Tag Archives: footings

Hoop Shed Wall, Ventilation, and Pole Barn Footings

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about adding a garage door wall to a hoop shed, ventilation with no sidewall overhangs, and how post frame buildings are “anchored” to the ground.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to close the open 1/2 of the basketball court hoop shed with a pole building face.  I would like a large garage door in the center, fiberglass windows, and a door. Would you consider doing this project? JOHN in GILBERTSVILLE

DEAR JOHN: With no building behind to tie an endwall into, it would be structurally unrealistic and economically unaffordable to build what would essentially be a billboard in front of your hoop building. We would recommend tearing down the hoop building and replace it with a new post frame building which would be structurally sound and a permanent structure.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 56×40 pole barn that I am working on lining and insulating. My question has to do with ventilation. There is no soffit. Does Hansen make an eave vent similar to their vinyl gable vents with the snap rings? They would need to be approx. 6 inches wide by 1 or 2 feet long. I would like to place something like that in between each truss (8ft centers) on the sidewall under the roof overhang. Or should I just do gable vents? We are installing a vented ridge cap. Thank You. DARRIN in ARKANSAW

DEAR DARRIN: Unless your trusses have raised heels deeper than whatever insulation thickness you intend to use plus vent height, adding vents at sidewall tops will not solve your ventilation issue. Ridge vents do not function well with gable vents as intakes, so I will make one of two suggestions –

If insulating at ceiling level, use gable vents only following this:

2015 IBC (International Building Code) ventilation requirements may be accessed here: https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/document/IBC2015/chapter-12-interior-environment please see 1203.2.

In areas closest to sidewalls, use closed cell spray foam insulation until you reach an area where full depth blown in fiberglass insulation can be used (20″ will provide recommended R-60 for your area).

Or – use no vents and closed cell spray foam underside of roofing and triangles of gable ends.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How is the plumbing in pole barn construction affected in an earthquake? I have heard that since the pole barn construction is not anchored down, it shifts during an earthquake causing all kinds of damage to the plumbing? CARLOS in SPRINGDALE

DEAR CARLOS: Pole barn (post frame) buildings are indeed anchored down – or least most should be. In our case engineers we utilize will specify a bottom collar of a minimum 18 inches diameter and 16 inches deep, at base of a 40 inch or deeper hole. Columns will be attached to a slab on grade, or restrained by an elevated wood floor, if over a crawl space. There should be no more damage to plumbing, due to an earthquake, for post frame construction, than there would be for any other form of construction.

 

 

 

A Red Barn, Traditional Footings Not Needed, and Added Lighting

The Pole Barn Guru answers questions about a traditional red barn, footings, and additional lighting to outside of building.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, We are looking to have a barn built by the Amish community, but are having trouble finding someone to contact. I see on your website you have had several things built by them and was wondering how we would get in touch with them or is that your company? We live in Northfield MN, our wedding venue, The Red Barn Farm was recently destroyed by a tornado and are looking to rebuild. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks HANNAH in NORTHFIELD

DEAR HANNAH: Sorry to hear of your barn’s destruction. Hansen Pole Buildings does not physically construct post frame buildings for anyone, anywhere. We can, however, design for you a Building Code conforming engineered barn to replace yours and provide complete plans, assembly instructions as well as all materials delivered to your site.  Now our post frame building kit packages are designed for an average DIYer to successfully assemble their own buildings – with almost universally better results than hiring a builder. We’ve had some Amish community building experiences, and my best recommendation would be to proceed with extreme caution: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/11/barn-raising/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do the medium bldgs.(40×40) require foundation footings or just a poured slab? JAY in MONEE

DEAR JAY: A beauty of post frame (pole) building construction would be not needing to have a continuous footing and foundation, thus saving thousands of dollars and countless hours of time.

Read more about these savings here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I’m wrapping up my pole barn, and I have to add an electric light outside the door for local code. What is the recommended way to penetrate the wall and mount the junction box without causing water penetration problems? JAMES in LEE

DEAR JAMES: I’m in favor of minimizing penetrations through a wonderful weather resistant surface – steel siding. Use a surface mount box (rather than recessed) to a “flat” of siding (between high ribs). Use generous amounts of caulking between box and steel siding and you should be all good. A suggested caulking for steel would be TITEBOND Metal Roof Translucent Sealant available through your local The Home Depot®.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Adding a Lean-to on a Pole Barn

Adding a Lean-to on a Pole Barn

In six years and nearly 1500 articles written it is hard for me to believe I have actually overlooked the topic of a lean-to being added to a pole barn!

