Tag Archives: perma-column

Sturdi-Wall Brackets

Placement of Sturdi-Wall Plus Brackets

I am enjoying our client Dan who is in the process of getting started with his new Hansen Pole Buildings’ kit package. My educated guess is he is going to construct one truly beautiful building.

Dan has a great question, which I will share:

“So I went ahead and purchased the Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets (in concrete is the rebar) from Perma Column. Really nicely made.

 So my plan now is to dig, setup similar to what is in attached picture and get everything nice and level before hand. 

So what I’d like to do is set my piers all at equal elevation and leveled. Then, wooden boxes so they are square to allow ground girts to sit nicely. 

 Here is my dilemma. What height to set the piers to? If I set them 3.5” lower than my anticipated concrete floor, that means that I wouldn’t be able to tie my poles to my floor with rebar as shown in sealed plans PDF. Would it therefore make sense to lower the piers even more so that the bottom of the Sturdi-wall is level to the bottom of the 2×8? That would mean I am burying the bracket in 3.5” of concrete (I’d imagine if removed Sturdi-wall I’d have a square) but I would be able to tie the rebar to the post. 

 Does that all make sense? “

Well, Dan’s question does make sense and I believe I can make his life fairly easy.

Set the Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets so the bottom of the bracket and top of pier are even with the level of your concrete floor. Take two five foot long pieces of rebar, bent at a 90 degree angle with one leg into the encasement around the brackets, the other leg out into the future slab. This will accomplish effectively tying the columns into the slab and will keep the “business” end of the bracket above the concrete. It does take a little more rebar than running through the columns, however the net extra investment is minimal.

Not interested in placing your new post frame building’s columns into the ground? Your building can be designed for the columns to be bracket mounted!

A Pole Building Basement?

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: Do you recommend perma columns vs. treated posts? John in Shelbyville, IN DEAR JOHN: I just do not see the practicality in shipping a heavy chunk of concrete, with a bracket embedded into it, across the country. Plus, once it arrives, it has to be manhandled and properly placed into the hole.

Me – I will stick with pressure preservative treated columns embedded in the ground – and then do a mono-pour around them. Concrete has a binding value to compacted native soil as a bonus.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to build a pole building over a full basement and what special precautions would that entail? Beverly in Wayne, NE

DEAR BEVERLY:  I happen to live on a lake, which is nestled into a mountain valley. For the most part, the parcels of land around the lake tend to be very narrow and very steep (only so much lake frontage exists, therefore the narrow lots). In my case, the lot gains well over 100 feet of elevation from lake to back, over the 250 feet of depth.

 With the lake as my “front” yard, on the back of my lot is a pole building upon which the site had 12 feet of grade change in 40 feet. The solution was to excavate to the lowest point, then construct a foundation on the “high” sides. In my case, we used eight inch insulated Styrofoam blocks, poured with concrete – one wall being 12 feet tall, and the other sides appropriately steeped to match the land contours. Steel brackets engineered to withstand moment (bending) forces were poured into the top of the walls to attach the pole building columns.

 The direct answer to your question is – yes. Whether a full basement, partial basement, or daylight basement (the last being closest to my particular case), pole buildings can be attached to any adequately designed foundation wall. We prefer to use wet set brackets (those embedded in the concrete wall at time of pour) as opposed to dry set brackets (those attached to the concrete wall with bolts) for a sturdier connection, but either one can be used. 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I live in Ottawa, Canada and I am interested in one of your building kits.  On your site it states that I would have to pick up the kit at a distribution location in the US or Canada.  Can you tell me where these distribution locations are and what size vehicle I would need to pick a kit up? JEFF

DEAR JEFF: Thank you very much for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. In all likelihood the closest pickup point would be at Messina, NY. Vehicle size and capacity will depend upon the dimensions of the building which would best fit your needs. Once you get a quote on the building you would like to have, I would better be able to let you know what type of trucking is needed.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru


Dry-Set Column Anchors

I’ve always been a fan of the traditional pole building foundation process. Face it – it is fairly low tech. Most folks have the ability to dig or auger a hole in the ground, stand a pressure preservative treated column in the hole and pour ready-mix concrete under and around the base of the column to resist the applied forces.

However not everyone has this luxury – in some cases, an adequate concrete slab or foundation wall is pre-existing.

Along comes the post-frame solution, brackets such as the Perma Column drill set Sturdi-Wall (https://www.permacolumn.com/drill-set-models) or AJ Manufacturing’s Niagara Column Bracket™ allow for the utilization of existing concrete. By being retrofit products, they take away the possibility of error caused by concrete crews improperly setting bolts or brackets.

