Tag Archives: Residence

Connecting Structures, Help with Connections, and a New Home

Today’s Pole Barn Guru answers questions about connecting structures, connections for a DIY project, and help with information to build a new home.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the easiest way to connect 30x50x16 to 30x50x16? JACK in CARDWELL

DEAR JACK: Connected end-to-end will be easiest. Your overall “new building” will need to be evaluated by an engineer for structural integrity as a unit, unless a wall of adequate strength remains between these two sections. When you create a long, narrow, tall building wind shear loads can create some structural challenges.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have made a deposit to Steel Commander for a 40X100 residential structure. What would be the cost for you to supply me a full detail of all the connection points? We plan on assembling the building ourselves as I have a background in welding and fabricating and pretty confident we can successfully do this……………..your thoughts? DAVE in OXFORD

DEAR DAVE: In my humble opinion, any building supplier who is not providing complete step-by-step installation instructions, knowing they are selling to a DIYer, is doing a terrible disservice. My expertise is in post frame buildings, so I am afraid I won’t be much help.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My wife and I are in the market for a new home and we were considering a pole barn house but don’t know where to begin, Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks. SHAWN

DEAR SHAWN: This article has numerous links in it and should prove helpful in getting you started on your exciting new journey! https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/10/show-me-your-barndominium-plans-please/


Converting a Pole Barn to a Residence

Converting a Barn to a Residence
Reader MARK in PORTLAND writes:
“I have a pole barn structure that was converted to a residence without a permit. The slab is 4″ thick with a 4×4 skirt edge around the perimeter. Since the foundation is a pole (pier) system, does the slab edge (non-load bearing) need a thickened lip to extend below the frost line (18″ here)?”
Mike the Pole Barn Guru pole responds:
slab edge insulationWell Mark, as I am sure you are finding out, an entire plethora of issues now exists from the conversion being done without proper permits. Your slab issue just being one of many.
Homes are now required (in most jurisdictions) to meet with energy code requirements. This means you are going to (at the least) have to be adding some insulation below the finished grade of your building. This will eliminate the need to have a thickened slab around the perimeter of your building – which would not only prove to be an added expense, but also a royal pain to install.
I’d approach this challenge with the Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation method, which you can read more about here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/.
It may take having a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) on board in order to plead your case to the local permitting authorities, who could very well make your immediate future a miserable one should they become angered in regards to the change of use without a permit.
Your building itself could very well pose some other challenges. Most often these come from walls not stiff enough (from a deflection standpoint) to prevent the cracking of any gypsum wallboard surfaces. This is an area which can be looked into by the RDP you are going to hire (please nod your head yes).
Chances are excellent the roof trusses in your building are not designed to support a ceiling load, so you are probably looking at needing an engineered truss repair.
The siding should probably be removed and reinstalled with a housewrap underneath. In the event a dead attic space has been created, the attic area needs to be adequately ventilated to prevent condensation. You can find out more about adequate attic ventilation here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/08/ventilation-blows/.