Tag Archives: Pole barn home

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.