Tag Archives: overhead doors

Rain Country, A High Water Table, and Door Options

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about any added features for “rain country” like western Washington, use of UC-4B pressure preservative treated columns in a high water table area, and the options of a sliding door vs a sectional overhead door in an RV storage building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do many people build Hansen barndos in western Washington rain country and if so what added features. Are to be considered in heavy rain areas. DALE in WEST RICHLAND

DEAR DALE: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. We have provided over 1000 fully engineered post frame buildings to our clients in Washington State, more than any other state!

There are some keys to success when building in any wet/damp climate.

Good site preparation is foremost. You want to have your concrete slab on grade to be poured on top of six to 12 inches of a properly compacted sub base, then add another two to six inches of sand or sandy gravel, before placing vapor barrier and any under slab insulation.

Building footprint should have a finished grade high enough to allow surrounding ground to be finish graded to slope away from building at no less than a 5% grade for 10 feet.

Building should have eave overhangs (12 to 24 inches) with gutters. Gutters should have drain exits at least 10 feet away from building.

Place a well-sealed Weather Resistant Barrier between wall girts and siding.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Going to build 2 pole barns on my property in Wewahitchka Florida about 15 miles from Mexico Beach. Water table on property is high and in a three foot post hole the water will seep and maintain 2 foot of water. Besides having a potential of hurricane winds what do you feel is best to withstand the water and winds over time for the supporting posts? Some I have read say wet set anchors are a pivot point not good for hurricane situations? Some posts in the ground not to weaken the post when blown by hurricane winds. Please inform best way and I am putting in for a quote from your company. ED in WEWAHITCHKA

DEAR ED: Embedded columns will be far more resistant to wind loads than bracket mounts.

If it was my own building(s), I would build up my site with compactable fill about two feet (compacted no less than every six inches) then sloped away from building no less than 5% for 10 feet or more. I’d then use columns embedded in ground.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am exploring options for a garage for my 33ft 5th wheel RV. My RV is 12.5 ft tall, so looking at a 14 ft high door opening. Door Width will be 12 ft total. I’m looking at dual external sliding doors vs. a large and expensive rollup door. Is there a way to seal or insulate a sliding door setup? The only sliding door setups I am familiar with leave gaps at the sides, bottom, top. I have not decided if I will go metal kit, pole barn, or a traditional 2×4 and truss method for the structure. Thanks ROB in HERNDON

RV Storage BuildingDEAR ROB: After roughly 20,000 buildings, I have yet to have any client wish they would have installed sliding doors, rather than sectional steel overhead doors.

Your downsides of sliding doors are many. They will only seal tight enough to allow your neighbor’s cat to get in (not to mention the mice being chased by said cat). They cannot be effectively insulated. While electric openers are available, they are not for those who are faint of pocket book (read more about electric sliding door openers here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/propel-electric-door-openers/).

Most importantly, sliding doors are not wind load rated. This can become highly problematic. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/



Secure Doors, Soffits, Wind, and Sliding Door Tracks

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about a secure replacement for sliding doors, soffit kits, a singular concern of wind, and replacing tracks for a sliding door.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I need to replace two 9.5 ft wide by 8 feet high sliding doors on my pole barn. The current doors are a wood box frame with a piece of siding. I am looking for something secure so I can keep tools and stuff inside. I also need help with a soffit question. Is there a steel/aluminum facing and soffit kit that I can use to make this easier without much cutting and metal bending work? CHRISTOPHER in GROVE CITY

DEAR CHRISTOPHER: If you are looking for security you should consider upgrading to sectional steel overhead doors. Sliding doors are not secure and do not seal tightly (as you have probably determined).

Metal soffit panels are available in 12′ lengths, both vented and unvented, they will need to be cut to width of your overhang, however properly installed, both cut edges will be covered by steel trim. Fascia trims are manufactured as an “L” with long vertical leg being height of your building’s fascia board plus 1/2″ for soffit thickness. Shorter leg will be 1-1/2″ with a hem. This will cover cut ends of your soffit panels as well as any exposed fasteners. Both soffit and fascia are available in a plethora of colors.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My only concern is wind…


DEAR DAVID: We are concerned about all climactic conditions, with every building we provide. This is one of many reasons we made a determination long ago to only provide fully engineered buildings – as it is an assurance to our clients every component and connection has been reviewed for structural adequacy.

Keep in mind, Building Code load requirements are bare minimums and are no guarantee buildings will not suffer severe damage, if loaded to maximum design loads. Codes are designed to protect human life, not necessarily to keep buildings standing usefully. I would encourage you to explore design wind speeds greater than Code minimums, as often they come with very small extra investments. We can design and have engineered buildings capable of surviving EF-3 tornadoes (wind speeds up to and including 208 mph).

