Tag Archives: elevation drawings

Barndominium Plans Before Land?

Barndominium Plans Before Land?

Unlike chicken or egg coming first, barndominium floor plans should come second, after a place to build has been determined.

Reader STEVE in MILWAUKEE writes:

I am interested in developing plans for the barndo-square with internal courtyard. I don’t have the land for it bought yet, so is it a waste of time to get started on the plans already? If the foundation will be a slab, can the specifics about the land it is going on be on be determined later? Maybe assume the land will simply be level to start? Or is the point of owning the land to make sure the building plans follow the local building code from the start?

As for making the property wheelchair accessible, I plan on having my parents move in with me eventually. They are not in wheelchairs yet, but my uncle is and I see what a hassle it is for him to get around normal houses when we have family gatherings. Plus I think one-level and wider doors and wider hallways are good things if the square footage allows.

My current situation is a ranch house with a large shed outbuilding on 13 acres, on its own well, septic, furnace fuel oil. This is just so you know I am not naively wanting the country life, it is how I grew up and how I prefer to live. I also plan to build in an area with a few good barndo-type builders, north of Milwaukee WI. So I think the entire plan is doable once I secure financing. It is my understanding that having plans in hand makes it more likely to get a construction loan.

This might be against your own interests, but do you think I should develop the plans directly with the builder I choose since I will choose a barndo-builder and not a traditional house builder? Each of their websites show that they can make the plans too. Or is it a good idea to approach the barndo-builder with general plans and fine-tune the plans with the barndo-builder?”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru advises:

I didn’t learn much in architecture school however one lesson was your site should be determined so room orientations can be appropriate in relationship to access from roadways, any possible views, north-south orientation, slope of site, etc. Other than minimum room dimensions and egress issues, your floor plans will have little to do with Code requirements. Your structural plans will need to be generated after you have developed a floor plan and will be relevant to climactic conditions specific to your site (most often overlooked is wind exposure).

You will need to have professionally produced floor plans and elevation drawings to secure financing. You do not need structural drawings. Very few builders have an architectural or structural background adequate to prepare or provide what will truly best meet your needs. An experienced professional Building Designer should be just the ticket. You can find ours here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/

Floor Plans vs. Structural Building Plans

Floor Plans vs. Structural Building Plans

Floor (architectural) plans and structural building plans are two completely different animals and should not be confused with each other. Architectural plans show what your home will look like, structural plans detail skeletal aspects and structural stability. In jurisdictions requiring structural plan reviews and inspections floor plans only will not get one a permit to build.

According to Wikipedia (aka sum of all human knowledge):

“A floor plan is an overhead view of the completed house. On the plan, you will see parallel lines that scale at whatever width the walls are required to be. Dimensions are usually drawn between the walls to specify room sizes and wall lengths. Floor plans will also indicate rooms, all the doors and windows and any built-in elements, such as plumbing fixtures, cabinets, water heaters, furnaces, etc. Floor plans will include notes to specify finishes, construction methods, or symbols for electrical items.

Elevations are a non-perspective view of the home. These are drawn to scale so that measurements can be taken for any aspect necessary. Plans include front, rear and both side elevations. The elevations specify ridge heights, the positioning of the final fall of the land, exterior finishes, roof pitches and other details that are necessary to give the home its exterior architectural styling.”

Hansen Pole Buildings offers custom barndominium, shouse (shop/house), and post frame home floor plans and elevation drawings. Plans start at $695 for custom designed floor plans with elevation drawings for a single floor.  When you invest in your new Hansen Pole Buildings kit for this building you will receive a discount of $695 regardless of what optional services you select.

For more information, or to order: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/

Floor plans and elevation drawings need NOT be done by a Registered Professional Architect however an experienced Building Designer should be one’s least level of acceptability. Lenders (and their appraisers) typically require professionally produced floor plans and elevation drawings for finance approval purposes.

Structural Building Plans (unless following International Residential Code’s (IRC) very narrow prescriptive requirements) should always be prepared and sealed by a Registered Design Professional (RDP – architect or engineer). Structural building systems other than most stick frame (stud wall) are outside IRC parameters and require an RDP’s participation to assure conformance to minimum Code requirements. These would include PEMB (Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings), Pole or Post-Frame, Weld-up Steel and ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms).

