Tag Archives: plasti-skirt

Questions from a Future Barndominium Owner

Reader JASON in WINDSOR writes:

“What are ways to avoid a stone base for slab to protrude under grade board using a post in the ground or pier with wet set brackets? We want grass to grow right up to the building’s base rather than stone around the perimeter or stone flower beds. I don’t like the idea of moist soil on treated grade board. Also have questions in regards to fascia trim provided by Hansen’s kit. Tried to ask the sales rep and he couldn’t answer. With packed is the fascia trim two piece application? Meaning one that covers soffit material on bottom of fascia board and one that overlaps bottom piece acting as drip edge. In Kevin Hart’s build and kit review video he claims Hansen only provides one piece and it goes on after roof metal is on leaving wood exposed. I’m thinking he’s missing a piece or step. Lastly the infamous questions of spray foam on roof. Tyvek or straight to metal? Thanks in advance.”


Mike the Pole Barn Guru says:


For those reading along at home, you may want to grab a tub of popcorn and watch Kevin and Whitney Hart’s video review: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYGF1YY_yZQ

There are several ways to avoid having your slab’s stone base from coming out from beneath your grade board (aka splash plank). If this building is to be heated or cooled, you are in Climate Zone 4. 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires slab perimeter insulation for climate zones 3 and higher. This can be achieved by use of rigid board EPS (expanded polystyrene) R-10 insulation (and keep your stone where it belongs). Inside of your splash plank attach insulation boards so the top is 3-1/2″ above the bottom of the splash plank. You can then use this to screed your slab from. Climate zones greater than 3 require this to be four feet in depth, however you can go two feet deep, then out horizontally following https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/fpsfguide.pdf

Grade boards (splash planks) are pressure preservative treated to UC-4A requirements and should not experience premature decay issues when in contact with moist soil. We can provide Plasti-skirts to cover them, keeping soil away entirely. https://hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/08/plasti-skirt/.

On fascia trims, we’ve used a plethora of different variations before settling on our current model. We do use a one piece fascia L trim, sized so it entirely completely covers the fascia board, there is no exposed wood. With properly placed inside closure strips at the extreme downhill edge of fascia, we have never experienced water getting behind fascia L trim. We did try a shorter height L fascia trim, with an eave trim and found the angle of eave trims caused drip edge of eave trim away from fascia trim. When screws were placed thru eave trim to prevent this – eave trims puckered out away from fascia trim between screws.

Closed cell spray foam is best applied directly to roof or wall steel. https://hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/04/spray-foam-insulation-3/

Please reach out to me any time with questions.

Bare Splash Planks

Oh What to do About Bare Splash Planks

Pole Building ShopMost people rarely notice or pay attention to splash planks (skirt boards) below their post frame (pole building) siding. They are so far below eye level frankly most people just do not notice them!

Reader TOOD in SPRINGFIELD worries about them. He writes:

“Hi there, 

I called the Hansen number and the lady told me I could ask a question in here for a quick response. I wanted to ask, on the finished Hansen buildings, the bottom of the building is exposed—there’s just the wood trim there. You would think there would be some metal trim over top… not just for appearance reasons but to protect the wood. I believe the wood is pressure treated, which I know lasts awhile but it would start to warp/crack over time. I don’t think Hansen would put trim over it, but do you think it would help if I added metal trim over it at a later date? I know the metal would have moist soil up against it a little at the base, so I don’t know if that’s ok. I’m just trying to protect it long term (30+ years). Would it be better to push dirt or gravel against it to cover it up or would it not matter either way? The downside to gravel is I’d have to buy it but also weeds would grow up through it, so it would be more maintenance over time to get rid of the weeds. Anyway, I’d really appreciate your input on all of this and I really appreciate your time. Thanks! Todd”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru answers:

Around the bottom of any properly designed post frame (pole building) there should be exposed four to six inches of pressure preservative treated splash plank. In our case, splash planks are treated to a minimum UC-4A standard, making them acceptable and appropriate for a lifetime of use in contact with ground. This exposed treated wood is ideal for pouring aprons, landings, sidewalks and driveways against and it keeps concrete from being in contact with your building’s steel siding and trims, as either of them will decay with direct contact to chemicals in concrete. You want to avoid having soil or gravel against steel as it will rust. If you feel it imperative to cover your splash planks, we can provide vinyl plasti-skirts to cover them (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/08/plasti-skirt/).

Concrete Apron Around a Pole Barn

Concrete Apron Around A Pole Barn

My lovely bride and I live in a post frame (pole barn) home along South Dakota’s Lake Traverse. Long time loyal readers of this column have seen photos of it more than once. For those who have missed out, our home was featured on NFBA’s (National Frame Building Association) Post-Frame Building Design Manual (second edition) cover: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/03/post-frame-building-3/

Along our home’s west eave side are a steel-sectional overhead garage door as well as two entry (person) doors. A three foot width concrete apron has been poured along most of this wall, from pressure preservative treated splash plank (skirt board) out, serving as a sidewalk. In front of entry doors, sidewalk width at three feet was also adequate to meet with building code requirements for egress door landings https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/landings/ .

Only issue I have had with our sidewalk – finisher neglected to slope finished concrete surface away from building wall! While it may appear self-evident to have had a slope, remember our average contractor’s level of education.

Reader JOE in NORTH PLATTE has been pondering a concrete apron around a future building. Joe writes:
“Hello pole barn guru. We are planning to build a 50×80 insulated ag shop. We are contemplating pouring a 24” apron around the entire building. The cement would be sloped away from the building so water would run away. Do you think this is a good idea for some added protection from deterioration of the skirt board? I don’t know if the cement against the skirt board would help protect the skirt board? Or would the cement against the skirt board hold moisture and be more likely to rot? It probably won’t be a problem in my lifetime but would appreciate your opinion.”

(NOTE: “cement” as used by Joe in paragraph above should more appropriately be “concrete”)

Pole Barn Guru writes:
Sounds like an expensive proposition. I would only do it if you either like this look, or were going to increase width to three feet so it could be a functional sidewalk. If your concern would be skirt board (splash plank) longevity you might be better off and money ahead to invest in Plasti-skirts (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/08/plasti-skirt/) and can be provided along with your post frame building kit materials.

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