Important with any design for wind, is an understanding of wind exposure. For extended reading, please visit: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have a 1970 Quonset hut on our property and the doors are the sliding doors. The bottom track for the doors are all bent and beat up that the beginning of the tracks and the doors won’t stay on their tracks anymore. The length of the existing tracks are 101.5 inches – and I need replacement guides/tracks so the doors will actually stay on the tracks when it gets windy and stop popping off at the bent end. Where does one acquire those replacement track/guides for the existing huge sliding doors. Thank you. DAWN in HARRINGTON

DEAR DAWN: You have discovered why ‘modern’ sliding doors use a bottom door girt with a slot, where as door slides open, a building mounted guide keeps doors tight to your wall. My best recommendation would be to have a machine shop fabricate up new bottom tracks – if you only have to replace them once every 50 years or so, it would prove to be a sound investment.

Overhead Doors, One or Two Stories, and a Wedding Venue

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about placement of overheads doors to accommodate an exercise pool, the cost differences of building a single story building or adding a 2nd floor, and a post frame wedding venue.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want a two car garage on a concrete slab adjacent to driveway turnaround area. I need either a double or two single overhead doors on that side. I plan to use one car space for a exercise pool. I would like the side of the garage adjacent to the backyard to also have a large door preferable overhead but sliding or other also may work. I see no such plans with large door or doors on the front and also one side of the building. Can this be done? Thanks. I have up to 28 feet available adjacent to 3 car turnaround area but would like to use 24 ft max there. I can go up to 24 ft deep on the side but prefer 20 ft max there. GARY in CHARDON

DEAR GARY: It is entirely possible to have either a double, or two single, sectional overhead doors on one wall, and another overhead door on a wall directly around a corner – provided overhead tracks do not conflict with each other. As an example, your building could have a 16 or 18 foot wide door on a peaked endwall and a single overhead door say nine feet wide on one eave sidewall 10 or 12 feet from front endwall.

Due to a plethora of reasons (lack of security, inability to insulate, not wind rated) I would discourage you from considering a sliding door.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Which is less expensive to building a pole barn house/cabin with a loft with two bedrooms & bath or three bedrooms or 2.5 bath all on one floor? LINDSAY in LARAMIE

DEAR LINDSAY: In almost every case it will be more costly to go up as opposed to out. With going up, you entirely lose space on each level dedicated to stairs, anywhere from 30 to 50 square feet per floor, depending upon width and slope of stairs, height of lower floor ceiling and even more of your configuration includes a landing or two.

Loft or bonus room spaces typically do not have full headroom from wall-to-wall, further reducing fully usable space. Having all living space on one level is also desirable from an accessibility standpoint – a loft area could entirely preclude any ability for a wheelchair bound person to access these areas.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking to build a pole barn venue for weddings. Can you help? LOU in BLOOMINGDALE

Monitor Barn

DEAR LOU: Hansen Pole Buildings has assisted clients from coast-to-coast custom design event centers and wedding venues. From simple to complex, we are available to provide you with a fully engineered post frame building to best fit with your wants, needs and budget. Please dial 1(866)200-9657 to speak with a Building Designer in regards to your proposed project.





A Free Post Frame Building Critique

A Free Post Frame Building Critique

I am going to offer a free critique of this post frame building.

From a design aspect, I wouldn’t consider investing in a residential (or residential accessory) post frame building without overhangs. Not only do they make buildings look far less industrial, they also afford weather protection above doors and push runoff or slide off away from walls. With overhangs building walls stay cleaner and large snow piles sliding off roof are far less likely to dent siding and overhead doors.

Enclosed overhangs, in combination with a vented ridge, provide for adequate air flow from eave to ridge to assist in preventing condensation. 

Note there is a very small space between top of overhead door openings and roofline. This means these particular overhead doors will need to have low headroom tracks in order to open. In many cases this precludes an ability to have a remote garage door opener. Low headroom also tends to not open as smoothly. Certainly it would be impossible to have a ceiling installed at a future date (provided trusses were loaded to be adequate to support extra ceiling load).

For virtually no extra cost, overhead door openings could have been dog-eared – a 45 placed in opening upper corners. This makes building again look more like it fits in one’s backyard, rather than an industrial park.

Look at wall bottoms. There is maybe two inches of pressure preservative treated splash plank showing. Due to this, when entry door landings or aprons in front of overhead doors are poured, to avoid having concrete poured against steel siding, there will be a significant step. There is also no base trim (aka rat guard) at the base of walls to stop critters from venturing in through steel siding high ribs.

It is very easy to see nearly every roof and wall steel panel overlap. When properly applied, these laps should not show. This is a craftmanship (or lack thereof) issue.

Missing from sidewall tops is any sort of trim. Even though steel siding and roofing is manufactured (in most cases) on machines with computer controlled cutoffs, there is some slight variance. This variance is going to show either at the base of walls, or at the top. By having trim at wall tops, any slight differences can be hidden.

Structurally – wall girts flatwise on column outsides on spans such as these fail due to not meeting Building Code deflection limitations. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/girts/

All of these items mentioned above would not be an issue with a new Hansen Pole Building. We seriously lay awake at night thinking of ideas to prevent clients from making crucial mistakes – we want to avoid you owning a building you will hate forever! 

