Tag Archives: girt spacing

Insulate a Building, Truss Carrier Bolts, and Code Standards

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the proper way to insulate the walls of a metal building, advice on bolting truss carriers, and advice about, “building code standards for the horizontal infill framing” on a post frame building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to insulate the interior walls of a metal building so they could be finished with plywood or drywall so I could use the building as a cabin. The ceiling is insulated with fiberglass, but the walls are not. What is the proper way to insulate/frame the interior walls? BRIAN in COLUMBIA

DEAR BRIAN: The proper way would have been to have had your walls framed using commercial bookshelf wall girts https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/11-reasons-post-frame-commercial-girted-walls-are-best-for-drywall/.
You can still do this – using 2×4 #2 girts bookshelf style between the columns (hold girts flush to inside of columns).

I would recommend using rock wool batts, as they are unaffected by moisture https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/03/roxul-insulation/, with a well-sealed 6mil clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am building a pole shed with 12′ side walls I have already poured a cement slab 10’x42′ next to the back wall I have installed [5] 6×6 poles with cement pads underneath them I am going to be measuring today for where to bolt on a truss carrier, do I measure 12′ up from the cement slab to mark where the truss carrier goes? TODD in ELK MOUND

DEAR TODD: Height of your truss carrier should be delineated on your engineer sealed, site specific, structural building plans. Typically, post frame buildings are measured by eave height, not ceiling height. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/eave_height/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What are the building code standards for the horizontal infill framing between the posts of a post frame buildings, in terms of timber size, horizontal/vertical on center distance. I have seen 2x4s and 2x6s used, usually 24″ o/c vertically. Horizontally, how far can they span horizontally? JOHN in BANDERA

DEAR JOHN: Code requirement is wall girts must meet with minimum jurisdictional design criteria for wind speed and exposure (for reading on Exposure see https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2022/06/wind-exposure-and-confusion-part-iii/).
Deflection must be within limits specified in IBC Table 1604.3.

Externally mounted wall girts rarely meet deflection criteria https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/girts/
In most instances, bookshelf wall girts are a best structural design solution: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/09/commercial-girts-what-are-they/
Ultimately, building from a fully engineered set of site specific plans will ensure your wall girts are properly designed to resist imposed loads.


Materials for Girts, a Raised Floor, Truss Loads

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about girt material choices for a 60’x120′ shed, Mike’s thoughts on a raised floor to compensate for a 7% grade change, and if some 4′ oc trusses can handle the load of a heater.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I plan on putting up a 60′ x 120′ post frame shed. I’m going to run my 6×6 posts at 8′ o.c. can I use all 8′ 2×6 material for the girts or should I have some 16′ material staggered in with the 8′ material? Will that increase the strength or do you think it would be similar? Thanks guru! JASON in NEW HOLSTEIN

DEAR JASON: Depending upon eave height, design snow and wind loads and wind exposure 6×6 may be inadequate to carry imposed loads. Using 16′ external girt material will be slightly stiffer against wind loads perpendicular to girt and will deflect slightly less. They will not impact overall building strength. Depending upon spacing, grade and species of 2×6, and again design wind speed and wind exposure, they may also prove to be inadequate.

Personally, I would look at using glu-laminated columns every 12′, double trusses directly aligned with columns and 2×6 bookshelf style wall girts. This will result in fewer holes to dig and fewer pieces to have to handle and install. It also allows for wider sidewall door openings, without requiring large headers.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a home on land that is at a 7% grade from top to bottom. I was thinking about doing a raised floor/crawlspace with the back aligned closer to grade and the front more elevated. What are your thoughts on this idea, and elevated floor pole buildings generally? I assume you would support the floor with piers instead of spanning entirely? Thanks! MATTHEW in HOUSTON

DEAR MATTHEW: Having built for myself an elevated floor post frame building (I had 14 feet of grade change in 24 feet), I feel as though they are a great solution. Unless you had enough grade change to practically utilize space below, I would use interior columns to reduce spans of beams and joists – little, short columns being far less expensive than large multiple ply beams and large dimension floor joists. My knees also prefer to live on wood, rather than concrete – making this a double win.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hot Dawg™ heater…..just built a 40×30 pole barn. 4/12 roof, trusses are 4′ apart, wanting to hang a 80kbtu heater from trusses, with steel channels being suspended from two trusses. Will trusses handle the weight? Thank you. SHARKBITE

DEAR SHARKBITE: In order to determine if your trusses can handle weight of this unit, you would need to look at your engineer sealed roof truss drawings. If Bottom Chord Dead Load (often shown as BCDL) is less than five (5) psf (pounds per square foot) then probably not. Ideally, reach out to whomever fabricated your trusses. Give them weight of your unit, where you propose to hang it, as well as if you have a ceiling and insulation and they can give you a definitive thumbs up or down.

Wall Girt Spacing, Roof Only to Fully Enclosed, and Dade Cty

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about “proper wall girt spacing,” enclosing and insulating a roof only building, and if a post frame meets code in Dade County Florida.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I just contacted a contractor to build my pole barn and he said 2 x4 wall girts at 36″ I don’t think that is strong enough.
What size, spacing do you recommend? DARREN in BREMEN

DEAR DARREN: Chances are good you are correct and builder is wrong. The size, grade, orientation and spacing should be spelled out on your building’s engineer sealed plans. If he intends to build a non-engineered building for you, please run away as quickly as possible.

Many factors go into correctly determining wall girts. My long-time friend John and I had a conversation regarding this: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/02/formula-calculating-wall-girts/.  Your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Wayde will be reaching out to you to assist in getting your new building safely back on track before it is too late.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: About a dozen years ago I had a Hansen roof only building erected. It’s a great structure and I’ve always spoken highly of it. Since original setup a concrete floor was added, and last summer it was framed with ‘commercial’ girts and metal screwed to the outside
Fully enclosed now there is some appeal to the thoughts of insulting the walls and ceiling.
Occasionally heat, via wood stove will be provided and most likely plywood walls to 8’up
I’d appreciate your ideas on insulation install design. Where does vapor barrier belong and etc.

Thanks for your attention
I do like this building

Warm Regards JEFF in HOOD RIVER

DEAR JEFF: Thank you for your kind words and we are so happy you are enjoying your Hansen Pole Building. Hopefully my “Ultimate Guide to Post Frame Building Insulation” will help: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/11/post-frame-building-insulation/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can a pole barn meet Miami Dade wind standards? DAVID in SARASOTA


DEAR DAVID: Yes we most certainly can provide an engineered post frame building to meet their requirements. A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be reaching out to you shortly to assist.