Tag Archives: sliding doors

Rain Country, A High Water Table, and Door Options

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about any added features for “rain country” like western Washington, use of UC-4B pressure preservative treated columns in a high water table area, and the options of a sliding door vs a sectional overhead door in an RV storage building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do many people build Hansen barndos in western Washington rain country and if so what added features. Are to be considered in heavy rain areas. DALE in WEST RICHLAND

DEAR DALE: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. We have provided over 1000 fully engineered post frame buildings to our clients in Washington State, more than any other state!

There are some keys to success when building in any wet/damp climate.

Good site preparation is foremost. You want to have your concrete slab on grade to be poured on top of six to 12 inches of a properly compacted sub base, then add another two to six inches of sand or sandy gravel, before placing vapor barrier and any under slab insulation.

Building footprint should have a finished grade high enough to allow surrounding ground to be finish graded to slope away from building at no less than a 5% grade for 10 feet.

Building should have eave overhangs (12 to 24 inches) with gutters. Gutters should have drain exits at least 10 feet away from building.

Place a well-sealed Weather Resistant Barrier between wall girts and siding.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Going to build 2 pole barns on my property in Wewahitchka Florida about 15 miles from Mexico Beach. Water table on property is high and in a three foot post hole the water will seep and maintain 2 foot of water. Besides having a potential of hurricane winds what do you feel is best to withstand the water and winds over time for the supporting posts? Some I have read say wet set anchors are a pivot point not good for hurricane situations? Some posts in the ground not to weaken the post when blown by hurricane winds. Please inform best way and I am putting in for a quote from your company. ED in WEWAHITCHKA

DEAR ED: Embedded columns will be far more resistant to wind loads than bracket mounts.

If it was my own building(s), I would build up my site with compactable fill about two feet (compacted no less than every six inches) then sloped away from building no less than 5% for 10 feet or more. I’d then use columns embedded in ground.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am exploring options for a garage for my 33ft 5th wheel RV. My RV is 12.5 ft tall, so looking at a 14 ft high door opening. Door Width will be 12 ft total. I’m looking at dual external sliding doors vs. a large and expensive rollup door. Is there a way to seal or insulate a sliding door setup? The only sliding door setups I am familiar with leave gaps at the sides, bottom, top. I have not decided if I will go metal kit, pole barn, or a traditional 2×4 and truss method for the structure. Thanks ROB in HERNDON

RV Storage BuildingDEAR ROB: After roughly 20,000 buildings, I have yet to have any client wish they would have installed sliding doors, rather than sectional steel overhead doors.

Your downsides of sliding doors are many. They will only seal tight enough to allow your neighbor’s cat to get in (not to mention the mice being chased by said cat). They cannot be effectively insulated. While electric openers are available, they are not for those who are faint of pocket book (read more about electric sliding door openers here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/propel-electric-door-openers/).

Most importantly, sliding doors are not wind load rated. This can become highly problematic. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/



Secure Doors, Soffits, Wind, and Sliding Door Tracks

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about a secure replacement for sliding doors, soffit kits, a singular concern of wind, and replacing tracks for a sliding door.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I need to replace two 9.5 ft wide by 8 feet high sliding doors on my pole barn. The current doors are a wood box frame with a piece of siding. I am looking for something secure so I can keep tools and stuff inside. I also need help with a soffit question. Is there a steel/aluminum facing and soffit kit that I can use to make this easier without much cutting and metal bending work? CHRISTOPHER in GROVE CITY

DEAR CHRISTOPHER: If you are looking for security you should consider upgrading to sectional steel overhead doors. Sliding doors are not secure and do not seal tightly (as you have probably determined).

Metal soffit panels are available in 12′ lengths, both vented and unvented, they will need to be cut to width of your overhang, however properly installed, both cut edges will be covered by steel trim. Fascia trims are manufactured as an “L” with long vertical leg being height of your building’s fascia board plus 1/2″ for soffit thickness. Shorter leg will be 1-1/2″ with a hem. This will cover cut ends of your soffit panels as well as any exposed fasteners. Both soffit and fascia are available in a plethora of colors.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My only concern is wind…


DEAR DAVID: We are concerned about all climactic conditions, with every building we provide. This is one of many reasons we made a determination long ago to only provide fully engineered buildings – as it is an assurance to our clients every component and connection has been reviewed for structural adequacy.