Looking for a building done right? Call 1(866)200-9657 to speak with a Building Designer today – call is free and there is no obligation or charge!

Building of the Barn, Head Room for OHD, and Solar Panel Support

Today’s Guru answers questions about building of the barn, minimum headroom for an overhead garage door, and support for solar panels.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello! We found your website for pole barns. We’re still thinking about which option we’d like to go with, but we’re wondering if you also have a team that will do the actual building of the pole barn. If so, how much does that cost? If not, do you ever recommend a certain group to build the pole barn?

DEAR COURTNEY: Thank you very much for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Buildings’ complete kit package. We are not erection contractors in any state, our buildings are designed for an average person who can and will read instructions to successfully construction their own custom designed post frame building.
In most areas, fair market value for assembly is about 50% of what materials costs are.
Due to liability issues, we never “recommend” any builders. We can give you guidance or offer assistance in finding a builder, should this not be a project you feel comfortable undertaking.
When searching for a builder, follow this: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/07/contractor-6/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Minimum headroom required for 14 foot tall OHD. MARK in LaOTTO

DEAR MARK: A 14 foot tall overhead sectional door requires a minimum of 15-3/4” headroom. Add four more inches for an opener. https://amarr.com/commercial/service_and_support/track_details


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Are these (post frame buildings) strong enough to support solar panels? BRIEN

DEAR BRIEN: Provided you give us the weight per square foot of the panels in advance – most certainly! We can have your new post frame building engineered to support any amount of snow load, as well as any weight of solar panels, or other materials or systems you might want to either place upon, in, or hang from the roof system, and of course the building frame which supports it.



Building Over a Basement, an OHD Modification, and Interior Photos?

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about building over a basement, an OHD modification, and interior photos of one of our buildings?

Engineer sealed pole barnDEAR POLE BARN GURU: If I order a pole barn knowing that it will be built over a basement will the plans show how to install the floor or do I have to figure that out myself? I would really like the answer quickly if possible. Thank you. MARYJANE in MANZANOLA


DEAR MARYJANE: Our third-party engineer sealed plans include connections of all members we supply in your complete post frame building kit package. This would include how floor would be attached to your basement walls.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 18’s by 10’ tall sectional door and need to add a section to be at least 11’-6” tall for a new camper to fit. Trying to find a garage door contractor that can do the modification on the door. I will raise the header and cut the barn metal to fit new section myself. Just wondering if you have a recommendation on a contractor or an opinion. Thanks. RALPH in RAY TOWNSHIP

DEAR RALPH: Before doing a structural remodel of your building, it would be prudent to discuss it with your RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect) who produced your building’s original design. Making structural changes without their approval could result in voiding any warranty and, at worst, a collapse – just isn’t worth it.

Each sectional door manufacturer has a slightly different panel design. You will need to ascertain whom manufactured your door, then contact them and ask for a referral to dealers closest to you.

As for contractor recommendations, I just will not make them, as if there is a challenge in dealing with them for any reason, chances are I will get blamed – even if I were to tell you to vet them thoroughly.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much is the pole barn shown on the front of this website. Do you, have any interior pictures? https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/uploads/img_0_5c9bda48b8f54.png


DEAR WANDA: Thank you very much for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. As pictured, this building is $39,999. As we furnish only complete post frame building kit packages, rarely do we have interior photos, however you can configure interior walls wherever you desire, to best meet your particular needs.


Overhead Door Replacement, Building Instructions, and Strong Columns

Replacing and overhead garage door, instructions for a pole barn, and the use of “Strong Columns” in today’s Pole Barn Guru!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking to perhaps replace my 10 wide by 8 tall overhead pole barn door with a 10′-10′. Along with chain pull down. What options do you have or suggest. It’s nothing fancy. Thanks. Need the track or some sort of extension that goes with door as what I now have would be too short if I’m thinking correctly. BRIAN

DEAR BRIAN: Done right, this is going to take someone who can visit your site and do an analysis of the situation. Your best bet is going to be to contact a local to you overhead door installation company. The main concern would be how much room you have to go “up” for a taller door. You’ll need the proposed door height, plus about 15″ from the floor. 


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have a customer that is looking for installation of a 24×36 Metal Barn, we would like to inquire if you have any installation instructions. Thank you. JEAN PAUL in FORT MYERS

Hansen Buildings Construction ManualDEAR JEAN PAUL: Every Hansen Pole Building kit package comes with not only a two complete sets of engineer sealed site and client specific 24” x 36” building plans, but also our industry leading Construction Manual. Some example plans can be viewed here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/sample-building-plans/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What are your thoughts on the Strong Column by Strongway Systems? Very appealing that it’s adjustable height, has brackets for skirt and keeps the post out of the ground. I’ve read you auger the hole, place these (no need to pour footer), square, attach skirt, then fill hole with concrete and attach wood columns. JOE in PORTLAND

DEAR JOE: Strong Columns are no longer available, as the manufacturer has ceased production.

