Tag Archives: lift building

Installers, Clear Span Timber Frame, and Raising Existing Building

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about installers in Detroit, how wide of a clear span a timber frame building can be built, and if one can raise the height of an existing building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you install and/or can you recommend installers in Detroit? Thanks! MARIANNE in DETROIT

DEAR MARIANNE: Your new Hansen Pole Buildings’ kit is designed for the average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell, without extensive prior construction knowledge (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), the industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

Currently (and for the foreseeable future) there is a nationwide shortage of building erectors. Many high quality erectors are booked out well into 2023 (some even 2024). We would strongly encourage you to consider erecting your own building shell.

For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states – please complete information at bottom of this link https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/find-a-builder/. We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders.

A CAUTION in regards to ANY erector: If an erector tells you they can begin quickly it is generally either a big red flag, or there is a chance you are being price gouged. ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi I’d like to know what is the widest possible barn that can be built using a clear span design without trusses? I’m looking for a timber frame pole barn with vaulted ceilings that will be used to run courses. Thanks in advance. SHANE in RAVENDALE

DEAR SHANE: Timber frame and pole barn (post frame) are two different (albeit in some ways similar) structural systems. Most timber frame buildings use a heavy timber truss system, rather than prefabricated metal connector plated wood trusses. It could be possible to run a significantly large ridge beam (most likely a glulam) with rafters attached to it. Depending upon roof loads, you might be able to achieve an 80 foot or greater clearspan width. I would recommend you Google “heavy timber frame engineers near me” and invest in services of a Registered Professional Engineer who can give you better guidance for your particular wants and needs.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 36×24 metal roofed and sided pole building but because of changes to the building site there is only 6.5 feet between concrete floor and bottom of trusses and the roof leaks. It does have a concrete slab floor. If i really want a 36x24x10 do i start over? i can’t seem to find any examples of repairing/extending a 6×6 post by splicing or sistering. Cut the posts out of the concrete then dig them out to replace with longer poles? BRAD in BREMERTON

DEAR BRAD: It may be possible to cut your posts, raise your roof, add a filler in between cut portions of posts and have a bracket or lumber reinforcement hold it all together. You should be reaching out to a Washington Registered Professional Engineer for better advice.

I have copied your request to our independent third-party Washington engineer, who might be interested in assisting you to find a structural design solution.

Barn Conversions, Raising a Building, and Pole Barns on Concrete Slabs

Today’s Pole Barn Guru discusses a possible conversion of an old pole barn, raising a building, and how site preparation helps with concrete slabs.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have a 40’ x 100’, 2 sides enclosed, pole barn I would like to convert to a house / garage combo. Columns are 20’ on center in the front and 10’ O/c in side and back. (Pics attached). Is this doable in Ky and roughly cost per sq ft.? We plan on 3 bed, 2 bath, open concept, 40 x 50 living and 40 x 50 garage. Thank you for your input / knowledge. JIM in FRANKLIN

DEAR JIM: Pole barns for agricultural use are rarely designed by a Registered Professional Engineer and in many cases do not require a Building Permit. If it did happen to be both of those things, it was probably designed to a lower set of design standards than a residence would be. Is it doable? Perhaps, however it may cost so much to upgrade your existing building so as to make it financially unrealistic. If you want to pursue this avenue further, it would be best to invest in services of a competent local Registered Professional Engineer who can do a physical examination of your building and make detailed recommendations as to what it would take to make necessary structural upgrades.

Your best solution might be to erect a new building properly engineered to residential requirements.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a newer pole barn, 30 ft wide, standard trusses 10ft. above the floor. What options do I have to raise the clearance to 14ft? Trusses with a kick up, add a knee wall, scissor trusses? Would prefer whole area at 14ft but could consider just the center 12 ft or so to accommodate a travel trailer. RON in MANISTEE

DEAR RON: It could be possible to increase height of some or all of your building however it will take some significant structural engineering (as well as a serious investment of labor and materials) in order to do so – a competent Registered Professional Engineer should be engaged to visit your existing building, do an analysis and provide a design solution. My educated guess is it will prove to be less expensive to erect a new post frame (pole barn) building to fit over your travel trailer, than to make an attempt to remodel what you have.

pole spacing

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Builders in the northwest Ohio area don’t seem interested in building a pole barn house with a concrete slab. They said not a good idea do to cracking but there are all sorts of commercial pole barn facilities built on concrete pads. Couldn’t I just use fiber in the concrete to help with expansion? MATT in ARLINGTON

DEAR MATT: Your top factor for getting a good result from a slab on grade concrete slab in a post frame (pole barn) home is proper site preparation. (Read more beginning here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/) Just adding fibermesh to your concrete mixture is unlikely to be a satisfactory solution unless you have a great site prepped.

For a pole barn house, you might want to consider building over a crawl space – investment is probably fairly similar, however wood is so much more comfortable to live on.