Tag Archives: rebuilding

Rebuilding, Post Spacing, as well as a Frost Wall

I this weeks blog, the Pole Barn Guru talks about, rebuilding a pole barn, ideal post spacing and a frost wall.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I recently disassembled a 36 x 100 pole barn and am rebuilding it at my house. It was covered with 2″ reinforced paper faced roll pole barn insulation with a 1″ foam board between the insulation and the metal. While removing the roll insulation it received many tears in the paper face. I would like to install a 6mil vapor barrier over my lumber then reinstall the roll insulation followed by the foam then the metal. Is this a good idea? The building will be heated and air conditioned but will not receive any kind of wall covering inside of the vapor barrier. Thanks DEAN in CORYDON

wind damageDEAR DEAN: I can’t say I am a huge fan of rebuilds for several reasons – damaged materials end up being used and it is pretty well impossible to keep from having holes in the roof steel which are going to cause leaks.

You should seriously consider the involvement of a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) to insure what you are rebuilding will meet Code requirements.

One problem right away – the foam board between the framing and the steel. Throw it away or resell it on Craigslist. The foam board pretty much negates the strength of the steel cladding due to the lack of rigidity of the insulation. It will also contribute to the possibility of slots forming around the screw shanks, due to movement of the building framework.

You should use a well sealed building wrap between the wall framing and the steel siding, then the insulation. If you are unable to repair the tears in the paper facing, you can use visqueen on the inside for a vapor barrier, however it (or paper facing) should be covered with an inflammable material to prevent possible fire issues.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I’m in Oklahoma which has high winds and severe weather. I am leaning towards having a garage built that is 20x24x10. How far apart should the columns be spaced? We have no HOA in our neighborhood and I haven’t reviewed the neighborhood covenants.  I’m really wanting to be smart on this because it’s a lot of money that I want to be solid investment. My goal is to save money, but be so cheap that building falls apart.  Thank you for your time. SHANE in OKLAHOMA

DEAR SHANE: The real answer does not come from column spacing, it comes from investing in a fully engineered post frame building which is specific to your building upon your site. Given your concern is for wind design, unless you have a site which is well protected from the wind in all four directions (buildings, hills or evergreen trees 30 feet or greater in height) you need an Exposure C for wind. You can get pricing on a variety of Vult wind speeds and determine what wind design you are willing to invest in.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I purchased a pole barn kit a couple years ago and I am just now getting around to building it. My county approved everything but they added an exception. They say that I need to add some frost protection. Either a frost wall or some sort of shallow frost protection. There are no plans for such in the blueprints and it is required by code here. So my question is what do I need to Do? Doing a concrete frost wall almost makes buying the pole barn kit unnecessary. I should of just did a stick built if I’m basically building a foundation.  I live in Bonneville county Idaho. Just wondering if you have come across this situation here and what the buyer needed to do? CAMERON in IDAHO FALLS

slab edge insulationDEAR CAMERON: You can do a Shallow Frost-Protected Foundation without having to thicken the slab edge – you can backfill on the inside of the vertical insulation board with sand. In the event your Building Official requires this to be added to your plans and sealed by the engineer, there would be an added investment for redrafting and sealing two new sets. For more reading: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/.





Flood Rebuilding, Retrofitting Stem Wall, and Platinum Engineering

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi. I am an architect with a flood victim client in Houston whose 1500 sf house must be rebuilt 5′ above grade. C panel, aluminum sliding windows/doors, low budget. Is it crazy to think they could buy a custom kit from you and have a crew from MN install it in January when said crew needed a winter break ? Attached images are just place holders to show elevated frame. Thank you. STEPHANIE in SAN ANTONIO

DEAR STEPHANIE: We can certainly get the house designed and delivered for your client, however we are not building contractors. Our buildings are simple enough so the average person who can and will read instructions in English can certainly erect the structural portions of their new home – and do a better job than the majority of building contractors.

With a high degree of certainty, you (or your client) could run an ad in Craigslist and get a builder from the great white north to travel to put the building up, if the client is not so inclined.

Vinyl windows are going to be about the same price as aluminum and will be far superior in performance. Our goal is to offer the best possible value for our client’s investment, so it is very probable we will prove to be a good fit.



Mom and I have a existing metal pole barn with no foundation – just dirt. We need to convert it to a work room with a raised pier foundation inside a concrete ”curb”. So my question is, what do we use to insulate/separate the concrete from the side of the metal walls?
Thank you sooooo much! ANNIE and MOM in AUSTIN

Dear ANNIE and MOM: It sounds to me like your idea is to have an elevated wood floor inside your building. If this is the case, the floor can probably be constructed by the attachment of beams to the building columns and running joists in between them. The question will be what needs to be added to your building (if anything) to provide for structural adequacy.

As an alternative, you could pour concrete stem walls (curbs) between the sidewall columns and as needed inside the structure. This is going to entail far more expense as well as work. Stem walls along the perimeter should be able to be isolated from the wall steel by pouring against the pressure preservative treated skirt board (splash plank) at the base of the walls.

In either case, a Registered Design Professional (RDP – architect or engineer) should be hired to do a field analysis of your building to determine both the adequacy of your building as well as to design the solution for you.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much does the platinum engineering package cost? DAN in VIRGINIA BEACH

DEAR DAN: The Hansen Pole Buildings Platinum Engineering Package includes adding elevation drawings (showing the siding) to the standard structural engineering package which is included with your investment in a new Hansen Pole Buildings complete post frame building kit. The extra investment is nominal and can be obtained for your specific building upon request to your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer.