Tag Archives: fastening steel panels

Screw Placement on Steel Panels

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I wanted to know the best location for screw placement on my pole barn roof. Should I place them on the raised rib or in the lower flat area? Thank you! WILLING IN WAVERLY DEAR WILLING: Screws should always be placed in the “flat” areas of the steel panels. The first panel will have an overlap on the leading edge (closest to the end of the building). Place a #10 x 1-1/2” screw next to this rib, into a roof purlin, and continue screw placement every nine inches across the roof.  The exception will be at the eave and the ridge, as this is where the greatest shear forces are. At these locations use either a diaphragm screw or a #14 x 1-1/2” screw on both sides of every high rib. Diaphragm screws will have some advantages over the #14 part (and can be used everywhere on the building). They have a narrower #12 shank, other than just below the head, so they are easier to drive and less likely to split the purlins. They also have a ¼” hex head, so driver bits do not have to be switched back and forth. You can read more about the development of these screws at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/08/this-is-a-test-steel-strength/

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am currently building a pole barn and looking at pricing on an overhead door. Opening is for a 12 x 10. What option do you offer for an overhead door with latch for security? Thank you. OPENING UPWARDS

DEAR OPENING: The options are innumerable. We offer about every “look” on the market –we’d just need to know what features you want such as glass inserts, designs, etc. Most of our clients use sectional steel doors with inside slide locks. These are available in a commercial pattern (with heavier hardware) as well as numerous profiles of raised panel doors. If you are trying to create a unique or upscale look, carriage house style doors are also available.

In the event you think the building might ever be climate controlled, it is advisable to go with insulated door panels initially, as the cost and effort of retrofitting may prove prohibitive. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/12/insulated-overhead-doors/

One thing many people do not consider is wind rated doors. For more information please read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/wind-rated-garage-doors/

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I was looking at the video you have on your site! I was interested in the 2nd building you showed ……..the Arena. Was thinking of turning this into a home. Possibly one half its size.

and another barn for 3/4 horses 5/6 cows 2/3 goats rabbit hutch and a milking stall…the other end of this huge pole barn would be for equipment vehicles farm equip snow mobiles ATV’s other stuff and attached to this a Butchers House with Freezer Controls to make it nice and cold like an operating room to kill bacteria and germs with several sinks and tables for meat processing and a small walk in freezer with meat hooks to hang game i.e., deer elk bear etc…….

below the home a basement the same size as home only access to half…the other half hidden with secret access via bookshelf or storage rack…..and a basement under the other barn as well with a tunnel leading from the barn to the hidden basement under the home!  The home will be very open with huge living areas. We want the Shell Built totally insulated wiring and plumbing. We want 2 huge stone fireplaces with swing hooks to cook over the fires if we desire and 3/4 wood burning stoves throughout.

Notice your design on the video of the Arena….see where the lower roof meets the upper room…… I want it to be much higher than this and I want a stair case leading to this loft where there will be one of the two big bathrooms (the other downstairs) and the rest of the huge space all bedrooms with an open entertainment area for pit group and big screen TV…….. possibly a sunken area downstairs for huge pit group and TV as well… We want a huge kitchen area.

We also want to put in 5/6 long greenhouses but ours will be built 5/6 feet into the ground to take advantage of geothermal energies/forces to grow all year round…… the roofs will be above ground level with every other roof panel being a SOLAR PANNEL… We want this built so we have access to it from the house possibly heavy duty heavy security glass sliding doors????? And we want a power distribution center building built for battery backup system and the ability to tie in Solar, Wind and Hydro power sources into the grid………  We want to be hooked to the grip but have the option to shut power down from main grid and just go solar wind mill and hydro power or a combination of all.

We are looking for a rough estimate for a barn as described above with Butcher House and Arena Home with basements a tunnel way between them both design the bathrooms one up one down, sunk in entertainment area down stairs 2 huge stone fireplaces and about 3 wood burning stoves. The Arena Home is to be totally insulated heavy beams and wooden floors…kitchen area to use imitation marble tiles…….

just a rough estimate   off the wall TICKLED IN TEXAS

DEAR TICKLED: Thank you very much for your interest. The scope of your project is far beyond what our normal scope of work is. We would recommend you contract with an architect to create the overall design and budgetary figures. We would be happy to work with them on our portion – which would be the building shells only.

Fastening Steel Panels the Right Way

In the early 1980s steel covered pole buildings started to make the move from the steel panels being fastened with nails, to being fastened with screws.

At the time I owned M&W Building Supply Company, in Oregon and Farmland Structures (owned by Jim Betonte) provided erection services for the clients of ours who needed to have their pole building kit packages assembled.

Pole building crews being pole building crews – Jim found out they were using hammers to drive in the screws!! Jim quickly put an end to this bad practice, by purchasing screw guns for the subcontract crews.

Using the right tool (not a hammer) for fastening steel roofing and siding panels is critical for easy installation, proper watertight sealing of the building and the integrity of the connection.

Corrugated SteelWith any steel panel fastening case, screw guns with an adjustable clutch and/or a depth sensing nosepiece, and a minimum of six amps of power are the proper tools of choice. This assures the fasteners are optimally installed. Often (which we recommend) steel panels can be predrilled to prevent walking of the screw point across the surface of the steel …and creating scratches you really didn’t want to have. Selecting a tool with the correct RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) is essential for ideal performance of the pole building system.

Drive sockets with a recessed magnet and internal lobular hex design can help to reduce damage on the fastener head, reduce wobble and increase socket life. (Read more on lobular sockets here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/08/lobular-powder-coated-screws/)

Metal chips which accumulate in the magnetic socket need to be regularly removed so the hex head of the screw is fully embedded in the driver socket. This helps to eliminate screw wobble and improve drilling performance.

High speed screw-guns with RPM greater than 2500 should not be used with fasteners used to attach steel panels to the wood framing. When the drill point is rotating and cutting the substrate, it creates friction which generates heat. If the heat is high enough it can damage the hard surface of the screw and cause the screw point to “burn up”. Slower speed screw-guns used with less pressure during drilling will minimize the amount of friction, heat and damage to the drill point. High RPM tools can also cause over-driving, damaging the screw head which can lead to premature rusting.

Using the wrong driving bit, or a tool with excessive RPM, can lead to fastener damage and problems, Problems can include damage to screw heads, over-driving, scratches and damage to paint (or powder coating) finishes leading to rusting screw heads.

Check with your pole building kit supplier to see what type of drill bit they recommend for their screws. At Hansen buildings, two free bits are provided with every pole building kit order. We want to get you started on the right track.