Keep in mind, Building Code load requirements are bare minimums and are no guarantee buildings will not suffer severe damage, if loaded to maximum design loads. Codes are designed to protect human life, not necessarily to keep buildings standing usefully. I would encourage you to explore design wind speeds greater than Code minimums, as often they come with very small extra investments. We can design and have engineered buildings capable of surviving EF-3 tornadoes (wind speeds up to and including 208 mph).

Important with any design for wind, is an understanding of wind exposure. For extended reading, please visit: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have a 1970 Quonset hut on our property and the doors are the sliding doors. The bottom track for the doors are all bent and beat up that the beginning of the tracks and the doors won’t stay on their tracks anymore. The length of the existing tracks are 101.5 inches – and I need replacement guides/tracks so the doors will actually stay on the tracks when it gets windy and stop popping off at the bent end. Where does one acquire those replacement track/guides for the existing huge sliding doors. Thank you. DAWN in HARRINGTON

DEAR DAWN: You have discovered why ‘modern’ sliding doors use a bottom door girt with a slot, where as door slides open, a building mounted guide keeps doors tight to your wall. My best recommendation would be to have a machine shop fabricate up new bottom tracks – if you only have to replace them once every 50 years or so, it would prove to be a sound investment.

Frustrating Builder, Post Size, and Sliding Barn Doors?

This week the Pole Barn Guru tackles reader questions about recourse against a builder that “never does what what he says,” a question about the necessary post size for an RV shelter, and the need for a structural engineer to answer the question, and advice for a reader whose doors blow out wondering if sliding doors are the solution— probably not.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thanks, I have a builder who has not done one thing right. The details are long and frustrating. What recourse do I have? It seems there is no codes in Heavner, Oklahoma I would like to send some pictures. I am disabled and to not have stress. This guy lies and never does what he says. Never got a contract, asked several times. KENETH in HEAVNER

DEAR KENNETH: Hire a Construction Attorney Now.

Do not give this builder any more money.

You have probably now realized you have committed a cardinal sin of building construction – hiring a builder, without a contract.
For those of you following along at home: ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/
And contracts are boring, until you go to court: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2021/06/contracts-are-boring-until-you-go-to-court/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What size post needed for 26 by 26 with 12 foot high wall and 4/12 beam roof RV port. DON in OMAHA

DEAR DON: This is a question best answered by an engineer who is going to seal your building plans (whomever you are purchasing your building kit should be including them). While I cannot give you actual engineering advice, I can tell you what will not work.

In a roof only post frame building, columns act as cantilevers (think diving board). There is a minimum column dimension calculation, based upon a column’s unsupported length. In most cases, this unsupported length is from top of full concrete backfilled hole, to bottom of roof trusses.

Let’s take a look at a 6×6 (actual dimensions of 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″). The L/d (Unsupported length divided by least dimension of column) ratio must be less than 50. 12 feet equals 144 inches, so 144 divided by 5.5 equals 26.18 – but, NOT SO FAST, columns are also impacted by a ‘magical’ factor known as Ke. For a purely cantilevered column Ke is equal to 2.1. Therefore 26.8 times 2.1 equals 54.98, as this is greater than 50 and a 6×6 would fail.

Greatest unsupported length of a cantilevered 6×6 column would be 130.95 inches. This does NOT take into account loads having to be carried by this column (snow, wind and seismic), hence your need for an engineer to verify structural adequacy.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’ve had my 2, 12 x 12 panel doors blow out and my roof dropped 1/4 mile away twice in 2 years. I’m thinking barn doors to maybe be a good idea for my door replacement this time as they mount outside, which will make it much harder for the wind to bend them. Do you make or can you suggest a door to replace these doors this time that will not get blown out by the wind? Thanks for your time and trouble. JOHN in SOLANO

DEAR JOHN: Sliding ‘barn’ doors are probably not your best design solution as very few of them will withstand high winds. What you actually need (at least my recommendation) are wind rated overhead doors. Whomever provided your doors originally (and replaced them) did you a true injustice. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/

A Workshop, A Sliding Door, and A Metal Gauge of a Beverage Can

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about a new a heated floor in a new workshop, adding a large sliding door to a building, and the metal gauge of a beverage can.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, New fan of your site 🙂   We are designing a 40×80 pole building workshop for heavy equipment, with radiant in-floor heating.  Contractors want to use rigid foam board under the concrete, we are concerned about crushing under the weight of equipment, and then the concrete cracking.  What do you suggest?

Thank you, AL and LORI in COLUMBUS


DEAR AL AND LORI: Welcome, I am hopeful you have gained some information of value. Your 40 x 80 pole building workshop would be very happy as a new Hansen Pole Building.

Your concrete contractor is correct you will want to install XPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam sheets over your vapor barrier (and below concrete). You can specify a product’s compressive strength, but it appears even standard 25 psi should be adequate.

Although I have not tried it myself, I have read of others who have had two to four inches of closed cell spray foam applied directly over their prepared site. This would both act as a vapor barrier and as under floor insulation.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much does a 20 foot wide x 13 foot high metal single sliding door with track and hardware cost installed in zip 51561 CHARLEY in PACIFIC JUNCTION

CHARLEY: We are not building contractors, so would have no idea. You might try contacting the Pro Desk of your local The Home Depot® to see if they could recommend a contractor who could tackle your project.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What gauge metal is the wall of an aluminum beer can or Coke can? How many millimeters thick is it? LETITIA in ONEONTA

DEAR LETITIA: My now adult children have accused me of being a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things of worthless trivia. It just so happens I have written an article on this very subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/05/steel-thickness-2/


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!


Roof Trusses 4′ o.c., Condensation Issues, and a Sliding Door

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about roof trusses at 4′ o.c., ways to solve condensation issues, and sliding door options.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My question is I just purchased some roof trusses that are 32 feet long heel to heel they are constructed with 2 by 4s can I put these on 4 foot centers? Thanks. CRAIG in BELVIDERE

DEAR CRAIG: You can if you want your building to collapse in a moderate snow event. Along with your trusses, you should have received an engineer sealed truss drawing with all specifics as to what can be carried by it and spacing. If you did not, and they are prefabricated metal connector plated wood trusses, there should be a manufacturer’s stamp somewhere on truss bottom chords. You could then contact them and give them truss specifics (and probably a few photos showing lumber grades, web configuration and steel connector plate sizes. From this, they may be able to determine what you have actually spent your hard earned money on.

If you are unable to determine where they came from, another alternative would be to take their information to a Registered Professional Engineer with roof truss experience. For a few hundred dollars, you may be able to get an opinion as to their strength.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I have a 30x46x16 all steel pole barn that I am having condensation problems with. My question is what is the best thing I can install or do to help the problem? I have been told by others to install a ventilation exhaust fan controlled by an thermostat. I do have electricity in barn. I also have a wind turbine I haven’t installed yet too? Should I put both of these items in or one of them? And if so, do you guys install these items? Please help, its rusting all my tools and growing mildew in my RV!! Thanks ALYSSA in LEWIS CENTER

DEAR ALYSSA: You have found a challenge (one of many actually) Quonset steel building providers never seem to mention – condensation (read about other Quonset issues here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/07/quonset-huts/).

The two best things you can do are to seal your concrete floor (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/02/how-to-properly-apply-post-frame-concrete-sealant/) and have two or more inches of closed cell spray foam insulation applied to the inside of your steel building shell. An exhaust fan might help, provided it can adequately move enough air (need to move between 3000 and 4000 CFM – cubic feet per minute) and it will require an air inlet of similar dimensions. We are not contractors, so we won’t be able to assist you with any installations.


Figure 27-5

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi. Not really looking for a whole building. What I am looking for is an exterior sliding door to install onto a shop wall. The Shop is a timber frame unit. The opening is roughly 6 feet wide by 7 – 7.5 feet tall. I have not yet taken exact measurements. I will as soon as I can find a vendor within my price range.

I was very intrigued by your video presentation describing the “nail on” round track system. Also, this shop is in an odd location. It is a basement shop under my house, the house is built on a slope, so the wall I want to put the door onto is at ground level, but the opposite wall is fully underground. Since it is an exterior door to my basement any info on weather sealing for the cold Vt. Winters would be greatly appreciated. ANDREW in WESTMINSTER

DEAR ANDREW: Whilst I can appreciate you thinking a sliding “barn style” door might be a solution, I am doubtful as to it truly being a viable design solution. At best a sliding door will be a challenge to insulate beyond a bare minimal R value. A bigger concern is you are not going to achieve a tight air seal.

A design solution I can recommend (although it may stretch your budget) would be to go with an insulated commercial steel double entry door (six feet wide) in steel jambs. These doors will afford a secure access to your shop, are insulated and can seal air tight.

Although we typically only provide doors with our complete third-party engineered post frame building kit packages, you can message Materials@HansenPoleBuildings.com for a delivered price.


Sliding Door Size, Floor Heat & Post Rot, and Trimming an Addition

Today’s Pole Barn Guru discusses Sliding Door Size, Floor Heat & Post Rot, and Trimming an Addition.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a shed in Holman Wisconsin with 12 ft high by 12 ft wide doors on it. The header is 13-6 can 13 ft high by 12 wide sliding door b installed? JEFF in HOLMAN

14-0620 Monitor BarnDEAR JEFF: Assuming standard post frame building construction where top of concrete slab is 3-1/2″ above bottom of pressure preservative treated splash plank. From bottom of splash plank to bottom of sliding door header would need to be 13′ 4-3/4″ to allow for a 13 foot tall sliding door.



DEAR POLE BARN GURU: In floor heat and poll life. Would higher temps from in floor heat reduce the life span of treatment and also improve the environment for decay organisms? VINCENT in CHAFFEE

DEAR VINCENT: As pressure treatment chemicals bond to wood at a cellular level, unless your floor heat was hot enough to cause combustion, it is highly unlikely lifespan would be reduced.

Growth of wood-rotting fungi is affected by temperature similar to growth of ordinary green plants. It is faster in warm weather than in cold. There are variations in response to temperature, and for each species there is an optimum at which growth is most rapid. Forest Products Laboratories tests and others on a number of species of fungi common in Canada indicate temperature conditions for optimum growth range from 65 to 95°F. All fungi show little or no growth at freezing temperatures or slightly above, but most wood rotting fungi are not killed by temperatures well below freezing point. They can withstand winter’s cold in a dormant state and can recommence active growth when temperatures increase again if other conditions are right.

Growth becomes less rapid as temperatures are increased above 95°F and ceases for most fungi at temperatures slightly in excess of 100°F. Prolonged exposure to temperatures slightly above maximum for growth, or even short exposure to temperatures much above maximum, can kill fungus completely. Actual death point is influenced by temperature, length of time and moisture content.

In theory, this means your heated floor could actually be responsible for killing decay organisms.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey I found you thru Hansen Buildings and had a question you might be able to answer just built a 24 x 16 pole barn and on the left and right added sheds but only half the building length what do I do with my gable trim that ends in the eave on the roof side of it just don’t know how to end it? JEREMY in SILETZ

DEAR JEREMY: Run gable (rake) trim up to main building roof steel edge, with a factory (uncut by you) end towards main roof. Use Emseal® (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/03/emseal-self-expanding-sealant-tape-closures/) between top edge of trim and underlying roofing to create a tight water seal.



Foundations, Insulating a Sliding Barn Door, and Buying a Barn Door

This week Mike the Pole barn Guru answers questions about foundations, effectiveness of insulating a sliding barn door, and where to buy a sliding barn door.

