Tag Archives: post holes

Raised Floor in Flood Area, Drywall Framing, and Water in Holes

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about post frame with a raised floor use in a flood area, framing for drywall in a post frame house, and post holes full of water could be bigger soil issue.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have a kit that can be used in a flood area to raise floor about 10 feet. RAY in HOUSTON

DEAR RAY: Yes we do – they are stilt houses and have to be custom engineered for each individual circumstance. Rear more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/stilt-houses/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We’re considering post frame construction for our residence. I’m sill researching and learning. One big question I have is: why does is seem like most people are putting stud walls against the exterior walls of the structure? Are the existing walls not sound enough to support the weight of drywall or wood finishing? Is it necessary for running plumbing/electrical? Is it overkill? WILL in ISLANDTON

DEAR WILL: Congratulations upon considering post frame construction as your structural design solution. Sadly, most kit providers and builders are selling building shells based upon cheapest price, rather than meeting their client’s needs. With this low price, most often comes what is known as externally mounted wall girts – wall framing to support siding being attached wide face to wind on outside of columns. While this is quick, easy and takes little thought, it rarely meets Building Code requirements for meeting deflection criteria. There is a way to solve wall framing to be a one step process – bookshelf wall girts every 24 inches. This creates a very stiff wall structurally, provides an insulation cavity and requires no extra framing to add interior finishes.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Holes for barn posts were full of water. Installed drain tile and water ran off. Now the post holes are very soft and I don’t believe they will support the structure. Ideas? STEVE in FELCH

DEAR STEVE: If you place a 2×4 vertically in a hole and push downward on it and it just keeps sinking, you have a challenge going on. Your best solution then is going to be to hire a geotechnical engineer to visit your site and do a determination of how to adequately support your building based upon actual soil conditions. It may be able to be solved by use of larger diameter footings, or use of rebar within your slab (tied to columns), piers down to solid bedrock or some combination of these. Your building will only be as strong as your foundation, so this is not a place to mess around or guess.

Should your 2×4 above only go down a few inches, then you only need to remove loose soil at bottom of holes and pour concrete pads as indicated on your engineer sealed plans.

 

Residential Building, I-Joist Purlins, and Post Proximity

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about whether or not Hansen can provide a residential building kit in their area, if Mike advises the use of I-Joists as purlins, and post proximity– how close can two posts be to each other?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you build residential buildings in the greater Fort Wayne, IN area? BRIAN in FORT WAYNE

Click here to download our free brochure!DEAR BRIAN: Hansen Pole Buildings provides fully engineered, custom designed post frame buildings, with multiple buildings in all 50 states (including roughly a hundred of them in Indiana). We ship from over 4000 locations – so chances are we are ‘close’ to you! Your new building will be designed for an average physically capable person who can and will read instructions to successfully construct your own beautiful buildings (and many of our clients do DIY). Your building will come with full 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (suitable for obtaining Building Permits), a 500 page fully illustrated step-by-step installation manual, as well as unlimited technical support from people who have actually built buildings. For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states. We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders. We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in your new home. Please email your building plans, site address and best contact number to our Design Studio Manager Caleb@HansenPoleBuildings.com

One of our Building Designers will be reaching out to you shortly to discuss your building needs, or dial .866.200.9657 for immediate assistance.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’ve read your reasonings and seen your snippets of engineering drawings that spec 2x purlins hanging between trusses. I’m wondering if now that I-joists are becoming so popular for residential use, if you’ve ever tried to use them as purlins. A 9.5″ I-joist would allow for 8″ of mixed closed and open cell spray foam, and a bottom flange of 1.5″ for light fixtures, wiring, etc. And I think I-joists would be lighter than 2x10s (and in this economy maybe even cost less!).
Thank you,
Thinking About A Hansen Handsome Barndominium, Or more accurately, GUY in JOHNSON CITY

DEAR GUY: I’ve used engineered floor trusses for roof purlins, but never I-joists. While I do not personally like them for floors (I find them bouncy), they do work as a replacement for dimensional lumber joists and rafters. I-joists are fairly strong when loads are applied directly perpendicular, however they are not strong in weak axis bending (e.g. loads applied when they are rotated from vertical). While they might work as roof purlins, it would take a significant amount of blocking and/or bracing plus some healthy engineering analysis in order to design a system to restrain them from buckling.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How close can the posts actually be to each other? Are there physical limitations to drilling two holes 12 inches apart? The reason I ask is I want to build a garage that mirrors the garage on my house, and the first 9 foot wide door is 25 inches from a corner and the spacing between the two doors is only 15 inches, rough opening to rough opening. Does one just dig a hole large enough for both posts? Or should two holes be drilled that overlap? SCOTT in BROOKSTON


DEAR SCOTT:
Two posts can actually be in direct contact with each other, if necessary to support things like door openings. When two columns are close together, it is usually easiest to end up digging what resembles a trench, rather than a larger diameter hole (effectively drilling two overlapping holes).

 

 

Help with Instructions? Correct Frost Depth, and Nailing Schedule for OSB

Today the PBG attempts to assist with finding some instructions, the correct frost depth, and nailing schedule for OSB.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: A friend of mine gave me a cannonball track and hardware setup for my pole barn garage.  I have looked everywhere for INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS.  I cannot find anything on line.  Can you please tell me where to look.  I would appreciate any help you can give. Thank you. RAY

DEAR RAY: Your request could pose some challenges as Cannonball was acquired by one of their competitors, Western Products of Indiana January 1. We use sliding door systems from a Cannonball competitor, so all of the parts are not exactly the same. I’ve searched online for the installation instructions with the same results you have found – none. Best bet is to try to call Cannonball direct and see if they can assist. (800)766-2825

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello , was wondering if you could tell me the depth I need to be at for a pole barn ( garage ) it is going to be 24’x32’. I’m using 4×6” PT poles and going to put them about 10’and 12’ apart on center. I live in Indianapolis on the north side. When I looked up the National frost depth for my area it showed 54”, thought it was a bit deep for here, but want it to be safe as well as lasting. Thank you for any advice you could give. ROBERT in INDIANAPOLIS

DEAR ROBERT: The column depths will be specified on the sealed plans produced by your RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer). If they are missing you should contact the RDP directly to receive clarification. In no instance should the bottom of the column holes be above the maximum frost depth, which in your case would mean 54 inch deep holes. When it comes to post frame buildings – the last place to scrimp on or cheap out is the foundation. With the correct diameter concrete footings, proper depth and provision for uplift resistance (all of which your RDP should have addressed) you should be off to a terrific start.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Your project # 18-0112F. Can someone show where I can find the nailing schedule for the OSB that goes on the roof?? Thanks JIM in KINGSTON

DEAR JIM: The nailing schedules for sheet sidings and sheathing is always found on the “A” pages of the engineered plans provided with your building. Usually they are in a tabular box.

For those who are reading and somehow did not invest in a Hansen Pole Building kit package – if the nailing is not found on your plans, do not guess or take a chance – contact your RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) and have them provide a nailing schedule sealed by them.

 

 

 

 

Headroom Headaches, Post Hole Problems, and Insulation Options

Tackling Headroom Headaches, Post Hole Problems, and Insulation Options

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am curious about the room I needed for my overhead door. I had my building designed for a 12’x12′ overhead door in the middle of the end wall. My wall height is 14′ but with a truss depth of 18″ the bottom of the truss is only 12’6″. With my door installed the curve of the tracks extends above the 12’6″ and also the spacing of the trusses is 12′ from the outside of the building to the face of the next truss in leaving me with only 11’6″ interior space. so now my problem is that the tracks have to go over the top of the bottom chord of the truss and with less than 12′ of space my door runs into the truss if I open the door all the way. Do you happen to have any ideas for a way to open my door all the way? Thank you. COREY in SPIRIT LAKE

DEAR COREY: This is why I always encourage clients to order their doors along with their building kit package. The kit suppliers will insure the door provided will fit in the building!