My personal preference is the low tech, lowest cost version – properly pressure preservative treated columns embedded in the ground.

For those who absolutely must have columns above ground (keeping in mind they will last virtually forever https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/), I would personally backfill the holes with concrete and utilize wet set brackets designed for post frame construction (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/05/sturdiwall-brackets/).

Maximizing Barn Door Width

Maximizing Barn Door Width for your pole barn.

No different than encouraging folks to construct the largest building which will fit on their property and be within budget, when planning your new post frame building, maximize the width of doors to achieve the greatest functionality for your barn.

Here is a case in point…..
Reader ELLENE writes: “Hello

We are building a pole barn to accommodate a medium size tractor and some smaller vehicles.  Now it’s time for roof and doors.

The width of the front is 19.5 feet from inside of pole to the other.  I want to keep that opening as wide as possible.

Can it be done using barn doors that slide from side to side? They’re telling me that it has to be narrower to frame in for the doors.. which means a narrower opening.  I’d like it as wide as possible.

I’m attaching a photo.

Can you please help…

Thanks much”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

As far as a “fit” a sliding door can be as great as 1/2 of the width of the wall it is being placed upon, without going past the edge of the building. Given 19.5′ from inside of column to inside of column, you should have about 20.5′ from outside to outside. This means you could have a sliding door as wide as 10’3″. For column placement, the columns on each side of the sliding door opening should be placed at the width of the door – from center of column to center of column. This allows for an overlap between the wall and the edge of the door.

If you truly want to maximize the width of the opening – consider going to a section steel overhead door. These have many advantages over sliding doors as they will seal much tighter, greater widths can be achieved and an opener with a remote can be attached for a fairly nominal investment.

Now I will make it tougher for you…..

Before making a choice as to what door type and width you will have, you need to have a discussion with the engineer who designed your building to determine if adequate shear will be provided by the remaining solid wall surface. It may be necessary to add plywood or OSB to the wall(s) adjacent to the large door opening in order to prevent your building from toppling in the event of a catastrophic wind event.

In the event you failed to invest in a building kit package which included engineer sealed plans, it isn’t too late to get an engineer involved and the small amount you will pay is well worth the peace of mind.


To Remove, To Replace, and To Design!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey Guru! I’m getting ready to build a pole barn and I will have to remove a tree. The tree is basically right in the middle of what the floor will be. I will be putting a concrete floor in and was wondering do I have to completely remove the stump or can I just cut it down below grade and cover it with dirt and gravel? MARK in BROKEN ARROW
DEAR MARK: Completely remove it. You do not want any sort of organic material to remain under a building site. Eventually it will decay, sink and if you have poured a concrete slab over it, the slab could fail any you could find yourself parked in the bottom of a hole in the middle of your barn. Stump removal is relatively inexpensive – and it is something you could probably do yourself along with a properly sized piece of excavation equipment.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have a pole building that had a 12’ X 12’ slider door that was recently damaged and needs replaced. Can you point me in the direction I need to go to get a replacement. We wanted to replace it with an overhead door but do not have sufficient clearance for our motorhome. JOYCE in FRANKLIN

DEAR JOYCE: Replacing a sliding door with an overhead door can end up being a near epic challenge as the opening sizes will not be the same. At the very least it will necessitate a custom width overhead door. Before you get too deep into the process, contact three local overhead door companies and ask each to come out to give you a quote on the door. They will be able to tell you what the maximum height is you will be able to get into your building (keeping in mind this may necessitate increasing the height of the door opening). Once this step is done, if you are not already over budget, run an ad on Craigslist under “gigs” best describing the work to be performed – which should include replacement of all of the steel siding on this wall of the building (otherwise it is never going to look right). I have no idea how large your building is, but could easily see this as being a three to five thousand dollar price tag before all is said and done.

Which leads back to – the solution might be to bite the bullet and just replace the sliding door with a new sliding door. You can probably get all of the needed components by a visit to the Pro Desk at your local The Home Depot®.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Storage for trailer 35 ft what is a pole distance set with 10 – 12 ft opening? TRACY in NAMPA

DEAR TRACY: I will have to read between the lines here and hope I am able to provide an answer which fits with what your question truly is.

For starters, if I had a 35 foot long trailer to get through a door, I want the opening to be about 12 feet wide. Going 10 feet wide appears to me to be risking some damage.

If the door is to be a sliding door, the space from center of column to center of column on each side of the door should be 12 feet. This will allow the sliding door itself (which should be about 12’2” in width to cover the opening and provide an overlap on each side.

For overhead doors, if getting a residential overhead door, the space BETWEEN the columns should be 12’1”, so as when the 2x jambs are placed on each side of the opening, the finished opening will be 11’10” in width. This will allow the overhead door panels to overlap by an inch on each side. For a commercial overhead door, increase the width between columns by two inches.