For the biblical readers amongst you, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7). Well, good reader DANNY in DANA is asking:

“I want to build on a Lean-to on my pole barn and have really having time getting information online, nothing address this project that I’m trying to get started on?”

Mike the Pole Barn writes:

What exactly is a lean-to anyway?

According to the sum of all human knowledge (www.Wikipedia.com) a lean-to is a type of simple structure originally added to an existing building with the rafters “leaning” against another wall.

Custom Designed Pole BarnWikipedia may consider a lean-to a simple structure, however there is far more involved than may meet the eye. Before diving deep into adding a lean-to to an existing pole barn (post frame building) a competent Registered Design Professional (RDP – engineer or architect) should be engaged to determine the adequacy of the existing structure to support the lean-to. Failure to do so can result in catastrophic failures – causing injury or death.

Before I ramble on further, this article is not an engineering recommendation and should not be considered as such. Please utilize only services which can provide RDP sealed drawings for your project.

Why bother? It is just a simple roof!

Here are just a few considerations:

The footings beneath the existing wall columns need to be verified for adequate diameter to support the weight of the existing building, the lean-to and the weight of imposed climactic loads such as snow.

Even if the newly proposed lean-to is just a roof, the existing wall columns need to be adequately sized to support a greater surface of roof for horizontally acting wind forces. If the lean-to is enclosed on the low eave side, the new lean-to roof outside columns must now carry the wind load against the top half of the new wall plus the entire roof!

A change in roof pitch between the existing building and the lean-to, or the lean-to high side being lower than the existing structure can result in snow drifting and snow slide off loads which need to be carefully considered.

If the existing building has trusses or rafters supported by a truss carrier (header between the trusses) it is unlikely this carrier will be adequate to support rafters being attached to it.

Come back next Tuesday for …the rest of the story on adding a lean-to onto an existing pole building.

 

Bigfoot Systems

Bigfoot Systems®

Bigfoot Systems® bills itself as North America’s Original #1 Selling Pier Footing Form, which I would say is most likely 100% or more correct.

So, what exactly is a Bigfoot and why would one use one?

Before we get carried away, I have never used a Bigfoot and this is not a celebrity endorsement. This article began with Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Greg Lovell asking me what I thought of the system.

Bigfoot is a footing form which is used to form a pier base under a cardboard construction tube (think Sonotubes: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/11/sonotube/).

Unless one wants to make a significant investment in concrete filling a very large diameter tube, it is more economically practical to increase the size of the footing (maintaining a smaller diameter tube) in order to properly distribute the downward forces over an adequate surface.

In a previous article we shared why it takes a fairly large footing to spread the weight out (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/hurl-yourconcrete-cookies/).

There are some limitations as to the “smallness” in diameter of the cardboard tube. In cases with concrete encasement around an embedded column, Code requires a minimum of four inches of thickness of concrete on all sides of a column. The diagonal measure across a nominal 6×6 (actual 5-1/2 inch by 5-1/2 inch) column is just under eight inches, meaning the smallest possible Sonotube would be 16 inches in diameter.

While Bigfoot comes in 20, 24, 28 and 36 inch diameters. Only the largest size will accept a tube over 12 inch diameter.

I am certain Bigfoot offers advantages for many types of construction, especially with decks. For post frame construction, in most cases it appears as if it would be added effort and expense. In order to be utilized with an embedded column, a 36 inch diameter or greater hole would have to be dug – and rarely are auger bits this large readily available.

The only true practical case I could make for the use would be if one had soil which collapsed as the hole was being dug – thereby forming a crater.

 

Clear Span Truss Length, Loft Support Columns, and a Footing at OHD!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the widest clear span I can get with a 20 # live load and a 25# ground snow load. THOMAS in LACEY

Arena InteriorDEAR THOMAS: Quite comfortably and affordably 80 foot. I’ve done up to 100 foot clearspans in this loading combination however many truss plants do not have the capability to fabricate or ship trusses 100′ long in one piece.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: While waiting for my materials to arrive for my Hansen building, I was reviewing the plans for my building saw my loft flooring 2×12’s are notched into the posts which I understand the reasoning. My question is what are the rules for notching posts and still maintaining structural integrity of the post. ED in BETHUNE

DEAR ED: There are some “rules” for notching wood members, however they apply to floor joists and stud walls in conventional light-frame construction, not to columns in post-frame construction. The limitations for notches in columns would depend upon the placement of the notch and the ability of the remaining timber to carry the imposed loads. Columns are subject to forces of bending and compression. In compression columns are very strong and rarely is over 10% of the strength of the column needed to carry the downward loads. As long as the notch is done to insure a tight fit and the connection between the column and the member fitting into the notch is done properly the downward loads will be carried through the column as if it was never notched at all.

