Tag Archives: foundation wall

Barndominium Brick Wainscot

Actual Brick Considerations for Barndominium Wainscot

With post frame buildings becoming a ‘rage’ for use as homes, barndominiums and shouse (shop/houses) alternatives to dress them up are quickly arising. Amongst these options are clients looking to have actual brick wainscot, as opposed to using a different color of steel siding, thin brick, or other cultured stone.

I have opined upon this subject previously (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/08/brick-ledge-on-a-pole-building/), however it is now time to dive deeper into it.

Preparing an exterior surface of a post frame building wall for a brick veneer is a simple and straightforward procedure. This article will supply you with some helpful information if you are planning to install a brick veneer on your barndominium’s exterior.

First, term “veneer” can have a dual meaning. In construction terminology,“veneer” is applicable to any exterior finish material and this includes standard brick masonry installed onto an exterior wall. “Veneer” can also be taken literally to mean a thin superficial layer of material installed directly onto an exterior wall surface. There are many thin-brick wall systems available utilizing brick only ½ to 1 inch in thickness as opposed to a standard 4-inch nominal (3 ¾-inch actual) thickness. It typically consists of a thin layer of stone or brick mounted with adhesives directly onto a substrate material and is installed in panels. 

Step 1: Structural Support for the Brick Veneer

A fully assembled brick veneer is quite heavy and requires adequate structural support. Support is provided by a brick ledge as part of a foundation wall above wall column’s bottom collars. A decision to install a brick exterior is therefore made during conceptual design phases of your new barndominium’s construction. A brick ledge is constructed simply by adding a 6-9/16 inch thick concrete foundation wall outside your post frame building’s wall column. Ledge height will be six inches lower than top of finished concrete floor. Without an adequate structural support by a brick ledge, brick masonry is not an option for your barndominium’s exterior.

Step 2: Be Sure to Provide a one inch Air Space between Sheathing and Brick

Brickwork bears directly upon the concrete ledge, wide enough for both nominal width of brick and a building code required one inch air space. This one inch air space between sheathing and brick allows wall to “breathe” by providing an outlet for air and moisture. It also accommodates any irregularities in the wall surface.

Step 3: Install Weather Resistant Barrier

A weather resistant barrier (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/determining-the-most-effective-building-weather-resistant-barrier-part-1/) must be installed onto sheathing to prevent water from entering the inner wall assembly since brick veneer itself is not water-resistant.

Step 4: Install Wall Ties to Anchor the Brick to Sheathing

Lateral support for brickwork is provided by wall ties or brick anchors. They generally consist of L-shaped strips of corrugated metal 1 by 6 inches long nailed through sheathing into wall girts (https://www.strongtie.com/clipsandties_miscellaneousconnectors/bt_tie/p/bt). Horizontal component of brick tie penetrates into brick veneer at a mortar joint. Ties are installed at every fourth brick course and at two-foot horizontal spacings.

Concrete Floor Thickness for Heavy Equipment

Concrete Floor Thickness for Heavy Equipment

Reader KRIS writes:
“Dear Guru,
My husband and I are getting ready to construct a pole barn 40 x 80. He wants 2 x 14′ doors, 1 x 10′ and a service door. It will be used for heavy equipment storage and workshop/florist shop to keep critters out.
We had a contractor recommend a 6″ floor and 4 ft cement walls which I’m guessing drives the price up substantially. My husband thinks the floor should be more like 10″. An excavator, track loader, 9n tractor, and UTV/ATV will be stored.
We will want to heat the 2 workshops.
I don’t even know where to begin. What do you recommend?

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Unless there is far more to this than I am seeing, there would be no practical reason to have a four foot high concrete wall. Perhaps he is thinking of a foundation (below grade) wall, rather than an above grade wall.

Starting with floor thickness….to give a perspective 60% of the U.S. Interstate Highway system has 11 inch thick concrete. From the PE (Professional Engineer) Civil Exam, in Basics of Concrete Pavement Thickness Design, the thickness depends upon traffic load, subgrade and climate, but city streets, secondary roads and small airports are typically four to seven inch thicknesses). This leads one to believe a 10″ thick slab would be perhaps excessive.

What is going to make the biggest difference in the success of your concrete floor will be the gradework which is done underneath. You will want to read this series of articles, which begins with https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/.
I’d invest my dollars in the preparation of the site, rather than pouring lots of dollars into an overly thick slab which is over a poorly prepared subgrade. Six inches of thickness should be more than adequate for areas where heavy equipment will be driven and parked. For lesser loads, four inches.

Now let’s talk about the perimeter. If a foundation stem wall is being considered, I’d recommend using the Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation design, which you can get details on here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/. Using this eliminates the need for foundation walls, plus provides an energy efficient insulation solution, while reducing the possibility of frost heaves.

For heating, you should consider radiant floor heat – at the least have PEX tubing placed in the floors: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/08/pex-tubing/.
Please take the time to browse our website for more articles on the design of energy efficient post frame building walls and roof systems.