Let’s Cram Doors into an Endwall

There seems to be a propensity for potential new post frame building owners to attempt to put too many doors in a wall. While usually the challenge is trying to get too tall of a door to fit, in today’s article we will discuss too much width of doors.

Please picture this, if you will – a nice two car garage 24 feet in width. Now in my simple mind, I would be recommending either two 10 foot wide doors, or better yet, a single 18 foot wide overhead door. Why the 18 foot wide door? Because it gets rid of a post or post between doors which can become a potential target (especially for young drivers – sidebar to come) and it places the edges of the door (of centered on the wall) three feet from each corner, allowing for adequate use of the adjacent wall space.

Sidebar story – when our youngest daughter Allison was learning to drive she attempted to park our Chevrolet Tahoe in the left hand door of our garage. Due to space limitations, our garage has two nine foot wide overhead doors. Well, as fate would have it, Allie clipped the post between the doors with the mirror. Luckily, the Tahoe has those slick “fold back” mirrors. Unluckily, the mirror picked this day to not fold back and said Tahoe thereafter sported a nifty dent in the passenger side door.

Back to matters at hand….

Well aforementioned client wants two nine foot width overhead doors, just like my own garage at home. The trick is, he also wanted to place a three foot width entry door in the same wall.

To begin with, my opinion is a three foot wide entry door is just not adequate in width (are you noticing a pattern of me recommending wider doors?). I have previously expounded profusely on this very subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/08/four-foot-entry-doors/.

Anyhow, we now have 21 feet of doors in this client’s 24 foot wall. The center of the wall located three foot entry door takes 3’2-5/8” between posts. Each post takes up 5-1/2 inches so we have now chewed up 4’1-5/8” of wall. Each overhead door takes 9’1” between the columns to allow for the jambs on each side. Now 22’3-5/8” has been used up. At each corner we have a corner column and the column to mount the overhead doors to (can’t mount to the corner column as the sidewall girts are attached to the rear of them). These two columns at each corner take up 11 inches each. Grand total for those playing along is 24’1-5/8”!!

By narrowing each overhead door opening by 13/16” everything sold does fit, but in my mind it was a far less than ideal solution. With the overhead doors basically right against the sidewalls neither one is going to be able to be utilized for work benches or even hanging or leaning things against the walls.

Several things could have been done to improve the situation, however I will pick my top two choices.

Assuming the client was really excited about having the entry door centrally located on the endwall, increasing the building width to say 28 feet would have freed up the wall space which will sorely be missed. Even better would have been 30 feet in width with ten foot wide overhead doors.

My second choice, if 24 feet in width is all which will fit on the property, would have been a single 18 foot wide overhead door in the center of the endwall, and placing a four foot wide entry door around the corner on a sidewall.

Yes, either of these would have added slightly to the investment, but most importantly they would have multiplied the usefulness of the building for generations yet to come.

Swing-Up Post Doors vs Bi-fold Doors

Overhead Doors With Mullions- aka Swing-Up Post Doors

Chances are if something is unique, unusual or near impossible the request is going to end up coming to Hansen Pole Buildings – it is the nature of the beast!

Here is a request for something I have never done (or actually seen done in person):

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I took this photo off a website some place about 1-2 years ago before I went to Afghanistan.

Does Hansen Building sell these doors in the below photo with what looks like removable braces, or do you know anyplace that does?  I am building a hangar out in Arizona and need a door that is 40 feet wide by 12 feet tall, that will be insulated inside.

I noticed that you have a hangar on your website with folding doors.  Do you sell the panels and door hangars/tracks for that? STEVE in ARIZONA


DEAR STEVE: Your photo is of overhead steel sectional doors with removable mullions – also know as a Swing-Up Post Door. This example looks to have cables attached to the posts in order to lift the posts by hand crank, or motor. It is possible to have a motor, or operator attached to both posts, and each door.  If so, you would have to sequentially open the outer doors, open the middle door, exit the vehicle to pull the “pins” keeping the posts in place, then raise the posts. The option of two to three sectional overhead doors allow you to use a smaller opening at times, or the entire span when needed.  What you will find is that you will need nearly 30″ of headroom- top of door opening to nearest obstruction for the door travel and operators.  Therefor your 12′ high opening will need a 14’6″ ceiling height to accommodate a swing-up post door option. What that means is a taller building with added costs to the structure. You are possibly going to find this particular option to be relatively expensive and somewhat inconvenient.  Your local garage door company should be able to get you a price quote on them or you can visit https://happydiyhome.com/new-garage-door-cost/ to get some pricing ideas. Raynor’s TC Series https://www.raynor.com/products/tc-series.cfm and Overhead Door Co https://www.overheaddoor.com/commercial-doors, each build this type of door.

The folding doors were custom made by a company in New York, which appears to no longer be in business. For an insulated building, it is doubtful they would have been satisfactory, as they are not designed to provide an air tight seal. A benefit to this type of door, installed on an end wall, is that you do not lose any of you headroom to the track/operator system.  Though you can see in this picture, you do lose a similar amount of space on a sidewall.

