Tag Archives: pole barn sliding doors

Pole Barn Savings Part II

Eight Nifty Tricks to Save Money When Building a Pole Barn (reprised)

This is Part II of a two part series on pole barn savings through material and feature choices. Bret Buelo of Wick Buildings® wrote an article by this title last year, some of the items I agree with, some not so much. This is my “take” on his points. If you missed the first part – back up one day and read the first 4 points. To continue…

Hanger Sliding Door“5. Install a sliding door. They’re less costly than overhead garage doors or hydraulic doors for equipment access doors that you don’t use frequently.

And today’s slide doors, even large ones, are much easier to open and close than your Dad’s old slide door due to improvements in tracks, trolleys, materials and construction techniques.”

While sliding door systems have improved immensely, for most people the lack of convenience and security does not outweigh the savings. For horse barns or purely agricultural structures, they might very well be the best solution. As for cost, relatively small sized overhead doors can actually be less expensive than sliding doors. Overhead doors can also be provided as insulated and electric operators are reasonably added. For those in snow country, having to shovel the snow away for those frozen door tracks on a sliding door is still an obstacle, while an overhead door rolls right up the tracks.

“6. Use DripStop for condensation control. To prevent condensation from forming or dripping on high-end equipment, purchase DripStop.

It’s not an insulation, yet it effectively controls condensation in non-insulated buildings. It works well for mini warehouses, animal confinement or any cold-storage building in which you wish to deter moisture from dripping on your stuff.

DripStop can potentially save you thousands of dollars in comparison to using ceiling insulation.”

Steel roofing is prone to issues involving condensation. DripStop is not going to be as cost effective (from a material only standpoint) as reflective insulation: (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/reflective-insulation/).

Where the savings is going to come from is in labor, read more about this here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/07/condenstop/

“7. Choose an interior liner system over a drywall finish. A good tip for many buildings; adding a steel flushwall liner system interior to your building can be much less expensive than finishing your building with drywall.

You’ll get a durable interior without all the hassle of hanging and finishing drywall.”

I am going to disagree with this design solution entirely. Ever try to hang a cabinet or a shelf on walls with a steel liner? And steel liner ceilings have some of their own issues: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/08/steel-liner-panels/

As to costs, I checked today’s prices at The Home Depot® where ½” USG Sheetrock® is 27 cents per square foot. Steel liner panels 95 cents per square foot. I’d really like to see where the savings is in his argument.

“8. Weigh your options on soundproofing materials. Some people will install a sound-absorbing ceiling material, but that isn’t always the most cost-effective option to reduce noise.

A perforated steel liner with insulation behind it can be a better way to reduce noise, especially in commercial and shop environments.”

From over 16,000 buildings of experience, sound-absorption is way down the list of priorities. In only a single case have I been involved in a project with perforated steel liner panels. It happened to have been specified by an architect who didn’t know better (most possibly it was a result of being influenced by a particular builder who pushed the product). It was to be installed over 7/16” OSB, in a situation which would often result in the liner panels being hosed down with water…..which would go through the perforations…..getting the OSB wet. Anyone other than me seeing potential problems with this as a design solution?

In a future article – I’ll highlight some of my own pole barn savings “tricks” and advice for a new post frame building. Stay tuned!

Where to Place a Sliding Door?

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: Father and I are getting ready to build a 24×36 pole barn and while discussing the layout we were both wondering about sliding door placement. Visualizing the barn we would like a 12′ door or so on left side of the 36′ wall where sliding it to the right would open it (with one directly across on opposite wall so we could drive through if needed). Our question is how close to the corner of the barn should we put the door? Is it common to have door go all the way to the corner, basically where a latch could go onto the 24′ wall or is it common practice to have the door be x feet away from 24′ wall?

Very rarely if ever will a truck or car be in there (mower, 4 wheelers) so leaving space for doors to open won’t be an issue and plus if door goes all the way to corner would allow more space inside for a longer work bench along the wall.

Any recommendations? Thanks LOCATING IN LANSING

DEAR LOCATING: Typically the 36 foot sidewall of a pole building will be three “bays” each being 12 feet wide. Other than for small sliding doors for animals (think horses), my recommendation is to make the doors as wide as possible without having to relocate a structural column – in your case 12 feet. You can put the door in one of the 12’ end bays (at a corner) to leave 24’ for a long workbench. The door would then slide over the 24’ section.

The only differences in hardware for a 12 foot wide door as opposed to a door of eight, nine or 10 feet in width is length of the sliding door track itself and the steel door horizontals. In most cases the cost will be less than having to purchase an extra pressure treated post to make the opening narrower.

You might never need the extra door width yourself, but the next owner of the building might.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi there. I’m considering building a pole building house in Ferry County, WA.  I see on your website that you recommend posts being buried, and then the concrete floor being poured after posts are all in ground.  Is this method allowed for pole barn houses in Washington State, or would you need to pour a slab foundation and install posts on top of slab?

I am trying to learn the process, so I can explain it thoroughly to my wife.  We are looking at building the house as a vacation/future retirement home.

Also, do you build in Eastern Washington? WONDERING IN WASHINGTON

DEAR WONDERING: Regardless of where a pole barn house will be located anywhere in the United States, properly pressure preservative treated columns can be embedded into the ground to support the building. There is no Code related reason which dictates the columns must be placed on top of a slab. This is our preferred method, although we can also design to place columns on top of a foundation with brackets, if this is what the client wishes.

