairs Conversion, Building Plans, and Basic Buildings

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about converting an upstairs space in a pole barn to a living space, Plans only packages, and a basic building kit.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 30×30 pole barn with upstairs 2 story shingle roof. Want to convert it to a living space for my grandchildren and their mom my son passed away she needs a place to live.

Thank you RICH in CREAM RIDGE

DEAR RICH: You should begin by finding out if your local Planning Department will allow you to convert this barn into a residence. Once you assured they will be happy, you should engage a Registered Professional Engineer to determine if it will be structurally adequate to be used as a residence.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, Do you sell plans for pole barns?  I live in Canada and work as a social worker working with at risk youth.  My wife and I use horses as a way to work with children who have difficulty in communication, self-esteem, anger and other concerns that prevent them from reaching their full potential. 

The struggle we have is that everything we do is outside which means we simply cannot do anything during the winter and early spring months.

I have talked to several builders and truss makers who insist that trusses must be spaced every two feet so for a 100 X 60 pole barn I would need 51 at a cost of $30,000; factoring in all of the other costs it is simply out of our reach.  I have read that you suggest trusses can be spread further apart and one of the builders I have spoken to said I should ask for some plans and he would see what he could do, however is very skeptical.

I sincerely hope you can assist and thank you in advance.

Many thanks. PETER in ST. GEORGE

DEAR PETER: Thank you very much for your interest. We are not a plans service, we do supply engineer sealed plans with all of our buildings (along with complete installation instructions). Currently we are unable to design to Canadian Building Code, however we hope to incorporate this option in 2020. Right now, all of our Canadian friends are ordering buildings designed to U.S. Codes. Trusses most certainly do not have to be every two feet. Depending upon your snow load, I would expect to see a pair of trusses every 10 feet. We do have a sample plan available on our website: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/sample-building-plans/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, are the base prices listed for the kit only or does that include shipping, tax and installation? NATE in EFFINGHAM

DEAR NATE: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. Prices listed at https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pole-barn-prices/ are for engineer sealed plans, complete materials package delivered to your accessible site, 500 page step-by-step installation manual and unlimited free technical support. Sales tax varies by state (and sometimes city or county) and we only collect in states mandating we do so.

While our buildings are designed for an average physically able person to assemble their own beautiful new building, should you be not so inclined, installation services are available through our Independent Builder Network.

 

Earth Work, Pole Barn Conversion, and Insulation Issue?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am about to build a pole building on a piece of land that is absolutely flat (pasture). I have read on this site that the poles should be installed before any earth work has been done. However, the state of Idaho says that I must have a drainage slope away from the building of 1 foot in 20. How do I reconcile these two requirements? STAN in LINDEN

DEAR STAN: The rationale behind installing the columns first is very few people have fill adequately compacted when they bring it in. I’ve written a series of articles about proper site preparation and compaction which begins here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/. For most, it is easier to just order columns two feet longer than normal, embed them into undisturbed native soil per the engineered plans, then start construction with the pressure preservative treated splash plank held up far enough so as to have its bottom at the point of where the bottom of the finished concrete slab on grade in the building will be. Once the building is up, fill can then be brought in to bring the interior up to grade and create the needed slope outside of the building. The IBC (International Building Code) requires a 5% slope away from buildings where surfaces are not impermeable.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Below is pictured a pole barn I’m looking to convert into a woodworking shop. I want to stud out the walls, fiberglass insulate, and shiplap interior walls. The ceiling will be drywalled and loosefill fiberglass insulation. I will install electrical service, and a gas radiant tube heater on ceiling. My question is, with a wooden frame pole barn with exterior metal skin, OSB sheathing and asphalt shingle roof, what type of vapor barrier do I need on walls, under ceiling gypsum, and on seal plate? KENNY in SOUTHINGTON

DEAR KENNY: You should remove the wall steel (one wall at a time) and install a housewrap between the wall framing and the wall steel, then reapply the siding after making certain any tears or seams have been properly taped. If you use unfaced fiberglass wall insulation you should place a 6ml clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside (running from concrete slab to the bottom of the trusses), immediately prior to installing the gypsum wallboard (or other interior finishes). Again make sure to seal all rears or seams.

You should not have a vapor barrier between the ceiling framing and the drywall on the ceiling.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have a new pole type barn and looking to insulate the inside walls with old style pink roll insulation, do I need a moisture/vapor barrier between the insulation and the metal tin siding? DOUG in PAOLA

housewrapDEAR DOUG: You do not want a vapor barrier between the insulation and the siding, you DO want a building wrap (such as Tyvek). You should remove the wall steel, a wall at a time, install housewrap then put the siding back on. Use unfaced fiberglass batts and then a clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside (make sure to seal any seams, rips or tears.