Tag Archives: moving a pole barn

Condensation Challenge, Adding a Garage Door, and Barn Movers

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about likely condensation challenges with a closed envelope in coastal South Carolina, an addition of a 16′ wide garage door to an existing building, and if the Guru knows any pole barn movers in central Illinois.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want to keep my building a closed envelope, for conditioned attic space. 40x60x12. My plan is to use closed cell foam 2″ on walls and 3″ on roof deck applying directly to the metal. Do you foresee any moisture issues? Environment is coastal South Carolina, Georgetown county. Hot and humid, very rare to see sub-freezing temps. Also what kind of HVAC do you recommend? RON in GEORGETOWN

DEAR RON: Unless you are going to mechanically dehumidify, expect to see condensation challenges.

Your site is in Climate Zone 3A, where the 2021 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) specifies minimums as R-15 continuous for walls and R-49 for ceilings. You could achieve this by just over 2″ of closed cell on your walls, however you would need to add another R-28 to your roof. This could be done by adding unfaced Rockwool (Rockwool is not affected by moisture) batts between roof purlins. Specify 2×10 roof purlins 24 inches on center, then use just over 2-1/2″ of closed cell plus 23″ wide x 7-1/4″ Rockwool batts.

Your HVAC provider can recommend a system most practical for keeping humidity at manageable levels.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you add a 16 ft wide garage door to an existing pole barn? It would be on a gable end of a 30×50 building. ALEC in TOLEDO

DEAR ALEC: Probably, however it should only be done with a structural review from a Registered Professional Engineer as you would be dramatically reducing shear capacity of your endwall.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you know any pole barn movers in central Illinois? Have a 52×100 we would like to move about 15 miles, ambitious I am sure. MELANNE in DAWSON

DEAR MELANNE: If I had to take an educated guess, I would say it will cost more to move that it would to build new from scratch. At 52′ feet wide, it would take every road being at least four wide lanes between start and end of trip. You can Google “house movers near me” to see if there is anyone in your area.

eHow.com and Pole Buildings

eHow.com: Discover the expert in you

Or at least how eHow.com promotes itself on the ‘net.

From the eHow.com website:

What do you want to do today?

No matter what’s on your list, eHow can help. With more than 30 categories that cover just about everything, eHow is your one-stop online resource for life’s challenges. Professionals in every field come together to offer expert advice, backed by the additional support of a can-do eHow community. Together, they’ve created a library of accomplishments online–and it’s available to you anytime, anywhere.

On any given day, you’ll find all this on eHow. And it’s free:

  • More than two million articles and videos
  • A supportive online community
  • A place to share experiences and get feedback

I’ve personally read numerous articles on eHow.com, covering a myriad of possible subjects. Some of the articles were actually informative and helpful enough to have allowed me to solve problems.

When it comes to pole buildings, frankly I would not rely upon eHow.com as being a source for solid information.

A case in point:

03-0924-02 DoeringThe eHow.com article, “How to Take Apart & Relocate a Pole Barn

“Disassembling a pole barn and relocating to a new site is usually safer and more cost-effective than attempting to move an intact barn or build an entirely new barn. When care is used, many parts of a pole barn are able to be used in reconstruction in another location. Although old posts must be cut off at ground level rather than uprooted and relocated, existing piers may be joined to new posts with braces that ensure a strong structure and in some cases even extend the life of the pole barn.”

Sadly there are going to be people who will actually believe any of this and take it to be true!

Let’s examine the facts…..

If the existing building is not nearly brand new, it probably does not meet current Building Codes (they change every three years, sometimes with dramatic consequences) and will need to be upgraded to meet today’s standards.

Moving the building from one jurisdiction to another? If so, the design snow, wind and seismic loads may be different at the new site than the old one. In some jurisdictions even a move of a few blocks can mean drastic changes in loads.

Any of these can pose undue challenges as well as extra costs in having to hire a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) to solve the problems of becoming compliant.

Safety – I am at a complete loss as to how the disassembly and handling of used materials could ever be safer than using brand new. No matter how much caution is used, pieces are going to be damaged. Sometimes the damage is going to be hidden – which could result in the failure of a member with someone on top of it (or underneath it!)

Cost – while there are some people who are willing to give away an old building to anyone who will haul it away, most people believe there is a value to their existing building (after all, it is less expensive than purchasing a brand new kit – right?). Even if I was going to give you an existing building – I’m going to require you to provide me with proof of insurance coverage while you take it apart. Contact an agent, insurance is not free.

Generally the labor to construct a new pole building is equal to about 50% of the cost of materials (some states are higher due to registration and insurance costs). It will cost every bit as much to disassemble – plus the costs of loading on and offloading from a suitable truck, trailer or both.

Cutoff the old columns at the ground?

Holes can be dug at the new site, backfilled with premix concrete and engineered brackets placed in each one to accept the columns from the old building. The quantity of concrete required, as well as the brackets – are not free.

eHow.com is a great resource for many things…..pole buildings, not so much.