And – Hansen Pole Buildings does not construct buildings anywhere, we provide complete pole building kit packages, which hare designed to be constructed by the average person who can and will read instructions. For those who do not desire to assemble themselves, installers can usually be found for about ½ of the cost of the materials.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m looking to build a 40x80x12  pole barn next year and I am trying to nail down some possibilities before I get too far into of the realm of wants vs cost efficiencies.   I would like to have a portion of the barn living space and the rest garage. Local building inspectors have given me the green light to purse this thankfully.

My basic plan is to insulate with closed cell foam insulation in the living space and a radiant barrier (for now) in the garage area.  I do have quite a few window openings planned for the living area.  Does this cause any issues with your package?  I don’t mind moving things around for post spacing or adding in my own framing but did not know if this was acceptable with your sidewall and endwall designs.

The plan for interior finishes is simple but with a metal panel ceiling attached to the bottom of the roof purlins.  For that reason I like the look of exposed steel trussed in the living space.   Is it possible for you all to design around this as well?  At most the living space is 30×40 on one end.  For the garage area, wood trusses are more than suitable.  This is more of a look I am just trying to achieve more than structural.    Thanks.  WONDERING IN WHITTIER

DEAR WONDERING: Usually window openings are not going to detract structurally, unless you have a large number of them in the same endwall. Sidewall window openings are usually not an issue, as sidewall shear loads are much smaller than those on endwalls.

Others have experienced some challenges with using steel liner panels for ceilings. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/08/steel-liner-panels/

We do not use steel trusses in our buildings – the biggest issues being very few steel truss manufacturers are able to provide engineer sealed drawings for them, nor are the able to generally meet the strenuous third party inspection requirements mandated by the Building Codes. Over the years, I’ve had many clients leave wood trusses exposed – with some painting or staining and varnishing them to achieve the aesthetic look they were after.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Dear Guru: Did I Get the Right Trusses?

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: I need to confirm that I was shipped the correct trusses for finishing out the ceiling.

On the plan drawings the ceiling joist are called out as 2×4’s on 24 inch center but are drawn with 2×6 bottom chords on the trusses.

The trusses I received are entirely manufactured with 2×4’s.  Is that correct? I know the plans state that the trusses are “Pre-fab trusses per truss manufacturer”, but do these meet the engineering design of my Hansen building and your engineering?

I read too in the plan general notes that the web design of trusses may vary from that depicted in the plans.  What I read on the truss manufacturers spec sheet I think they do but there are a lot of abbreviations and assorted alphabet soup acronyms that I don’t understand fully.

Thanks in advance, for confirming this for me. FLOUNDERING IN FINCASTLE

DEAR FLOUNDERING: The drawings for your building are done by draftspersons prior to the trusses being ordered and are merely a representation of the profile of the trusses, they are not meant to be an exact diagram of how any individual truss might actually be fabricated.

In review of the truss drawings provided by the fabricator, please note a box about 1/2 way down the page on the left side entitled “LOADING”. BCDL (bottom chord dead load) is listed as being 5 psf, which is adequate to support 5/8″ gypsum drywall, the ceiling joists and the weight of insulation.

These trusses meet the specifications of the building and properly installed should provide a sturdy roof system for generations.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I was just looking at your post from 2012 about the geothermal/radiant heating system you installed for your office there.  My wife and I are planning to renovate a barn on our property about the same size as your building and were looking to do something similar – radiant in an at-grade slab powered by geothermal.  I’d be interested in learning more about your experience with this, if you use any backup heating, how you are heating upper floors, what you do for cooling, and any other tips you might share.  We have a lot of space available for a geo field so I’d like to be able to get as much out of it as possible. IDEATING IN IOWA CITY

DEAR IDEATING: Thank you very much for reading the article. The geothermal wells are actually maybe the easiest part of the entire process and I kick myself for allowing my HVAC guy to talk me out of doing them when I remodeled my home in WA 23 years ago.

I can truthfully say I am fairly unknowledgeable when it comes to heating and cooling systems. I do know the mechanical side of our particular system is fairly unreliable, which I fault the company which did the original work, not the process itself.

On the upside – the cost to heat and cool both floors is very economical. We own a double-wide mobile home across the road from this building which we always thought was fairly reasonable, but the barn costs are about half of what it costs to heat and cool the mobile home, and it’s over 4 times larger. We love it that the floors on the lower level are always somewhat warm.

We do use electric forced air to handle the air in the upper floors.

For real expert advice, I’d suggest contacting www.radiantoutfitters.com

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello,

I’m looking to install a Sliding Steel Door to fit an opening of 10 ft high by 12 ft wide onto my Man Cave.

The building is sided in grey vinyl.   What color options are available?

We get winter snow so would January operation of the door be affected??  Does it have bottom rollers or simply hang from the top?

Are these doors secure from vandals??

Thank you. LOREN IN LORAIN

DEAR LOREN: There are going to be some good things and bad things about sliding doors. Most people think of sliding doors as the first option, in the belief they will be significantly less expensive. In most cases, this is just not the case.

GOOD:

They can be sided with any possible material – including gray vinyl. Least expensive and most durable will be steel siding which is available in a wide variety of colors.

NOT AS GOOD:

They are not airtight – go with the assumption your neighbor’s cat will be able to enter your building.
They are not practical to insulate.
While they do have trolleys which hang from an overhead track, there is also a bottom guide attached to the base of the wall in the direction the door slides.
In all probability, in snow country, the door will probably get frozen in one position.
Generally I would not consider them as being secure from vandals – they will keep the honest people honest.
Electric openers are far more costly than standard openers.

In all probability your best option will be a sectional overhead door.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru