Tag Archives: HOA regulations

HOA Restrictions, Plans Only Option (sorry, no) and Site Prep

This week the Pole Barn Guru addresses reader questions about the possibility of adding a brick exterior to a pole building to satisfy HOA restrictions, if Hansen provides a sealed plans only option so a reader can reuse parts of current building, and geotechnical concerns about site prep and dirt for post frame construction.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I live in a HOA restricted area that states exteriors must be brick or brick veneer. I purchased the neighboring lot in order to build a 3/4 bay shop on that lot. Is there a way to brick veneer the exterior of one of your buildings? It has to closely match my existing house. Can email you more pictures if that would be helpful. CHAD in JEFFERSONVILLE

DEAR CHAD: HOAs are always a challenge (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/12/hoa-requirements/). There are a plethora of ‘thin brick’ options available (please Google “Thin Brick”) any of them can be readily applied to a properly engineered post frame building. I say ‘properly engineered’ as building and wall deflection needs to be limited in order to prevent cracking of veneer.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I hire you to design a pole barn and get sealed prints for NJ without buying the kit from you? I have a fairly new pole barn on the property and would like to reuse that material for my new barn. SHANE in BRIDGETON

DEAR SHANE: As some of our components are proprietary, our engineers will only seal plans when we are providing materials.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: The person that will be doing the dirt work for the foundation asked me a question concerning the columns in the ground. He asked if the column will require certain type or quality of dirt, or if there are any samples taken to determine the depth. I have read on your website about all the factors that are taken into consideration when determining the depth of the hole and size of the columns, but I don’t remember seeing anything about soil samples. Thank you in advance for your time. ALLEN in CABOT

DEAR ALLEN: In an ideal dream world, our clients would have a geotechnical engineer do an onsite evaluation of soil strengths and forward to us.

Without this information, our engineers use presumptive load-bearing values found in IRC (International Residential Code) Table R401.4.1 and IBC (International Building Code) Table 1806.2. From decades of experience, these values end up being very conservative in relationship to actual geotechnical testing results.

Most important, if you are bringing in fill, is for it to be adequately compacted in no greater than six inch lifts.

One of our previous clients had some site preparation questions answered for his particular circumstances, his experience may prove helpful to you: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/02/building-site-preparation/

HOA Requirements

Some Temporary Holiday Cheer

Back in May of this year I wrote about how the neighbors of a new post frame barndominium had ganged up under the auspices of their HOA Requirements to try to force the demolition of the building under construction. (You can read about it here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/05/not-mess-hoas/).

Well, the building owners have continued the fight to allow their building to stand. Here is the latest news as reported by Lisa Hammer of the Dispatch-Argus:

“A house at the center of controversy in Ponderosa Hills subdivision in rural Colona might be allowed to stand.

Judge Jeffrey O’Connor on Thursday reversed an order from last May that the 9,000-square-foot house/pole barn built by Brett and Melissa Swanson had to be torn down.

The Swansons attended the Henry County Circuit Court hearing. as did 17 neighbors who oppose permitting the structure to remain.

The judge advised the neighbors’ attorney, Nadine Palmgren, to join Henry County zoning officer Kyle Stromquist to discuss the case, with the issue being whether the residence conforms to the county’s residential zoning code. He said State’s Attorney Matt Schutte would represent the county. William Stengel represents the Swansons.

building-plansThe judge also said the only drawings he himself had seen for the property were more “footprints” than blueprints and would not meet expectations of a property requiring building inspections.

“You’ve got to have something more than that,” he said.

The judge said if the structure conforms to county code, it can go forward, but if it does not, Mr. Swanson would be asked to tear down the structure.

 “I’m sorry this whole thing came up because it was stupid,” added the judge. “Utter disregard of reading the English language by those folks over there,” he said, indicating the Swansons.

A Feb. 22 hearing was set.”

I would implore those who are considering a new post frame building to make sure you dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s in dealing with your permitting issuing authorities. Please do not make the assumption just because it is a post frame (pole barn) building, it will be somehow exempted from the auspices of the Building Code. I also endorse the judge in saying HOA requirements need to be followed. Just because it is a pole barn, does not exempt the Swanson’s or anyone else in adhering to HOA regulations. Rules are rules, folks.