Concrete slab in a pole barnDEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hansen Team, in beginning my post frame home over a full foundation, I am reading your excellent load bearing considerations for the posts through the foundation into the footing. Realizing the foundation is a critical and unique structural system in my design, can you recommend a PE for South Carolina who has experience in designing for pole barn foundations? FRANK in TAYLORS

DEAR FRANK: Our third party engineers have designed thousands of post frame (pole barn) foundations and can incorporate your needs into our design. As you will be living in this, may I suggest you consider using prefabricated wood floor trusses, rather than joists? They will give a flat finished basement ceiling and afford space for both duct work and plumbing.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is there such a thing as an insulated sliding barn door? (exterior) . CHARLOTTE in HOPLAND

Figure 27-5

DEAR CHARLOTTE: Yes there is such a thing however it is going to be minimally effective. Steel framed sliding doors are either 1-1/2 (typically) or 3-1/2 inches in thickness. Closed cell spray foam insulation would provide greatest insulating value at approximately R-7 per inch of thickness. Now your problem – in order to slide past adjacent siding, a space must be provided between door and siding. Heat and cold will pass through this air gap.


Horse ShelterDEAR POLE BARN GURU: I need two metal sliding barn doors. Each door 6’ x 8.5‘. DAVID in RUTHERFORDTON

DEAR DAVID: Thank you very much for your inquiry. Due to challenges of shipping without damage, Hansen Pole Buildings only provides doors along with an investment in a complete post frame building kit package. We would recommend you check at the ProDesk of your local The Home Depot®.




Placement of Sliding Doors, Extreme Snow Loads, and Custom Quotes

Today Mike addresses questions about placement of sliding doors, extreme snow loads, and quoting for a specific design.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a 32 wide 48’ long 14’ tall hay barn. 6×6 posts. Looking at my barn I have one post in the center and want two 16’ wide sliding doors to access my whole barn. Not sure if I should put them both on the outside and have one side slide behind the other or have one sliding door on the inside. Was worried about doors rubbing each other and scratching metal siding. Your opinion would be awesome. I can’t find any pictures online. Thanks. JOSH in BELT

building problemsDEAR JOSH: In answer to your question – most typical would be to use a double track system where sliding doors could be exterior mounted. Guides attached to center column can assist in keeping doors from rubbing upon each other.

Now my concern – having one endwall be all doors does not allow for wind shear loads to be adequately transferred from roof to ground. You should consult further with the RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who designed your building. If, by some chance, a RDP was not involved, you need to hire one now, as there exists a strong potential you are planning upon constructing a building doomed to fail.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can a pole building be supplied to meet a 390 pound snow load? Will it work well in snow country? KURT in TRUCKEE

DEAR KURT: We can design a post frame (pole) building to meet any snow load you can imagine and perform admirably. Of concern would be keeping snow sliding off roof from accumulating along building walls and exerting forces against them (same issue with any building type). Your 390 pounds per square foot snow load works out to be nearly 15 feet of snow (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/calculating-loads/).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do u quote from our design? JAMES in MT. HOPE

Get A Free Quote!

DEAR JAMES: If “our design” means dimensions and features you desire to have in your new post frame building, then yes. If “our design” means you have a set of plans you want us to quote materials off from, based upon how you or your RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) think your building should be structurally assembled, then no.

We have found structural designs other than ours to almost universally be one of two choices. One of these choices would be under design, meaning if your building was built to those specifications it would stand a tremendous possibility of failure under less than design loads. Opposite would be over design. Usually over design will not be universal throughout a plan, instead one or more components are highly oversized or over specified adding to project cost, without adding benefit.



