Tag Archives: Interior Height

Column Height, a Hangar Door, and Splash Plank Boards

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about column height for an eight foot one inch interior ceiling, what size bi-fold door for a hangar, and specific boards for a splash plank.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: New at this. If I am building a pole barn house and want 8 ft 1 inch between slab and bottom of truss, have 4 inches of slab and 2 inches of Styro and need have top of footing at 42 inches, I come up with 145 inches. A 12 foot pole is 144. Can this work and pass code or do I need to go with a longer post.

Thanks for any help. BRADLEY in SHELBY

DEAR BRADLEY: My recommendation is for you to be building from a fully engineered set of building plans. When you are provided with a design frost depth from your Building Department, it is telling you the BOTTOM of the footing must be at or below the design frost depth.

If this was a Hansen Pole Building, our engineers would specify column holes to be 42″ deep from grade. The bottom 8″ of this hole would be filled with concrete (below the column) as part of a monopoured bottom collar. Your building footprint would be lowered two inches below grade to allow for your sub-slab insulation. Top of a nominal four inch slab will be at 3-1/2″ above grade. Normally height from top of slab to bottom of trusses to give an eight foot finished ceiling would be 8′ 1-1/8″. One thing you have not accounted for is raised heel trusses to allow for full insulation thickness from outside of wall to outside of wall. In your area we would recommend R-60 attic insulation, with 22 inch high raised heel trusses. Given this information, your columns should be 14′.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am contemplating building a hangar, planning at this point on a 60 x 60 hangar, and wondering what the maximum opening span would be with a bi-fold door. Thanks! KEVIN in BELLAIRE

DEAR KEVIN: On each side of the hangar door your building will need what is known as a ‘braced wall panel’ of solid wall. The width of this area is limited to a maximum ratio of panel width to building eave height of 1:3.5 (as an example on a 14′ eave building would be 4′).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What boards do I use for outside band for first floor > 20ft by 40ft -6×6 posted 10 on center. JOSEPH in CLINTON

DEAR JOSEPH: First floors are at grade, so your ‘outside band’ would be called out for on your fully engineered building plans as being a pressure preservative treated splash plank of some dimension (in our case, with steel siding it will be a 2×8 treated to UC-4A or ground contact).



Building Interior Height

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 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

ask-the-guruDEAR POLE BARN GURU: in ordering a building that I want a 16′-0″ clearance from finish concrete to bottom of truss, what would the eave height be to accomplish this dimension? ART IN SULPHUR

DEAR ART: First it might be handy to do a review of the definition of “eave height”: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/eave_height/

In most cases, adding 3-1/2 inches for the concrete slab and six inches for the roof system are adequate. Unless you have a very wide clearspan on the trusses, an excessive wind load, or a partially enclosed building it is generally fairly safe to add a foot to the wanted interior clear height to determine the needed eave height.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: If one plans to convert a new pole barn into a livable structure and if the county allows for a concrete stem wall, a full concrete slab or cemented posts with floors suspended 12” above grade as measured from the bottom of the floor joists, which of these options is best if budget is the biggest concern? KEITH IN DOBSON

DEAR KEITH: Anything involving large quantities of concrete is going to get expensive in a hurry.

Personally, I would prefer to have an elevated crawl space (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/03/crawl-space/) as it is far more comfortable to live over and provides easy access for underfloor utilities. As long as the building columns extend below the frost line and are properly backfilled with concrete to support dead loads and prevent uplift forces everything should work well and save the unnecessary costs of a foundation (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/).

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have a home site with an existing 30’x70′ pole barn in Grant, MN. We would like to insulate it, raise the middle two (of four) garage doors to 10′ from 8′ to match the other two, replace the garage doors and entry doors, install a bathroom and utility sink, put in a concrete floor, and put a new front on it to match the house we are building. Do you do this kind of work? JON IN GRANT

DEAR JON: Thank you very much for your consideration. Hansen Pole Buildings is a supplier of custom designed pole barn kit packages only. We do not perform construction services of any sort, anywhere. You might consider placing an ad under “Gigs>Labor” on Craigslist, carefully outlining the scope of the project.