Generally included in structural building plans are:

A section cutting cuts through dwelling and location of this ‘cut through’ is noted on floor plans. It describes how building will be constructed and discusses how internal finishes are to look. Sections are used because they explain certain conditions in more detail. These conditions may include ceiling height, ceiling type (flat or vault), and window and door dimensions.

Foundation plan, including dimensions and locations for footings.

Framing plan, for walls, including lumber sizes to be used.

Sub-floor Plan (for wood floors) gives details of how this area will be constructed and how services will be arranged.

Roof plans, including type, pitch (roof slope) and framing.

Detail drawings, such as columns and all connections.

Structural Layouts.

Examples of structural building plan inclusions can be found here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/sample-building-plans/

Hart and Home Youtube Episode II

Hart and Home YouTube – Episode II

If you missed our previous episode, please go to bottom of this article, on left, and click on arrow to go to Hart and Home YouTube – Episode I. Moving forward:

Planning and Consultation – our Building Design team will work with you, for as long as it takes and with as many revisions as are necessary to assist you in not making crucial errors you will regret forever. Whether it takes one quote or a hundred, we will get you there.

Since Kevin and Whitney ordered their building, I have penned this article: https://hansenpolebuildings.com/2021/02/a-shortlist-for-smooth-barndominium-sailing/. In a year it has (with nearly 100,000 reads) become my third most read blog article of all time!

We have also added an in-house Barndominium Floor Plan Specialist to our team. This service creates for you your ideal dream floor plan, as every barndominium Hansen Pole Buildings provides is 100% custom designed to best meet our clients and their loved ones wants and needs. Professional floor plans and elevation drawings can be yours for as little as $695 and should you happen to move forward and order your barndominium from us, we offer a credit back against your investment of $695 – effectively making this a free service for a one story barndominium!

You can find out more about this service here: https://hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Shipping phase – unless you have hidden in a cave during the COVID-19 era, you have read, heard or seen on TV numerous supply chain challenges. Pre-COVID we could deliver most any building, anywhere in two to three weeks. Now we ask our clients to allow eight to 12 weeks, due to seemingly totally random unavailability of products. Special order items, most noticeably non-standard windows and doors, can take even longer.

You may have noticed fuel getting increasingly more expensive. Back in my early days in post frame, this was a different case – fuel was cheap and it made sense to have our vendors deliver to our yard, we would then custom package your building components and deliver on our fleet of trucks. Well, not only are fuel costs rising, those trucks are not inexpensive either. We have become logistical wizards and now rely primarily upon our partner suppliers and manufacturers to ship direct to your site (other than specialty items shipped from our warehouse). Many of these deliver on route trucks, making numerous deliveries allowing for shipping costs to be split amongst a plethora of orders. This process allows for us to hold costs of transportation to a minimum. As well, we do not tie up hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars in flooring huge inventories. It also reduces the number of times any given item is handled, minimizing possible damage.

One challenge we are brainstorming upon (and could use your input on) is getting all of these vendors to call our clients prior to delivery. Our Purchase Orders give explicit instructions to call 24 to 48 hours prior to anticipated deliveries. We have found our steel roofing and siding partners to be best at this, however for some other vendors this struggle is real, as making an actual phone call is seemingly near impossible.

Lumber quality – we deal with wholesale lumber providers all across America. In most instances, they go out of their way to deliver high quality materials to our clients. Because we are repeat, volume purchasers, our clients typically find they are getting better lumber than they would get as a one-time buyer (not to mention we can source product from vendors who will not sell direct to the public). 

Our Construction Manual does devote four pages to lumber delivery and quality. Our Materials Department also provides information via email, as we want each of our clients to receive materials within grade specifications. Prompt reporting of non-conforming lumber allows for us to have our providers make no charge replacements (as in Kevin’s case with his bad column).

Catch you soon for our next episode!

Searching for a Builder Embracing Hansen Building’s System

Loyal reader RUSS in PIPERSVILLE writes:

“We are in the process of having our floor plans and elevations done by Greg Hale. A pleasure to work with by the way. I’m wondering if you have any experience with pole frame builders in the east shore area of Maryland? We really want to purchase our building package from your company but it seems like all of the builders listed around that area are complete build companies only. None that I have seen offer stamped engineered drawings for the buildings and don’t want to use outside materials. I fear that I may not be able to find a builder that embraces the “Hansen” approach to building. Any help would be appreciated.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Hansen Pole Buildings offers an affordable (or even free) service to provide you with floor plans and building elevations crafted totally to best meet your wants and needs. For more information on this service, please visit: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Glad you are enjoying your experience with Greg, it has proven to be an extremely popular service for our clients.

