Tag Archives: hangar

Column Height, a Hangar Door, and Splash Plank Boards

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about column height for an eight foot one inch interior ceiling, what size bi-fold door for a hangar, and specific boards for a splash plank.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: New at this. If I am building a pole barn house and want 8 ft 1 inch between slab and bottom of truss, have 4 inches of slab and 2 inches of Styro and need have top of footing at 42 inches, I come up with 145 inches. A 12 foot pole is 144. Can this work and pass code or do I need to go with a longer post.

Thanks for any help. BRADLEY in SHELBY

DEAR BRADLEY: My recommendation is for you to be building from a fully engineered set of building plans. When you are provided with a design frost depth from your Building Department, it is telling you the BOTTOM of the footing must be at or below the design frost depth.

If this was a Hansen Pole Building, our engineers would specify column holes to be 42″ deep from grade. The bottom 8″ of this hole would be filled with concrete (below the column) as part of a monopoured bottom collar. Your building footprint would be lowered two inches below grade to allow for your sub-slab insulation. Top of a nominal four inch slab will be at 3-1/2″ above grade. Normally height from top of slab to bottom of trusses to give an eight foot finished ceiling would be 8′ 1-1/8″. One thing you have not accounted for is raised heel trusses to allow for full insulation thickness from outside of wall to outside of wall. In your area we would recommend R-60 attic insulation, with 22 inch high raised heel trusses. Given this information, your columns should be 14′.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am contemplating building a hangar, planning at this point on a 60 x 60 hangar, and wondering what the maximum opening span would be with a bi-fold door. Thanks! KEVIN in BELLAIRE

DEAR KEVIN: On each side of the hangar door your building will need what is known as a ‘braced wall panel’ of solid wall. The width of this area is limited to a maximum ratio of panel width to building eave height of 1:3.5 (as an example on a 14′ eave building would be 4′).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What boards do I use for outside band for first floor > 20ft by 40ft -6×6 posted 10 on center. JOSEPH in CLINTON

DEAR JOSEPH: First floors are at grade, so your ‘outside band’ would be called out for on your fully engineered building plans as being a pressure preservative treated splash plank of some dimension (in our case, with steel siding it will be a 2×8 treated to UC-4A or ground contact).



Residential Airplane Hangars

My departed ex-father-in-law Carl was a successful hop farmer in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. He and his brother each owned four-passenger Cessna aircraft, and had them in individual hangars on Carl’s farm.

Grass Runway StripCarl’s well-manicured grass strip was one of over 14,000 private airstrips in the United States. While many of these are ancillary to farms (face it, farms often have the available space), more and more neighborhoods are being developed around private runways.

A problem which keeps popping up among folks planning to build residential airpark homes is the size of the hangar and the related building code or fire department regulations. The question usually occurs when building plans are submitted for a structure which includes a hangar of more than 2000 square feet. The plans frequently are rejected or, at the very least, the agency providing the building permit requires the structure to meet commercial construction code limitations. These can include a wide variety of restrictions including requirements for fire retardant interiors, sprinkler systems, explosion proof electric outlets, locations of electrical outlets and much more.

The International Building Code (IBC) addresses specifically requirements for residential hangars (keep in mind, individual permit issuing jurisdiction may amend or waive some or all of these requirements). In order to be considered as a residential airplane hangar, the hangar must meet all three of these criteria:

1)     Must be an accessory building constructed on one or two family residential property.

2)     Be less than 2,000 square feet

3)     Less than 20 feet in height

If not meeting the criteria of a residential hangar, the hangar shall be constructed as a Group S-2 building, which would be for low-hazard storage.

If attached to a dwelling, the hangar shall be separated by walls having a fire-resistance rating of not less than 1-hour. Such separation shall be continuous from the foundation to the underside of the roof and shall be un-pierced except for doors leading to the dwelling unit. Openings from the hangar into a room used for sleeping purposes are not permitted. What you can do is to have the door from the hangar open into a general purpose room, a kitchen, or a hallway.  Those areas can then have a doorway into a sleeping room. These requirements are similar to those of an attached residential garage.

Doors into the dwelling unit which separate the dwelling unit from the residential aircraft hangar must comply with the following:  Equipped with self-closing devices, ¾ hour rated assembly, and a minimum 4” noncombustible raised sill.

If a detached building, the hangar shall require a 1-hour fire-resistance-rated exterior wall if fire separation distance is less than 3 feet from the property line or any other building on the same property.

A hangar shall provide two means of egress. Only one door into the dwelling shall be considered as meeting one of the two means of egress. Most jurisdictions do not accept the hangar door itself as a means of egress.

A minimum of one listed smoke alarm shall be installed within the hangar and shall be interconnected into the residential smoke alarm or other sounding device which will be audible in all sleeping areas of the dwelling. This requirement is applicable to attached and detached residential hangars.

Mechanical and plumbing systems installed within the hangar shall be independent of the systems installed within the dwelling. Building sewer lines may connect outside the structures.

Pole (post frame) buildings make for ideal residential airplane hangars as they allow for large clearspans, are quickly constructed and highly affordable.