Tag Archives: insurance

Rough Cut Lumber, Insurance, and Girt Orientation

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I’m planning on building a ( 32’ x 60’ x 12’ ) Pole Barn with 4/12 scissor truss.  I want to price out rough cut lumber on walls and ceiling.  How do I calculate the

Amount of board feet lumber I need to cover the walls and ceiling.

Thanks BRIAN

DEAR BRIAN: The first thing you should do is to consult with the engineer who has designed your building to find out if he or she will approve your use of ungraded rough cut lumber (which, unless you season it thoroughly, is going to have a very high moisture content and is going to be prone to warp, twist and shrink as it dries). I cannot imagine very many registered design professionals who are going to approve with the proposed use of your material. In the event you are considering constructing a building without having an engineered set of building plans which are designed specifically for your site and your building – you are putting yourself, your loved ones and your possessions at serious risk. The few dollars you might save by not having engineered plans are just not worth it – please do not be penny wise and pound foolish.

Back to your question – you can take a count of the boards on your engineered building plans which will give you the required lengths and quantity required.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Need an insurance company that will insure 1/2 acre lot with a pole barn that is adjacent to 1/2 acre lot with a lake house but on two separate deeds. FRANK in LOUISVILLE

DEAR FRANK: I would suspect any independent insurance agent can find you several companies who would happily write a policy for you. Try calling one or more in your area.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you explain girt detail why the 2×6 are placed horizontal and not vertical and why they hang off 1.5 inches past the columns? OWEN in FLORA

DEAR OWEN: This article explains the why of how the wall girts are oriented: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/girts/

They hang 1-1/2″ outside the columns so the outside face is in the same plane as other members such as the 2×8 pressure preservative treated skirt board, large door headers, etc. It also allows for any wiring to be placed horizontally without having to drill through columns.



Your Pole Building Roof and Insurance

To a property and casualty insurance company, the roof is the most important part of your pole building. Why? Because it’s the gateway to far greater damage claims once it’s breached.

“The roof is the first layer that wind, hail, wildfire and other hazards really begin to act on,” says Tim Reinhold, chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, an independent, nonprofit research organization based in Tampa, Fla. “In more than 90 percent of hail or high-wind claims, there is a payout relative to the roof cover.”

With insurance, a lot rides on your roof.

Because insurers have a vested interest in your pole building roof, they price your property insurance accordingly, based on the soundness of its construction and what it will cost them to replace it. Note also premium incentives and disincentives for roof types vary widely by company and location.

Building near a wildfire zone? Example: Much of San Diego County, California.  Any roofing other than a steel roof which won’t burn will either be prohibited by Code, or highly expensive to insure.

Check with your agent or broker before you build to see what impact the roofing type might have on your premium. Also keep a watchful eye, as insurance companies are moving more and more toward ‘actual cash value’ coverage for a roof and not paying the full replacement cost.

What’s the best pole building roof material choice for you?

Installing Steel RoofingFor most, through screwed steel roofing is going to be the material of choice. It is more cost effective (as a system) than even low grade “three-tab” shingles.

Steel is light weight – which is a plus over heavier roof options in high seismic areas, where roofing can be damaged by earthquake movement.

Unlike shingles, steel roofing is highly durable. Shingles fade, become brittle, attract mold and mildew, and may blow off in high winds. According to Reinhold, “Shingles age more than any other roof type”.

Steel roofing is also Class 4 rated against hail damage (read more at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/steel-roofing/).

Manufacturer’s specifically name hail as an exclusion to their shingle product warrantee, as builders and roofing contractors. Newer roofs can actually be more susceptible to hail damage versus older roofs due to the time it takes a new roof to cure from exposure to the elements.

There are some added words of advice if you consider steel for your pole building roof. Metal reflects the sun’s rays, keeping attics cooler. Keep in mind, improperly installed (without insulation below) steel roofing can be noisy in severe rain or hail storms. Use good quality insulation, installed according to manufacturer’s directions, and your roof will be no noisier than other roofing types.

My wife and I have steel on all five of our buildings (WA & SD), and would never consider another choice. Several years ago when enough shingles blew off the roof of my wife’s former house (where her son now resides), causing leaks and dire need for replacement, we put steel right over the shingles. It looks great, keeps it cooler and we will most likely never have to do any sort of repair or maintenance to it with usual weather conditions.