Tag Archives: Pole barn home

A “Man Cave,” A Quote Request, and Snow Loads

This Monday’s PBG discusses a “Man Cave” designed with SIP panels, a quote request from Texas, and what our snow loads are for our buildings.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Considering a monitor style pole building with RV storage in center and living quarters on one side (loft in rear of building only) When RV is not in the center garage it would become the “Man Cave”.

I am considering timber frame trusses in only the center section of the Monitor Roof (likely 14′) and sip panels for roof insulation above trusses. Would make for pretty cool ceiling!!

I have scoured the internet for plans such as this – have you ever encountered or see a plan such as this? SCOTT in CAMBRIDGE

DEAR SCOTT: The reason you are not finding plans is because it would be both very cool and amazingly expensive. I have investigated SIPs panels a few times and found them to be prohibitively spendy. I intend to add onto our post frame shouse next Spring with a similar roof system in mind. To get the look I am after, I intend to build glulam trusses with purlins above them, closed cell spray foam insulation and most likely corrugated steel panels on the underside of the purlins. If you are intent upon a design such as you envision, you will need to invest in services of a Registered Professional Engineer to provide structural plans.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am ready to build but I am in Texas. The plans were designed for traditional stick frame construction. Can you quote me from those plans? SOCRATES in McALLEN

DEAR SOCRATES: We most certainly can.

We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in your new home. Please email your building plans, site address and best contact number to Caleb@HansenPoleBuildings.com or call 1(866)200-9657

Thank you. A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will also be reaching out to you.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the snow load on the roofs of your buildings? KAREN in ALBUQUERQUE

DEAR KAREN: Every Hansen Pole Building is fully engineered to meet or exceed Code required snow and wind loads at the site the building will be erected upon. We have provided buildings designed for snow loads in excess of 400 psf (pounds per square foot). Providing us (or any supplier) with answers to these questions will assist in making your journey to a new building a smooth process: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/01/building-department-checklist-2019-part-1/ and
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/01/building-department-checklist-2019-part-ii/

 

 

 

A Future House, Eave Height, and Pricing for Horse Arena

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about an ideal pole barn to convert into a house, the height of the exterior wall with an 11′ interior ceiling height, how clear span affects the costs of a horse arena.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good Morning, We just put in an offer on land in Chattaroy, WA. The parcel number is 39261.0106.  Ideally, we will like to build a pole barn structure and then convert it into a house. I was wondering if you offered a service where someone could inspect the land to make sure it was buildable for this sort of structure. 

Also, do you offer a military and/or teacher discount (I work at DPMS… can’t hurt to ask, right!). We have 20 days to get the testing done. I appreciate your time and your response!
Have a great day! EMILY in CHATTAROY

DEAR EMILY: We have provided our fully engineered custom designed post frame buildings on virtually every imaginable type of building site in all 50 states. As Eastern Washington’s largest post frame building contractor in the 1990’s, my firm erected hundreds of buildings annually in Spokane County, many in Chattaroy. Unless you have a truly unusual circumstance, a post frame (pole barn) structure should be ideal for this parcel. We would recommend you have it permitted as a R-3 (residential) use structure so you do not have future challenges.

Hopefully your offer is subject to being able to pass a perc test for a future septic system, as if anything would be a stumbling point, this could be it.

Please reach out to me any time with questions.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: If my ceiling is 11′ tall, how tall are my outside side walls to the bottom of the eve? GREG in COLUMBUS

DEAR GREG: Depending upon your building’s truss span, in most instances a 12 foot tall eave height will get you an 11 foot finished ceiling. Here is some extended reading on this subject https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/eave-height-2/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I know the width of a pole barn has a drastic impact on price but does the increase in price go up steadily or are there certain widths that jump the price up more drastically?

I am planning to build a horse back riding arena and am deciding between the following widths: 60′ vs 66′ vs 70′ vs 72′ vs 80′

I know from 60′ to 80′ there is a huge jump in price (about $30,000 roughly based on the quotes I’ve gotten so far), but does it go up equally for each step up in size? Does being a multiple of 12′ vs 10′ make a difference? SARA in DAYTON

DEAR SARA: Our oldest daughter Bailey is a highly successful Walking Horse trainer in Shelbyville, Tennessee. She is having a new home constructed currently on acreage and had asked Dad to check out arena prices for her. I priced 60′ x 120′, 70′ x 140′ and 80′ x 160′ buildings, all with identical features. Surprisingly to me, they were all within pennies per square foot of being equal! Being as you are in a more snow sensitive area, I would suspect your pricing curve to have more of a gradual increase as spans increase from 60 feet.

In order to get some exact figures, a Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be reaching out to you. Our system has an ability to adjust column and truss spacing to provide a most economical design solution at any span. Meanwhile – here is some extended reading for you https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/the-perfect-indoor-riding-arena/.