Hansen Buildings Construction ManualOur buildings are designed for average physically capable person(s) who can and will read instructions to successfully construct their own beautiful buildings (and many of our clients do DIY). Our buildings come with full 24” x 36” blueprints detailing locations and attachment of every piece, a 500 page fully illustrated step-by-step installation manual, as well as unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. We have found those who DIY almost universally end up with a better finished building than any contractor will build for them (because you will actually follow plans and read directions, and not take ‘shortcuts’ in an attempt to squeeze out a few extra dollars of profit). We’ve even had couples in their 80s assemble our buildings!

For those without time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states. Your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders.

A Dog Trot Post Frame Home

A Dog Trot Post Frame Home

Welcome back!

If you missed yesterday’s installment, you will want to flip a page back, otherwise this will not make sense!

Thank you Jim for your kind words – so much to write about and so little time 🙂 I do endeavor to provide to anyone who wants to read, best possible and researched information. I also tell it like it is, rather than just giving answers you want to hear.

For those who may read this later, a ‘dog trot’ style building historically has two individual sections, connected by a breezeway. Dog trot homes are typically raised off the ground and have a wide front porch along an entire length. Normally one section will have ‘day functions’ (cooking, dining, living) and its counterpart will have ‘night functions’ (sleeping, bathrooms). I would encourage you to consider putting up this building shell in its entirety at one time as there will be economies to be derived in only one set of deliveries as well as labor savings in not having to tear anything apart in order to conjoin first and second stages. You could certainly complete all inside finishes of each section independently.

Being able to pass a blower test is less a function of the structural system than it is of properly constructing a well-sealed building envelope. It is also not yet a nationwide mandate – Florida just happens to be one of a handful of states where it is required. By using two inches of closed cell spray foam insulation on all surfaces and properly installing all doors and windows you should have no issues with passing a blower test. Our third-party engineers do a thorough check on every member and connection to ensure all are adequately designed to resist the imposed loads – including column uplift. Screw tie downs will not be required in order to resist columns uplifting (at least not by our engineers). Raised wood floors (over crawl spaces) are becoming more and more popular as people are realizing they are available and do not like the idea of living upon concrete floors https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/03/slab-on-grade-or-crawl-space/ . One of our recently retired Building Designers, Rick Carr, has recently built a hunting cabin for himself over a crawl space https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/06/fishing-cabin-insulation/.

One of our Building Designers will be reaching out to you for further discussions. I would also recommend you get into our queue for getting floor plans and elevation drawings generated http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q.

An Architect’s Guide to Drawing Your Own Barndominium Plans

An Architect’s Guide to Drawing Your Own Barndominium Plans

Architect David Ludwig (www.LudwigDesign.com) has over 50 years of construction and design experience. A frequent contributor to assisting those interested in barndominiums, but without knowledge to create their own plans, David has offered his sage advice:

