Tag Archives: monopitch trusses

Pole Barn House Roof Styles


Today’s guest blogger is John Hamlin, an industrial manufacturing writer with a passion for technology. Having a background in construction and a keen interest in engineering, John has slowly made his way into becoming a major contributor to many online publications.

The roof is one of the most crucial parts of a building. The basic function of a roof is to provide the building with protection against external elements such as sunlight, rain, snow, and any debris that may fall from the top during storms. A roof also provides privacy and insulation. 

Aside from these major purposes, a roof gives style and establishes the character and profile of your building. The unique features of a roof are attributed to the materials used, roof pitch, size, and orientation. 

There are various roof styles to choose from for different buildings like residential, commercial, agricultural, storage, etc. In this blog post, we will focus on the different roof styles available for pole barn houses. As we go through the post, we will also tackle the advantages and disadvantages of each roof style to help you choose which is the right fit for you. Read on and let us build that roof for your pole barn house! 

What are Pole Barn Houses? 

To begin with, let us first define what a pole barn house is. A few years back, a pole barn was considered an agricultural building where farmers used to store their equipment inside. Later, some farmers decided to convert their pole barns into an entire home and called them pole barn houses. These are just like any conventional residential houses, but the main difference is that pole barn houses have poles (actually sawn or glulaminated wood columns) instead of a continuous concrete foundation. Pole barn houses can be designed to include an attic, vaulted ceiling, loft, or mezzanine

Pole Barn House Roof Styles: Pros and Cons 

Choosing your roof style is one of the many ways to customize your pole barn house and make it stand out. Below are the Top 4 roof styles available for your pole barn house including their corresponding advantages and disadvantages. 

1- Gable Roofs 

Gable roofs are popularly known for their triangular shape and are the most typically used roof style in the USA. Gable roofs are alternatively called peaked or pitched roofs. 

Gable Roof

Pros: Because gable roofs are pitched, they allow rain and snow to slide off. With this design, snow accumulation is reduced thereby preventing roof collapse or structural damage. Additionally, you can (with a steep enough slope) build an attic for additional storage or room in your house due to the large space that a gable roof provides. This type of roof also allows good ventilation. 

Cons: If inadequately anchored, strong winds and hurricanes can destroy gable roofs. 


2- Gambrel Roofs 

Gambrel roofs, also known as barn roofs, have two sides with two slopes on each side. The two sides are typically symmetrical. The lower slope is steeper, which is almost vertical, than the upper slope. 

Gambrel Roof

Pros: Gambrel roofs also provide enough space for attics or lofts and offer very good drainage. 

Cons: Far more expensive than gabled roofs or full two story buildings.


3- Hip Roofs 

Hip roofs have four sides that are declining towards the walls and form a ridge at the top. 

Hipped Roof

Pros: Hip roofs can be an excellent choice for windy and snowy areas.

Cons: More expensive than gabled roofs for materials and highly labor intensive to assemble. 


4- Skillion Roofs 

Skillion roofs or shed roofs have a mono slope or the entire roof plane is designed to slope in a single direction.

Skillion Roof

Pros: Popular for modern designs. Because of their design, skillion roofs can be 

very simple to build. 

Cons: A slight-pitched skillion roof can encounter snow loading problems. 

Ventilation can become problematic.

Hansen Pole Buildings can help you in building your roof style of choice. We offer many pole barn designs and layout ideas. If you have another design in mind, we can still help you with that as we also provide custom roof designs. At Hansen Pole Buildings, we want to provide our customers with “The Ultimate Post Frame Building Experience”. For inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us!

Dear Guru: Why is My New Pole Barn Quote Much Higher?

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

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just one question…for now… the difference in the 11,000 price and the 43,000 price is just the building plans/instructions?  SARAH from anywhere USA

DEAR SARAH: I have to admit, this question on your pol barn quote had me initially stumped, until I looked back at the history of quotes you had received from us.

Back in 2011, you asked for a quote on a fully enclosed 60’ x 120’ x 12’ building, with a 12’ wide roof only shed along one side.  This pole barn quote included features like a 3’ wide insulated commercial steel entry door, with factory painted steel jambs; a 12’ wide x 11’ tall all metal framed sliding door; polycarbonate eave lights on both 120’ sidewalls; a polycarbonate vented ridge; and roof insulation.

Recently, you asked for a new pole barn quote for a roof only 40’ x 60’ x 12’ building, with a 12’ wide roof only shed along one side. The only other features were the vented ridge and a cupola.

Your first quote was three times the square footage, included a sliding door, eavelights, poly ridge vent and roof insulation….and all sides of the main building were fully sheeted with steel, fully trimmed out.

This is a lesson in why trying to compare price only, ends up being nothing short of confusing for all involved.

For you, or any client, we will happily compare any quotes, to make sure all is apples-to-apples.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a client looking at a large shop building with a 30 wide 80 long side shed ( 4-12 pitch) that he intends to use for living quarters, BUT…He would like to have some kind of vaulted roof in the side shed.  I currently have the shed with shed trusses, so two questions: Can we get scissor shed trusses that may be have a 2-12 interior pitch? How would we recommend that he insulate the roof of the side shed? Do you have any alternate ideas on getting some kind of vaulted ceiling in the living quarters? The building has a 20 psf flat roof snow load. RESEARCHING RICK

DEAR RESEARCING: With the relatively low roof load, you could monopitch scissor truss the side shed, but will probably get a maximum of 1.5/12 slope, unless your client can stand a parallel chord truss which would be about 3 feet deep. If so, then he could have 4/12 slope inside and outside.

With trussed vaulted ceilings, placing unfaced insulation batts between the ceiling joists will be the most effective method of insulating.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Couple of things I’m seeing that I thought was taboo in building a pole building- concrete filling the post holes !!! The pole barn I built 12 yrs ago, and am currently using,  I back filled the holes with sand so it wouldn’t heave during winter. Second is my concern with post load using the double trusses on sandy soil with 12 ‘ centers. My current barn (different locations) uses 24″ centers in hard clay. Just a couple things of interest there. Thank you.  MOPAR MIKE

DEAR MOPAR: Good questions. And can be addressed with several answers.

First – what is it the embedment of the column really has to do? It must resist uplift, overturning and settling.

These factors are addressed more thoroughly here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/02/concrete-pier/

Next – there is absolutely nothing wrong with properly pressure preservative treated wood in contact with concrete. In fact, the Building Codes require it!

Find about more on this subject at:


Filling holes with sand is not going to prevent frost heave – the sand provides no resistance to heaving.

To read how to prevent frost heave: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/preventing_frost_heaves_in_pole_building_construction/

The sand also does nothing to address the crucial issue of uplift (the building wanting to be sucked out of the ground).

Here is some “in depth” (yes pun intended) reading on preventing uplift in pole buildings:


As to your second concern, you take the load and divide it out across the roof area.  I am guessing your posts are not every 24”, but rather the trusses.  Whether you have single or double trusses – it ALL gets transferred into the number of posts at whatever spacing you have and then down into the ground.  Regardless of how the trusses and posts are spaced, you need a concrete footing large enough to distribute the load.  I am not talking about concrete cookies, which I talk about in older blogs.  What I am referring to is a monolithic concrete collar around every post designed to support the loads.

As to your concern about the roof loads being transferred through the columns and into the ground adequately – regardless of how the trusses are spaced, the columns carry the roof’s live and dead loads, multiplied by one-half of the truss span (plus any overhangs), times one-half of the distance to the next adjacent columns (in both directions).

Here is a very good article which explains more thoroughly how this works:


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do wind braces help support the horizontal beam that they are connected to? CHILLIN’ IN CHOKOLOSKEE

DEAR CHILLIN’: I am going to take a stab at your reference being to knee braces supporting roof trusses, as this would be the most likely answer.

If this is the case, then I would recommend reading this article: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/01/post-frame-construction-knee-braces/

In the case of an angle brace supporting any other horizontal member, the greatest dictate as to if it is effective or not is typically the adequacy of the connections. In most cases, the brace ends up being a waste of time and materials.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  What is the thickness of your exterior steel? CLICKING IN CLINTON

 DEAR CLICKING: Most of those who invest in new Hansen Pole Buildings chose 29 gauge steel for their siding and roofing, however there are some who prefer to use 26 gauge. We offer the flexibility for people to select what best meets their needs. For more information on steel gauges and thickness please read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/01/steel-thickness/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/10/steel-thickness-4/