Tag Archives: pole building barndominium

Two Story House, Car Storage, and a Post Frame Basement

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about building a two story pole barn house, condensation in a car storage building, and how to build a post frame house with a concrete basement.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are wanting to build a 2 story pole barn house, it will have an upstairs loft. Would the standard pole footings support 2 stories, or would it need a concrete footing foundation, like what is used in a stick built home? NICK in FAIRBURY

DEAR NICK: As long as you construct your building from engineered plans, your engineer will have properly sized your building’s “standard pole footings” to be able to adequately distribute weight across your soil. We live in a multistory post frame (pole barn) shouse with a 44 foot overall height and it has typical embedded footings and has performed admirably.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 20′ x 40′ closed in pole barn that I use for storing cars, it has a ridge vent & the soffits & eaves are open to the weather, how can I keep the cars from sweating? BILL in EATONTON

DEAR BILL: You will need to reduce humidity in your building.

Use a good sealant on top of your concrete slab.
Install 2x blocking snugly between purlins overhanging endwalls (directly above end trusses).
Spray 2″ of closed cell insulation on inside of all wall and roof metal (leave eaves and ridge open to provide attic intake and exhaust ventilation).
Install a tightly sealed ceiling (no air gaps to attic).

Add controlled mechanical ventilation.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are potentially interested in building a pole barn home and have a few questions. Cost different from a traditional home build isn’t the major concern from us, we love the open rustic feel of a barn home. We would like to include a basement with the home. I read some previous blog posts and it seems like this is possible, however was wondering do the sidewalls of the basement need to be inset from the sides where the posts go into the ground?

If the walls are inset, is it possible to have a basement with egress windows below the pole barn home? RYAN in OSWEGO

DEAR RYAN: We can have your building engineered so columns will mount directly to top of your concrete basement walls. Makes everything far easier.

 

Planning for a New Post Frame Home

When it comes to planning for a new post frame home, shouse or barndominium, there are a myriad of questions and concerns to be answered and pondered.

Or, at least I hope you are – rather than just stumbling in blindly!

Reader NICK in NORTH CAROLINA writes:

“Hi, I’m looking into options for building a post frame home in the coming year in NC and wanted to understand more of the details regarding you current building products and suggested techniques.  

Do you provide a means to support the posts on top of the concrete pillars with a bracket vs the post being embedded into the concrete?

Your current package only provides for insulation of the roof, no interior walls, correct?

Can another 2×6 skirt board be added to the inside of the building to isolate the concrete flooring from the post and to provide a cavity for insulation to be installed between the outside/inside girts?

Do you have a listing of contractors that are familiar with your products in given areas that could be used to build the structure?

If using the design service listed for $695, does that include the design for all interior walls/rooms/fixtures as well as electrical/plumbing/mechanical?

Thanks for any information you can provide.”

All good questions. In answer to them:

Yes we can provide plans with a third-party engineered design for bracket set columns, as well as brackets. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/

We typically recommend using either a Reflective Radiant Barrier (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/05/effective-reflective-insulation/) between roof framing and roof steel, or using roof steel with factory applied Dripstop https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/11/drip-stop/

We can provide batt insulation for walls and/or ceilings, however there are more energy efficient methods of insulating https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/06/pole-barn-insulation-oh-so-confusing/

It (extra 2×6 interior splash plank) could, however there are structural advantages to having columns surrounded (constrained) on exterior splash plank interior. (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/11/importance-of-constrained-posts/) I’d recommend doing a Frost Protected Shallow Foundation post frame style instead: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/post-frame-frost-walls/

About Hansen BuildingsAlthough our buildings are designed for an average literate English speaking person to successfully construct their own building (most of them do, and do a wonderful job – because they will read and follow instructions), for those who do need an erector, in many areas we can provide contacts for you to vet.

Our floor plan and elevation package offer (http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q)  includes all interior walls, rooms and fixtures. For an added fee you can include electrical/plumbing/mechanical (note: typically all of these last three services can usually be provided at no charge by subcontractors who will be doing these specific trades).

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions. An answer to most questions can also be found at www.HansenPoleBuildings.com by clicking on SEARCH in the upper right hand corner of any page. Type in a word or two and hit ENTER and up pops relevant articles.

Borrowing for a D-I-Y Barndominium

Hansen Pole Buildings GuesthouseBarndominiums, shouses and post frame homes all fit into a similar category to me. This category heading would be titled, “Living in a Post Frame Building”, although other construction types may be used, post frame is going to give most bang for your investment.

What if you want to D-I-Y construct your own post frame barndominium, but need to borrow in order to build?

Only once have I ever gotten a construction loan for myself and then I happened to be an experienced General Contractor with a successful track record. It was also through a bank we did most of our commercial banking with and we had far more money in our account then what our construction loan was for.

Most new D-I-Y barndominium folks are not experienced General Contractors. Things could be somewhat more challenging if you fall into this category. Even with a high credit score and significant down payment, most lenders doing construction to permanent loans require a full plan, timelines, etc., and only pay out when certain milestones are met.

