Tag Archives: garages

Post Frame Building Doors-Coil or Sectional?

Post Frame Building Doors – Coil or Sectional?

In my 40 plus years of post frame buildings, I have provided tens of thousands of overhead steel sectional doors and not so many coil roll-up doors.

Where we park our vehicles is pretty darn importantish for us Americans. Our garages and shops serve as a unique space for us to carry out different important projects. And as it usually contains a lot of pricy and critical equipment, our doors need to be just perfect.

First –  rolling steel doors. These may be a perfect pick for commercial settings, especially self-storage. People will also refer to these as overhead rolling, coiling, or roll-up doors. Same thing, different names.

Coil doors most often have three inch multiple layer steel slats. As the door opens, these slats roll together in a circle. Diameter of the circle will depend upon the height of the door.

These doors will be exceptionally durable and, in fact, can withstand a higher design wind load than most average doors. These doors might be bent but they will not break. Coil doors robust construction materials allow them to withstand heavy usage and be able to withstand wear and tear for an extended time.

One option includes a thin layer of foam, acting as a minimal insulation material.

Aesthetics is typically a strong deterrent for coil door usage in residential applications. Face it, they do look rather industrial.

Sectional steel doors will utilize panels – most often of 21 or 24 inch heights. Typically, when retracted, they will rest parallel to the ceiling. However, it is possible to order with tracks to high lift up or to follow the slope of the roof to minimize ceiling space being covered. Sectional doors also can have windows with a variety of insert patterns as an available option. Much higher insulation values than coil doors are available.

For extended reading on sectional steel overhead door insulation, please see https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/07/barndominium-high-r-value-overhead-doors-part-i/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/07/barndominium-high-r-value-overhead-doors-part-ii/

Sectional steel doors, in most cases, will require roof or ceiling support. These will require a comparatively higher amount of overhead space, as opposed to wall mounted coil doors.

Additionally, factor in how many resources are there in your headspace. If there are HVAC vents, lighting, sprinklers, hanging signs, or hanging storage shelves, sectional doors might block them.

Steel sectional doors are going to be more cost-effective initially, however rolling doors have a comparatively lower lifetime cost, with little or no required maintenance.

Lastly, consider overall durability offered by either choice. Even though sectional doors boast a one-piece construction, they have comparatively more moving parts to wear and tear. 

Now, my humble opinion – if aesthetics and/or insulation value are my dictates, I will pick sectional doors every time.

Avoiding Pulling a Building Permit?

Avoiding Pulling a Building Permit?

You have a densely treed rural location or have no neighbors, so you have made a decision to avoid pulling a building permit for your new post frame building.

Think again – YOU. WILL. BE. CAUGHT.

All too often we hear from clients who invested in Hansen Pole Building kits in past years and failed to acquire required building permits. Most generally they contact us because their building’s engineer sealed building plans were designed under a now outdated Building Code version. In some cases, clients had failed to verify design criteria for their building site and ended up with a building not meeting required climactic conditions.

Read about why you need to verify design criteria here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/11/design-criteria-3/.

Many, many years ago (Once upon a time) my good friend and then neighbor decided it was time to update his rural lake cabin. Where he was located, it was highly unlikely he would have been granted a building permit to remodel. This challenge was due to his cabin’s relationship to a nearby shoreline. He also was located in a highly restrictive state where a plethora of government agencies would have to give their approval. He decided to go without a permit, feeling it would be better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

Beginning in late Fall (after summertime lake-goers left) he and his dad tore everything down to top of ground floor level. Enter me becoming a willing participant in this escapade. Another friend of mine operated a prefabricated roof truss and wall panel manufacturing facility in British Columbia. I sent my neighbor’s building plans to him and his workers prefabricated an entire house and shipped it to us in pieces. Beginning Friday afternoon, my friend’s entire project was buttoned up in a weekend, adding an entire story plus steeply sloped attic trusses with a bonus room.

My friend got away with it.

Big brother now has technology in its hands to prevent folks from escaping permitting.

New from Eagle View® (www.EagleView.com) comes ChangeFinder™. ChangeFinder™ allows Building Permit issuing agencies to quickly and easily detect changes upon your property. These changes can be validated right from a desktop or laptop computer through use of Pictometry® imagery.

In a first phase, ChangeFinder™ creates outlines around current buildings from available Pictometry® imagery. After a flyover, scheduled for spring 2020, a second image will be compared to first. Any additions, demolitions, or other property feature changes will be outlined and a digital parcel file will be provided to your Building Department.

In ChangeFinder’s™ process structures of 150 square feet or larger are targeted, such as residential, commercial and industrial buildings; isolated garages, mobile homes, sheds, greenhouses or silos, trailer boxes with windows or doors; buildings under construction and other features with a roof. Attached decks or porches having a roof or railing are also noted.

