Tag Archives: siding options

LP Siding, Ceilings, and an Inspector’s questions!

This Monday, the Pole Barn Guru discussed attaching LP siding on a post frame home, installing ceiling panels, and an Inspector’s questions.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking at the possibly of installing standard LP lap siding on a post frame home, in that case it would seem like I would need to go with vertical studs. As a look at cost and installation time, metal siding is starting to look a little better. TRENT in WALLA WALLA

DEAR TRENT: My own home features steel siding and wouldn’t consider doing it any other way. Besides being less expensive to install (both material and labor), steel siding will prove to be extremely durable and requires no maintenance. For sidings such as LP lap, you can still use bookshelf girts, reducing girt dimensions from 2×8 to 2×6 and placing vertical 2×4 nailers every two feet upon girt exterior face running from pressure preservative treated splash plank up to soffit supports. This results in a savings of around 20% in assembly framing lumber.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How far apart should the strapping be for installing metal on a ceiling. Trusses are 4ft apart metal is Tuff Rib 3/4 inch I think. BERNIE in ARMSTRONG

DEAR BERNIE: By “strapping” I will guess you are meaning supports for the steel ceiling liner panels. If you install panels perpendicular to trusses you can screw directly to bottom chords without any additional framing.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My building inspector is requesting information on the direct to ground treated aspect of the glulaminated timbers in my building.  The wording on the posts for the direct to ground side are covered with concrete.  The color alone isn’t enough.  Where can I get this info?  Also the LU28 hangars call out 3 1.5 inch nails per side to truss, and 2 1.5 per side to Purlin. Which is 10 mails per Purlin bracket. He is requesting all holes being filled.  Do I argue or do I fill the holes? RICK in PARMA

DEAR RICK: Justine forwarded to you manufacturer’s warranty information in regards to your building’s glulaminated columns, specifying level of treatment as adequate for structural in ground use.

Your inspector will be merely enforcing information denoted upon your engineered building plans. Unless called out for otherwise, all holes in hangers having wood to nail into must be filled. If nailing into a two ply member (e.g. double truss) 10d common x 3″ nails should be used. I also just happened to have a Simpson LU28 sitting next to me atop my desk – I count three holes per side to nail into purlin and four holes per side to nail into truss, total of 14 holes per bracket.


Building Houses, Siding Options, & Construction

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you build houses from the ground up? ERIC

Hansen Pole Buildings GuesthouseDEAR ERIC: We are not contractors, so we do not build anything for anyone anywhere. Our post frame building homes are designed for the average person who can and will read instructions to successfully construct their own home – even without the help of a contractor! We will design specifically to meet with the requirements of your site and your needs and budget in mind. Our system provides the structure – what holds your house up, allowing you to place interior non-load bearing walls anywhere your heart fancies. We can design for full or partial basements, concrete slab on grade or crawlspace applications. Homes may be on a single level, or multiple levels up to and including three stories above grade.

Basically – if you can dream it, we can design and provide it.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I need to know what type of wood the board and batton siding is.  Cedar?  What kind of cedar?  I can’t find specifics on the materials list or my project site.  Thanks. TRISHA in MEAD

Hansen Buildings TaglineDEAR TRISHA: The rough sawn T1-11 panels are typically either a Southern Yellow Pine or Douglas Fir facing. The 1x for battons and corners is most usually Western Red Cedar.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am buying a timber frame barn kit. Can you erect this building and contract the construction? STEPHEN in MIDDLETOWN

DEAR STEPHEN: We provide post frame (pole building) custom designed kit packages. We are not contractors in any state, so no – we cannot erect your building or contract the construction.


Siding Trends

There was a time when all barns were sided with wood. A drive around any rural countryside will confirm this; old wood covered barns are seemingly everywhere (although not necessarily in great condition, as wood requires maintenance).

Stucco Pole BuildingAs galvanized corrugated steel became more readily available, as well as affordable, the pendulum swung away from the traditional wood. Once pre-painted colored steel siding hit the marketplace, nearly all pole barn sidings went this direction.

In my three plus decades in the post frame building industry, pre-painted steel siding has been by far the product of choice. However the past few years, there has been more and more of other siding options both available and chosen.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fiber cement sidings have gained popularity as a primary exterior wall material, being used on 15% of new single-family construction last year. In the past five years, fiber cement usage has increased 36% over other materials.

While I was brought up with “wood is good”, the market share for wood sidings has dropped to only 3%. From my own experience of having to repeatedly solid body stain the 1×8 Cedar channel siding on my own pole buildings – I can attest to never wanting to make this mistake again.

Vinyl is still the dominant residential siding, capturing 30% of the residential market.

What surprised me is stucco and brick are the exterior coverings of roughly 50% of all U.S. homes. Considering Hansen Pole Buildings has had several clients stucco one or more walls of their buildings in the past few years, I suppose I should not have been so surprised.

Outside of affordability, being durable and maintenance free are the keys to long term happiness with any siding choice.

When it comes to post frame construction, any exterior material which can be utilized on any building system, can be placed on a post frame building, aka “pole barn”. Keep in mind, the siding cost is going to be the same on any structure, so do not have an unrealistic expectation of savings in this aspect for choosing post frame over other framing designs.

The economics of pole building construction come from tremendous savings in foundation costs, and from the elimination of redundant framing members found in conventional stick frame construction.