 

 

 

 

Cost of a Pole Barn Home, Metal Trusses, and Rafter Connections

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about he cost of a pole barn home, the possible life span of metal trusses, and connecting wing trusses or rafters to posts on a “monitor” style building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to build a small pole barn home for $100K or less? KERI in ELM GROVE

DEAR KERI: Assuming land and utilities (water, sewer, electric) are not included in this budget then yes. Ultimately it will depend upon your tastes and how much you are willing to DIY. I have seen reports of DIYers completing their post frame homes for under $50 a square foot.

This article should prove helpful for you to start forming a budget of your own: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/07/how-much-will-my-barndominium-cost/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How long will a pole barn building with metal trusses last? ZACH in ONEONTA

DEAR ZACH: A fully engineered post frame building with wood trusses, built to match it’s plans should last longer than any of us who are alive on this planet will be around. With metal trusses, it will all depend upon if those trusses have been designed by a competent engineer, were fabricated by certified welders under strict quality control standards and are properly installed to specifications on your engineer’s plans. Done correctly, you should not have concerns regarding longevity.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: On a Monitor style barn, how are the mono trusses for the “shed” roofs attached to the inner posts? On a laminated post could they be notched into the center 2×6 layer? Obviously they would have to be sized accordingly. How are your buildings typically done? How is that for 1 question? JOHN in FRESNO

DEAR JOHN: Nicely done! Most monitor style barns utilize dimensional lumber rafters for spanning each wing, rather than mono trusses. Regardless of whether trusses or rafters, they are attached to each side of main building (raised center) columns, with blocking between to provide for a landing place for any roof screws landing between members.

 

 

Lofty Barndominium Ambitions

Lofts and mezzanines (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/03/a-mezzanine-for-your-barndominium/) are popular inclusions in barndominiums. Even though my lovely bride and I have a mezzanine in our South Dakota shouse, they are not often truly practical from an accessibility or economics stance.

Reader Devin in Porun writes:

“I’m designing and building a 42’x50′ pole barn home with 10′ exterior walls. Viewing the plans from the front entry on the long wall, the left half of the interior will be framed rooms and the right half will be a large open kitchen/dining/living room space. I want to have an open loft over the half of the building that has interior framing. I want to be able to stand in the loft for at least 3-5′ each side of center, roughly 6′ of head space when finished. What style/type of trusses do you recommend and at what pitch? Would you use the same trusses all the way across the house, or use different ones for each half with the same exterior pitch? I like the high ceilings over the open portion, but would like to minimize the ceiling height to avoid heating and cooling unnecessary space.  Thank you for your time!”


In order to have your greatest possible resale value, you should have any lofted space designed so as to be considered as habitable space. International Residential Code (IRC) Section R304.1 Minimum area. “Habitable rooms shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square feet. R304.2 Minimum dimensions. “Habitable rooms shall be not less than 7 feet in any horizontal dimensions. R304.3 Height effect on room area. “Portions of a room with a sloping ceiling measuring less than 5 feet or a furred ceiling measuring less than 7 feet from the finished floor to the finished ceiling shall not be considered as contributing to the minimum required habitable area for that room.” R305.1 Minimum height. “Habitable space, hallways and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet.”

This space will also need to be serviced by stairs, causing you to lose roughly 50 square feet of floor space.

Now, on to trusses – most prefabricated wood truss manufacturers are limited to building and shipping trusses up to 12′ in height. Allowing for truss top chord thickness, on a 42 foot span your maximum roof slope will most often be roughly 6.25/12. You can order “bonus room” trusses for this lofted area, and should be able to get 7’2″ from top of truss bottom chord to bottom of ‘cross tie’ (allowing for thickness of 3/4″ OSB or plywood subflooring and drywall for ceiling to attain a seven foot finished ceiling) in center 10-11 feet, with a maximum room width of roughly 14 feet. These trusses will come along with a healthy cost premium due to larger members required to make this happen and extra shipping costs. In your open portion, you could utilize scissors trusses to reduce heating and cooling as much space, while still giving a spacious cathedral look.

When all is said and done, you might want to consider a more ‘standard’ and economical roof slope of say 4/12 – and add to your ground level footprint rather than trying to gain expensive space in a loft. Keep in mind, this loft space is going to be difficult to move large pieces of furniture (couches, beds, dressers, etc.) in and out of without damage to walls or items being moved and it will prove mobility challenging (or impossible) for a certain population percentage.

Elevating to Avoid Flood Level

Elevating to Avoid Flood Level

Building in flood zones can be problematic, with one solution being to elevate to get usable spaces above high water mark. Typically jurisdictions and insurance companies want to get structures above 100 year occurrence flood level, however to error towards caution’s side can prove advantageous.