My personal preference would be bi-fold up doors. I would suggest a call to Mike Schweiss at Schweiss Door (800)746-8273 www.bifold.com. We’ve had an innumerable number of our clients put their doors on our buildings and have yet to hear any negative feedback.

Scissors Trusses in Post Frame Buildings

Scissors Trusses in Post Frame Buildings

I’ve written previously about Henry Getz, of Morton Buildings (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/06/origins-colored-steel/), however there are reasons other than pre-painted steel roofing and siding which the post frame industry should thank Henry for.

Beyond color, Henry also introduced the raised-chord (scissors) truss to the post frame industry, which allowed a taller end door on the very popular machine-storage buildings. This option is offered by nearly all builders today.

To begin with, what is a scissors truss?

The 4th edition of the Dictionary of Architecture and Construction offers this definition: “A scissors truss is a kind of truss used primarily in buildings, in which the bottom chord members cross each other, connecting to the angled top chords at a point intermediate on the top chords’ length, creating an appearance similar to an opened pair of scissors. Scissors trusses are used almost entirely in building construction to support a pitched roof, where a sloping or raised ceiling surface is desired.”

For some reason, farmers in the Midwest United States have had a proclivity to place very tall doors, in shorter sidewalled buildings.

Let’s take a look at an example – a 14’ eave height building, with a 14’ tall overhead sectional door in the center of an endwall. The overhead door needs to be able to open and “park” beneath the roof trusses. Typically (depending upon overhead door manufacturers and model) the door hardware is going to require somewhere around 16 inches of clearance below the trusses. As a general rule of thumb, at least a foot should be allowed for the thickness of the roof system and a nominal four inch thick concrete slab.

With a standard straight (or flat) bottom chord truss, an eave height of at least 16’4” would be needed to fit the door in.

However, on a 14 foot eave 60 foot width building, with a 20 foot wide overhead door, if the truss bottom chords had a slope of 1.5/12 or greater the door and its hardware would fit.

There are some downsides to consider….

Scissors trusses are going to be more expensive than standard trusses of the same span, slope and load carrying capacity. Why? Because a portion of the strength of the truss is due to its depth – when the interior slope is increased, the truss has less “meat” left to carry the imposed loads. As a general rule of thumb, the scissor truss will be 15 to 30% more expensive than a standard truss.

While the taller overhead door may now fit under the pitched bottom chord, drive a tall and expensive piece of machinery too close to the sidewall and expect to hear a nasty slapping sound as the trusses are run into.

In most cases, your new post frame building will be more economical (and have more cubic feet of usable space) with a taller eave height, rather than trying to utilize scissor trusses.

Should You Choose Sliding or Overhead Doors for Your Pole Barn?

Overhead door pole barnOne of the many decisions you’ll need to make when choosing a customized pole barn is the door type. You can opt for either an overhead door that raises up or a sliding door that pushes from left to right (or vice versa) – so what’s the better choice?

The sliding versus overhead door decision really comes down to what you plan to do with your pole barn. If you’re going to use it for purely agricultural purposes, a sliding door (or multiple sliding doors) can be a good option. However, if you’re planning a commercial or residential use pole barn, we recommend an overhead door.

Sliding Doors for Agricultural Applications

Pole barn sliding doors have long been the most popular choice for agricultural buildings, machinery workshops, and airplane hangars. This exterior door type works well for oversized equipment (such as combines, farm trucks, and airplanes) that wouldn’t be able to fit through a standard overhead door. Having sliding doors in your pole barn also gives you more interior clearance, since you don’t have to worry about installing overhead door tracks.

In addition to being used for machinery storage buildings, sliding doors are also sometimes used on horse barns, since they are cheaper than Dutch doors. Modern sliding door tracks are also incredibly low maintenance, since they’re designed to be self-aligning, self-cleaning, and self-lubricating.

Steel sliding doors are designed to stand up to just about anything you throw at them, including bad weather, animal contact, and even accidental machinery contact. That being said, they don’t create as tight a seal as an overhead door and aren’t as secure against theft. This is why we typically only recommend sliding doors for pole barns that will be used for purely agricultural purposes.

Overhead Doors for Residential and Commercial Use

When it comes to non-agricultural pole barn uses, overhead doors are usually your best bet. Overhead doors create a tighter seal, which protects against both theft and the elements. Unlike sliding doors, overhead doors can also be outfitted with electronic openers. If you plan to use your pole building as a garage and you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re driving home in the rain or snow, you’ll probably be pretty happy to be able to open the door with the click of a button rather than getting out and pushing it open manually.

While some people worry that overhead pole barn doors will be considerably more expensive than sliding doors, the smaller sizes are actually comparable. Larger overhead doors may be slightly more expensive, but many pole building owners decide that the slightly higher cost is worth the added security and convenience.

Overhead doors can also be designed to accommodate fairly large vehicles and equipment. Commercial overhead doors come standard up to 24’ in width, and 26’ or 28’ wide doors are available, but require a special manufacturer’s quotation. Standard overhead doors are 14’ tall, which is high enough to accommodate any vehicle of highway legal height.

