Tag Archives: Hansen Pole Buildings

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

Screamed headlines of my first ever print display ad for pole barn kits in 1981!

I have included below a snippet from one of my first blog posts from 10 years ago:

“In the summer of 1979, home interest rates began to rise. Idaho had a usury limit, home mortgages stopped in Idaho. I set out looking for other opportunities and ended up in Salem, Oregon.

I was offered the position of truss plant manager at Lucas Plywood and Lumber, in August 1979. It would be a smooth transition, as the prior manager would be there for a month or so to ease me into the system. At first glance, the operation was frightening. I was used to trusses being manufactured using hydraulic presses to embed the steel plates into the trusses, not teams of workers banging them in with hammers and pushing them through a set of “rollers”. Even more frightening was when I discovered all the lumber being used was green (I had no idea trusses were built anywhere with lumber which was not kiln dried). But my total heart failure nearly occurred when I found they were using lumber graded as Standard and better for truss chords, as someone had convinced them it was the same as #2 and better. Not even close! Well, the previous plant manager packed up at noon of the first day saying, “Good luck, son”. My first several months were spent on educating the troops and introducing dry lumber, both with some successes. The lumber sales team was my age as well, which helped to gain eager learners. I taught them how to do lumber lists from building plans, so they could quote framing packages.

In January 1980, the housing crunch I had fled from in Idaho hit Oregon. My truss plant, which typically produced 8 to 10 buildings worth of trusses a day, had only four orders in the entire month! Not good – however there was a single common denominator among those four orders, they were all for pole barn trusses. I didn’t have the slightest idea what a pole barn was, but it was time to find out. I picked the brain of a long time pole barn builder, George Evanovich, who explained the basics to me.

Now I have to confess, I was brought up with, “Wood is good”, so the entire concept of using roll formed steel for roofing and siding was a novel experience for me. Having convinced myself it had its place, we figured out material prices for some fairly typical pole barns and ran ads selling building kits. The response was overwhelming. By April, we were not only running the truss plant full time again (producing primarily pole barn trusses), we had also hired George and his two crews to construct buildings for our clients. By June, the truss plant was operating double shifts, just to keep up with the volume.”

For those of you interested, the full text of this post can be found here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/06/theres-no-education-like-real-life-business-experience/

Anyhow, back on point, there were an incredible number of people totally willing to undertake erection of their own pole barns. Even more amazing is – any of them turned out! We provided absolutely no instructions and “plans” (I use this term lightly) were drawn by hand on a few sheets of 8-1/2” x 11” white copy paper.

Moving forward four decades in time, Hansen Pole Building kits have greatly evolved, and not just in quality, benefits and features – but in ease of assembly for an average D-I-Yer.

Your new Hansen Pole Buildings’ kit is designed for you (an average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions), to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” engineer sealed structural blueprints detailing locations and attachments of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), the industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

Yes – You CAN do it!

Blog 2000

Thank you to loyal readers who have made this blog a success – today marks 2000 blog articles written and shared! It could not have been done without your continued support and encouragement.

Back in December 2015, I shared a milestone of reaching 1000 articles, and thought it was a very big number (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/12/1000/). Having written now over a million words in these articles, I try to put it into perspective when compared to Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual. This manual walks through complete assembly of structural portions of fully engineered Hansen Pole Buildings. At just over 500 pages, it has nearly 70,000 words – meaning these blog articles are roughly 15 times as lengthy!

Sidebar – for those who are interested in acquiring one of these manuals, they are available by reaching out to Plans@HansenPoleBuildings.com. It does offer many tips for prospective Do-It-Yourselfers as well as builders.



Our industry has changed dramatically since article #1000. Although I have owned and lived in shop/houses (shouses) for over 25 years, and had clients from time-to-time invest in our post frame buildings for homes, there has been an explosion in demand for barndominiums. Over half of all inquiries we receive are for people in search of homes. Some are looking to create unique architectural features or just love their aesthetics, while others are trying to find an affordable housing option.