Today’s article has been sparked by reader MJ in DRAKE who writes:

“What is maximum narrowness and tallness a pole barn home/resort can be constructed? I am planning to build one on a narrow site that was previously flooded, and the prior structure was destroyed. I also plan to have the bottom floor just above the flood certificate level . Generally how deep into the ground are the poles placed, or are they bolted to a concrete pad? Was hoping putting them deep in ground would make them more flood proof and insurable. Was also considering having the area beneath the bottom floor serve as a drive through tandem parking structure. Has this been done?
Any other thoughts or factors come to mind, when considering my plan? Any specs or materials I need to be sure to include, like galvanized ?
Many thanks, for your thoughts and expertise as I research before buying the lot.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Narrowness will be determined by minimum width necessary for useful occupancy of your building. Consider shotgun houses, a one-time urban staple. “Shotgun’ references an idea if front and rear doors were opened a shotgun blast fired into a house from an open front doorway would fly cleanly to other end and out back door. Many of these shotgun houses were no more than 10 and 12 feet in width!

Height will be dictated by maximum column length of 60 feet, other than Code limits wall height to 40 feet, without sprinklers. An additional 10 feet of wall height can be allowed, provided appropriate fire suppression sprinklers are installed. Column depth will be determined by soil characteristics of your site, building height and climactic loads. Certainly having parking in an area beneath your first floor would be possible.

Top priority when considering your structure – to either have it designed by a competent RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect) or to engage a firm providing a complete materials kit package. The package must include engineer sealed plans specific to your building upon your location.

You can read more about stilt houses here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/stilt-houses/.

 

Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Converting a Barn to a Residence
Reader MARK in PORTLAND writes:
“I have a pole barn structure that was converted to a residence without a permit. The slab is 4″ thick with a 4×4 skirt edge around the perimeter. Since the foundation is a pole (pier) system, does the slab edge (non-load bearing) need a thickened lip to extend below the frost line (18″ here)?”
Mike the Pole Barn Guru pole responds:
slab edge insulationWell Mark, as I am sure you are finding out, an entire plethora of issues now exists from the conversion being done without proper permits. Your slab issue just being one of many.
Homes are now required (in most jurisdictions) to meet with energy code requirements. This means you are going to (at the least) have to be adding some insulation below the finished grade of your building. This will eliminate the need to have a thickened slab around the perimeter of your building – which would not only prove to be an added expense, but also a royal pain to install.
I’d approach this challenge with the Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation method, which you can read more about here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/.
It may take having a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) on board in order to plead your case to the local permitting authorities, who could very well make your immediate future a miserable one should they become angered in regards to the change of use without a permit.
Your building itself could very well pose some other challenges. Most often these come from walls not stiff enough (from a deflection standpoint) to prevent the cracking of any gypsum wallboard surfaces. This is an area which can be looked into by the RDP you are going to hire (please nod your head yes).
Chances are excellent the roof trusses in your building are not designed to support a ceiling load, so you are probably looking at needing an engineered truss repair.
The siding should probably be removed and reinstalled with a housewrap underneath. In the event a dead attic space has been created, the attic area needs to be adequately ventilated to prevent condensation. You can find out more about adequate attic ventilation here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/ventilation-blows/.

Build a Pole Barn Home, Hole Diameters, and Shipping to Ireland?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, my husband and I are looking I to purchasing a small piece of land and want to build a pole barn home on it. I’m envisioning 4 bed upstairs with 2 bath and a loft area and on the main floor a master bed with bath , kitchen/dining, great room at least 3 car garage . So you have anything that would be close to what I’m thinking? KELLI in NEW BADEN

DEAR KELLI: All Hansen Pole Buildings’ post frame buildings are custom designed to best meet with the needs of our clients, so in answer to your question – yes. We do not include the design of your interior rooms, however. Our specialty is the design and provision of structural members, which would include the building shell, and raised wood floors (including over crawl spaces and basements, second or third floors, lofts and mezzanines), as well as stairs.

Browse on line and look for a room layout which would meet with your needs and chances are excellent we can design the structure which will fit it.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What diameter of hole do I need for my posts? I am building a 22×34 with 10′ walls and a storage loft. CHAD in VALPARAISO

DEAR CHAD: In my humble opinion, the most important part of any building is the foundation. If your building has an inadequate foundation, it will result in problems forever. This is not a place to be penny wise and pound foolish – do it right the first time and life will be good.

The diameter of your new post frame building’s holes will be specified on the engineer sealed plans which came with your building. In the event you happened to end up with plans which were not designed by a registered design professional – hire one now, it will be one of the smartest investments you have ever made.

The determination of post frame hole diameter is based upon a literal plethora of factors. These include (but are not limited to) the soil conditions at your site, the depth of the holes (from the formula for embedment, the deeper holes can often result in smaller required diameters), design wind speed and wind exposure, roof snow loads, live loads from lofts or elevated storage areas, as well as the actual dead loads of the building itself.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible for your company to ship a pole barn house to me here in Ireland. Regards PAT in CORK

DEAR PAT: We can deliver our complete building kit packages to any major continental United States port city to be loaded into a shipping container. You would need to make the actual shipping arrangements with the freight company of your choice. Many will actually deliver the loaded container directly to your site anywhere in the world!

All buildings are currently designed to the International Building Code, which you would need to ascertain if this would be adequate for your local Building Officials. We would need for you to provide us with appropriate Ground Snow Load, Ultimate wind speed and wind exposure as well as any applicable seismic data.