Still Not Sure What Door to Choose?

If you’re still not sure what type of door to choose for your pole building, contact us directly. Let us know how you plan to use your pole building, and we’ll make a recommendation and even provide you with a free building quote.

Pole Building Door Safety

Don’t be the Next Break In

Sometimes the story is not the story and the misfortunes of others can be a lesson.

In this morning’s news:

“Police are seeking information about a break-in at a Wexford County, Michigan pole barn.

The incident occurred Monday on Boon Road in Haring Township. A side door to the barn had been pried open, according to police.

A large gun safe containing four firearms was taken from the pole barn. The firearms included a .22 caliber rifle, a .357 caliber revolver and a shotgun. The safe also contained a large amount of silver 50 cent pieces.”

In general, for most people, the concept behind owning a new pole (post frame) building is to protect possessions of value. We have stuff which we want to keep from being damaged by the elements or permanently borrowed.

The morning news (above) gives just one of many examples of a case of a permanent borrow.

There are ways to minimize the potential for your new building being the next break in which appears in the news –

We are as yet unaware of a case where anyone has pried open a sectional overhead door to gain access for burglary. Even the best of sliding doors are subject to being able to be pried open. It is just the nature of the beast. Sliding doors (by their very name) need to be able to roll open past the adjacent sliding. When closed, this affords points which can be levered open – even when securely latched from the inside.

Commercial Grade Entry DoorEntry doors…..

This is where I see more penny wise and pound foolishness than anywhere else in building (today’s near worthless trivia – while this phrase is often attributed to Ben Franklin, credit is more aptly given to one-time Secretary to the Treasury of Great Britain William Lowndes).

How about saving a few of those Ben Franklins by picking up a basic entry door at your local hardware store for around $130?

While I am sure this is an excellent buy, if I am a burglar, I will spend about two seconds kicking this pole building door in as the wood jamb breaks. The upfront savings of a person door such as this, will not probably cover the deductible from your insurance when you are burglarized.

Commercial steel entry doors, with steel jambs don’t make it impossible to break in, but they certainly make a burglar think twice before they even try.

Please – if you listen to nothing else I have to say – when planning a new pole building door, plan to order doors which at least will keep the honest people honest.

Wind-Load Rated Garage Doors

Getting a quote on a sectional garage door? Or having one or more of them included either as part of a complete pole building kit package, or being provided by a builder?

Chances are good they are not telling you this story……

About a decade ago, we had provided a pretty good sized (60’ x 60’) pole building kit package to a client in Northern Colorado. Our client erected the building themselves and from the smiling face photos they emailed to me after completion, it looked like they had done a fabulous job!

Around six months after they finished the building, they sent me some more photos – their 12 foot wide by 14 foot tall overhead door had been literally sucked out of the building by approximately 70 mile-per-hour winds!

Dog Ear Overhead DoorHaving been in the industry for over 20 years and provided tens of thousands of overhead doors, I had never heard of such a happening, so I dialed up our overhead door supplier. After I explained the situation to him, he told me the typical steel sectional overhead doors provided by not only them, but every other manufacturer, had no wind load rating what-so-ever! I’d never heard of such a thing and was honestly totally flabbergasted.

Fortunately, our supplier was quite benevolent and provided the client with brand new replacement door panels at no cost. But it was certainly a lesson learned.

Wind loads are the forces or pressures which are exerted on a structure and the components which make up the structure (like garage and entry doors, windows, etc.) due to wind. These pressures act both toward the building (a positive force), as well as away from (a negative force, or suction). In most cases garage doors are the largest opening(s) on a building and are a critical part of the structural integrity.

Regardless of the version of the Building Code (IBC – International Building Code, or IRC – International Residential Code) the wind load provisions from the American Society of Civil Engineers design standard ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures are utilized for the calculation of wind-load pressures.

These pressure calculations are fairly elaborate and utilize numerous variables which include wind speed, wind exposure (B, C, or D), internal pressure coefficients, the shape of the building and mean roof height.

In order to qualify as wind-load rated garage doors, the doors are required to be tested for a minimum of 10 seconds to a test pressure equal to 1.5 times the rated design pressure for the door.

Some jurisdictions also require wind-load rated garage doors to be tested for wind-borne debris (read more at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/wind-rated-garage-doors/).

In order to meet test requirements the garage doors are designed and tested as a complete system. This includes not only the door sections, but also any struts, the track, brackets and supporting hardware. Simply adding reinforcements to a non-wind-load rated door does not necessarily increase the door’s wind resistance.

Crucial to the wind resistance of any garage door system is either locks or a garage door operator to keep the door closed.

What happens if the garage door fails? In many cases the wind pressures on the inside of the building are dramatically increased, which can result in catastrophic failure of some or all of the building.

When in doubt – do it right, specify wind-load rated garage doors.