Post frame construction is going to be more affordable than what most people consider ‘traditional’ construction – stick framing. Most savings are to be found by utilization of ease of construction of post frame buildings. Average physical capable people who can and will read directions can successfully erect their own beautiful post frame homes – and many of our clients do. A total DIYer can cut costs in half! Want a $400,000 home for $200,000? Unless you knock down some huge dollars at your career, one could take a year or more off work to erect their new home, and come out ahead financially.

Consider also – when you pay someone out of pocket to do this work for you, you have had to pay taxes on your income, to pay a subcontractor. Depending upon which state you reside in and your tax bracket – it takes gross earnings of $100 to pay out $50 to $65. Yet one more reason to do it yourself.
Who would have thought, five years ago, our world view would be changed by a virus?

Certainly not I.

With Americans fleeing big cities with huge taxes, for rural and greener pastures – fully engineered post frame homes make sense. Your new home can be crafted to best meet you and your family’s wants and needs, both for today and for future decades of happy living. Your only limitations being your imagination, your budget and available space.

North Carolina Students Learn Post Frame Construction

North Carolina College Students Learn Post Frame Construction

The following article by Dan Grubb appeared first in the December 5, 2018 Sampson Independent

“Sometimes the building blocks to success look more like beams than blocks. Students at Sampson Community College’s Building and Construction program know this first hand as work continues on a facility the class is building on campus.

“Every day that we can put equipment into the hands of these students and let them go out and build things, the closer we are to them seeing a successful career, “says Dustin Hatcher, Building and Construction Instructor at SCC. “We allow the students to work from top to bottom, start to finish—the entire project. This building will be used as a storage unit for the college’s Maintenance department. This is something they can go to an employer with and say ‘Hey, I’ve done this!’”

This week, students installed engineered wood structural beams onto posts that will be supporting the roof trusses of the building. They are learning how to set up and move scaffolding platforms and accurately measure, mark, then cut the beams with saws and fasten beams in place with nail guns. This provides experience working from elevated platforms and the use of some of the most common tools used in framing carpentry.

The Building Construction Technology curriculum at the college is designed to prepare individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to the fields of architecture, construction, construction management, and other associated professions. Graduates will qualify for entry-level jobs in architectural, engineering, construction and trades professions as well as positions in industry and government. The course offers instruction in construction equipment and safety; site preparation and layout; construction estimating; print reading; building codes; framing; masonry; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; electrical and mechanical systems; interior and exterior finishing; and plumbing.

Employment of these types of positions are projected to grow 12 percent from now until 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru adds:

Although this particular project does not happen to be a Hansen Pole Building, we do work closely with interested high schools, colleges and universities in support of Building and Construction or Vocational Education programs. For more information on how you and your school can participate: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/high-school-classes/.


My Cousin Did Not Buy a Pole Building From Me

My Cousin Did Not Buy a Building From Me

I truly love my cousin Randy. In the past few years he and his lovely bride have had a home and a post frame shop constructed on their farm southwest of Spokane, WA. Through a set of unfortunate circumstances Randy did not get a Hansen Pole Building.

Here is Randy’s Facebook post today:

“Feeling Hacked Off !!!!
Went to do a roof repair on my shop today because a plumber did a half assed job running the vent pipe through the roof and the snow took it out this winter. As cousin Scott McCartney and I are working on it, I discover that the builder used Stitch Screws instead of regular 1 1/2 in screws to attach all the roof metal and Wall Metal. Stitch Screws are only for fixing metal to metal, not metal to wood. This Is Unacceptable !!!!!!!
Now because I’m a stickler for this kind of stuff, I will probably spend weeks of my spare time changing out screws on my shop. Pisses me off !!!!!!!
Rant Over .!!!!!!!!”

Now my cousin Randy is nobody’s fool – he was also a MEI slave back in the day (for a tale of a MEI slave, read here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/03/roof-sheathing-clips/). I think enough of Randy to have had him drywall my three story post frame shop back in the 1990’s. He also worked for me when I was building post frame buildings – running our skid loader to layout most all of our buildings and predrill the column holes for the crews. There isn’t most anything Randy can’t do (or hasn’t done} and do extremely well.

Why a builder would do this totally baffles me, as stitch screws are not any less expensive (at least not good ones). Of course this building is over a year old, so the builder does not have to do anything about it, by statue!

This is just one of a myriad of reasons people should, as often as possible, either construct a pole building themselves or have direct supervision of those who are doing the construction.

Hiring a contractor or general contractor to construct your new pole building is certainly no guarantee of a job done right – just ask Randy!


Post Frame Public Library

In Bend, Oregon, Hacker Architects, out of Portland, Oregon, designed a library with wooden beams similar to pole barns in the area. Hacker is an architecture firm which has designed over 30 libraries in the U.S. In my humble opinion, rather than trying to give the “feel” of a pole barn, libraries would be best served by the utilization of actual post frame design, which could result in savings of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars to the taxpayers.

Laura Klinger, a library specialist with Hacker, gave some insight into modern libraries:

“I often get the question, ‘Aren’t libraries dead?’” Klinger said. “Actually, on the contrary, libraries now are more essential and popular than ever before.”

She said libraries are becoming less focused on books and becoming places for people. Old libraries used to be more like bunkers, but she said modern libraries have lots of windows to let in natural light. They also forge connections to the city and surrounding natural environment.
Nearly all new libraries have interactive environments for children as well as versatile space for ‘tweens and teens.

Libraries in the new style are “just really kind of vibrant, energetic places to be,” Klinger said.
Benjamin Franklin, in his autobiography, had this to say about the country’s first library, which he founded in 1731, “This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study, for which I set apart an hour or two each day, and thus repair’d in some degree the loss of the learned education my father once intended for me. Reading was the only amusement I allow’d myself.”

If your municipality is considering a new library, Hansen Pole Buildings would be more than interested in working with your architectural firm of choice to help best design a post frame library which best meets with the needs of the community while keeping a practical budget in mind.

Post frame construction is Code conforming and allows for many unique architectural spaces to be created – including wide clearspans to provide comfortable open areas. Energy efficiency is growing more and more important. Post frame building systems allow for thick walls and roof systems to best utilize added insulation thickness – reducing the annual costs of maintaining any commercial building, not just libraries.

Why We Do Not Recommend Any Builders

Hansen Pole Buildings receives numerous requests every day from potential new post frame building owners, who are looking for a builder (in my terms technician) who can assemble their building kit. I am going to do both of us a favor and explain why we do not recommend any builders.

Hansen Pole Buildings is a supplier and a supplier only. We do not construct buildings anywhere for anyone – even ourselves. Our new post frame building addition of 30 feet x 96 feet is being contracted out to a technician, who happens to do erection work for several of our clients. When you order your new post frame building from us this is clearly reiterated in writing and approved by you:


“Purchaser is purchasing a materials only pole (post frame) building package, designed per Seller’s plans. This is not a precut building, nor is the structural design to be determined by Purchaser or Purchaser’s agents. Assembly, by Purchaser or Purchaser’s agents, including measuring, cutting and the use of tools, will be required. Some components may come all or partially assembled (e.g., entry doors are most often shipped as pre-hung), however most items (such as, but not limited to, sliding and overhead doors) require the assembly of sub-components. Steel roofing, siding and trims often require cutting and/or splicing. It is the discretion of Purchaser or Purchaser’s agents to utilize the materials provided so as to minimize splices, as well as the creation of waste or scrap. No overage of any materials is provided for in this Agreement.”

Good clear agreements make for good neighbors. We do not want anyone to have their feelings hurt due to a misunderstanding.

Upon request, once you have ordered your new post frame building kit package, we can assist you in finding the names and contact information of two or more possible builders who can construct within your predetermined budget – however it is totally your responsibility to vet them out. Here are the seven steps to not getting yourself burned by any contractor, follow these: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/contractor-6/ and require a performance bond and you will greatly limit your risk of not getting the finished product you expected. Here is Performance Bond information: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/contractor-bonding/.

In a past life, I was a post frame building contractor based in the Pacific Northwest. We were blessed with many totally awesome subcontract crews who did great workmanship, as well as were good at building quality relationships with our clients.

Even with these excellent crews, it seems like about once a year they would absolutely “hose” (technical term for FUBAR) a building. I’d ask them why and the answer was typically they had no idea, just that it went wrong.

I share this because you might very well contract with the builder who has the best reputation for quality and has a fair price. Same builder could have one of those weeks coincide with your building and result in a less than satisfactory experience. We (and I) would prefer not to become a mediator for problems we had no hand in causing, even more so since we had no financial interest in the agreement between you and your builder of choice.

Not my circus, not my monkeys.

How Important is Technical Support?

At least here at Hansen Pole Buildings, we feel it is pretty dayem importantish!!
And just how important, enough so the information on how to get unlimited free technical support is found on the second page of our over 500 page illustrated Construction Manual.

Here is the language from the manual:

“Technical Support:

No technical support is available through our Sales or Production Departments.

For questions regarding proper installation or for any additional information not outlined inthis guide, technical support is available via the following:

FREE (and fastest):

Send an Email to TechSupport@HansenPoleBuildings.com. Include in Email: Project number, an accurate description of challenge, as well as a photo or photos if applicable.

AVAILABLE for a nominal fee (may be pre-purchased via login):

Purchasers of a technical support plan will be given contact information for our Technical Support Department. In the event a technician is not available when you call, leave a detailed message – which includes your project number. NO PROJECT NUMBER MEANS NO RESPONSE! All requests are taken in order received. Answers will either be emailed back (quickest), texted to your cell phone (please leave cell phone number and name of cellular service provider),  or next available technician will return your call. Depending  upon  call  volume,   telephone  calls will normally be returned  the following business day.

Keep in mind pole buildings are highly complex structures, involving thousands upon thousands of components. Our technical support staff may not have a solution to a particular challenge immediately. However, they will research the situation and respond with answers as quickly as is reasonably possible.

Do not contact either component manufacturers or Engineer of Record for Technical Support as wrong information may be given. Large charges to you may apply (calls or Emails to engineer WILL result in you being charged hundreds of dollars, even if question was not answered).”

Why not just let anyone answer technical support questions? Shouldn’t my Building Designer or the person ordering my materials have all of the answers?

building-plansIn a word: NO! We have highly skilled people in place to most expertly handle their portion of your post frame building project. Even though they might know the right answer – when contacted for a technical support question, it takes them away from the tasks they are most proficient at – which slows down the process for not only you, but also the rest of our clients. Rather selfish, isn’t it?

Please let the people who have the expertise answer your questions.

Why not do all technical support by phone?

While you might fully understand your building and the particular challenge at hand, it is important to accurately convey what those challenges are – putting them in writing and including any relevant photos has proven to be best at avoiding miscommunications.

We want to be able to give you the correct answers first time and every time.

Hansen Buildings Designer of the Month

Hansen Buildings April 2015 Building Designer of the Month

We’re proud to announce Wayde Staiger as April’s award winner!

In Wayde’s own words:

Wayde S“My focus when working with a client is spending time finding out what is best for the them. Having a building which does not fill the need is of no value. Taking the time to work out the details is a major part of the project. Whether a consulting firm working on a 7 building municipal project or a customer looking for a horse stall and tractor storage they are all important as it does not matter how many I sell. It matters that their building is correct. 

 Many times customers will have a basic design but not really know how to explain it, by asking questions and working together we can come up with a building that works. Explaining what the customer is getting for the money is most important as the initial quote from many is just a number, with buildings sometimes paying less is paying more. Let me explain that as the best price is not always the best long or short term value. With a building it is not “What you are getting it is what you are not getting” that makes the difference in the final finished product. 

 Owning horses, Hot Rods and Motorcyles, selling RVs and boats in the past also is benefit as I can speak with customers about what is going into the building making sure stalls are correct, doors are high enough and the car lift will fit in the building.”

Hansen Buildings April projects Wayde was involved in include:

Working with a consultant on a major project for the railroad in New York State. Starting with a basic rough outline they worked together to craft seven buildings designed to meet the end user’s needs. Taking the time to work out the details was very important on this project: fine tuning the sale, finding a builder and making sure details were correct.

Another was for a customer building his dream shop. Making changes on door locations, getting the size proper not only to fit his needs but meet the property setbacks in dealing with the county. Taking the time and having patience was a big factor.

A different project was to a contractor who was building a viewing building for a horse farm. Their clients can watch horses work and perform in all kinds of weather as in western Washington the sun does not always shine.  This building required a deck and many windows on the arena side of the structure.

And lastly for a business which needed a covered area for a wash rack. This building was custom designed to set on concrete pillars so employees using fork lifts will not hit the wooden post structure.

Congratulations Wayde!

TripAdvisor & Pole Buildings

Being on the road roughly ½ of the year, I stay in hotels. A lot.

Before booking my next room, I always try to get the latest skinny on reviews from TripAdvisor®. Once I get settled in, I also use the TripAdvisor information to help select eateries which are nearby.

I do take reviews with a “block of salt” as when things go wrong (or the perception is they have gone wrong), as some folks can be quick to criticize. Like any review website, TripAdvisor tends to gather more negative feedback then real life – people who are happy generally tend to just bask in their happiness, unlike the Negative Nellies who want to share their grief with the world. As a business, we get a few of the Negative Nellies and Neds as well.

The following raving positive feedback, was sent unsolicited to Eric, one of the Hansen Pole Buildings owners:

Wayde SI have had the pleasure of working with Wayde for the last 2 months trying to figure out what building I would end up getting. Size, doors, colors, etc; so many decisions to make. I got a few quotes from other companies (got a few from Wayde too as he will attest to) and even though Hansen Pole Buildings wasn’t the least expensive we chose Wayde as he has always followed up, always been available, eager to help and has given us confidence that he will be available for the pre-sale AND the post-sale. For us, the extra service was worth the extra money, and in a world that seems to offer very little customer service and quality I was pleasantly surprised while working with Wayde and Hansen Pole Buildings.

I called Wayde this evening and ordered my 24×36 kit in Brick Red/White Trim, and cannot wait for it to arrive so I can get started. I felt it important to share with you the important role Wayde played in our decision, whatever you are paying him, it’s probably not enough. From one salesperson to another, thank you for employing quality salespeople to serve your customers!

My encouragement, whatever the product or service is which you are or have received – say, “Thank you” an extra time. Tip generously, when appropriate. And, when expectations are met or exceeded, find a place (such as TripAdvisor®) to leave positive feedback. Amazingly,  it’s often the positive feedback which fosters more improvements in service and products far more than the negative comments.

Dear Guru: Should I Use Road Base Gravel?

New!  The Pole Barn Guru’s mailbox is overflowing with questions.  Due to high demand, he is answering questions on Saturdays as well as Mondays.

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 or Saturday 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:Hello, I see you are head quartered in Browns Valley MN, but do not have any Certified Builders in your home state. Why is this?


DEAR READY: As Browns Valley is a border town, we are actually physically located in South Dakota – which is neither actually here nor there. Strangely enough, we provide more pole building kit packages the further we get away from our office – areas like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New York and Pennsylvania have always been among the states where we seemingly deliver the most buildings.