Your circumstance should have been easily solved by whomever supplied your overhead door and is really fairly simple. By using high lift track the door can go up the inside of the endwall several feet, then the track will curve leaving the door, when opened, parked between the endwall and the first pair of trusses. This also puts the overhead tracks up below the bottom of the trusses and out of the zone where things might run into them.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How difficult is it to dig post holes near very very large pecan trees? STEVE in DALLAS

DEAR STEVE: You should not build within 15 feet of a pecan tree, due to the tremendous amount of moisture they take from the ground. You also want to consider the possibility of branches falling from the tree and hitting your new building. If you remove the tree, the ground in the area of the tree’s root system will probably swell, due to the ground water no longer being removed by the tree. This swelling can cause heaves to both embedded building columns as well as concrete slab on grade floors.

 

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just built a pole barn, 30×36 with 12′ ceiling. I put up 1×12 Hemlock board and batton siding. What kind of insulation do you recommend? It will have on demand heat, but not full time heat. I’m in NEW JERSEY so we have cold winters and humid summers. RAY in CALIFON

DEAR RAY: If your new pole barn (post frame building) was designed with raised heel trusses and for the trusses to carry a ceiling load, I’d be looking at blowing in R-60 fiberglass or cellulose above the finished ceiling. This requires adequate ventilation – either 260 square inches on net free area at the eaves and ridge, or the same in each gable end in the top ½ of the attic space. This requires an air baffle to allow air to flow in from the eaves above the insulation.

Don’t have raised heel trusses? Then use high R value rigid insulation board in areas where blown insulation would be compressed.

Trusses not designed to support a ceiling? If this is the case, then closed cell spray foam the underside of the roofing. It will take between eight and nine inches of thickness to achieve R-60.

If you have housewrap under the siding, you did right. In this case I would install another set of 2×4 girts on the inside of my walls, then use BIBs wall insulation. Place a clear 6ml visqueen vapor barrier on the inside and then gypsum wallboard.

No housewrap? Then closed cell spray foam is the route to go. Four inches will get you to R-28.

 

Boulders or Large Rocks in Post Holes

I’ve Hit a Boulder, What do I do?

When I was building, the rock the size of a Volkswagon was generally parked in the last hole being dug on any given project.

After digging all of the other holes – moving the building to avoid the rock just never felt like a viable option. I hated digging holes to begin with as they always entail dealing with the unknown, what is lurking beneath the ground’s surface. The Captain of the Titanic had some of these same feelings about icebergs, you never know what is below the surface until you hit it.

Reader Greg in Staunton writes:

“I’m building a 24 x 32 pole barn. Successfully dug all post holes but one down 4 feet. Hit limestone boulder on a corner hole about 1 foot down. How can I secure this post so it doesn’t become a weak link in an otherwise solid construction. The rock is not level (about 30 degree slant toward the outside of the building wall. I’d appreciate your input.”

I used to use a steel stake used for anchoring concrete forms and a sledge hammer to investigate prior to digging. Once the building hole locations were laid out, said stake could be driven in at each hole location to determine if there were challenges ahead which could not be seen at the surface. At least by doing the stake test, we could determine with some degree of accuracy where rocks might lay, and if we thought we were going to have one, negotiate with the new building owner about shifting the building location to avoid the rock.

My first choice for a solution would be to dig the rock out. Even if it leaves a crater numerous feet across, a sonotube can be placed at the column location, properly backfilled around and the post can be placed in the tube. The excavation is probably going to involve some heavier equipment, like a backhoe.

 

Behind door number two – rent a jackhammer. Unless you have hit solid granite, most rocks can be broken apart by use of either a jackhammer or a hammer attachment mounted to either a skid loader or a backhoe. The jackhammer is going to be far more physical, but less of an investment.

The last option is to consult with the engineer who designed your building to provide an engineered fix to the problem. At only a foot below the surface, this one could be tough. In some cases I have seen engineers have rebar pins epoxied into the top of the rock and the column placed upon the pin. The balance of the hole can then be backfilled with concrete to prevent uplift or overturning.

This last option is not one to undertake on your own without the involvement of an engineer, as you don’t want this to become the weak link which results in the failure of your beautiful brand new building.