Wood Grain Steel Overhead Doors

As a Wayne Dalton overhead door dealer, Hansen Pole Buildings now has new design options to offer to our valued clients. Thanks to recent enhancements, in several of their garage door lines, Model 8300 doors, part of Wayne Dalton’s Classic Steel line, now offer realistic Walnut and Golden Oak wood-grain color finishes in the Sonoma design.

Wood Grain Overhead DoorsMimicking the look and feel of wainscoting, the Sonoma design is available on the Model 8700 Specialty Vinyl line and offered nationwide on Models 8000, 8100 and 8200, also part of the Classic Steel line.

“The Sonoma design has become a popular choice for building owners who understand the importance of enhancing curb appeal,” said Ali Isham, brand manager for Wayne Dalton. “Plus, more consumers are in the market for a wood-door look to complement their home. The new wood-grain color finishes on the Model 8300 meet this demand but without the maintenance a traditional wood door requires.”

The Sonoma design on the Model 8300 incorporates five vertical stiles and a faux wood-grain aesthetic which is attractive and what many homeowners are looking for in a garage door. At the same time, the introduction of the Sonoma design to the Model 8700 gives pole building owners, looking for a low-to-no maintenance vinyl line, more options for enhanced style and curb appeal.

Additionally, we can now offer nationally the option for the Sonoma design on the Classic Steel Models 8000, 8100 and 8200, which were previously available to our West Coast customers only.

Model 8300 doors feature embossed, high tensile steel panels, giving the look of wood with the strength of steel. The two-coat, baked-on polyester finish is virtually maintenance-free. This finish also makes an excellent base, if repainting to another color.

The foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation is chemically bonded to each steel section, creating a structure with higher strength and dent resistance. Heavy-gauge steel wraparound end caps trim-out door edges for better appearance, improved strength and protection of the insulation from damage.

Important! The Model 8300 is available in wind loaded models.

For more information on wind rated overhead doors please see: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/wind-rated-garage-doors/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/10/bracing-garage-doors/

Sound-absorbing insulation makes the door operate quieter and reduces wind rattle. Hot-dipped galvanized vertical supports add strength and durability.

SilentGlide™ nylon rollers with solid steel shafts provide years of smooth, quiet and dependable operation.

Being green important? Insulated overhead doors improve energy efficiency!

The R-11 polyurethane insulation is substantially more effective than the same thickness of polystyrene insulation. The thermal break between outside and inside steel surfaces helps interrupt energy loss. A bulb shaped bottom seal remains flexible even in the cold to keep out bad weather. The foamed-in-place insulation helps blocks outside noise from entering the building, while snug-fitting tongue-and-groove section joints seal out wind and weather.

Dear Pole Barn Guru: Garage Doors & Dutch Doors

Welcome to our newest feature: 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. 

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Which is more cost effective one large overhead door (mechanical opening) or one small and one medium garage door (mechanical opening.)?  Big enough for an f350 15 person van and a pickup to both get through. Yearning in Ypsilanti

DEAR YEARNING: Your van should measure right at eight feet wide and seven feet tall, so I would normally recommend a ten foot wide by eight foot tall door for it. While standard full sized pickups will fit through a nine foot wide by seven foot tall garage door, going to ten foot width, tends to keep mirrors on much better. A single door should be 18 feet wide by eight foot tall.

 Installed in the gable (peaked) endwall, with a clearspan truss above, the single wider door will be a better bargain. In the sidewall, a structural header will be required above the door, which (depending upon the roof snow load) makes the doors themselves pretty well a wash for price.

 One item to factor in – electric remote door openers. Two overhead doors, take two openers – the wider door, only one. In most cases, I am going to recommend using the single wider door.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I found your company on a review website and read that many customers were very satisfied with your horse barns. In the past, I have always used wood buildings, therefore the sides of the barn enclosed the back of the stall, and the dutch doors leading out to our pastures were also wood. When you build your barns, do you add a wood backing to the stalls and dutch doors? If not, is there another solution to the concern that a horse may kick the metal siding, or scratch themselves on the dutch door opening?

Thank you for your time. I am in the early stages of creating a business plan for a small horse facility, and LOVE the flexibility that metal barns allow for future expansion. Once I get a little further in the process I will be in touch to get a quote for a barn, arena and storage building to get the facility started. JAYME

 DEAR JAYME: Thank you for your kind words.

 Whether the barn is wood or steel siding, the siding should always be isolated from the stall walls. If wood sided, and not lined, it allows the horses to potentially kick the wood siding off of the framing.

 By using 2×6 tongue and groove select decking for the stall walls, it provides are rigid wall as well as protecting the siding.

 For Dutch Doors, my preference is always to go with an all metal Dutch Door, which is prehung in metal jambs. This takes care of the potential damage to the dutch doors, as well as the horses being scratched on the door opening.  Wood doors tend to end up hanging off the hinges in a year or two, and having to be rehung, repainted and usually…replaced.  The all metal Dutch Doors will appear spendy, but not when you compare them to replacing a wood door every few years