Tag Archives: engineering

Correct Pole Size, The Better Building Size, and Drip Edge Placement

The Pole Barn Guru assists with questions about pole size, the “right” sized building, and a picture is worth a thousand words.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question on a pole barn.  I’m thinking of 50 by 60 and about 14ft high or so.  On the 4/4 poles, how far apart should they be.  Also on the headers, that are at the top and go all the way around, are they usually 2 by 8?  Thanks, JOE in BOWLING GREEN

DEAR JOE: Hopefully you trust me enough to believe I will steer you in a correct direction, because you are heading in a wrong one. Only one right way exists to get answers you seek, to order yourself a post frame building kit package with plans sealed by a registered design professional (RDP – engineer or architect) specifically for your building (not a generic photo copy). Done right – there will be no need to have headers all around your building, as double trusses should be placed directly to bear upon columns, insuring best possible structural connections. As to columns, they will need to be much larger than 4×4, regardless of how far apart they are spaced.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am trying to design a small hard apple cider production building. It does not need to have a retail portion; that is elsewhere at our farm; just a convenient 20×30 work room that can accommodate lots of washing/spraying down of equipment, temperature control, allow vehicle entry for loading/unloading, and some viewing windows for customers to see the process. Do you have some plans/designs/kit for such a building?

Thanks and kind regards, TOM in ROSE HILL

Hansen VisionDEAR TOM: You’ll want to make certain your proposed 20′ x 30′ area will be adequate for all of your needs. You may find increasing building footprint to say 24′ x 36′ to not be significantly more expensive of an investment, whilst providing 44% more space. With every building we provide being a custom design to best fit client needs, we can certainly provide exactly what you are looking for. A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be in contact with you shortly.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 14 foot side wall panels with 2×8 skirt, what is my measurement on the skirt either from top of skirt or bottom to install my rat guard, I will have a 12 inch overhang (eaveside) using fj channel. CARL in NEWAYGOl

DEAR CARL:

 

 

 

 

Dry Set Brackets on Foundation, Unfinished Jobs, and Engineering

Today the Pole Barn Guru discusses rebuilding on an existing concrete foundation with dry set brackets, unfinished work, and proper engineering.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’ve recently torn down an old machine shed that still has very good 8″ wide by 24″ deep cement foundation walls that I’m thinking about using to erect a new pole barn/machine shed.  Only about 6″ out of the 24″ of the foundation wall is above ground.  Can I erect 4×6 or 6×6 posts to the existing foundation or should I use more of the stick framing techniques?

One additional question on this:  The previous machine shed had a sole plate on the foundation.  Would you normally use a sole plate in a situation like this as well or just attach directly to the concrete? What’s the advantage of using a sole plate?  If I were to use a sole plate and anchored it to the foundation, and then put the posts on top of the sole pate, how would you recommend attach them to the sole plate?

Thanks, MICHAEL

DEAR MICHAEL: Regardless of design solution chosen, it would prudent to have your existing foundation reviewed by a competent local engineer for adequacy. In many areas frost depths are deeper than your foundation, rendering it unable to be reused. Provided your concrete has sufficient depth and strength, a post frame building can easily be mounted to it using dry set anchors (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/dry-set-column-anchors/).

Bracket manufacturer shows anchors mounted directly to concrete walls and I would imagine this achieves best possible connection without creation of additional hinge points due to sill plate thickness. Sill plate still in place upon top of existing concrete wall, then I would recommend it being cut away where brackets will be located.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I had contacted you before regarding a kit but decided I didn’t want to get into a project that big.  I contracted with a local builder from Idaho Falls, Idaho to build my building in Afton, Wyoming.  He seems to have disappeared after setting the posts and framing in the wall girts.  Since he builds very similar to your kits I thought I might inquire to see if you could sell me a partial kit.  What I have is 6×6 posts on 12 foot centers and as I already said, they are framed in with 2×6 girts.

contractors-workingI noticed on your web site you have some buildings in Wyoming.  Do you use vendors for regional distribution?  I can’t imagine shipping everything from MN. JOHN in AFTON

DEAR JOHN: I hate it when a builder pulls things like this it just makes our entire industry look bad. We’ll need specifics of dimensions and features to price balance of your building, as well as what materials you actually have delivered. We have distribution agreements with vendors all across country in order to maximize possible providers and minimize costs of shipping. Your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be reaching out to you shortly.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: For the post on top of a foundation wall would you recommend 4″ x 6″ or 6″ x 6″ post and would they need to be treated?

Thanks, MICHAEL

DEAR MICHAEL: Second part of your question gets answered first, it would only need to be pressure preservative treated if wood was in contact with concrete. As most commonly available timber sizes are pressure preservative treated, you might very well find treated timbers to be both more readily available and more cost affordable.

As far as size of column – this should be determined by an engineer hired to design your building (or engineered plans provided by your post frame building kit provider). Post size will be influenced by heights of both walls and roof, design wind speeds and wind exposure, snow loads and many other variables. Please do not just take advice from some layperson when it comes to your building’s structural design, rely upon a registered design professional.

