Tag Archives: registered deisign professional

Shopping for Pole Barn Engineering

Shopping for Pole Barn Engineering
When most of us shop for a new computer or a new car, we don’t go shopping for the best deal on the design so we can go buy the pieces on our own – we shop for the finished product which best meets with our needs.
Getting a “great deal” on engineered plans only, doesn’t do the end user one iota of good, if the materials specified are not necessarily the best design solution from a cost or practicality standpoint. As a design professional – if you came to me looking for just plans, I am probably going to overkill your building, as my advance vision of you is of someone who is trying to cut corners and get by on the cheap. Chances are you will buy inferior, undersized or inadequate products and when your building doesn’t pass inspections, or fails, you will come blaming me for poor design!
Here is a recent inquiry which has triggered this article:
DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you offer pole building engineering as a stand alone service without a kit? Can you give me an estimate on this project?
I have an attached picture of the building I am wanting to build.
All the dimensions are to fit specific needs, irrespective of available building material dimensions. If material dimensions and costs dictate different dimensions I am open to hearing suggestions.
Likewise, I like the appearance of the Monitor style building for our property and neighborhood. But if there is another layout that is much less costly to build, I am open to suggestions.
I have a meeting with the city, hopefully next week, where I can learn more about the wind and snow loads. So I am not certain of those.
Hopefully you know what is called for, because I would prefer not to wait for the city meeting to move forward.
If possible, I would like to use beam construction on the roofs, instead of trusses to gain usable height inside the main bay in particular. But if this is a problem, or it adds a great amount to the construction costs, I would be open to suggestions about trusses.
The center and left bays will have a dirt/packed earth floor. The right bay will have a wood floor for a boat shop. There is a utility sink and toilet room in the right bay.
I am hoping the engineering plan you provide has dimensions of materials, and specify correct attachment techniques or hardware requirements.
So, can you let me know a cost to provide stamped engineered plans for this building that will pass code in Port Townsend? And what would be the timeline in which you could provide those?
Thanks for your time. GALEN in PORT TOWNSEND
DEAR GALEN: Thank you very much for your inquiry. No, we are not a plan’s service. We take great pride in providing the most economical and practical engineered custom post frame building designs, along with all of the materials which meet or exceed those structural requirements delivered to your jobsite.

This is the insurance all of the components meet with the specifications called out for by our engineers, who have experience in thousands of post frame building designs. You are going to make a serious investment in your new building, we only want you to have to make it one time.
Mike the Pole Barn Guru

An Engineer Didn’t Design This Building

If an Engineer Didn’t Structurally Design This Building, Then Who Did?

Many of you have been reading the ongoing and sad saga of Jimmy’s building…..here is the next installment:

Jimmy: “You should go buy a lottery ticket, I asked the builder, he told me only on industrial buildings do they use engineering plans. There is the concrete discs the post sit on, but other than that….it’s just sandy dirt mix supporting the posts.

 Can I take pics or take measurements…and send them or is there somewhere I can tell someone what I’ve got material wise and see if it would work. I think what they’re doing is using the minimum requirements. I originally ordered and paid for the trusses to be built on 2×8 top and bottom chords (on a gentleman’s agreement), when they arrived they were built on 2×6 top and bottom chords, when I contacted the guy he said the truss company made a revision since the attic was going to be for storage and not hay that 2x6s would be suffice for the top and chords. Well that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so I said either get me the trusses I paid for or give me the difference between the 2×6 and 2×8 trusses, he said I’m not giving you any money. And because it was on a gentleman’s agreement I don’t have a leg to stand on (everything from now on will always be in writing). I asked the builder what he honestly thought, he said the 4×6’s will be fine, but if my father would have went wider than 30 foot he definitely would have gone with 6×6’s. I’m going to follow through on what I added to the original build, but if there’s a way I can prove this guy is building a structurally unsound building I will take him to court.

 What’s your thoughts on concrete? We are planning to insulate the underneath with foam (250 psi) was recommended, and the concrete will be reinforced with fiber, but not with metal screen.”

Dear Jimmy: Please feel free to send any photos or measurements to me for review and I will give you my best honest opinion. My question always is – if an engineer didn’t structurally design this building, then who did?

truss-drawing-150x150The 2×6 top and bottom chords may very well be sufficient, as it will depend as much on the grade of the material used, than just the size. There should have been a sealed truss drawing delivered with the trusses – scan it and send it to me. I spent many years in the truss industry, so if something is amiss, chances are good I will catch it.

Sadly, you already have a building which is structurally unsound. There is no way those “concrete discs” are going to be adequate to prevent your building from settling. It might not happen immediately, but it will happen. A good building, takes a good foundation, it is just this simple.

As to your concrete floor, the best way to get a great floor, is with great site preparation. I’ve written extensively on this topic in the past: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/. Fibermesh is a product I have used in my own floors and have been pleased with the results. Unless you or someone in the future is going to climate control the building, there is no reason to put insulation under the slab. If you are considering a future with climate control then you should also be reading this article: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/08/pex-tubing/
For all you gentle readers I implore you to take to heart the following advice – regardless of whom you invest in a building with:

  1. Never, ever invest in a building which does not have the seal of a Registered Design Professional (RDP – engineer or architect) on the plans. Unless your builder happens to be a RDP, he is just winging it.
  2. Make sure the plans are specific to YOUR building, with exactly the dimensions you ordered, showing your doors. The plans should have your name and the site address on them.
  3. GET IT IN WRITING https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/04/successful-relationship/

Engineer Designed Pole Buildings

Thanks to a High School Student

My eldest step-son Jake, started a Facebook Group for students where he taught Physics at Lenore City in Tennessee. One of his students shared this with the group:

Three professionals, a mathematician, a physicist and an engineer, took their final test for their job. The sole question in the exam was “how much is one plus one”.

The mathematician asked the receptionist for a ream of paper, two hours later, he said: I have proven it’s a natural number.

The physicist, after checking parallax error and quantum tables said: it’s between 1.9999999999, and 2.0000000001

The engineer quickly said: oh! It’s easy! It’s two,…. no, better make it three, just to be safe.

While the average citizen probably does not think about it, they walk or drive by engineer designed structures every day. Why is it not a thought? Because engineered buildings rarely, if ever, fall down.

Engineers SealIn the post frame building industry, Hansen Buildings deals with Registered Professional Engineers pretty much every day.  It is thanks to years of schooling, field experience, and real life design work these design professionals perform which makes our pole buildings as safe as they are.

In my mind, if a design error is going to be made, let’s have it made on the side of caution.

Today’s Building Codes are not quite like the earliest of codes.

Building codes have a long history. What is generally accepted as the first building code was in the Code of Hammurabi which specified:

If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then the builder shall be put to death.

If it kills the son of the owner, the son of the builder shall be put to death.

If it kills a slave of the owner, then he shall pay, slave for slave, to the owner of the house.

If it ruins goods, he shall make compensation for all which has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.

If a builder builds a house for someone, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.

Even though we are not using the Code of Hammurabi today, most engineers (fortunately) treat their structural design work as if their lives depended upon it. I would not think of constructing any type of building – without a Professional Engineer having his/her seal of approval on it.  Cost of the engineer’s stamp? Minimal compared to the value of my wife, children and others who are in and out of my pole buildings on a daily basis.