Tag Archives: Hipped roof

Condensation Control, Load Requirements, and A Sloped Site

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about condensation control in Spokane, WA, the availability of a hipped roof design to meet wind and snow loads, and planning for a post frame build on a sloped site.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m in Spokane, WA– a semi-arid region, and I had a question about using metal roof panels with prefabbed integral condensation control, such as Condenstop, along with a double bubble reflective barrier. I have a few left over rolls of the reflective barrier that I can use and would only need to buy an extra roll or two for our prospective 36×36 post frame building. Would it be ok to use both without trapping moisture between the 2? Or, should I only use 1? Building will have continuous soffit venting on both eaves and ridge venting as well. The building will be used in-part to store food-crop and will be temperature-controlled during all seasons, and has drywalled ceilings. Therefore, I’d like to insulate to the max. Was thinking spray foam between the purlins and also fiberglass batts? MATT in SPOKANE

DEAR MATT: I was born and raised in Spokane, owned a house on Newman Lake until just a couple of years ago. In the 1990’s I was the area’s most prolific post frame builder – one year we erected over 200 post frame buildings in Spokane county alone!

Let’s look at doing this right, and not spend money just to spend money.

Spokane is Climate Zone 5A. 2021 International Energy Conservation Code requirements (IECC) are R-60 roof, R-30 walls

Roof: 16″ raised heel trusses, vent overhangs and ridge in correct proportion, roof steel with Integral Condensation Control, blow in R-60 of granulated Rockwool.

Sell your reflective barrier on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Walls: Steel siding, Weather Resistant Barrier (Tyvek or similar), 2×8 commercial bookshelf girts, R-30 Rockwool batts, well-sealed vapor barrier.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: In your blog you state that hip roof style the strongest against high winds. as I live in tornado alley wind and snow drifting are concerns of mine and would like my building design to be highly resistant to these forces. Why can I not find examples of this roof style on your web site? Is the gambrel style the closest you come to this design? CARY in RAYMOND

building-plansDEAR CARY: Very few clients have been willing to make an extra investment into full hip roofs, explaining why our website has no photos of them (we do rely upon our clients to provide photos). We can engineer traditional (and most cost effective) gable roof designs with wind speeds in excess of 200 mph. Our Building Designers can incrementally adjust design wind speeds to allow you to make decisions to best meet your concerns and budget.

While most roof truss manufacturers meet Code requirements for unbalanced (drift) snow loads, we are one of few (if not only) building providers who also design roof purlins appropriately to resist these same loads. This typically results in purlins closest to ridge to be either more closely spaced and/or larger in dimensions.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We purchased property in north central Tennessee and are planning a post frame barn for a RV and SUV storage and then later adding a post frame home as our forever home. Building site has about a 5 – 10 degree slope. Can you recommend some reading material, books, articles, how-to’s that I can learn and start making some educated research and decisions? thanks. JEFFREY in PRAIRIEVILLE

DEAR JEFFREY: A plethora of options are available for sloped sites. They can be excavated to create a “walk-out” or “daylight” situation. I was faced with this situation on one of my personal buildings (albeit with a more extreme slope): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/solving-massive-pole-building-grade-changes/
Sites can also be built up: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/01/supporting-fill-when-considerable-grade-change-exists/
And there is always an option of “stilts” https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/03/stilt-home-barndominium/
For research, a great source of information is always to navigate to www.HansenPoleBuildings.com, go to SEARCH in upper right corner, type in whatever topic you are looking for information on (e.g. BARNDOMINIUM) and hit ENTER. Over 2000 articles are available, covering a broad myriad of subject matter.

Whatever route you do ultimately pick, fully engineered post frame is likely to be your most cost effective and energy efficient structural design solution.



Retro Insulation, Cost of a Hipped Roof, and Slab Prep!

Today Mike the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about Retro Insulation, Cost of a Hipped Roof, and Slab Prep!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Retro Pole barn wall insulation: should a person put plastic or some sort of vapor barrier against outside tin on interior, then put fiberglass blanket up? Which Is a better option faced or unfaced (do you need a moister barrier on interior between unfaced and wall material? Thanks MIKE in PALYMRA

DEAR MIKE: You should remove the wall steel, a wall at a time, placing a well sealed quality building wrap (like Tyvek) over the wall framing – then reinstall the steel siding. Use unfaced fiberglass blanket insulation, thick enough to entirely fill the wall cavity, then a 6mil clear visqueen vapor barrier on the inside before installing the gypsum wallboard on the interior. Make sure to tape all seams, tears or rips in the visqueen.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a quick question. I am wanting to build a 40 x 60 shop. It will be cheaper to build it pole barn style but one of the contractors I was going with said if I wanted to do a hip style roof I would be better off stick framing it. Is this true? Is it really that much more to do hip roof. He said it doesn’t work well with post framing. Another contractor said they can do it and it will only be $3800 more to order hip roof trusses. I don’t know what to think. Thanks for your time. PRESTON

DEAR PRESTON: I hate to break this to you, but contractor number one is clueless – post frame (pole barn) style is going to be less expensive than stick frame, for a full hipped roof (or any roof style). The $3800 more for a set of hipped roof trusses sounds fairly steep unless you are somewhere with a significantly high snow load. My recommendation – order a fully engineered post frame building kit package and then have a competent contractor assemble it for you (or save some real money and assemble it yourself).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Sand or crushed concrete under slab in pole barn? RON in LEONARD

DEAR RON: Prior to pouring, 2” to 6” of clean and drained sand or sandy gravel is spread below where concrete is to be poured. Mechanically compact fill to at least 90% of a Modified Proctor Density, so as not to cause slab to sink. Install a good vapor barrier below any interior pour, to stop moisture from traveling up into slab through capillary action. Place 3” to 4” of clean and drained sand on top of the vapor barrier, to decrease differential drying shrinkage and floor curling. This sand over the vapor barrier will facilitate water drainage during curing time and accelerate installation.









Hipped Roof, Adding a Ceiling, and a Leak

Questions about a Hipped Roof, Adding a Ceiling, and a Leak for the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My home has a hip roof and I would like for my garage to have a hip roof as well. Would that be possible? Thank you. SCOTT in BILLINGS

DEAR SCOTT: It is very possible to have a full hipped roof on a post frame building. To the best of my knowledge, Hansen Pole Buildings is one of the few post frame building kit providers who engineers them regularly.
For more reading on full hip roofs: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/01/full-hip-roof/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want to use 1/2 drywall for my 32 x 18 pole barn. Rafters are 4′ on center. Can I run 2 x 4 flat against rafters on 16″ centers and attach my drywall to 2 x 4’s without adding any additional support between the rafters? STEVE in FORT WAYNE

DEAR STEVE: I will interpret your “rafters” as being prefabricated roof trusses. If they were not designed to support a ceiling (as is typical of most trusses designed for four foot on center spacing) then it is the end of the road for this project unless an engineered truss repair is done to upgrade the load carrying capacity of the truss bottom chords.

If your intent is to attach the 2x4s flat wise to the underside of the trusses, you may have some deflection challenges, depending upon the grade and species of the lumber.  You’ll want to use an engineered screw (not drywall screws) to attach the 2x4s, rather than screws – which may withdraw.

How I would do it…..

Provided the trusses are adequately designed, I would use 2×4 ceiling joists on edge between the truss bottom chords with joist hangers every 24 inches. I’d use 5/8″ Type X gypsum wallboard as it far less prone to wave and affords some fire protection.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Advisement of how to prevent insulation from becoming wet due as
there is no house wrap on his pole barn. JOHN in WISCONSIN

DEAR JOHN: If you have wall insulation getting damp, it is due to water getting inside of the siding – most generally this is seen where there are openings in the walls (e.g. doors and windows) or there is a roof leak above the eave girt. First step is to identify the source of the moisture – to eliminate a roof leak as the source, you can run water from a hose onto the roof and look for infiltration. If it is coming from the roof, fix the leaks.

Having eliminated the roof as the source, the best fix is to remove the steel siding a wall at a time and install a high quality house wrap, then screw the siding back in place. Make sure to seal all joints in the housewrap. Ensure all window and door openings are well sealed – use lots of high quality caulking at corners (especially above windows and doors).