I am all for people doing it themselves. I see far too many horror stories from people who have hired contractors. Thankfully lots of happy stories from clients who did it themselves. If you are going to be your own General Contractor here are some things to keep in mind:

If hiring a sub-contractor to do any work get it not only in writing, but also with a contract covering all possible bases. Great contracts make great friends. Do not expect any contractor to perform more than exactly what is spelled out in writing.

Have good insurance. We live in a litigious society and there are too many people who avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. Don’t have your dream home train derailed due to an uninsured or under-insured construction project.

Pay people. Whether out of pocket or from construction loans – pay vendors and subcontractors promptly, provided they perform as anticipated. Take advantage of prompt or early pay discounts from vendors with a track record of reliability.

Barndominium: Building Kit or Building Shell?

Barndominium: Building Kit or Building Shell?

This was a recent post from a Barndominium discussion group I am a member of:

“Kit vs shell; I’m defining a kits as coming with everything like insulation and metal studs (the next step would be mechanical trades) whereas shell would be dried in with nothing. Kit companies would accept owner floorplans or have some stock floor plans and provide CAD to guide builders. Shells would perhaps provide instructions or rely on the knowledge of builders. Kits would have customer service and a modern web site; respond to emails and be familiar with barndominiums. Shells would be a business that sells barns and commercial buildings, expecting owners to know what they want. Kit metal and studs would be pre-cut in the factory. All window openings would be accounted for. Shells would be metal has to be cut on site. Shell would be all decisions are made before building begins via email; drawings back and forth. Shell would be last minutes decisions during building. Are these definitions even close to being accurate? If not what are the industry definitions? By my definition, I’m looking for a kit, not a shell. If kit is not the right word, what is the correct term? What are the top ten companies that provide what I call a kit? In this Barndo group, there are clearly differences in skill and knowledge levels. Recently on this site, a vendor posted a shell drawing and price. Some people posted questions that indicated they wanted to shop for what I call a kit; there was some misunderstanding, I think. It would be helpful to me, and perhaps others if these concepts were defined, I think. Please point out the fallacies in my thinking, if any, before I move from drawing floor plans into shopping for kits/shells.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru’s response:

About Hansen BuildingsWe provide custom designed engineered post frame building kit packages. As we are wood framing, we provide no metal studs. We can supply Weather Resistant Barriers and Reflective Radiant Barriers as well as batt insulation. We typically provide only structural portions of buildings – exterior shell, any raised floors (for crawl spaces, second or third floors or lofts) but can provide interior wall framing, if desired. We can work from any client supplied floor plans, elevation drawings or sketches. We do not have ‘stock’ plans, as every client’s needs are different. We expect our clients to layout their own interior rooms, to best fit with those needs and lifestyle.

We provide complete 24″ x 36″ blueprints for permit and construction sealed by third-party engineers, with full calculations. All openings, including windows are located on plans. There should be no “last minute” decisions made whilst building.

Our comprehensive (nearly 500 page) construction manual is designed for an average literate person to successfully assemble their own beautiful building, without requiring a contractor. We provide unlimited free technical support. Clients have an online portal to track progress and deliveries, etc.

Steel roofed and sided buildings come with cut to length steel panels, however some cutting will be needed in the event of oddly located openings or width and lengths of buildings other than a multiple of three feet.

At the risk of sounding redundant (I’m a proud owner of a “shouse”) go back to yesterday’s blog to see a picture of my and my wife’s shouse or barndominium.

If a post frame building is on your radar, then we are going to be #1, call us today 1(866)200-9657.

A Shouse in Andover?

Shouse (from www.urbandictionary.com):  “A portmanteau of “shed” and “house”; A structure that outwardly resembles a shed (typically having a roll-formed steel-sheet exterior) that is primarily used as a dwelling / house. Though not required to fulfill the definition, a shouse generally has garage(s) incorporated into the structure.”

I did not even realize I was shousing before it became cool! My first personal shouse experience was at our home at Newman Lake, Washington over 25 years ago. We needed a garage to winter our boat in. One thing lead to another (including an expensive lawsuit with our neighbors – we won) and before we knew it, we were putting up a three story garage. Well, more technically a three story post frame building with a garage/shop on lowest floor and two more habitable floors above! Oh, and a rooftop deck!

Some jurisdictions are having challenges grappling with getting their heads wrapped around shouses and barndominiums. Here is a case in point:

From a June 4, 2019 a Quad-City (Davenport, Iowa) Times article by Lisa Hammer

“Someone has approached Mielke (Village President Mike Mielke) and asked about building a combination shop/house in a pole building, called a “shouse,” in village limits. Mielke did not give him a definitive answer. Village attorney Mike Halpin will look into it and bring back suggestions. It was noted Andover already has one such structure. “We have one, but it just kind of happened,” Mielke said. The existing “shouse” is located between Cedar and Elm on 7th Street and originally had a farmhouse on the property that was eventually taken down. Village Clerk Bev Josephson noted there can’t be only a pole building on a property without a house, so people would have to build both at the same time.”