The why? Most future building owners in Minnesota (and South Dakota) seem to be more than capable of constructing their own buildings and prefer to do the work themselves. Whether you hire a builder or do the work yourself varies greatly from region to region. Hansen Buildings designs custom kits for the average homeowner to construct their own building. Our expertise is in getting you exactly the building you want and need, and not a “standard” or “canned” kit. We are not contractors in any state. If you are not so inclined, and need a builder, your Hansen Building Designer can assist you in finding one.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:I am now considering using road base gravel for the flooring, packing it tight with a plate compacter. I am told that our property taxes depend on flooring and if cement it is considered a “permanent” structure and taxed by its square footage, finished or not. If dirt or gravel it is simply an agricultural building and not taxed the same way.

Are there any recommendations for using road base gravel flooring like this ?? MEANDERING IN MONTANA

DEAR MEANDERING: I’d never make my choice of floor based upon whether or not I had to pay taxes on it or not. It should be based upon what is going to provide the most satisfactory surface – which is usually going to be a concrete slab on grade poured over a compacted base and a quality vapor barrier.

In the event the choice ends up being road base gravel, I’d recommend having the top of the gravel even with the bottom of the pressure treated splash plank – because odds are good the concrete slab is eventually going to be desired.

Eight Reasons You Will Pay More for a Hansen Pole Building

Everyone always wants to pay as little as possible, right? Well, maybe not.

Wearing shoes right now? If so, look down at them. If they are a generic brand from a discount store, then maybe you are one of the few who fit into the always paying as little as possible group. There is a chance you might not be a match for a new Hansen Pole Building.

hansen pole buildings customerI’ve had clients tell me my pole building price quote was lower than anyone else’s, and my response is always, “It was purely by accident, as our price should never be the lowest”.

Historically we’ve found our clients will willingly pay more for our pole building kits than an “apparently” similar building from another provider.

Here is why:

1.    Our buildings are easier to order.

No futzing around with complicated purchasing and payment options. No need to even write out a check or address an envelope. We’ve streamlined the process of ordering, so everything can be quickly done online, from wherever you are absolutely comfortable.

2.    Our buildings arrive more quickly.

Just like me, once you make up your mind, you want it now, especially when it involves our hard earned money. We reward those who like quick gratification, with things like instant ability to review installation instructions online, online preview of personalized building plans prior to printing and the quickest delivery in the industry on 100% customized buildings.

3.    We have “must have” features.

Whether it is the ability to design buildings just the way you want for features, detailed full sized 24” x 36” blueprints, step-by-step complete instructions, or features such as insulation with adhesive pull strips, powder coated screws or our all but bullet proof commercial steel entry doors – chances are we have your “must have”.

4.    Luxury Sedan at Two Door Pricing.

When it comes to value for the dollar spent, our clients will tell anyone their new Hansen Pole Building was it. No other building compares to the strength and might of a Classic Hansen Pole Building.

5.    Lower Cost of Ownership.

It’s not all about the price…it’s about the time and money you spend after you purchase. Sure we have more expensive, stronger components and better warrantees (find another other pole building kit package which offers a limited lifetime structural warranty), but how much does it cost to replace an entry door when the wood jambs fail, or the door rusts out due to being only primed? Or worse, vandals kick it in and you lose irreplaceable valuables?

6.    Friendly Customer Service.

We understand the anger (or even hatred) buyers feel when they experience horrible customer service. We looked for JD Power and Associates Award winning performance in handling online accounts, found it and adapted it specifically for the post frame industry. Easily accessible 24/7 from any computer or Smartphone. Calling in? It is ALWAYS “A Great Day at Hansen Pole Buildings”.

7.    The price difference isn’t worth the hassle.

Ask any other pole building kit to provider to match all of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ features and benefits exactly – there is not a single one who can. Even though we may be a few dollars more on the investment side, because the competitor’s quality was lacking, the price difference isn’t worth the hassle. Your time is too valuable, when we will guarantee the best price for quality – every time.

8.     Like Us, We Like You

Face it, we are all human and humans prefer doing business with their friends. If you are one of the approximately 30,000 people who read this blog five days a week, I count you among my friends. You friend us on Facebook and read our tweets on Twitter! We are personable, because we care – to us, it is all about you and your new building!