 

 

Wrapped the Wrong Way, Services, and Ceiling Liners

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I bought a home that has a newer pole barn (40×56, laminated 6″x6″ posts 8′ o.c…. 12′ walls) and the entire barn is wrapped with bubble wrap between the metal and perlins / girts. Would it be acceptable to frame 2×4 walls, and place bat insulation in the stud spaces? I ask because the concern I have is having a vapor barrier (bubble wrap) on the outside of the wall rather than on the inside, as with standard construction. Wall construction would be like this; interior sheeting (drywall, plywood, and ribbed interior metal), paper backed fiberglass insulation between framed wall set between posts flush to the inside, bubble wrap, metal exterior sheeting. Thanks for any advice, as I can’t get a straight answer from local contractors. Sincerely, TRENT in LEXINGTON

DEAR TRENT: I will give you the straight answer, because I have no skin in the game. All I care about is you get the best possible building for your investment.

The answer is you need to either get the bubble wrap out of your walls, or poke numerous holes in it so moisture does not become trapped in the insulation cavity. Personally, I would remove the wall steel, one wall at a time. Pull out the radiant barrier, replace it with Tyvek or a similar performing building wrap, then put the siding back on. While it sounds daunting, it should actually go fairly quickly. I’d use BIBs insulation in the walls with a six ml clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside of the framing.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, this question seemed kind of answered in your FAQ, but I wanted to take a moment and ask anyways, as your website really seems to convey desire to work with the customer as well as a care for quality.  I’ve loved reading the Questions to the Guru!

Without getting into too much detail, I have acres of Loblolly Pine that I will be building an Event Center Barn out of. I’ve got a miller who’s working at some really great rates.

Ask The Pole Barn GuruI’m looking for an engineer to put all my thoughts on the barn together and stamp em so I can get going on the permit process.

Do you all provide JUST the engineering service, I wouldn’t be buying any material from you all, but I would of course supply all the information on the materials I’d like to use, look of it, etc.

If you all don’t, do you think one of your engineers might be interested in privately contracting it?

Again, I ask only because you all seem like a great organization.

Thanks for your time! JACOB in OJA

DEAR JACOB: Thank you very much for reaching out to us. Top quality is a high priority to us.

We and our engineers do not provide just engineering services, due to the inability to control the quality of materials which go into the completed project.

A concern about your choice of building materials – your Loblolly Pine should be both dried to a moisture content of 19% or less and be grade stamped in order to be used in an engineered building. You are probably ahead of the game to sell your timber and purchase the lumber with the proceeds of the sale.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, when installing tin to the ceiling in a pole barn. Do you want to run the full length of the building? Or should you run left to right with your sheets of tin? The building is 60×120. RYAN in WYOMING

gymnasiumDEAR RYAN: It will depend upon how you are supporting the liner panels. In our typical buildings, with double trusses spaced usually every 12 feet, we place joists every four feet between the truss bottom chords and run the steel the width of the building. If your trusses are spaced every four feet, you could safely attach the steel to the bottom of them and run the length of the building. I have heard of cases where trusses have been spaced every eight to 10 feet and people have attached the liner length of the building to the bottom of the trusses with no other framing supports. Personally I feel the deflection of the steel between trusses would be unsightly.


 

Engineered Pole Barn

This is Why Pole Barns Should be Engineered

A line of strong thunderstorms moved through North Central Florida Saturday March 23, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings and a tornado warning.

The photograph is of the remains of a pole barn, which is suspected to have been hit by a tornado. No other structures in the area were destroyed, however there were reports of severe hail damage to the siding and windows of one manufactured home.

Luckily the eight horses who were housed in this barn survived.

fallen pole barnOf course I am not able to personally visit the site to examine the damage forensically, however I can make some observations, which leads me to suspect this particular destruction was as much due to poor design, as it was to having been hit by high winds. If it had been an engineered pole barn, my educated guess is the damage might have been been minimal, if not “fixable”.

Look first at the building columns – leaning every which way. They did not break off from the wind, but are in pretty much every direction other than being plumb. This tells me they did not have any concrete around the bases of the columns, which would have kept them upright.

The columns are notched on the outside – which is a sign there was once a truss carrier (a beam from column to column to support the trusses) in the notch. As no truss carriers are yet in place, the connection between the columns and the truss carriers was obviously inadequate to withstand the uplift forces.

Connections are always the weak link in any structure. Every once in a while, the History channel will show a segment on building failures – and it is nearly always the fault of under designed, or under sized connections.

While a properly engineered pole barn may not have survived the full onslaught of a direct hit from a tornado, the chances of damage being minimal would have been far greater had a registered design professional been involved, and his or her plans followed.

Don’t take unnecessary risks with valuable property and animals.  Seat-of-the-pants design is rarely adequate.