Tag Archives: Heating

Bonus Pole Barn Guru Tuesday

Bonus Pole Barn Guru Tuesday- Today’s extra answers questions about cupolas, heating a monitor style building, and steep grade changes on a build site.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are considering putting two cupolas on the roof. Can we run our drain waste vents through them instead of through the roof itself? BRANDON in CALVERT CITY

DEAR BRANDON: Provided they are vented cupolas, I am finding nothing in Building Codes prohibiting this. You will want to confirm this with your local Building Inspector.

A caution, however, you may experience undue condensation caused by warm moist air escaping your vent and contacting cooler metal surfaces of your cupolas. It may be beneficial to have closed cell foam insulation sprayed on interior of any metal surfaces of vents of your cupolas to create a thermal break.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is the Monitor style bad for heating/cooling costs? Also, what style is best for energy costs in a metal home? If we want a loft area do you need to have a vent up top to aid in the summer heat in such cases? HEATH in LEIGHTON

Hansen Pole Buildings GuesthouseDEAR HEATH: The most economical for heating and cooling will be a square building on a single level. Your challenge with any two-story or lofted building is heat rises – so to cool to a comfortable level upstairs, it is frigid downstairs. I had this problem with our two story home in Washington, so when we built our multi-level shouse, we had individual heat pumps, heating and A/C units for each floor. Your need for venting will depend upon how you are insulating. If you are doing a finished ceiling across bottom of trusses, with blown insulation directly above, then your dead attic space being created will need to be vented (ideally with eave and ridge vents).

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you design a cabin pole building to set on a lot with about a 30% slope? Thanks. STEVE in ANDREWS

DEAR STEVE: When our mountainside home near Spokane, Washington needed a new garage with 14 feet of grade change in 24 feet, we went with post frame – doing a ‘stilt’ house. Unless you are in a flood zone, this is normally far less expensive than excavating your bank to do a footing and foundation, or bringing in a plethora of truckloads of fill in order to get to a level building site. This should work well with your new cabin.

Heating a Pole Barn, Sliding Door Parts, and A Replacement Panel

The Pole Barn Guru answers questions bout heating a pole barn, sliding door parts, and a replacement panel for a Hansen Building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Many years ago I had a friend that made a good income renting heated storage space in a very large pole barn to boat owners.  He complained of the heating costs involved.  I told him he could heat the space for a fraction if he would insulate with hay bales encapsulated with foam.  He also thought the idea was a little odd (do you notice a pattern with how people receive my ideas? 😉  I don’t know if anyone has ever done it, but I may give it a try before my time is up.

I bet it would work well. STEVE in NORTHERN MICHIGAN

DEAR STEVE: On your boat storage – straw bales don’t offer near the R value which most people are accepting as valid (https://www.buildinggreen.com/news-analysis/r-value-straw-bales-lower-previously-reported), plus closed cell spray foam is not an expensive (although very sound from an insulation standpoint) proposition. As most building heat loss is vertical (approaching 80%) the real solution lies there – reduce upward heat loss and heating unoccupied space.
For further reading on straw bales and post frame construction: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/04/straw-bale-homes/.



Pole Barn Builders on Facebook said you would be a good place to contact.  

Had a barn fire last year.  Now replaced to the point of needing the front double sliding doors and a couple panels hung to finish.  Is this something in your wheelhouse?  Twin Cities area.  

Thank you. Regards, DALE in TWIN CITIES

Figure 27-5

DEAR DALE: We always appreciate it when our fellow industry members send folks our direction. Sadly, we are probably not the solution to your current challenge. Due to the logistics of shipping sliding door components without them being damaged, we do not provide them other than with the investment into a complete post frame building kit package. We’d recommend you stop by the ProDesk at your nearby The Home Depot® as they should be able to provide the components you will need plus you won’t have to pay for delivery with a pickup at the store.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good Morning.  I have a pole building that were ordered by Josh xxxxx of xxxxx construction about 2 years ago.  I need to replace a damaged panel.  The color was either Light stone or Tan.  Can you confirm the color of the building?  Thank you.



In order to get the closest match possible, the panel should be ordered from the original manufacturer, who does not sell direct to the public. Please email our materials buyer Justine at materials@hansenpolebuildings.com  with the length of the panel needed and she can get a delivered price for you.





The Idea of Heating, Post Heave, and Interior Housewrap

Mike the Pole Barn Guru discusses The Idea of Heating the building in the future, Post Heave, and Interior Housewrap.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi Pole Barn Guru, I am getting ready to order a kit for a new 38×40 pole barn in Southern Ohio. Initially it will be cold storage, but the idea of heating it someday lingers.

I read your opinion on condensation blankets, and I was in agreement, that installing between purlins and the metal seemed like a mistake. 

What is your opinion on bubble wrap? Then I assume I could put fiberglass batting directly against the bubble wrap at a later date? But the bubble wrap would keep the condensation down? 

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. BOB in OHIO

DEAR BOB: We sell millions of square feet of reflective radiant barrier (bubble wrap) every year. Installed properly, it is a great condensation control, however it has next to no insulating value.

If you think you ever might heat the building this is my recommendation – order the building kit package with raised heel trusses (at least two inches greater in heel height than the depth of blown in insulation – so for R-45 you would need 17 inches of heel height) and designed to support a ceiling (10 psf). Use enclosed vented soffits and vented ridge along with a reflective radiant barrier.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a barn where a water pipe under the ground cracked and was leaking water under the front of my barn causing my two front pole of my barn to heave up about a foot due to freezing and thawing(This was before I bought the property).  I have fixed the pipe, now how do I get my barn level again?

I look forward to hearing from you. GEORGE in KLEEFELD

DEAR GEORGE: The only way I can see to get things back to level involves having to excavate the area which has heaved so as to be able to get the building back to where it began. The biggest challenges will be not over excavating, and getting the soil placed back into the excavation properly compacted. There may be other issues with water in the soil and inadequate drainage beneath the building which could cause future problems. It would behoove you to involve a registered engineer with extensive experience in soils to take a look at your site and give an expert opinion.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Once again, thanks so much for the info, lot of information out there to sort through. After thought, Cleary nailed all the sides and roof, removing the nails would result in a lot of damage. Can we use Tyvek on interior of 2×6 cross members or put it between the 2×6’s against the tin. Then put up unfaced 6″ fiberglass, poly, then plywood with a three foot tin boarder around bottom? If only we had the money and knowledge 20 years ago. Thanks again. MIKE in PALMYRA

housewrapDEAR MIKE: Sorry to hear all of the steel was nailed on your building – chances are more than fair they will start to pose more challenges, between leaking and premature deterioration, if they have not begun to do so already. The difference in cost between nails and screws for attaching steel is so minuscule in relationship to what was invested in the building itself. Of your two ideas proposed, probably the most likely to be successful is to completely wrap the inside of the framing with the Tyvek – this would include the columns, as it will be impossible to adequately seal all of the seams up against the posts. Keep in mind, the better you can seal it, the better the end resultant will be.








6 Cool Ways to Heat Your Pole Building & Barn

When winter arrives, pole building owners will need more than a tiny space heater and a quilt to keep themselves warm. Sitting on the couch reading a book in thermal pants, a heavy jacket, and snow boots isn’t the most comfortable way to spend the cold months, so we’d like to suggest a few heating options for your pole barn.

Electric Floor
Electric floors radiate heat from underneath tiles, laminate, carpet, or engineered flooring. You can install bare wiring or opt for pre-wired mats that simplify the process. Mats are likely to cost more to install, but both systems use only a minimal amount of electricity.

Radiant Ceiling
Radiant ceiling tiles are long tiles on the ceiling, usually placed in increments, that generate and radiate heat. They are useful for targeting heat only in certain areas, such as in a living area above the couch or a bathroom next to the shower.

Radiant ceiling tiles, unlike electric floors, sit outside of the ceiling, not the inside. Some models are designed for painting and most will accept add-ons such as exhaust fans and lights.

Cove Heater

Cove heaters are silent-operating radiant panels mounted near the ceiling. They are a great option for heating safely with kids or keeping your heating equipment out of sight. Pole barn owners opt for these when baseboard heaters are difficult to install because of safety hazards or obstructive furniture.

Duct Fan
If you have a central heating system, you can add a simple fan to your ducts to increase the flow of warm air throughout your pole barn. Since there is so much empty space inside pole buildings, duct booster fans can help spread your heat evenly and might even help you save on your electric bill.

Mount your fan near the outlet end of a heating duct. The pressure switch will sense air pressure from the forced air coming out of the furnace and switch the fan on when it needs to be on. Higher quality fans emit less noise, but prices can range quite a bit.

Room-to-Room Ventilation
If your pole building has quite a few separate rooms to heat, you can circumvent your insulation and install a room-to-room ventilation system. These systems, installed as ducts in the wall, take warm air from room A through a low vent in the wall and push it up through a high vent in room B. Ventilators help draw the air through space between studs and distribute the warm air evenly into the adjoining room.

Ceiling Fan Heater

Ceiling fan heaters distribute air in the same way an ordinary fan does, but a heating element also provides the spinning blades with additional warm air to push throughout the room. Pole barn owners can turn the heating element off during the spring and summer to allow the ceiling fan to function like a normal fan.

Final Words: Stay Safe
You may have to deal with some unusual problems when battling winter weather. Remember the following:

  • Condensation Build-Up – Burning propane, methane, or kerosene can produce moisture in the air that, when it drops below the dew point, will cause water to condense inside your pole barn. Rapid changes in temperature can also pull moisture from the air and turn it to liquid. Use desiccators and dehumidifiers to control moisture in your pole building before it causes damage.
  • Ventilation – It’s tempting to trap all the warm air inside your pole building, but you have to let the air flow freely from inside to out and vice-versa. Proper ventilation keeps air fresh, oxygen-rich, and helps prevent heating-related disasters.

All heating creates some kind of fire hazard in your home. Be sure to operate all equipment according to instructions and prepare your pole barn heating system to resist fire by keeping it clean and having it inspected regularly.