Tag Archives: post treatment

A Frustrated Shopper, Sealant Around Posts, and Vapor Barriers

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about a frustrating shopping experience, use of a sealant around embedded posts, and best method for a vapor barrier under concrete.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello my husband and I have been pre-approved to finance a pole barn and I am becoming very FRUSTRATED. We have called “Oscar ” multiple times with absolutely NO response and my concern is that it will be like this through the duration of the process, and should we go elsewhere? Or do I need to be reassigned to someone that will make us feel like a priority!!

Thank you for a speedy response. TIFFANI in TULSA

DEAR TIFFANI: Our apologies for your frustrations. Challenges do occur when people are building shopping, they have reached out to so many parties – causing names, businesses and conversations to become jumbled.

It turns out we happen to have no “Oscar” on our staff, nor do we show either you or your husband in our database. One of our Building Designers will be reaching out to you on our next business day to assist you with your building needs.

Let me assure you, every one of our clients is important and we pride ourselves in being responsive to you and your needs.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am making a pole style garage. And I am wondering if I should be applying sealant around the cement that the Poles are embedded?

Help would be appreciated. EVERETT in DUCHESNE

DEAR EVERETT: There would be no reason to do so, provided you have used UC-4B rated pressure preservative treated timber columns. If they are treated to a lesser level of treating it is unlikely any amount of sealant will prevent their premature decay.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have nearly completed my DIY Hansen Building and am preparing to pour the slab.  Is there a way to search the blog posts for my questions?  I am wondering if I should install a vapor barrier under the concrete or wait and seal it after?  Is 1/2″ rebar recommended?  Should I use an 18in grid or can I go on the cheap and get away with 2ft?  Planning on a 5in slab. NICK in GLIDDEN

DEAR NICK: Good to hear from you, we are looking forward to seeing photos of your completed new building!

You should install a well-sealed vapor barrier under your slab, While Code requirement is 6mil, 15mil is far less likely to be damaged during a pour. Run vapor barrier up sides and onto top of 2×8 splash planks, overlap seams by at least six inches and tape them securely. Most often we see 1/2″ rebar on a 16″ grid.

 

 

Gable Vents, Plasti-Sleeves for Posts, and Cost per Square Foot

This Monday’s questions are addressing the issues of ventilation with gable vents, the use of plasti-sleeves to protect posts, and the cost per square foot of a post frame home.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My dad has a 40 x 60 pole building. It has 18″ eaves but the soffits are non vented. The building also has no ridge vent. He has not had any moisture issues but is looking to add gable vents as a means to get rid of fumes from occasional painting and or welding. The building is open with no closed attic space. Is there any issues with adding gable vents for this purpose? BILL in COEUR d’ALENE

DEAR BILL: There should be no structural issues with adding gable vents, although they may not cure your dad’s fume issues. It may be prudent to add a powered exhaust fan.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How to protect the wooden poles when pouring cement floors—doesn’t this deteriorate the poles? Thanks. LINDA in BEAR CREEK

DEAR LINDA: Building Codes actually REQUIRE lumber in contact with concrete to be pressure preservative treated. There is no documented research to prove concrete (or one of its components – cement) deteriorates properly pressure preservative treated columns.

If you are overly concerned or unsure about this, we can provide Plasti-sleeves with your engineered post frame building package. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/04/plasti-sleeves/

 

About Hansen BuildingsDEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the cost per square foot on building a Barn Home? If this isn’t feasible, then what is the cost for finishing a purchased Barn Home Kit? JOEL in COLUMBUS

DEAR JOEL: Barn homes (aka barndominiums or post frame homes) can have finished costs ranging from $50 to hundreds of dollars per square foot depending upon your individual taste and how much work you are willing to do yourself. This article will assist you in formulating a budget: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/07/how-much-will-my-barndominium-cost/

 

 

Price Per Square Foot, Proper Post Treatment, and XPS

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about the price per square foot for a hangar, the proper post treatment for in ground use, and use of XPS insulation between steel and wall posts.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the approximate price per square foot for a 62 x 130 t hangar? KENNETH in PUEBLO WEST

DEAR KENNETH: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. Your question is rather like asking what is an approximate price for a new car – what type of car?

A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer has been attempting to reach out to you to get more specifics on what you have in mind in order to get even a close price range for you.

