Tag Archives: nail-lam columns

Exactly Identical and 20% Less

Exactly Identical and 20% Less

There is always someone willing to sacrifice quality and/or service to get to a lower price. I have seen it over and over again for decades now.

Price shoppers, or deal hunters, seem to be most interested in the lowest price. Unlike value shoppers who are willing to pay more in favor of an increased sense of value, deal hunters will only pay less and are willing to accept less.

I had an interaction recently with a potential client from rural North Dakota, who is looking to invest in a new post-frame building for a garage/shop. He had received a quote for a similar dimension building from a large vendor who advertises they will save customers big money and their price was quite a bit lower.

In my humble opinion, this client really wanted to do business with us – he was a value shopper, not a price shopper. He did offer to share his quote with me and I found it to be interesting, as it was a multi-page list of materials, rather than stating possibly important things such as building dimensions, design loads, etc.

My goal has always been to assist clients to help them avoid making choices they will regret forever.

Below is my response to this client:

Thank you for your patience while I have gone through xxxx quote. Here are some things I noticed:

xxxx building is not engineered and there is no stated design wind speed or exposure, both of which are critical for adequate structural design.

xxxx is furnishing nailed up columns, with 22′ ones being spliced. I did destructive testing of steel plate reinforced nail-lam columns at Oregon State University. Didn’t work out as well as I had hoped – as the center member takes twice as much load as outer plies (due to nails from both sides going into center member) and failed every time.

They do not furnish posts for either side of entry doors

Their quote included OSB under roof steel, however screws do not hold in OSB and a 1″ screw would penetrate only 1/2″ into blocking between trusses, if added.

Their quote did not include wall OSB or housewrap.

Entry doors – builder grade, primed only, in wood jambs, as opposed to insulated commercial steel, in steel jambs, factory finish painted.

We used to buy overhead doors from Clopay (parent company of Ideal). Ideal doors typically have very low cycle springs and use nylon hinges as opposed to steel.

Our buildings utilize double trusses aligned with interior sidewall columns, to avoid the possibility of a single truss failing and pulling the balance of the roof down with it.

Ventilation should be intake at eaves, exhaust at ridge for best airflow. Endwall soffits should be non-vented and there should be no gable vents.

There is no Z trim on xxxx quote between wainscot and steel panels above.

Delivery not included from xxxx.

Attached quote is how I would want my own building…..

Commercial wall girts for insulation (2×8 on eave sidewalls), framing is included to be drywall ready. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/11-reasons-post-frame-commercial-girted-walls-are-best-for-drywall/

Trusses with raised heels, so ceiling insulation will be full depth from wall-to-wall https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/raised-heel-trusses/

Raised panel (not industrial looking ones xxxx quoted) insulated WIND-RATED overhead doors https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/

Roof steel with an Integral Condensation Control https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/integral-condensation-control-2/

Besides fully engineered plans, showing location and connection of every component, you get our 500+ page step-by-step construction manual and unlimited free technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings.

Will this potential client actually order his new building from Hansen Pole Buildings? There is a distinct possibility and if his choice is to invest elsewhere, at least he has hopefully gained enough insight to make an informed decision.

Titan Timbers vs. Nail-lam Columns

Timber Technologies Titan Timbers vs. Littfin Truss Nail-lam Columns – The battle continues

One of the exhibitors at the 2014 NFBA Expo was Timber Technologies, LLC of Colfax, WI.

Timber TechnologiesTimber Technologies is a full-line glulam manufacturer of Titan Timber columns and beams for post-frame buildings. Their Titan Timbers are straight, strong, reliable, easy to cut, screw and notch because of the glue laminating and finger jointing process. Multiple plys and lengths are engineered or designed for specifications with higher design values than solid or nailed columns. Titan Timber columns are .60 CCA pressure preservative treated in the region which is in contact with the ground.

To find out more about Timber Technologies and their products, they can be visited on their website at: https://www.timber-technologies.com/ or follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimberTechnologiesLLC

The loyal readers of this column may be familiar with the ongoing discussions between myself and Bob Mochinski, Sales Manager of Littfin Truss Company of Winsted, MN in regards to the strength values of glu-laminated and nail-laminated columns. Littfin Lumber Company started in 1962 and began as a supplier of building materials to local contractors and the general public. Their website can be visited at: https://www.littfintruss.com/ or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Littfin-Lumber-Co/157090240997823

For those who want to know more about Jack Littfin (one of the pioneers of the Wood Truss Council of America – WTCA), I found this article of interest:


Yes, I know, lots of background here, but I want readers to be able to form their own opinions of the columns produced by both Timber Technologies and Littfin Truss.

The discussions referenced can be viewed in the comments section of a prior article written by me: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/08/nail-laminated-posts/#comment-52247

Besides manufacturing their own nail-laminated columns Littfin Truss also happens to be a reseller of Timber Technologies Titan Timbers, so things start to become very intertwined.

Both of the owners of Timber Technologies, Tom Niska and Dale Schiferl, were at the NFBA Expo and shared with me their latest “toy” which should put to rest the arguments. I would encourage readers to sit back, grab some popcorn and view this entertaining video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91nUG_n4Hwk

Dale had emailed Hansen Pole Buildings with the link to the video, and here is an excerpt from it:

“Because you are a quality supplier and care about the quality of products you sell, we felt you needed to see the truth behind some of the rhetoric our competitors are putting out there.  

There are certain nail lam manufacturers that may be telling you and your customers that their product is stronger.  The basis for this claim is they do not plane the column after nail laminating it, therefore leaving more section equates to a stronger final product.  I was always told nail lams were difficult to plane because when a nail is shot into the cross sections of the lumber, it hits a knot and diverts through the laminations leaving it exposed.   These exposed nails are not planer friendly. 

After hearing this many times over the years, Tom and I realized this claim could be put to a test.  As you will see in the video, Timber Technologies has a piece of testing equipment used to determine certain design values of our final product.  This testing frame was used in an I joist manufacturing plant for the purpose of determining their design values, and we realized it would work nicely for this head to head strength demonstration.    We have always believed at Timber Technologies the strength of Titan Timbers comes from using quality lumber and the laminating process.  We thought you might like to see the evidence of this with your own eyes. 

We welcome all competitors to bring their best products to our testing facility; we welcome the opportunity to show our strength.  They don’t even need to bring a video camera, we will have ours set up and ready to roll.   We are also looking into more demonstrations against butt jointed and gang plated nail lams.   We will send out email links as these videos become available on YouTube.”  

The gauntlet has been thrown down, it will be interesting to see if there are any takers!