In bending the maximum moment (bending force) is going to occur somewhere midway between the supported ends (or in your case between the ground and the loft floor), very little bending force occurs at or near the ends. The remaining column at the notch must be adequate to resist shear forces, however the lateral restraint provided by the rigid floor makes these manageable.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My 36 x 56 barn is going to have an entrance door and a 16w x 12h garage door on the 36 side of the building. My question is do I have to have a footer or not on the 36 side to make sure the doors will shut and open in the winter do to frost heave? Thank you. TIM in HUDSON

DEAR TIM: In the event you have an inadequately prepared site, then having a continuous footing and foundation below the doors (and extending past the columns on each side of the doors) might be a good investment. Such a system would need to also be deep enough to be below the frost line, which could make it cost prohibitive.

Sites which have been properly prepared rarely have issues with frost heave. You will want to read the series of articles which begins here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/pole-building-structure-what-causes-frost-heaves/.

 

 

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.


Pole Design Home Plans, Custom Sizing, and Proper Site Prep!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have home plans for a stick build but, am interested in the savings of a Pole Home. I was wondering if you can help me incorporate our design into a pole design. Thanks ROGER

Hansen Buildings TaglineDEAR ROGER: In a word – YES. Keep in mind, what we do is the structural portion of your building – the exterior shell, any raised wood floors (like over a crawl space) or second and third stories. Any non-load bearing interior walls will be up to you. You will find tremendous savings in the foundation, as well as from the ability to construct it yourself.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I specify a different size other than what you show on your pricing page? For example, if I wanted a 20’ X 30’ could I do that?  BILL

DEAR BILL: We can provide buildings of any possible dimensions of width, length, height and roof slope. The beauty of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ Instant Pricing™ system is it calculates exactly the materials needed for any size post frame building – you do not have to pay a premium to get dimensions other than what many people consider to be ‘standard’.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Building area has a hill on one side. The man doing my dirt work has leveled the site and is now going to add 2 foot of gravel to get the site up higher and away from the hill and 3feet wider all the way around the building foot print.. Also by raising the site he will be able to provide a trench to move water away from building The site is mostly heavy clay soil .so my question is will I need to get longer poles to get down below frost line of the original grade or from the building grade he created.
Thanks LARRY in SAVANNAH

DEAR LARRY: Provided your excavator is doing proper compaction of the materials he is bringing in, the depth and diameter of the building columns should be able to remain the same as they were indicated on your original engineer sealed plans for the building. Here is detailed information on achieving adequate compaction: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/soil-compaction-how-to/. If unsure at all, it would not hurt to order columns two feet longer than normal and auger the holes deeper than shown on your engineered plans by the thickness of the fill. In my humble opinion, your foundation is what everything is built upon, and to not err on the side of caution is leaving the support for your brand new building up to chance.

 

A Door Guide with a Roller, When to Pour Concrete, and Bedrock Anchors!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking for a bottom guide for a sliding barn door. I was hoping to get a guide with a roller vs. just a roller. I noticed some guides trap the roller in a channel on the bottom of the door. I would like to know if you have that and where to purchase in Lower west Michigan.

Thanks, GERARD in PLAINWELL

DEAR GERARD: I have found the very best sliding door guide systems do not use bottom rollers at all. Known as “stay rollers” the bottom rollers tend to be problematic, especially in tough climates or when large animals are present.

Figure 27-6

The most secure and effective method utilizes a bottom girt for the door which is most typically a galvanized steel channel 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” (think of a steel stud) with a slot in the 1-1/2” face towards the ground. A galvanized steel “L” is mounted via brackets to the wall in the direction the door slides open. The upward leg of the L engages with the slot in the bottom of the lowest sliding door girt.

This design solution provides stability for the bottom of the door, preventing it from coming away from the building, or slapping against the ribs of the steel as it opens. Hansen Pole Buildings does not provide sliding door components other than with the investment into a complete post frame building package. You might try the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot®, as they should be able to order the parts in without you having to pay an onerous amount of freight.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Would I have the concrete slab poured before the building is erected or pour the slab after the poles are installed? Thanks. JOHN in REMER

DEAR JOHN: One of the beauties of post frame construction is the ability to be able to pour your new building’s concrete slab on grade at any time after the columns are placed in the ground. My personal preference is to at least wait until the roof is on – as it provides greater protection from sudden unexpected rainstorms as well as sun. The best time to pour (in most situations) is after the building shell is fully completed. Premix concrete trucks do seem to have an affinity for running into building columns which are not part of a wall.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Dealing with a site that is less than 20 inches above bedrock and is a wet environment. Frost line construction standards normally require 48 inch depth. What foundation, site prep concerns are relevant. Hoping for a barn about 30 x 40 x 12 RON in ONTARIO

Footing DetailDEAR RON: Code specifies the depth of foundations (in this case your columns) must be either below the frost line, or to solid bedrock. You will want to discuss your particular site challenges with the registered design professional (RDP – architect or engineer) who provides the sealed plans for your building. Our engineers will often solve this anchorage problem by having you drill holes into the bedrock to epoxy in rebar pins which will be embedded into the columns, then backfilling the holes with concrete. To minimize potential frost heave issues, you will want to read my articles on site preparation (use the search bar at the upper right of this page) – as you will want to remove any soils which could contribute to heaving.

 

What Kind of Footings? Beams? and Bi-Folds?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 34’x44′ pole barn middle is 20′ high and 14′ wide, the 2 outside parts are 10′ high by 10′ wide, frost level is 48″, snow load is 40lbs per sqft poles will be 6×6 what kind of footings will i need to have to support this building? MITCH in KAWARTHA LAKES

DEAR MITCH: The question would be best asked of the engineer who designed your building as there are innumerable factors which are going to influence the size of the footings. These include (but are not limited to) the allowable bearing pressure of the soil at the site; will the building be constrained by a concrete slab on grade; the wind speed and wind exposure; dead loads – actual building weight which will be transferred to each column; will there be a second floor or loft in a portion of the building (like the raised center)? What will be the spacing of the columns?

When clients invest in a new Hansen Pole Building, all of these factors are taken in consideration by our proprietary Instant Pricing system and included on the engineer sealed building plans and the supporting calculations.

In the event an engineer did not happen to design your building, it would behoove you to hire one to at least properly design the footings for you, if not the entire building. With a 40 psf (pounds per square foot) snow load, both drifting and sliding snow must be accounted for to prevent a catastrophic failure.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am a high ropes builder and I have a camp that is on a tight budget but needs a new 30′ long balance beam for their high ropes course.
Question: Can you source such a pole for them or lead me to your supplier? I hope that is not 2 questions! 🙂 SHAWN in NASHVILLE

DEAR SHAWN: I have a client, whom I built a building for back in the 1990’s, who has become a good friend. He operates a high ropes course just north of Spokane, Washington: https://adventuredynamics.com/.

In answer to your question(s), since you are from Indiana, I would recommend contacting Stark Truss as they manufacture glu-laminated beams and columns which should be both affordable and straight. Here is the information on them: https://www.starktruss.com/products/perma-straight/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Considering using a pole barn as the base structure for an airplane hangar, do you have the ability to customize a 40X60 barn to allow a large door opening of 40X10 and possibly hang a bifold door on it. MIKE in STEVENS

DEAR MIKE: Post frame buildings make excellent airplane hangars. We can customize virtually any building to accommodate a hangar door. Here is some reading about airplane hangars: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/commercial-buildings/airplane-hangars/.

Ideally, if you are planning upon placing the door in a 40 foot endwall, there would be several feet of wall left at each of the corners in order to most economically transfer shear loads to the ground. A 40 foot wide bi-fold door will also not fit on a 40 foot wall. (example of Endwall Shearwall)

We would need to have the specifications of your proposed bi-fold door, in order to properly design the end of your hangar to support the door.

See bi-fold door information here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/hangar-doors-2/.

 

Fall Up, Go Boom

Fall Up, Go Boom

What? Sir Isaac Newton pretty much confirmed things do not fall up.

Well, this building did not actually “fall” up – it was sucked out of the ground. How would I know this? Look at the ends of the columns which are lying on the ground. There is no concrete attached to the bottom of the columns, nor is any method for preventing uplift even obvious to the more than casual observer.

 

In review of the NFBA (National Frame Building Association) Post-Frame Building Design Manual (January 2015) the issue of column uplift is all but ignored. Beginning with the end of Page 5-37, it is concluded two pages later. Options for preventing uplift are really not addressed.