Will this be a T hangar https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/airplane-t-hangar/ or a nested T? https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/nested-t-hangar/

What opening widths and heights will you require? Hangar doors can impact building height (and price) greatly. Sliding doors are a less expensive design solution than bi-fold or one-piece hydraulic doors, however present their own unique challenges.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have built post frame buildings on and off for 43 years. What is the industry doing to correct the problem of the post rotting off at ground line on post frame buildings? I have attempted to repair buildings in this condition that are settling into the ground. MATT in CLAREMORE

DEAR MATT: In my humble opinion, this could be resolved by having clear markings on Pressure Preservative Treated wood to not leave any doubt as to what proper use is. I have stomped my feet on this very issue for years: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/building-code-3/.

Over my 40 year post frame building career I have yet to see a documented case of a properly pressure preservative treated column rotting off.

 

DEAR POLE BAN GURU: Good Afternoon .

I have been exploring building a post frame home. Is using a combination of XPS and the external sheathing (~2.0 to 2.5″) and bat insulation in the bays (~R19-R26) possible. These two articles seem to me that the dew point would move inside the XPS during the MN winters and make the wall assembly much more durable. Do you think this might be correct? If so, would Post Frame construction easily adapt to this type of assembly?

https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-controlling-cold-weather-condensation-using-insulation

https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/bareports/ba-1301-guidance-taped-sheathing-drainage-planes/view

TIM in ST. PAUL

DEAR TIM: Designed right, post frame homes are wonderful. My lovely bride and I live in an 8000 square foot post frame shouse (shop/house) not too far distant from you (we are roughly 200 miles due West).

Post frame buildings work structurally very similar to why jet airlines hold together – their ‘skin’ is holding everything together. With post frame, wind loads are transferred from building to ground through this steel roofing and siding skin.

When non-structural insulation boards (XPS) are inserted between framing and steel siding, screws holding steel would have to be exceedingly long. Screw shanks through XPS sheathing would deform (bend) under extreme wind events, causing a reduction in abilities to properly transmit loads. This could contribute to premature building system failure.

An easier solution would be to use two inches of closed cell spray foam insulation between wall girts on steel siding interior surface. This would accomplish a similar end result, without a compromise in building strength.

 

Multi-Story Pole Barns, Rubber Coatings on Posts, and Heavy Snow Loads

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about multi-story pole barns, rubber coatings on  posts, and building for heavy snow loads.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking into a multi-story pole barn with the top story being a home. I would need outside assess to the top story also. Do you build the pole barn or just send the materials. DEBBY in OJAI


DEAR DEBBY: We provide multi-story post frame (pole barn) building homes on a regular basis. Having outside access to your second floor is highly doable. We are not contractors in any state, we provide complete custom designs, third-party engineer sealed, all materials delivered to your site as well as complete construction assembly instructions for an average individual to successfully erect their on beautiful home.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is there an issue with rubber coating a post with liquid rubber for first 6 feet of the pole (or coating the whole post even) and pouring concrete and slab together around the posts in pier-slab foundation style? ROB in JACKSON

DEAR ROB: As long as your proposed product is nonflammable and has no toxic off gassing then it should not prove to be an issue other than time and expense to protect a product having an ability already to outlast any of us. You should read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/. It would also behoove you to have your building’s engineer of record sign off on using your product of choice.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are in an area of 120 – 150 snow load in the mountains of MT and want to error on the 150 load side when building our shed. The shed plan is 30×70 (2 RV doors) on the 30 side) with a 15×70 enclosed lean to (car garage door on the 15 side) that will have a car garage, workshop and storage room. Can we do a pole building with this size of shed and snow load or do we have to go stick built? KIM in BIGFORK

DEAR KIM: Post frame construction lends itself to high snow load requirements much better than stick built. We just finished designs for a building is Truckee California where snow load is 390 psf.

 

 

Installing Insulation, Properly Treated Posts, and a Slab Solution

The Pole Barn Guru helps with installing insulation in wet seasons, properly treated posts, as well as a solution to embedded posts when bedrock is present.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello. I am ready to install the insulation and metal on our pole building’s roof. I remember reading how it is important to install the insulation and roof when things are dry as to keep the insulation dry. We have recently moved into a rather wet early fall, and dry weekend days have seemed very illusive.

