Tag Archives: gambrel buildings

Steel Roof Leaks

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: I have a 20 year old pole barn that I replaced the screws with washers…My steel roof leaks in the area half way between the top and the edge of the roof. the water runs across the two by four inside and I am not sure where the leak really is.Thanks MILES IN PRINCETON

 DEAR MILES: I can tell you how to find where the steel roof leaks….it involves two people, a ladder and a hose. One person stands inside of the building and makes lots of noise when the water starts to leak. The other ventures cautiously, utilizing proper safety procedures and equipment, onto the roof with hose in hand.

 Begin with running the hose above the spot where water has been showing up on the inside of the building. Give it at least a minute – no water, chances are the leak is not there. Go up the roof to the next row of screws and repeat. Eventually you will find the spot where the water is coming in.

 Now – how to fix it. When replacing old roof screws always go with both larger diameter shanks as well as longer parts. Putting the same size screw into a deteriorating hole is not going to be a solution to the problem. Remove the suspect screws and replace them appropriately, this should be a resolution to the problem, unless there is an actual hole somewhere in one or more of the steel panels.

 Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have any type of financing available ???


 DEAR KEITH: We have numerous options available for financing, and in many cases – your entire post frame building improvement (not just the building kit package) may be able to be financed. Monthly payments will very due to credit worthiness.  You can begin the free process at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/financing/ 

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to have the top half of the gambrel roof just a bit longer so there is less of a peak and a somewhat flatter? LOST IN SPACE DEAR LOST: The beauty of a gambrel style roof is the pitch break locations (height above and horizontal distance from the eave) can be placed anywhere one’s heart desires and eye fancies.

There is a proportion for gambrel roofs which most people generally consider to be the most pleasing: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/06/gambrel/ 

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thank you for adding me on Facebook. I live in northern Illinois. I’m looking into adding a new building on my farm. I’m thinking 72’x130’x19′. A lot of people in my area use FBI buildings and I have a sales rep coming out in a couple of weeks. I’ve read a lot of your post and it gave me a couple of questions to add to my existing list of questions. What is the biggest mistake you see people in my shoes make and do you have any links to any similar buildings? Thanks again. STEVE

DEAR STEVE: I love Facebook, it is amazing how many clients chat with me on it – or just check in to read my daily blog posts. The number one mistake I see people make is thinking the only way to get a building like this is to hire a general contractor. Don’t get me wrong, FBI (https://www.fbibuildings.com/) does a great job, I’ve known the Bahlers for decades and one of my former employees worked for FBI.

But, at the end of the day, it comes down to getting the most for your investment. If you do not have the time or manpower to build it yourself, look into buying a package and hiring an erector to assemble it. Chances are you will save 25% or more right there. At the least, get a quote from us on your materials – it will keep anyone else honest. Oh – and always buy an engineered building.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Fibonacci does Gambrel Pole Buildings

Any time my readers get to thinking I have linked every possible subject beyond reason to pole buildings; I try to one up myself. Which brings us to Fibonacci….

Leonardo Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who lived from about 1170 to 1250. He is best known for a number sequence named the Fibonacci numbers, which he did not discover, but used as an example in his book Liber Abaci.

OK, so how am I going to hook our friend Leonardo to pole buildings? I am getting there. It turns out the sequential numerical elements of the Fibonacci numbers, approach what is known as “the Golden Ratio”.

De Divina Proportione, a three-volume work by Luca Pacioli, was published in 1509. Pacioli, a Franciscan friar, was known mostly as a mathematician, but he was also trained and keenly interested in art. De Divina Proportione explored the mathematics of the golden ratio. Containing illustrations of regular solids by Leonardo Da Vinci, Pacioli’s longtime friend and collaborator, DE Divina Proportione was a major influence on generations of artists and architects alike.

In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. Many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. A golden rectangle can be cut into a square and a smaller rectangle with the same aspect ratio.

Fast forward to the popular “gambrel roof” barn. Roof slopes of 24/12 and 6/12 are proportioned with the golden ratio. The short side of the right triangle is one half the length of the long side of the triangle.

To create a gambrel roof with golden ratios…..

Use 24/12 for the steep portion of the roof, with the “pitch break” at 1/3 of the distance between the sidewall and the roof peak. The upper portion of the gambrel roof will be at 6/12 slope.

As an example, with a 24’ wide pole barn, the pitch break will be “up” eight feet and “in” four feet (2:1 ratio). The overall roof height in a 24 foot width, will rise 12 feet (2:1 ratio). A real life example is the White and Black Hansen Pole Buildings administrative office building, with a gambrel roof of exactly the golden ratio proportions.