For decades we, if not many other post frame designers and builders, have relied upon the bond strength between concrete and wood in designing column embedment to prevent uplift issues. More can be read about concrete to wood bond strength here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/04/pole-barn-post-in-concrete/.

I’ve expounded previously upon the use of nail on truss plates for assisting in uplift construction (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/04/truss-plates-for-column-uplift/).

There truly is very little information available. Of all places, I did find some relevant information on the City of Hendersonville, Tennessee website (www.hvilletn.org):

Column uplift protection: Columns shall have uplift protection by one of the following methods:

1. Two 2x6x12 inch column uplift protection blocks attached to each side of the base of the column. The column uplift protection blocks must be placed horizontally, attached per Table 5 and comply with Section R317.

2. 12 inch high, concrete collar poured on top of footing around the post, with 2- #5×9 inch rebar placed through the post at 3 inches and 9 inches from bottom of post in opposite directions. The rebar ends shall be installed in accordance with ACI 332 for the specified distance in inches from contact with the soil.”

Table 5 mentioned above happens to be five 16d hot dipped galvanized nails into each block.

While I was researching for this article, I happened upon an example for preventing uplift in an all steel building. The building in this case was a 60 foot span and steel frames every 25 feet. In this case the design footing was eight feet square by 3’8” in depth!!

The all steel building is going to have footings which take nearly nine yards of concrete per bearing location!! This is near the capacity of a pre-mix concrete truck, per one end of each frame!

Getting back to the post frame building design solution, our engineers have determined reliance upon the concrete to wood bond strength only is not quite as conservative as they might like.

The solution – Hansen Pole Buildings, LLC engineered post frame buildings now have added the nail on uplift plate tot the roof supporting columns to tie into the concrete column encasement.

The investment is minimal and it does afford some added insurance of success in preventing uplift.

Concrete Considerations from the PBG!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is concrete included in price? TRACEY in SUMTER

DEAR TRACEY: No, we do not include concrete in the price and here is why:

Most familiar, as well as most available is the Sakrete® general purpose High Strength Concrete Mix. When mixed per the manufacturer’s instructions, this mix affords a compressive strength of 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch) at 28 days.

The instructions are: Empty the contents into a mortar box, wheelbarrow, or mechanical mixer. When mixing by hand, form a crater for adding water.  Add water a little at a time.  Avoid a soupy mix.  Excess water reduces strength and durability and can cause cracking. A 60 lb. bag should be mixed with three quarts of water, an 80 lb. bag four quarts.

Now the realities of using bagged concrete for post frame building footings….

treated postIt is not unusual to have concrete encasements of 24 inches or larger in diameter and 18 inches or more in depth, in order to prevent building settling and uplift issues. One hole this size would take 4.71 cubic feet, or about 700 lbs. of concrete! Even a very small building with 18 inches of diameter and depth takes 2.65 cubic feet or about 400 lbs. of concrete.

With either 60 or 80 lb. bags, it is going to take a lot of bags! An average building could easily have 20 posts, and if looking at 700 lbs. of concrete per post, we are talking about 7 TONS of concrete (3-1/2 yards).

Ignoring the huge number of bags involved, there are some other realities.

Ever looked at the pallets of readi-mix bags at the lumberyard? Take a peek, next time. Notice how many of them are broken or leaking.

Due to weight, it may very well mean another delivery and another delivery charge. Trucks do not run for free.

Bags can (and will) break when being handled during delivery, unloading and being moved around the jobsite. It is going to happen, just plan on it.

From experience, lots of projects are not begun immediately after delivery. It is not unusual for delays of weeks, or even months before actual construction begins. Improperly stored, bags can get wet or absorb moisture and become solid before time for use. This equals a total waste of money, other than the chunks of concrete make for solid backfill.

Then there are the builders who insist upon throwing the entire bag (usually including the bag) into the hole. Their idea is ground water will cause the readi-mix to harden. Why does this not resemble the manufacturer’s instructions?

Readi-mix must be mixed thoroughly and evenly. How does mixing over 200- 60 lb. bags of Sackrete® by hand sound? Add too much water (three quarts exactly per 60 lb. sack) and the strength is reduced.

Use too much? As holes are always perfectly round (not), it is going to happen.

