Tag Archives: pole barn builders

Wall Height and Footing size, Builders, and Post Frame Home Kits

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about footing size for a twenty foot wall height, finding a builder for a post frame buildings, and if Hansen provides post frame home kits.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you achieve wall heights of 20 feet and if so what kind of footing requirement do you need for walls that tall? KURT in DEER PARK

DEAR KURT: Our fully engineered post frame buildings can have sidewall eave heights up to 40′ (50′ with fire suppression sprinklers). Footing depth and diameter will be determined by our engineers based upon soil bearing capacity, column spacing, design wind speed and exposure, wall and roof heights, snow loads, dead loads and if there is a second floor or mezzanine(s).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am having problems finding anyone to work in this city. I am looking for engineering plans for a couple pole barn buildings I want to build. I am building in two phases starting with a cover bridge (not functional it is over a culvert) 20′ x24′ and a garage 24’x36′. Both buildings are 8″x8″x16′ post and metal trusses and roof. The garage will have a concrete floor and 2″x6″ studs that are 16″ on center. I also have a prefab 14’x40′ work shed. The pole barn house was to be phase II. I went to the county (Horry) to start the permit process and was informed that I could not get a permit for the shed or garage until the residence was built. I am thinking of calling the garage a residence to get around the wait because I am late in the loan process. Help! WALTER in MYRTLE BEACH

DEAR WALTER: Seemingly everyone who wants to work, is busy working – everywhere, not just in your city. Our engineers will only provide plans for post frame buildings provided by us, as they cannot ensure materials specified will actually be provided otherwise. We do not use or specify steel trusses, as very few are adequately third-party inspected or fabricated by certified welders. If you call your garage a residence, it may be impossible to later build another residence on your same property.



DEAR JEREMY: Absolutely we do!
www.HansenPoleBuildings.com is America’s leader in providing fully engineered, 100% custom designed, post frame building and barndominium kits, with multiple buildings in all 50 states. Your deliveries come from one or more of our thousands of shipping locations across the country (minimizing delivery costs) – so chances are excellent we are ‘close’ to you (as well as supporting your local economy)!

Your new building kit is designed for the average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell, without extensive prior construction knowledge (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), the industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in your new home. Please email your building floor plans and elevation drawings (even if rough or just photos), site address and best contact number to our Design Studio Manager Caleb@HansenPoleBuildings.com 1(866)200-9657 Thank you.

Don’t have floor plans yet? Hansen Pole Buildings can help! http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/

Scary Stories of Turnkey Construction

There are a certain percentage of folks who live in a dream world where hiring a Building Contractor to “turnkey” their pole building project makes life all good and happy. They hire a contractor to provide the materials, as well as the labor.

Back in my early days of owning M & W Building Supply, I provided the materials to a builder named Ken, for one of his customers. As required by Oregon Law, I sent out the required Intent to Lien notices to the property owner.

Some states require a “Notice to Owner” or “Intent to Lien” form to be sent by material suppliers to property owners. This notice is to advise property owners of who is providing materials to be used for improvements on their property. Should a notice be received, it is not a lien. The notice will include information which should be read and understood. To learn more about lien laws and notices, property owners should discuss with their contractor (if one has been hired), the material supplier, any appropriate state agency (usually specified on the notice), the firm who sent the notice, and the improvement lender or an attorney.

Now in the case of Ken, he didn’t pay his bill to us, so we had to file a lien on the property where the barn was built, in order to be paid. His customer had not paid attention to the information received in the mail from us, and sadly ended up paying for the materials twice!

According to a recent article by Craig Webb in Pro Sales Magazine, (https://www.prosalesmagazine.com/news/industry-trends/why-are-payments-slowing-blame-the-worst-customers_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PSBU021815&day=2015-02-18) in 2014 25.9% of contractors who were at least one day late paying their bills for materials fell into the high, very high, or severe risk categories as far as ever paying their bills!

25.9% is over one-in-four!!

As a future building owner, are you willing to play Russian roulette with a four chambered gun which has one live round?

When hiring a turnkey contractor who is providing materials also – you are taking the risk of the builder not paying – and you being stuck with the tab!

How to avoid this situation?

The easiest way is to buy the materials yourself, and pay only for the labor to install. This assures you of two things – the contractor didn’t mark up the cost of the materials and the material bills got paid for.

Yes, this means writing a few more checks. If it keeps you from having to pay twice, isn’t it well worth it?

P.S. And don’t, under any circumstance, give a contractor carte blanche to just order whatever he or she needs at your local lumber yard and charge it to you. If you do, anticipate the bills to be higher than expected and to be assisting to provision the builder’s tool chest or own inventory.

Learn more on protecting yourself from shady contractors: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/07/contractor-6/

Pole Building Kits: A Pat on the Back

If there is one thing I have learned in three decades plus of providing pole building kits, it is this – the hardest people to please, are builders.

This pat on the back, from a builder, was so good we felt the need to share the bruises we have from it.

