Tag Archives: Post brackets

Post Brackets, Cross Bracing, and Pressure Treated Wood

This week the Pole Barn Guru tackles reader questions about a building set into a slope with use of post brackets, the possible use of “cross bracing” for wall girts, and understanding pressure treated wood.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to build a 32′ x 48′ 2 story pole building where two of the sides of at least the lower floor are at least partially set into the hillside on the property. I envision the two sides set into the hill to be concrete foundation walls. Sort of a daylight basement. The lower floor would be a woodshop and the upper floor a two bedroom apartment. I am assuming a concrete foundation with Laminated “poles” mounted in brackets as opposed to buried. the “poles” on the two sides set into the hill would be shorter than on the other two sides. With the available space, the two story concept works better than having everything on a single story. Is this even possible? What would a ROM cost for a kit like that cost?

Thank you BILL in WEST RICHLAND

DEAR BILL: Your idea is totally possible. I have done it myself. In my case I had 12 feet of grade change across my building’s 40 foot width. I used ICFs full height on one sidewall and stepping down across rear endwall. Columns on these two walls were mounted using wet set brackets, other two walls had embedded columns. This process could also be used with poured concrete or block walls. We have also developed a system to use columns placed in a permanent wood foundation.

Attached photo is of my own building.

This is being shared with your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer who will be reaching out to you shortly.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: When using bookshelf girts is cross bracing used between posts or are the girts when blocked provide the support? WINSTON in MOULTON

DEAR WINSTON: No cross bracing is required when using bookshelf girts. Once installed (ideally blocked solid to columns at each end) and sheathing (OSB, plywood, structural panels or steel siding) is applied, your wall and girts are more than adequately supported and this assembly is fairly rigid.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I read the article regarding treated wood. I am still a little puzzled as to what treating you would use for ground contact purposes, especially the upright poles. Do you have any other articles regarding this subject or have input you could email me? Much appreciated, thank you. KELLY in VICTOR

DEAR KELLY: Pressure preservative treated wood standards can be confusing even for lumber dealers, professional builders and building inspectors. For structural building columns, all end tags should have UC-4B marked on them. UC-4B is for “Heavy Duty” use. This American Wood Preservers Association infographic might prove helpful to understanding proper uses for pressure preservative treated wood: www.awpa.com/images/standards/ResidentialInfographic2020.pdf

 

 

 

Beginning a Shouse Journey in Washington State Part I

A shouse (shop/house), barndominium or post frame house project may seem daunting, however by doing lots of reading, research and asking questions, an average individual can craft for themselves a home they love, tailored to meet their family’s wants and needs.

Loyal reader ROBERT in OLYMPIA writes:

“Hello to the Pole Barn Guru or whoever reads this!

​I came across Hansen Buildings a few years ago when I first became interested in pole barn homes, and have been following the content posted by the Pole Barn Guru in various places online- always great information!  I am finally zeroing in on purchasing a piece of land and I would like to get some more information on going the “Hansen route,” either for a shouse or a house and detached shop, or for just a shop.​

I’ve spoken with my county’s planning department and was informed that there would be no problems building what I want.  The land is already improved with water and septic, is nice and flat, is south facing, and is zoned accordingly.  There is actually a building permit currently active from the previous owner’s stick built project (who passed away, and never further than the dig out for his foundation).  They told me that I could bypass some of the headaches (such as the Pocket Gopher review process) if I renew the permit before it expires (4/2020) and submit the new site plans…​

My ideal setup would be:​

– 50x90x(16 or 18) building​

-around 1200 square feet of living space, 2 bath, 2 bed, 1 “office”​

-3300 square feet as shop space with 1 bath and 1 utility sink.  Wired with electricity & lighting.​

-Very energy efficient (insulation, doors, windows, leakage).  Prefer spray foam if budget allows.​

-ERV?​

-1 large garage door/bay, 3″ thick​

-All large windows to be south facing with appropriately-sized overhangs (passive house principal).  These overhangs could potentially be in the form of a covered porch.​

-Enclosed overhang with vented soffits, but only on the eaves & vented ridge cap.  Solid gables.​

-Concrete piers with post brackets.​

-slight outward slope in concrete where garage doors meet concrete to make water drain away from/out of shop.​

-at least 2 drains in concrete – 1 near door, and one near a corner​

-insulated concrete slab w/ hydronic heating, sealed concrete flooring throughout (no other floor covering)​

-Possibly add ductless heat pump mini-split for additional heating if necessary. ​

-No cooling system necessary.​

-modestly finished interior​

-Ikea or similar non-custom kitchen​

-self-sourced appliances​

Questions:​

Someone at the Thurston county planning department told me that while the project definitely is doable, it might make more sense to build the home and shop as separate structures.  He mentioned that because they were attached, the whole building would have to meet WA energy code.  I guess he was implying that it would be cheaper to construct the shop separately if it didn’t have to meet that code?  Because I would like the shop to be insulated, does this really apply to me?  I’ve heard that insurance could potentially be cheaper with a detached setup, but I can’t seem to find anything concrete about that.  Have you found that to be the case?​

As I mentioned I would like to do hydronic radiant heating (probably by Radiantec) throughout the home and shop.  From my research that seems like the most cost efficient way to heat (mass rather than air).  However, the shop doesn’t necessarily need to be kept at “living temperature” all the time.  I would like it to be comfortable while I’m in there, but beyond that I just need it to stay above about 40 degrees.  I’m interested to hear your input on this.  In reading, it seems like whenever people opt for something like a radiant tube heater or mini-split for the shop, they always regret not going with radiant floor heating.  Natural gas is not available at this location, so my options are propane, oil, wood, or electric.

Because I’m very new to the world of home building, I’m not sure what other requirements there would be in building this.  I know that there are some pretty detailed drainage plans that exist for the previous project on the property, and I’m wondering who is in charge of creating new drainage plans for my project?  Does Hansen do that type of thing?  Or someone local to me?​

Pricing/plans:  Is it possible to get some sort of idea about costs/cost breakdown for the type of building I described?  How about for separate structures?  I love the idea of doing some of the work myself, I’m just not sure how realistic that really is with my work schedule, especially in the summer.  I would probably need contractor(s) to take care of the majority of the major work.​

Do you have any floor plans similar to what I’ve described?  I have a few different ideas on different floor plan ideas but it’s probably easier/cheaper to just use some existing plans.​

I love the “Shouse” idea but I find it a little overwhelming because there is not a “turn key” option like what exists from traditional home builders like Adair Homes in Olympia.  So to get the job done would require basically managing the project with a crew of different contractors to finish the shell, concrete, insulation, electrical, plumbing, finishing, etc……I just would really prefer something a little different and more energy efficient than standard construction.​

As of right now, I think those are all of the questions that I have.​

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing back!​”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Come back tomorrow for Part Two.

Real Estate Value, Post Brackets, and Interior Finishing

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: As a licensed Real Estate agent and looking to move, I realize how crazy the market is (at least in Michigan and the Grand Rapids Area).

Considering building a pole barn home for my wife and I when we sell our house, however what about resale value?

My concern is regarding appraisal or the possibility of having comparables should we need to sell after we build. At best I could think of manufactured, but that would depend on what the building is “labeled” as. Speaking to a professional lender he seemed convinced that I would HAVE to have a cash buyer, or someone doing a portfolio loan at 15% down.

Do you know of anyone who was able to sell their pole barn house with financing, and if so, what did the appraiser use as their comps?

Thank you in advance! GAGE in ROCKFORD

Gambrel roof pole barnDEAR GAGE: Post frame homes will have the same value as a comparably sized and featured stick built home. Think of it from this aspect – both have permanent foundations, both are constructed onsite out of wood framing. The structural system is “wood framed”. Period.

When you (or a buyer) go to get a loan, remember to use “wood framed” otherwise you will entirely confuse the lender. For comps, your appraiser will be looking at other similar sized and featured wood framed homes which have sold recently in your area.

I cannot vouch for people selling their homes with financing, however I financed and refinanced my own home and with two very elaborate post frame accessory buildings (both of which are livable spaces). Through three appraisals, never once did the question of post frame come up.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Wondering if you can place the 6×6 pole onto a concrete foundation with brackets that hold pole to concrete?

DEAR JOE: Yes, it can be done, provided the 6×6 is adequate to carry the loads being imposed upon it. Here is information on the brackets: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/09/concrete-brackets-2/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a pole barn that I would like to finish the interior on
the posts are spaced 8′, the building has 7/16 osb over the wall girts (vinyl siding), I did a cut
and cobble job of rigid foam (1 inch) . My idea is to use 7/16 osb to finish inside and Maybe add sheetrock at some point- my concern is the support of interior walls-do I just let the wall girts carry the load or do I figure a way to anchor into posts? Thanks very much, Robert in Middletown.

DEAR ROBERT: Not sure why you would want to go to the added expense of placing OSB on the inside and then later adding gypsum wallboard, other than your post frame building frame may have too much deflection to prohibit taped drywall joints from cracking.

Before adding GWB (gypsum wall board) you should verify with the engineer who designed your building to make sure it is adequately rigid to be able to support it. If you are unable to contact the engineer, then you should consult with a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who can confirm it is adequate, or recommend a fix or fixes if it is not.

Once you know all is good, a set of girts should be attached to the inside of the columns to support the GWB. This will also create an insulation cavity where you can add fiberglass batts or even better – do BIBs (information on BIBs here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/bibs/).