Gambrel roof pole barnAs long as your proposed shouse or barndominium meets planning and zoning requirements – adequate setbacks, allowable footprint, within any height restrictions and doesn’t use unapproved siding and roofing materials you should be good to go. Post frame (pole) buildings are Code conforming – so an attempt to prohibit one strictly due to its structural system is a battle I will take up for you at no charge.

I will add that in fact my bride and I live in a 48×60 shouse with a full garage on the lower level, the “house” portion on the second level (complete with an elevator), a 18’ width boat shed/shop on the west side and my 18’ width office on the east side. It is a beautiful building, inside and out and we love it! The attached photo is our lovely shouse.

Ready for your new shouse? Give a call to a Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer at 1(866)200-9657 today to get started!

Pole Barn Guru on Crossbuck Doors

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 have a client in Akron, Indiana with a new horse arena.  The new horse arena has custom crossbuck doors on it, but the owner does not like them due to overall weight, and that they are constructed with a plywood backing.  The plywood baking is a problem because my client waters down the sand inside the barn and that moisture is starting to warp the doors.  If you would, can you provide me with information on how you construct your custom crossbuck doors?  Do you have an option that would eliminate all wood and reduce the weight?

The door sizes are as follows: (2) 10’x10’ (1) 16’x14’ Please feel free to give me a call to discuss. ARCHITECT IN AKRON

DEAR ARCHITECT: We actually do not construct custom crossbuck doors ourselves, we purchase them from third party vendors – who use plywood on the inside of the doors (appears to be pretty much an industry standard). While they look very lovely from the street, the issues your client has raised, along with the extreme cost make them less than the idea choice for most applications. The best option, for most people, is to use a steel framework door which has 29 gauge steel siding screwed to the outside face of the framework – it will be lightweight, won’t twist or warp and is affordable.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a barndominum and would it be ok to pour a flat slab and have the sheet metal come down over the edge of slab? BARNDOMINIUM BUILDING

DEAR BARNDOMINIUM: As long as the bottom edge of the steel (or any base trim) is at least four inches above the highest point of the outside grade, it should not be an issue. In most instances, a 2×8 pressure preservative treated splash board is installed to a level point with the highest point of grade even with the bottom of the splash board. (You can read more about concrete slab installation here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/concrete-slab-3/)

The steel siding will later be attached to the outside of the splash board, with the bottom point of the base trim drip edge being at four inches up from the bottom of the splash board. This allows for any exterior concrete landings, sidewalks or driveways to be poured against the splash board, without being against the steel.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I have an existing 6×6 pole building with a center clear span of 20ft., two side bays of 12ft. each and a thick cement slab. I would like to raise the center clear span by 4 feet. Would it be reasonable to bolt taller poles to the existing center ones and then add new trusses to those? EAGER IN ENUMCLAW

DEAR EAGER: The operative word in your request is probably the term “reasonable”. What you have in mind is at the best a major undertaking which should only be considered after review from a qualified RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect), who can evaluate your circumstances thoroughly from a site visit. Your Building Department is going to require engineer sealed plans and calculations for any proposed project of this nature, so you might as well start off on the right foot, in the event you actually decide to move forward with this project.

And a quick word for those planning on “putting up a pole barn”….make sure you plan for any possible future additions/changes.  What may seem “tall enough” now, may not be down the road (taller RV, combine, adding in a vehicle lift, etc.).

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Pole Building Barndominium

I learn new things every single day. I learned this one when Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Rachel shared this with the staff last week:

“Spoke to my customer Marion last night and he couldn’t say enough good things about our building.  

He lives in his building until he can build his house.  He said they got “direco?” winds which are straight line 90mph winds and the building held up wonderfully!  Before he purchased he was going to buy a steel framed building but is very happy he decided on wood framed as it will give a little in the wind.

He also says it’s a sharp looking building.  They will be building a concrete house and he said our building will look better than his house.

His insurance company calls it a “barndominium”.  Apparently the insurance companies have insurance policies specifically for “barndominiums”.”

Not wanting to appear as ignorant on this subject as I instantly was, I fired up the trusty laptop and hopped on the ‘net. Obviously I have truly missed out on something as barndominium even has a listed on the sum of all human knowledge – Wikipedia!

BarndominiumIt turns out the term barndominium has actually been around for 25 years, having originally been coined by developer Karl Nilsen for a project at Silhouette Farm in Colebrook, CT. In his project, every lot owner also had an interest in a joint equestrian center, which included a stall for their horse! In Nilsen’s mind, the concept was akin to those who build homes around a golf course – only horse centered, instead of fairways.

The more current versions seem to be highly centered in Texas, where numerous builders offer pole or steel buildings which either they or the building owner can turn into partial or entire living quarters. In the true sense, these are not barndominiums, as they do not share any type of communal space with neighbors – in essence they are merely pole barn homes.

Having had clients live in their pole buildings for over three decades, after research I am realizing the only part of barndominium I missed out on – was coining the term itself!