Rachel, our most senior Building Designer related to me in an email:

I just got off the phone with John King who had purchased a pole building kit from us and put a building up for Mark in Plymouth Meeting, PA.  I had called him to ask if he would be interested in bidding labor on some other jobs in the area and this is what he said…..

Are you kidding…of course I would.  You have the best building I have ever seen.   The plans were easy to read and were absolutely fantastic.  The construction manual was right on key and there was NOTHING left out of that manual.  If I had to teach a class on putting up pole buildings, I would use your manual and teach it from there. The materials came on time and without a hitch.  The customer service was ABSOLUTELY fantastic.  This was the easiest building I have ever constructed and I would be happy to deal with your company anytime!!”

And this, my friends, is what motivates me to roll out of bed in the dark and be in the office at six a.m.

Say What? Find A Professional Contractor

One of the things I make myself available for is weekly individual coaching sessions with our Building Designers. In these sessions, the Building Designers can ask for advice on pole building design or features, discuss particular ongoing projects or share ideas on how to best serve our pole barn clients.

Every once in a while, up pops a subject out of the blue, which totally throws me for a loop.

Find A Professional Contractor

This morning, Bob starts off with the question, “What do you say to a client, whose builder tells him, if he (the builder) breaks, damages or misuses pieces of the building kit, that the client will have to pay to replace it”? The poor client was afraid he was going to have to purchase an insurance policy to cover this.

Before I could postulate an answer, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, and ask Bob to repeat the question!

Luckily, my Daddy raised my brother and me better than this. We were raised, as I am sure most of you readers were – to take responsibility for our own mistakes. In my years as a professional contractor, if I muffed something, there is no way I would have even considered having anyone else – either my client, or the providing vendor, cover the cost of my error.

This particular builder is akin to the girl who buys a dress for prom, then returns it the day after prom, expecting a full refund!

For the sake of this client, I can only hope he sends this want-to-be contractor packing and hires a true professional who takes pride is his workmanship, as well as his ethics.

Looking for a professional building contractor? Let Hansen Buildings help you with your search by calling and asking for a local builder or by using our online search for pole barn builders.

Cruising Forums: It’s Just a Pole Barn!

As a voracious reader, and someone who always wants to make sure they have their finger on the “pulse” of the pole building industry, I am always scouring for information and misinformation on the ‘net.

I recently read the post below. I’d like to have you read through it, and then I will give you my take:

“If you want to get the most building for the dollar this is what you need to do.

Forget about “brand names” it isn’t rocket science it’s just a pole barn. If you want fancy it will cost you a premium.

Not Just A Pole Barn

1. Make a sketch of the building you want, define all windows and doors, roof overhangs and roofing and siding materials. Make 8 or 10 copies of your sketch.

2. Take this sketch to all the big box building stores. If you have to drive 50 miles it will be worth it. Have them work up a material package price for you. Taxes and delivery included

3. Take the same sketch to all your local lumber yards for a package price.

4. Call your local independent (up to 100 miles away) pole barn builders, offer them a chance to bid on it also, breaking out the material and labor. Tell them you are sourcing material packages from several places and will buy the material and the labor from the lowest bidders. If you let any of them talk you into some cost saving material or plan revisions, make sure you pass the revised plans back to all your bidders so they have a level playing field. They can often suggest substitutions and or changes that can save you money.

5. Review the bids and award the work to the bidders you feel most comfortable with.”

Here is my spin….

“It isn’t rocket science it’s just a pole barn”, maybe to the poster, however the “rocket science” involved in creating a code conforming pole building takes well upwards of 100 pages single spaced of computer generated calculations. Believing it is “just a barn” and not having a thorough structural design check, leaves one wide open for failure and disappointment.

And “fancy” does not have to come with a huge premium.

How do you know what “building you want”? Is it based upon a guess? What your friend or neighbor built? Going to an experienced professional for assistance is worth paying a premium for. Your building should be designed to accommodate your needs both today and in the future.

The “big box stores” do not have people on staff who are pole barn or pole building experts. The “material package price” they work up for you, is probably not going to build your building for you – plan on having to buy more stuff to complete it, as well as having leftovers you paid for.

And the “local lumber yard”, while they are most probably really nice guys, they also are not going to be experts. In either this case, or with the big boxes, who is going to give you the advice your need, when you get stuck or make an error? Or want to make a change?

I agree entirely with getting material and labor prices divided apart when you talk with independent pole barn builders. Keep in mind, the builder is going to want to sell you on doing things “his” way, which may or may not be the best structural or most efficient solution.

Most certainly, if you change dimensions or features of your proposed new pole building, make certain to give all of the bidders the same opportunity to quote.

Going with lowest price? If you are a true price only shopper, do you buy clothes only at Thrift Stores? Do you drive a Yugo?

There is always a supplier or builder out there who is willing to do the job for a lower price – all it takes is reducing quality and/or service. Have a lower quote?  Let a supplier who you regard as an experienced industry professional review it. You may be surprised to find out all of the things which were left out of the “fabulous” priced quote.