Do you have any expert ideas or advice that you may be able to offer us? I appreciate all of the very useful help and insight you’ve provided us numerous times already! BRAD in MOUNT VERNON

DEAR BRAD: You want to avoid trapping water between Radiant Reflective Barrier and roof steel, as it can lead to premature deterioration of roof steel.

A helpful hint – in rainy weather only place one run of barrier and if upward surface gets wet, towel dry it and immediately install steel roofing to cover.


Just one reason I now recommend using roof steel with an Integral Condensation Control: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/03/integral-condensation-control/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Opinion in using 9” x 25’ class #3 pressure treated utility poles as columns or posts? I have come across a grip of poles in coastal pacific Mexico. Pondering the use of them as my columns/posts in cabin and deck style construction. Their structural and dimensional properties suited for use as such? Thank you. CARL in ZIHUATANEJO

CARL: I personally would not want to use them as level of pressure preservative treating (as well as chemicals used) could very well be iffy at best, toxic at worst. Read more about utility poles in post frame construction here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/11/used-utility-poles/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 26’ x 42’ pole barn planned. We hit rock 6” down. Builder now wants to consider option of to pour the 4” slab first and use post saddles to anchor the posts on top of the slab. He says “This is a good option and results in longer life of the treated posts. Included in this option is additional bracing on each post” Is this really a viable option???

Help! Thank you. VICTORIA in FAIRVIEW

DEAR VICTORIA: Unless your builder can provide engineer sealed plans for your building including his “solution” fire him now because he has no clue.

Why do I say this? A four inch thick concrete slab only will provide inadequate to mount a building to.

In photo of correct bracket below, concrete would need to be deep enough to have rebar entirely embedded in concrete:

 

While a properly pressure preservative treated column will last longer than any of us will be alive to witness, of course if it does not touch ground it eliminates potential of any decay due to ground issues.

Read more here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/12/attacking-pole-barn-rocks-holes/.

 

It’s All About the Posts!

Trimming Posts, A Taller Building, and Post Treatment:

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Trimming posts or adding Shims? My pole barn kit uses steel trusses that sit on top of the posts and bolt to their sides. If I set two or three posts lower than the rest, can I just add a shim the top (using PT plywood or similar) to match the heights of the other posts, rather than cutting the tops of the other seven or eight posts?
How much mismatch is acceptable? Would a 1/4″ difference in the tops of the posts be acceptable or noticeable? MIKE in ORLANDO

Concrete slab in a pole barnDEAR MIKE: I will give you my answers however prior to implementation of anything I advise, you need to be contacting the RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who designed your building and sealed the plans to get his or her approval.
In my humble opinion, using a non-compressible shim in order to make up the difference should be a non-issue.
As to the acceptable mismatch, structurally the ¼” difference will not make a difference, however there is a good chance it will be noticeable to the naked eye, especially along either the eave girt or fascia board. The closer you can get to perfect, the better the result will be and the happier you will be with it.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello guru! We have a project on the way, and were thinking that our building the way it is engineered is going to be too short for our needs. What kind of risks, be it enforcement or safety would we run into if we increased the building height 2′? BRAD

DEAR BRAD: From a practicality standpoint all of your columns will be two feet too short, as will the wall steel. From an engineering standpoint going two feet taller changes the required sizes (dimensions not just lengths) of some of the columns. If you want taller overhead doors, then you have yet another issue.

The risks – safety – you would now be putting up an un-engineered building, which would be under designed for the loads being imposed on it and could collapse, causing injury or even death. Enforcement – if they catch you, you would have to do field modifications to bring the building up to Code.

If you are serious about making it taller, we can work with you to come up with the least expensive fixes and material swaps. The sooner you decide, chances are the less expensive it is going to be, however there would be a non-refundable deposit involved as we are going to put in some serious hours on this whether you decide to go forward or not.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: If PCP is not good for health and longevity on a pole house replacement pole. 2 each at 30’….what treatment do you recommend on a DF pole? JOE in KAILUA

DEAR JOE: If you are using Douglas Fir, then the pressure preservative of choice is ACZA. You could also use ACQ, however it is very corrosive to steel fasteners, so you would want to have products with a very high level of zinc in the galvanization process, or use stainless steel parts.