Tag Archives: foil-faced foam board

Floor Limits, Foam Board, and Consider True Costs!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: If I wanted a pool table in 2nd floor I’d assume we might be pushing the floor limit at 40psf? NEIL in CLEVELAND

DEAR NEIL: As a general rule of thumb, a slate pool table is going to add a dead load of roughly 100 pounds per foot of length. On a 24 foot wide building, this is only four pounds per square foot, so is probably negligible in the global scope of life. We have a pool table on our 48 foot clearspan floor and I can’t say as there is any greater deflection in this area of the floor than any other (although the floor does seem to have a little less ‘bounce’ in the pool table area). One nice thing about prefabricated floor trusses, you can easily increase the depth of the truss (along with the load carrying capacity) for little or no extra cost – it certainly wouldn’t hurt to go to 50 psf live, or to limit the deflection to L/480 or stiffer, rather than the code minimum of L/360.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I glue foam board insulation directly to the metal sides and then cover with plywood? Thank you TOM in HUNLOCK CREEK

DEAR TOM: This is one of those CAN vs. SHOULD questions. Foam board insulation will glue to the inside of metal siding. In the event you ever need to replace a sheet of wall steel, it will be a pain. Unless you are totally able to seal all seams between panels of foam board, or against framing, there should be a vapor barrier on the inside of the insulation.

Your Building Official may require you to have an inflammable barrier on the inside of the insulation board.

The minimal net system R-value gain from what you propose may not be worth the investment of time and money.



DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking for a 3 sided barn 30’ x 36’ that would be open on the 30′ wall. Might want to add 3 overhead doors eventually but it’s not in our finances at this time. CRAIG in RUSHVILLE

DEAR CRAIG: Your heart is in the right place, however the reality is three sided buildings come at a premium due to the structural considerations. You can find out more about it here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/03/three-sided-building/

Anyone who tries to tell you different does not understand how buildings work from an engineering standpoint and should be avoided as a possible choice.

You CAN get the building you truly want, by financing some or all of it. There is no cost or obligation to apply: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/financing/



Dear Guru: Do I Need Vapor Barrier Under Insulation?

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: Is it a huge mistake to go without a vapor barrier on the walls?  How about Tyvek on the walls during construction?  I was thinking of doing Tyvek between the metal siding and the purlins to at least get that vapor barrier in there, just in case I decide to put insulation in my walls later when the budget allows.  Thoughts? CONTEMPLATING IN KANSAS CITY

DEAR CONTEMPLATING: If you EVER think you or the person(s) who own your pole building after you, will ever apply insulation to the walls of a building – then placing a quality house wrap between the wall girts and the siding (whether it be steel or any other material) is an excellent idea for a vapor barrier. At time of construction is the one single time in which it will be extremely easy to add.

To learn more about house wrap: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/11/house-wrap/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU Insulation – I read your warning about the steel skin acting like “unibody” construction, so it should be applied directly to framing. What is a good way to use foil-faced foam board for putting insulation on a roof? I want to avoid using the large rolls of insulation that will sag in 6-8 years? LEARY IN LOUISIANA

DEAR LEARY: I am glad you have been reading and paying attention.  Your new building will be well planned, with pleasing results. I just am seeing no way for foil-faced foam board to be a practical and economical solution for roof insulation. Here is a link to an article I wrote which might give you some further food for thought: