Tag Archives: raise building

A Basement Foundation, a Leaky Roof, and Raising Bays

Today’s “Ask the Guru” tackles reader questions about erecting a kit on a basement foundation, how to find and repair a leaky roof, and some advice on raising bays to add height to a structure.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to erect one of the pole barn kits on a basement foundation? LUCAS in LANDISBERG

DEAR LUCAS: Fully engineered post frame buildings adapt themselves very handily to being erected over a full, partial or walkout basement. We can engineer to have wet set brackets placed in concrete, concrete block or ICF foundation walls, or can provide post framed Permanent Wood Foundation walls. We encourage our clients with basements to utilize clearspan wood floor trusses, to create wide open spaces in basement levels, as well as to allow for utilities to be run through floor trusses, resulting in flat finished ceilings.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My pole building is 35 years old, the roof is leaking, how do you find where the water is coming in, it is nailed, should I replace the nails with screws? PETE in DU PERE

DEAR PETE: Older steel roofs most usually develop leaks at eave lines, closest to endwalls first. This is where greatest wind shear stresses occur.

Always wear appropriate safety equipment when on a roof.

You should replace all nails with screws of a larger diameter than nails and 1/2″ greater in length. Look for screws with EPDM washers (not neoprene rubber). If you find a location where water leaks have caused wood deterioration and screws are not “biting” place a wood ‘filler’ in hole – we’ve heard of people using wooden match sticks for this purpose, however would recommend ripping some small squares (roughly 1/8″ square) out of Douglas Fir using a Table Saw.

Once all nails have been replaced, you can test for leaks by using a hose and running water on roof. Start with eaves and work your way towards ridge line. It does take an observer inside to advise if any water is coming through.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering buying land with an existing 36×96 pole barn on it. The building has 10′ doors and the trusses are 12′ height. I have one truck that requires a 12′ door and clearance. It was suggested to me that i could raise one or two bays on the end of the building by sistering to the existing poles and lifting the roof two or four feet to make clearance, reuse the trusses and roof and add metal to the sides. My questions are is this possible and what should I be aware of to make sure the job is done correctly. Snow load is not a concern here and the building has a concrete floor. No heat or AC just storage. Thank you CRAIG in INDEPENDENCE

DEAR CRAIG: While it might be possible to raise a portion of the roof, it should only be done with involvement of a Registered Professional Engineer who can make a determination of adequacy of what you have, and what would need to be done to insure structural adequacy. Chances are good columns in area to be taller will need to be larger in dimension to properly withstand wind loads.

Soffit, Framing Options, and Increasing Eave Height

The Guru has had so many questions sent over email and social media, we thought we’d play catch-up for a few days. Today he answers questions about adding soffits or overhangs to a structure, options for framing a building with lap siding, and the feasibility of lifting a building to add to the eave height.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Should I have a soffit on my pole barn? CLIFF in SOUTHSIDE

DEAR CLIFF: Personally if my budget was so tight I could only afford doors or enclosed overhangs, I would do overhangs and leave door openings to install later when funds became available. You can always add doors, however you only get one opportunity to do overhangs – at time of construction.

Overhangs will keep your building from looking like an industrial warehouse. They will push ‘weather’ (rain runoff or snow slide off) away from your building walls – keeping your building cleaner and reducing potential for trapped water to build up and enter your building. With ventilated eave soffits, you have an air intake required for any dead attic spaces.

Invest in them and you will have no regrets.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Okay, I have been researching horizontal lap siding options for my detached garage project I plan on building next summer. I have seen many opinions on the necessary framing to support the engineered wood horizontal lap siding that matches my house and my wife is requiring my garage to match. Most people talk about installing furring strips over OSB, having the OSB cover the horizontal girts. But what about mounting regular 2×6 studs INSIDE the girts? Then covering the girts with Zip Sheeting. This would provide a continuous building envelope, superior nailing support for the siding, and vertical support if I choose to finish the interior in the future. Thoughts? SCOTT in BROOKSTON

DEAR SCOTT: While you could build a stud wall inside of exterior mounted wall girts, it would seemingly make more sense to use bookshelf girts instead, solving challenges in one fell swoop. Should you decide to finish your interior, bookshelf girts are also ideal for drywall applications. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/11-reasons-post-frame-commercial-girted-walls-are-best-for-drywall/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My 30×60 pole barn has 8 foot eaves. I need 10 foot eaves. Can I lengthen poles to get added height? JEREMY in COLUMBIA CITY

DEAR JEREMY: With input from a Registered Professional Engineer you may be able to however you are talking about a fairly monumental undertaking, fraught with peril in trying to raise it up without destroying what you have. Besides coming up with a satisfactory column splice, you are going to have to slowly raise the building up at each column equally. Get one column too far ahead or behind and you risk ripping steel roofing around screws – then you have leaks. If a lift point slips off from jacks you could end up with a scrambled mess. Provided you are able to successfully lift and get columns spliced, you now have siding being too short to contend with.

Personally, provided I had the space and it was allowed by my jurisdiction, I would build another taller building. And make it taller than 10′ eave – so you have some future resale value for someone with tall stuff.



Sliding Doors, Building Height Increase, and Wind Ratings

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about why Hansen does not sell sliding doors without the rest of the building, creating more space in an existing building, and wind rating comparison of post frame, stick built, and steel frame buildings.

Figure 27-3

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello.  I saw a video of a heavy duty hardware for sliding doors on YouTube which I’m curious if you sell. I’m building a boat house in a restricted covenanted subdivision in south Mississippi using standard home construction.  I’m trying to find hardware to accommodate two 7 wide x 14 tall Hardie sheeted doors. Do you have hardware?  If so, how much and what is the availability? ROD in MISSISSIPPI

DEAR ROD: Thank you very much for your inquiry. Due to challenges of shipping sliding door components without damage, Hansen Pole Buildings only supplies doors with an investment into a complete post frame building kit package. You might try reaching out to I-Beam Sliding Doors at (800)776-3645 and be sure to tell them I sent you.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m writing to you from one of your old states, Idaho. I just bought a 10 acre farm which has a pole barn; dirt floor, no power, etc. I would like it to be taller so I could pull my camper into it but it only has a standard 8’ tall door. I have been thinking that rather then trying to raise the roof, perhaps I could or should dig down a couple of feet and pour a concrete pony wall all around it and then pour my concrete floor. So I guess my question to you Mr. Pole Barn Guru is, which is going to be the better or more economical way to go? Raise the roof or dig the foundation down deeper? Thank you for your time! TRAVIS in NAMPA

DEAR TRAVIS: How about choice C?

Attempting to increase your building’s height is going to require services or a Registered Professional Engineer to ascertain what modifications would need to be done in order to ‘raise the roof’. Besides his or her services, you will have materials and lots and lots of labor and equipment rentals.

Concrete pony walls are not an inexpensive proposition, plus you are disrupting existing column embedment – again an engineer should be involved. If you go this route, you will also have to deal with a downward sloping approach into your door.

Choice C – erect a new third-party engineered post frame building kit to fit your camper. When all is said and done, this will probably be your least expensive as well as best structural option.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the wind rating on pole barn compared to steel or frame buildings? RONNIE in REEDVILLE

DEAR RONNIE: Any type of building system can be engineered (emphasis on “engineered” as being actually designed by a Registered Professional Engineer) to resist a given wind speed and wind exposure. What makes a huge difference is what sort of financial investment comes along with increasing a system’s ability to support increased loads. Post frame (pole barn) construction boasts of some efficiencies in regards to increased wind design other systems lack. By having columns embedded in ground and running continuously vertically, without joints or hinges (such as stick frame) weak transition points between foundations and walls, as well as wall/floor/walls are eliminated. Post frame buildings have fewer connections, in general, and connections are weak points of any structural system.

As you shop for a new post frame building, investigate added investment in increasing design wind speeds by 10, 20 or even more mph (miles per hour) beyond Building Code ‘minimal’ requirements. You might be surprised at how little of a difference actually exists!