1. Draw to scale. Use 1/4” graph paper. Make each square equal to 6”
2. Use double lines for walls. Make them 5” thick
3. Furnish your plans. Measure and draw all furniture on a separate sheet. Cut out the little drawings. Move them around to find the best layout.
4. Consider flow, outlook (window locations) interior views, sound through walls, privacy, focal points, cross-space and adjacent space connections (visual and walking), etc.
5. Show door swings and window locations.
6. In your mind, go and “sit” in every seat. Look around. Adjust what you see.
7. Two-story interior spaces. Consider limiting your upper floor to create a two-story space for your great room/dining/kitchen. Consider a balcony at the upper level. Consider making the stair a “feature” part of the large space.
8. Stair design. Avoid circular stairs or landings with windows. Difficult to meet code requirements. Consider a “folded” two-flight stair with a landing half way up. Consider enlarging the landing as an actual “between space” or overlook (library, crafts).
9. Common omitted items: pet areas, pantry, digital charging, trash and recycling, sports and hobby equipment, musical instruments, utility room (for furnace/AC, water heater, well equipment), cleaning closet (for vacuum, brooms, cleaning supplies)
10. TV and digital media. Think about the role TV plays in your life. It is central and everywhere? Is this what you want? Is this good for your kids? Consider sequestering all screens to a “media room” for limiting access and freeing other spaces as “screen-free”.
11. Look at building code for clearance requirements at plumbing fixtures and wood stoves.
12. Draw “exterior elevations” of the whole house. In a large-volume building like a barn, consider using 8’ headers for windows and doors. For tall walls, consider adding transom windows above.
13. Organizing openings and changes of materials. Line things up. Slight misalignment is visual clutter. Create changes of materials and colors that “tell a story” or frame or align with openings.
14. Daylight, windows, emergency escape and ventilation. Follow and exceed code requirements for minimum openings. Consider adding a “cupola” or system of skylights at the ridge to bring light/air into the center of your main spaces.
15. Solar. Consider roof slope (min 4/12) and orientation (south or southwest) for optimal solar orientation.
16. Shade. Consider overhangs and covered porches to shade your windows. Sun entering through windows can heat/cool at the right times of year. Remember, summer sun is almost vertical and can easily be shaded. Winter sun is low angle and can slip under a shade to add warmth.
17. Interior elevations. Draw separate for each room with cabinets and special finishes (kitchens, bathrooms, pantries). Look at what you want to store and where.
18. Outdoor rooms. Consider creating an outdoor kitchen/BBQ area. Covered/sun? Looking at? Think of the space around your barn as containing “outdoor rooms” with activities and furnishings. Outdoor spaces have a larger “scale” than indoor. Consider seasonal changes.
This should get you started.
Good luck!
David Ludwig, Architect

Pole Buildings Plans 101: Elevation Drawings

Who needs elevation drawings and what are they?  This is one question to be sure to ask your building department prior to having your plans drafted.  I’ve been talking about plans since beginning of last week, and I did refer to endwall and sidewall framing plans as “elevations”.  However, these were the framing plans for each of the 4 walls.  They showed the inside wood framework or support for the roofing and siding.

Not all states require what is called “elevation drawings”.

Click here to see what I am talking about – scroll down to number 7 titled “Elevations”:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/sample-plans.htm

These are very simple drawings which don’t really tell you how to build anything.  In fact, once you get your plans, you may not take more than a quick glance at the elevation drawings, other than to be sure the building looks exactly the way you envision it.  This includes where the doors and windows have been drawn.  This is what counties like to see in deciding if the proposed new building is going to meet very specific guidelines in the area of aesthetics.  Basically, does it “fit in” within the neighborhood, or is it going to stick out like a sore thumb?  The community’s governing body decides what is “ok” or “not ok” for you to build.

Some residential communities are so specific on what you may or may not use for roofing and siding, they will even dictate what colors you are allowed to use on your building, or even more specifically, the colors you may not use!  Elevations are drawn to show the exterior face of all four sides of the building, along with height relations and exterior finishes.  They will show the overall height of the building, the “pitch” (slope) of the roof and top of finish grade elevation.  If you have windows and doors, it will show what size and type of windows or doors, along with their exact location.  If your new building is an addition or attachment, it will also show the relationship to the existing building.

Going one step further, building inspectors from your city/borough/county may also require an engineer to seal the plans.  This means the engineer is checking the structural design of the building, and verifies under the loads and according to the building code adopted by your jurisdiction, the building is designed to withstand the forces of nature.  The engineer safeguards people and property, so they have a huge responsibility in sealing your building plans.  The actual “sealing” part means they put a stamp on the plans with their license number and put their signature over the seal.  Even if you are not required to have sealed plans by your building department, I strongly recommend you have them stamped anyway.  It’s just a good idea to have a professional engineer put his/her seal of “yes this is a good design and safe to use” on your building.

While you are at it, ask your building department how many sets of plans they will need.  Some require two sets of sealed plans, while others want 2 sealed plus another one unsealed.   They may have requirements of what size or method of submission as well.  Most will accept the size we use, which is 2’ x 3’, but others are starting to require plans submitted on a disc only.  Calculations to support your building may also be required, and again the number of sets for submission (most often sealed only) is set by your building department.

Lots to know about plans!  Tomorrow we will discuss one last little detail….yes, the Detail drawings themselves!

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