Tag Archives: double sliding doors

Sliding Doors, Roofing Tar on Posts? and Condenstop!

Sliding Doors, Roofing Tar on Posts? and Condenstop!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an arena with 12×12 openings at each end. I want to find a rolling door solution. I would like to have 6.5” doors that open left and right. I’m also interested in finding a door solution that instead of tan metal (matching my building) I find translucent panels.

I can upload photos in a few days when I return to the farm.

Is this something you can help with?


building problemsDEAR JASON: If yours is typical post frame (pole) building construction, your opening probably measures 12 feet from center of column to center of column, in which case you would be looking at needing a 12 foot width split sliding door. This would give you two door leafs just over six feet in width, enough to cover the opening, provide an overlap on each side and be able to be covered with two three foot widths of steel siding.

You should be looking at a door system which has all steel girts (horizontals) and verticals, preferably pre-painted. While translucent (polycarbonate) panels could be used, I would typically not recommend them due to their not having a resistance to wracking.

In our case, Hansen Pole Buildings only provides sliding door components with the investment into a complete engineered post frame building kit package. We typically would recommend you pay a visit to the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot to acquire the parts you will need.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Enjoy reading your blog. I will be building in thick wet clay and am worried about post rot due to the amount of moisture. Will painting the entirety of the buried portion of treated pole in roofing tar help preserve the wood? TIM in LEXINGTON

DEAR TIM: Thank you for your kind words, I hope to be both entertaining and informative. Will painting the entirety of the buried portion of a treated pole in roofing tar help preserve the wood? Well, it might, although I have found no studies which would confirm the ability. I did find an interesting article in Scientific American, which may shoot down the idea: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-tar-and-its-products-as-preser/.

The reality of the situation is, a properly pressure preservative treated column is going to outlast all of us, and probably our grandchildren. This article should be of interest: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello guru. I bought a bunch of 1/2x4x8 sheets of insulation to put on my new 40×60 barn roof under the steel and on top of purlins .Planned on taping all seams for a moisture barrier. It’s not the really dense foam more of a bead style with a silver back on one side plastic on the other so it’s a little bit squishy. After thinking about it what worries me is that after time it may cause the barn screws seal to loosen up. If the foam lowers it could cause the steel to drop a bit. Than could create a leak under the rubber washer. Or do you think it will work ok? Should I just use Tyvek instead on the purlins? What is your opinion Guru? ABE in WAYLAND

DEAR ABE: Do not use this insulation as you have intended, it will cause you nothing but grief. Not only will your post frame barn roof leak, but the diaphragm strength of your roof steel will be severely compromised, which could lead to a catastrophic failure. Tyvek and other building wraps are not condensation control barriers, they are moisture barriers. There are several possibilities – invest in roof steel with Condenstop or Dripstop preapplied, use a radiant reflective barrier between the purlins and roofing, or spray closed cell foam on after the roof is installed.



Loft Door, Antique Barns, and Footing Sizes?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an upstairs (loft) exterior opening that is 50″ wide by 68″ tall. I want to build a door with the National Hardware tab-loc frame and cover it with r-panel siding. How much overhang on each side, and top and bottom do I need to make the door? What should the door’s dimensions be to keep the weather out? PHILLIP in SAND SPRINGS

DEAR PHILLIP: It will depend upon what you are using for door jambs as well as if you are using a track cover (steel trim). Having a track cover above the sliding door track board is the only way to keep massive amounts of weather from entering your building above the door, so probably a good investment. If your jambs stick out from the framing an inch or so outside of the siding, then you should be able to use a 54-56 inch width. Height should be equal to a minimum of the height of the hole (assuming again the use of a track cover) and can be greater.



DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much would it cost to build a pole barn with antique wood exterior that is finished on the inside for wedding receptions. TERRANCE in ANDERSON

DEAR TERRANCE: How much would it cost to buy a new car?

It depends upon if the car is an economy subcompact or a limo. Features, degree of quality and dimensions are all going to factor highly into the budget.