Properly installed Sturdi-Wall brackets do not have the ability to resist bending moments about the base, as they are a pinned connection. To share my moments read https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/bending-moment/

Concrete Bracket - Drill-SetIn order for the dry-set column anchors to function as designed, the pole building they are to be utilized in should use means other than the bracket itself to resist rotation. This is where the beauty of proper diaphragm design comes into play. Whether from adequately tested and fastened steel roofing and siding panels, or the utilization of structural sheathing such as OBS or plywood, the structural diaphragms can pass wind loads from the laterally loaded surface into the ground, or another diaphragm which eventually passes the applied load into the ground.

Sturdi-Wall brackets should NOT be used in a pole building which does not have adequate diaphragms, such as a roof only structure, unless the loads can be adequately transferred by a system of permanent cable X-bracing or similar.

Already have existing concrete? Then dry-set column anchors may be just the solution.

How to Save Money on Pole Building Kits?

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 or Saturday 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: Is there something I can do myself that saves me a large amount of money? I don’t have time and equipment to do it all but can do some. SAVING IN SANDY

DEAR SAVING: Many builders like to do either all or nothing, or if they do give discounts for building owners doing a portion of the work, the discounts given are generally not equitable.

If looking to save a large amount of money, the best thing to do is to construct pole building kits yourself. Even better – throw a ‘barn raising’ weekend or two, gather up friends and friends of friends and see how quickly you can have a new pole building!

Complete pole building kits, with plans specific to your project as well as complete detailed instructions which include diagrams and actual photos, make the assembly simple enough for almost anyone. As pole buildings require little or no specialized equipment, they afford construction without the need to invest in expensive tools – virtually anything not on hand can be easily rented for just the time needed.

I hate to say it, but the largest amount of money you will spend – will be in any labor you hire done. If you want a concrete floor – this is one place I’d recommend having “the experts” do it. But otherwise, from digging the holes for the poles to the last screw or shingle on the roof is most economically done, by the homeowner. Or the homeowner and “friends”.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking for advice on 40x72x14 pole building. Specs are .60 treated 3ply laminate 6×6 posts every 8′. Engineered trusses every 8′. Roof purlins with saddle joist hangers. Wondering about notching the posts in the field-assuming almost impossible to notch in the center so just notch the side? Do you lose structural integrity by doing this? What size footing do you recommend-thinking 18″wide hole going 54″deep with 6-8″deep concrete poured footing on bottom, post set on top of cured concrete (how long do you have to let it cure before placing post on??)backfill with pea rock. When I entered info into footing calculator I got 23″diameter and 9″thick for footing?? Considered using Perma-column(spendy)since Morton now uses them(why?rotting posts?)to avoid any wood in ground but as long as using .60 (not.40) should be OK?(maybe even Sturdiwall but have read this approach may weaken strength of foundation?)Any professional advice is greatly appreciated!! STYMIED IN SIOUX FALLS

 DEAR STYMIED: My absolute, unequivocal advice… you would be best served to buy a complete post frame building kit package which is RDP (Registered Design Professional either architect or engineer) designed for your climactic conditions.

If you are insisting on “going it alone” by seat-of-the-pants engineering, make sure to purchase adequate insurance and confirm there is no waiver of coverage for not constructing an RDP designed building.

Moving forward….

Hopefully you are looking at glu-laminated building columns. If so, they can be ordered with the top several feet free of glue, which makes them far easier to notch. In most cases, notching in from one side as opposed to removal of the upper portion of the middle ply will not adversely affect the columns enough to cause a failure – this is one of the calculations which would be done by an RDP to confirm adequacy.

Now, if I may ask, if you entered loads into a footing calculator and the resultant was a 23” diameter footing, how is it you feel an 18” diameter footing would possibly work? Without knowledge of your soil conditions and roof loading, my gut instinct suggests there is no way an 18” footing will work – 24” diameter – maybe.

Your proposed design has made no provision to prevent the columns from uplifting, and backfilling with pea gravel is not going to help the situation. Might I suggest the columns be placed suspended in the holes eight inches or more from the bottom, and then do a monolithic pour which would result in 18-24 inches of concrete in the bottom of each hole (and surrounding the column).

The probability of a properly pressure preservative treated column rotting off in your life time, under normal use, would probably be less than your chances of being a lottery winner. I see no true advantage of perma-columns other than as a marketing tool.