Vehicles, boats, docks, paved areas, steel or cell phone towers, storage tanks, water towers, temporary tents and billboards are not targeted by ChangeFinder™.

Pictometry® flyovers are typically done once every three years.

Under a belief your new post frame building does not need a Building Permit? Get it in writing from your Building Department, otherwise just do the right thing and obtain a permit to build.





What is the Minimum Size for a Two Car Garage?

Reader REBECCA in PEYTON posed this question: “What is minimum size you would recommend for two cars?”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

As my lovely bride tells people, “the cost of putting up a new building is deciding to build at all. Once one has decided to build, put those four corners as far apart as possible.”

There is a lot of wisdom in her statement and she followed it herself when (before we met nearly 20 years ago) she had a two car garage built for herself which was 32 feet square.

Sadly home builders, over recent years, have tended to try to cut corners to reduce the sales price of their homes by doing things such as reducing the size of garages. I’ve seen pole barn garages as narrow as 18 feet and as shallow as 20 feet promoted as being two car garages. Depending upon how small your vehicles are they indeed might be two car garages. However for the majority of American drivers, two SUVs, pickups, vans or a combination thereof are just not going to comfortably fit in something so small.

When it comes to designing a proper sized pole building garage I would always recommend planning for the possibility of vehicles larger than what one might currently own to be able to be not only parked, but parked without swinging doors into adjacent vehicles or walls.

Realistically, 24 feet square becomes a bare minimum sized pole barn garage. This allows for two vehicles which may be at or approaching eight feet of width to be able to yet safely open their doors. It also provides for some wall space utilization (which there is never enough of).

For doors, a single 18 foot width section steel overhead door (if located in the peaked endwall) or two 10 foot wide doors in a sidewall provide enough width so as most drivers can preserve their vehicles’ mirrors. And, although every standard production vehicle will fit through a seven foot tall door, going to eight feet of height certainly provides for more options (such as things on roof top racks).

In planning for function, having entry (person sized) doors four feet in width keeps the skin on knuckles far better when trying to maneuver things such as wheelbarrows through. If considering a workbench or needing space for a motorcycle, snow mobile, four wheeler or multiple bicycles then at least one of the dimensions should be increased to 30 feet or greater.

For an investment difference which is typically just a few hundred dollars, do it right the first time and you won’t have regrets later.


Pole Building New Year 2013

New Years Ball

On the first of each year, I tend to get a bit nostalgic, especially for my family, my home, and how my pole building career really took off. Bear with me as I take a step or two back in time.

At the ripe old age of 33, I sold my first business in Oregon in 1990 and returned to my hometown of Spokane, Washington.

My maternal grandparents had a cabin on Newman Lake, just outside of Spokane. Built in 1909, my original plan was to spend the following summer remodeling it into a year around home. We had taken a year’s lease out on a home in the Spokane Valley.  However just a few months into the lease, a notice appeared on our door to advise us the house was being foreclosed upon – leading to a speed up of plans.

As chance would have it, the winter of 1990-91 happened to be one of tremendous snowfall in Spokane, along with some bone chilling cold and some pretty fierce winds at times. Our timing always seemed to be perfect.  Like the day we picked to install the skylight in the east bedroom. It was just above zero, the winds were howling and it was snowing. When one’s head was stuck out through the skylight hole, the snow being pounded into our faces felt like someone was throwing lit matches at us.

As with most things, there was to be an eventual silver lining.

Spokane had boomed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. In 1892, the Great Northern Railway arrived. The railroads in Spokane made it the transportation hub for the Inland Northwest. Particularly driven by mining (primarily from Idaho’s Silver Valley) and farming, after the Great Northern, the Union Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroads made Spokane one of the most important rail centers in the western United States.

Between 1900 and 1910, Spokane’s population nearly tripled, growing by nearly 70,000 people. Many of these people settled into narrow homes built on many of the city’s 25 foot wide lots. In 1908, Henry Ford began production of the Model T, and Model T garages were built in abundance in the alleys behind these homes.

With many of these Model T garages being 80 years old, and being constructed before the advent of model Building Codes, the snows of 1990-91 caused widespread collapses of these long outdated structures.

The silver lining?

My brother Mark and I began our pole building construction business in 1991, and we had hundreds of clients lined up who needed to replace their flattened Model T garages!

Pole buildings were the perfect solution, as they were extremely affordable and could be constructed quickly. It was not unusual for one of our two man crews to complete two or three of them in a week!

It was a great beginning to over twenty years of designing pole buildings, and as I look down the road I see another “good twenty or more” ahead of me yet….designing pole barn garages, houses, shops, horse barns, airplane hangers…you name it…it probably can be designed as a pole building! It’s a great start….to another great year!