The antique wood barn boards can run anywhere from seven to 20 or more dollars per square foot of wall area – just for the siding! A 2400 square foot building with a 14 foot eave height could easily have $50 to 60 thousand dollars in barn board siding, many times more than the investment into the building shell itself.

Most of our clients opt to go with the look of barn boards using 1×4 cedar battons every 16 inches over rough sawn T1-11. This route saves tens of thousands in materials alone.



DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 28 x 32 pole building with ATTIC trusses 10 ft side wall, what size should footing/hole be?? CHRIS in INDIANA RIVER

DEAR CHRIS: The thickness of the concrete footings as well as diameter of the concrete collar (and hole) is calculated by the engineer who sealed your building plans and will be specified on those plans.

Your engineer takes into account the soil bearing capacity of the ground at your site, the spacing of the wall columns, design wind speed and exposure, frost depth, roof snow load, roof slope and roofing material, width of the usable attic space and what the space will be used for, as well as use of any uninhabitable spaces outside of the width of the attic bonus room. Ceiling materials as well as any concentrated loads from HVAC, plumbing, etc., also are factored into the equation.

If you are not finding this information on your plans, contact the engineer who designed your building and ask him or her. In the event you do not have engineered plans (or no plans at all), you need to hire a Registered Design Professional (RDP – engineer or architect) to correctly calculate this for you.

Do not attempt to guess, or do this on your own. Inadequate footing result in buildings which settle and shift – neither of which is a good design solution.

A Sliding Door Experience

We had a recent inquiry from a client who needed a new pole building for farm equipment storage. He has a windrower and several balers and trailers to put in the building. His initial request was for a 30’ x 40’ building, with a single sloping roof and a 14 foot eave height. For doors he wanted four 20 foot wide by 14 foot tall sliding doors.

Sliding DoorOther than the requested eave height not being adequate (sliding doors DO need something to mount to), two 20 foot wide doors could have been mounted on each of the 40 foot long walls. I say ‘could’ because this would most likely not work out to be the most practical of design solutions. 20 foot width sliding doors are truly big doors and in this configuration, only one door on a wall could be opened at a time.

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Doug was able to show the client the benefits (as well as tremendous cost savings) of a gabled roof, as opposed to the single sloping roof. The client determined his door needs could be met with one sliding door each, on the same sidewall, of 16 foot and 18 foot widths. These would still need to bi-pass each other on double tracks.

At this juncture, the client asked, I am going to need some additional information about the sliding doors. Specifically I need to see how they are going to work, and what kind of track/rollers they will have. Can you send me something detailing this?”

Doug sent to the client the chapters from the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual


which pertained to the components and assembly instructions for sliding doors.

The reply, “I appreciate your response and the door hardware details. This cleared up a few questions.

I still do not see how the sliding doors are going to work in relationship to the building itself. I will need to have the post layouts specified on the quote, so that I understand where the posts are in relationship with the doors. I do not want to get a building I cannot use for my purposes. Typically posts are set at 10 foot centers, but since my doors will be most of the side wall, I just do not see how this is going to be accomplished without posts in the middle of my openings. I also do not see how with 36 foot of opening capability, on a 40 foot building where the doors are going to go when open. Any support you could lend in clearing up this important detail will be greatly appreciated.”

Now a brand new issue has been raised – the client was anticipating somehow having an opening of up to 36 feet in width on one 40’ sidewall…..and just now realized the doors had nowhere to slide to!

With sliding doors, they do need a ‘place to park’ so it was back to the drawing board with some other options. By turning the roofline 90 degrees, the sliding doors could be located in the peaked endwall – where a roof truss can carry the load without the need for large structural headers.

For bi-parting doors – they “park” either over the other door location (in front of the other doors), or often one over the other on an adjacent wall. Again, the determinant is available wall space

The best door opening choices are to place a 20 foot wide split (bi-parting) door in the center of the end. This would be the most economical as well as most secure solution – providing the client can work with a 20 foot wide opening.

The other choice, is to mount double tracks on the endwall, and provide a 26 foot wide hole. Doors would be a seven foot wide door on the inside track, then two six foot wide doors on the outer track, and one more seven foot door. One six foot and one seven foot door would slide in each direction.

We will see where this saga leads.