Save time, effort and money. Often all three can be saved by having the local pre-mix concrete company deliver concrete for holes (even if a “short load” fee is charged), as opposed to mixing on site.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am building a 36 x 40 pole barn and I’m on a grade that drops approximately 4′ over the span of the building footprint. A home builder friend, a structural engineer, and my concrete guy have recommended traditional foundation with wet set permacolumns, but the builder I’ve contracted with wants to set columns on footers 3′ to 5′ in the ground and not use the permacolumns. The pole barn builder doesn’t think I need a retaining wall and should just have an excavator level what i need with a slope off the back. Seems a retaining wall in the back is better, which my concrete guy will pour, but still recommends foundation to eliminate frost heave. Use for building is car storage and shop with a lift.
Thank you in advance for your time and help. CHRIS in ST. LOUIS

DEAR CHRIS: This reminds me of a joke I once heard – a home builder friend, a structural engineer and a concrete guy enter a bar…….

Oops, kind of off track!

Some of the answer is going to depend upon what you want your yard to look like.

In any case – the actual pad of the building is going to need to be properly compacted (emphasis on proper) so those costs will be fairly even in any case. You’ll want to be reading about proper site preparation and compaction here (it is lengthy): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/

What might appear to be the least expensive would be to just order columns long enough to get the required embedment depth as shown on the engineered plans, then fill afterwards, sloping away from the building. In order to keep the fill from sloughing off, it will probably result in a slope next to your building which will stretch out as far as 20 feet. You could easily invest in several hundred yards of fill!! If you can live with the look, might be the answer.

Building on top of a foundation – this is going to be the most expensive and certainly not the choice I would probably be making. It is also going to be tougher to build upon, due to the height of the walls plus the foundation.

Which leaves – build a retaining wall. I like this idea. Columns do not have to be longer (as long as fill is properly compacted).

By the way – there is no reason for ANY of these versions to frost heave as long as the site has been properly prepared. Read more about how to avoid frost heave issues here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/preventing_frost_heaves_in_pole_building_construction/

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much is the drip stop application for labor/material? Usually it comes already attached to the metal paneling. Do you figure it by square feet? JOSH in MANKATO

DEAR JOSH: For materials you are going to be looking somewhere in the neighborhood of 53 cents per square foot of roof surface. As a builder, if you are anywhere it is typically windy, I am going to give you a decent discount on my labor for having invested in it, because I don’t have to fight rolls of insulation flapping in the breeze.

 

CLSM: Cost Effective Alternative to Soil Backfill

Backfilled HoleIn typical pole building construction, holes are augured into the earth, columns are placed in the hole so concrete can be placed below the column to act as a footing for vertical support, as well as to encase the lower portion of the column. Above this “bottom collar” compacted soil backfill is used to fill the void between the column and the edges of the holes.

Controlled low-strength material (CLSM) is self-compacted, cementitious material primarily used as a structural fill or backfill alternative to compacted soil backfill. It is often referred to by different names including flowable fill, controlled density fill, soil-cement slurry, unshrinkable fill, plastic soil cement and flowable mortar. It is self-leveling, having the approximate consistency of pancake batter, and can be placed in one lift with minimal labor and no vibration or tamping. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) defines CLSM as having a compressive strength less than 1200 psi (pounds per square inch), however most current CLSM applications require unconfined compressive strengths of less than 300 psi. This lower strength is more than comparable with strength of compacted soil backfill.

Since CLSM is designed to be fluid, it can be easily placed as backfill in a hole. Soil backfill, even if compacted properly in the required layer thicknesses, cannot achieve the uniformity and density of CLSM.

CLSM mixtures typically consist of water, portland cement, fly ash, and fine or course aggregates, or both. Some mixtures contain only water, portland cement, and fly ash. Although the materials used in CLSM may meet ASTM or other standard specifications, it is often not necessary to use standardized materials. The selection of materials for use in CLSM is based on cost, specific CLSM application and the required mixture characteristics including flowability, strength, excavatability and density. The use of fly ash improves the CLSM flowability, and can also increase strength and reduce the mixture’s bleeding, shrinkage and permeability. Air-entraining admixtures are also often used to help improve workability, reduce bleeding, help minimize segregation, reduce the unit weight, and control strength development.

Aggregates are usually the major component in CLSM, and their type, grading and shape can affect physical properties. Unlike conventional concrete aggregate, which is usually required to meet standardized specifications, CLSM aggregate need not necessarily meet these same standards to be effective. As an example, manufactured sands containing up to 20% non-deleterious dust of fracture have proven to be very satisfactory