Tag Archives: post frame builders

Installers, Clear Span Timber Frame, and Raising Existing Building

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about installers in Detroit, how wide of a clear span a timber frame building can be built, and if one can raise the height of an existing building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you install and/or can you recommend installers in Detroit? Thanks! MARIANNE in DETROIT

DEAR MARIANNE: Your new Hansen Pole Buildings’ kit is designed for the average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell, without extensive prior construction knowledge (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), the industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

Currently (and for the foreseeable future) there is a nationwide shortage of building erectors. Many high quality erectors are booked out well into 2023 (some even 2024). We would strongly encourage you to consider erecting your own building shell.

For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states – please complete information at bottom of this link https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/find-a-builder/. We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders.

A CAUTION in regards to ANY erector: If an erector tells you they can begin quickly it is generally either a big red flag, or there is a chance you are being price gouged. ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi I’d like to know what is the widest possible barn that can be built using a clear span design without trusses? I’m looking for a timber frame pole barn with vaulted ceilings that will be used to run courses. Thanks in advance. SHANE in RAVENDALE

DEAR SHANE: Timber frame and pole barn (post frame) are two different (albeit in some ways similar) structural systems. Most timber frame buildings use a heavy timber truss system, rather than prefabricated metal connector plated wood trusses. It could be possible to run a significantly large ridge beam (most likely a glulam) with rafters attached to it. Depending upon roof loads, you might be able to achieve an 80 foot or greater clearspan width. I would recommend you Google “heavy timber frame engineers near me” and invest in services of a Registered Professional Engineer who can give you better guidance for your particular wants and needs.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a 36×24 metal roofed and sided pole building but because of changes to the building site there is only 6.5 feet between concrete floor and bottom of trusses and the roof leaks. It does have a concrete slab floor. If i really want a 36x24x10 do i start over? i can’t seem to find any examples of repairing/extending a 6×6 post by splicing or sistering. Cut the posts out of the concrete then dig them out to replace with longer poles? BRAD in BREMERTON

DEAR BRAD: It may be possible to cut your posts, raise your roof, add a filler in between cut portions of posts and have a bracket or lumber reinforcement hold it all together. You should be reaching out to a Washington Registered Professional Engineer for better advice.

I have copied your request to our independent third-party Washington engineer, who might be interested in assisting you to find a structural design solution.

Pole Buildings Quality, Price and Service

When it comes to investing in a new post frame building kit package, there are really only three major areas to cover – quality, service and price.

Everyone wants to feel they have gotten a good value when they make a major investment, whether it is a vehicle, a house or a new pole building.

Can we all agree, “value” is most important?

Anyone can provide a product at a lower price – by sacrificing quality and/or service.

As a potential purchaser, when you tell me:

“I don’t care about service, delivery or quality.  Price is all that is important.”  How would you feel if my response was: “Okay then we’ll provide you a great price with poor service, inferior quality and it will arrive months late? And those pieces we shorted you? You’ll have to pay us extra for them.”

Give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?

I think not.

Let’s all face reality together, we all care and care a lot about things other than just a cheap price.

There is a certain Midwest based supplier of pole building kit packages who almost always seems to have a really great price. I’ve spoken with more than a few people who purchased one of their kit packages – only to find out there is seemingly no one in store who can help them out when they get “stuck” due to poor instructions or inadequate plans. Almost universally they voice concerns about the lack of quality in what they were delivered, and how they had to buy more materials to complete their building.

How bad are they? Bad enough so several post frame builders I highly respect refuse to assemble their building kits!

Personally I have even wandered innocently (as innocently as I can anyhow) into a couple of their locations. When I posed what I felt would be ‘softball’ questions to their ‘expert’ staff – I got nothing back but ‘deer in the headlights’ looks!

There also is something about the disclaimer on this competitor’s quotes, one an average potential buyer might want to read twice:

“You may buy all the materials or any part at low cash and carry prices. Because of the wide variation in codes, xxxxxxx (insert store name) cannot guarantee the material list will meet your code requirements. These post frame buildings are suggested designs and material lists only. Some items may vary from those pictured. We do not guarantee the completeness or prices of these buildings. Labor, concrete flooring, some finish materials and delivery are not included. Some special order truss sizes may be jobsite delivered. Delivery is extra. This post frame may have been altered from the plan’s original design.”

When I hear, “Your price is too high”, my response is, “Compared to what?”

Compared to what pole barn prices were five years ago? Compared to a price someone gave you in a phone call, or was read on Craigslist or EBay? Or compared to another potential supplier who left out several features, or doors, or didn’t even quote the same size?

My lovely bride (of twenty years now) and I used to visit Ecuador every winter, where vendors selling things expect to haggle over price, so they ALL universally jack their prices up. They are all playing this same game and do it well. Once you have reached a price and have paid, they are vamoosed (hmm, great price, questionable quality, no service).

America’s post frame building industry is very competitive. Profit margins are small, and costs of materials and their transportation are pretty much similar. As best I know, no one owns a magical forest of free lumber or a super-secret inventory of low cost steel, so if you see a price too good to be true, chances are it is.

Hansen VisionGranted, every once in a while Hansen Pole Buildings does have the best price, but given our provided features, and our high level of quality and service, it is a fairly rare occurrence. If someone else has a lower price, especially WAY lower, be a skeptic – there is a reason, one perhaps not obvious at first glance.  If you don’t know how to compare quotes on pole barn prices…we’ll do it for you – fairly and for free. If another provider actually offers a better value, we will be first to tell you to “go buy it now!”