Dead Load, Sliding Barn Doors, and Truss Spacing

This weeks PBG discusses a bottom chord dead load, installing sliding barn doors, and truss spacing.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Ok, just to make sure I understand that 10lb psf dead load rating would cover the bottom chords supporting ducts either resting on or suspended from them inside the conditioned space? My thinking is if the vents are within the conditioned space I would need minimal insulation to prevent surface condensation. ROB in ANNAPOLIS

DEAR ROB: 10 psf dead load is primarily to cover weight of ceiling gypsum wallboard. Your relatively light duct could be placed anywhere within roof system without adverse effects. A down side to placing duct work within a conditioned attic – effectively insulating roof slope plane and endwall triangles. For practical purposes this can only be achieved with closed cell spray foam. While being highly effective as an insulator, about R-7 per inch of thickness, it comes with a price tag not for those who are faint of pocketbook – usually around a dollar per square foot per inch of thickness. If you go this route, you need to eliminate venting eaves and ridge.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning,

Figure 27-5

I need to get some pricing on a (2) 6’-0” wide x 8’-0” high sliding barn style doors for an agricultural building in Ware county Ga.


I have never purchased, or installed a door like this, so I was hoping you could help me get started.



DEAR DAVID: Thank you very much for your interest. Hansen Pole Buildings only provides doors along with an investment in a complete post frame building kit package, due to high incidence of damage when shipped independently. We do have installation instructions available online: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/07/build-sliding-door/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What would the truss spacing need to be in our area that has a 40lb snow load? RODNEY in REPUBLIC

joist hangersRODNEY: In most instances a true double truss (not two single trusses spaced apart by blocking) will be most cost effective, as well as adequate to carry applied loads (along with properly sized roof purlins). However, depending upon a myriad of other factors such as eave height, truss span, roof slope and building length some other spacing may result in cost savings.

This will be just one reason I recommend consulting with a post frame building kit supplier who has sophisticated design software able to do a near instantaneous analysis of multiple possibilities. This supplier should also be able to provide site specific plans for your building, sealed by a registered design professional.



Slab Insulation, Vapor Barriers, and Sliding Doors

Today’s PBG addresses slab insulation, vapor barriers and sliding doors at an entry.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am starting a project finishing a Hansen pole barn in a suburb of Minneapolis. My question is in regard to the floor. I assume there was no insulation under the slab, I have yet to confirm this, so how do I insulate after the fact? Are sleepers my only option?

Thank you for your time. CHRIS in MINNEAPOLIS

DEAR CHRIS: Whether before pouring slab or after, I’d go with a Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Contractors installed vapor barrier on the roof but not walls. What is the best way to install a vapor barrier now that the metal siding is up? JASON in ROCKVILLE

DEAR JASON: I usually recommend using a Weather Resistant Barrier between siding and wall framing (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/determining-the-most-effective-building-weather-resistant-barrier-part-1/). Given where you are now – if chances of climate controlling your building are small, you can spray two or more inches of closed cell foam insulation. If you intend to heat you can entirely fill insulation cavity with unfaced fiberglass and then put clear visqueen on interior as a vapor barrier.


Dear Pole Barn Guru: I’m in the process of putting up a shop at my house. The front has a 20×12 opening and was planned to have sliding wood doors as the front will be bricked to match my house. Can you give me tips on how to effectively anchor this and will I need a backup door on the inside to seal out the elements? I don’t want big gaps so that animals and critters can easily make their way in. The building is in the middle of a bean field and it will have spray foam insulation. Thanks for the help! MICHAEL

DEAR MICHAEL: Sliding doors are not going to seal anywhere near air tight. How about going with an insulated carriage house style overhead door? It will give you a great look and be functional. Hansen Pole Buildings can provide a broad variety of carriage house doors with our complete post frame building packages. http://www.amarr.com/residential/garage_doors/carriage_house





Frost Heave, Sliding Door Dilemma, and Climate Control Plans

The Pole Barn Guru addresses questions about frost heave, a sliding door dilemma, and plans on climate control.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello. Do you have any information regarding how to avoid frost movement with Pole Barn Building designs in stony ground and cold climates such as Norway?

There is a building nearby that had moved in the thaw so would like to know if Pole Design is suitable or not. I could send a photo if needed.
(Maybe North US/Canada references will be ok as could be closest ground and climate to Norway.

Need to build asap to adhere to animal health regulations and forth-coming winter weather so any advice on this matter asap is appreciated. ANDREA in TELEMARK, NORWAY

DEAR ANDREA: My father’s family came to be United States citizens after arriving from Norway prior to 1900, so I have always had an affinity towards all things Norse. (A little snippet of my Norsk history here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/06/before-



Post Frame (pole) buildings do very well in cold climates and frost heave can be avoided, given good preparation. Here’s a link to a series of three frost heave articles to get your building project properly directed: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/pole-building-structure-what-causes-frost-heaves/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do I build a track to open a 12 foot wide x 14 foot tall slider over the top of a 12 foot wide x 12 foot tall slider? The north one opens to the south and the south one will open over the top of the north one. ALAN in SHELBY

Figure 27-5

DEAR ALAN: I am surprised this dilemma was missed by both whoever sold you your building and a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who sealed your building’s plans. However, odd and interesting things do happen.

Laws of Physics prevent two objects from occupying same space and time. In order to have door sizes you have listed, sliding in directions desired, one of them would need to be placed inside of wall. This may be less than an ideal answer (not to mention adding to cost).

If sliding doors are your only design solution – it would be easiest to just make them each same height. Double sliding door tracks can then be used, with each door sliding upon its own track.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am in the planning stage of my new post-frame building. One question I have concerns building practices. I am planning to heat and cool only my office which will be in one corner of the structure. The rest will be unheated. Are there differences in construction methods I need to be aware of to accommodate the conditioned and unconditioned areas? LONNIE in DAVENPORT

DEAR LONNIE: A consideration would be to design entire building to be able to be climate controlled, as you may decide to expand your office space, or building may be re-purposed in future and require some or all of remainder to be conditioned.

If you decide to only do your office space, then you can reduce these recommendations to area in question. http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/06/pole-barn-insulation-part-ii/.





Heating a Pole Barn, Sliding Door Parts, and A Replacement Panel

The Pole Barn Guru answers questions bout heating a pole barn, sliding door parts, and a replacement panel for a Hansen Building.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Many years ago I had a friend that made a good income renting heated storage space in a very large pole barn to boat owners.  He complained of the heating costs involved.  I told him he could heat the space for a fraction if he would insulate with hay bales encapsulated with foam.  He also thought the idea was a little odd (do you notice a pattern with how people receive my ideas? 😉  I don’t know if anyone has ever done it, but I may give it a try before my time is up.

I bet it would work well. STEVE in NORTHERN MICHIGAN

DEAR STEVE: On your boat storage – straw bales don’t offer near the R value which most people are accepting as valid (https://www.buildinggreen.com/news-analysis/r-value-straw-bales-lower-previously-reported), plus closed cell spray foam is not an expensive (although very sound from an insulation standpoint) proposition. As most building heat loss is vertical (approaching 80%) the real solution lies there – reduce upward heat loss and heating unoccupied space.
For further reading on straw bales and post frame construction: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/04/straw-bale-homes/.



Pole Barn Builders on Facebook said you would be a good place to contact.  

Had a barn fire last year.  Now replaced to the point of needing the front double sliding doors and a couple panels hung to finish.  Is this something in your wheelhouse?  Twin Cities area.  

Thank you. Regards, DALE in TWIN CITIES

Figure 27-5

DEAR DALE: We always appreciate it when our fellow industry members send folks our direction. Sadly, we are probably not the solution to your current challenge. Due to the logistics of shipping sliding door components without them being damaged, we do not provide them other than with the investment into a complete post frame building kit package. We’d recommend you stop by the ProDesk at your nearby The Home Depot® as they should be able to provide the components you will need plus you won’t have to pay for delivery with a pickup at the store.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good Morning.  I have a pole building that were ordered by Josh xxxxx of xxxxx construction about 2 years ago.  I need to replace a damaged panel.  The color was either Light stone or Tan.  Can you confirm the color of the building?  Thank you.



In order to get the closest match possible, the panel should be ordered from the original manufacturer, who does not sell direct to the public. Please email our materials buyer Justine at materials@hansenpolebuildings.com  with the length of the panel needed and she can get a delivered price for you.





Types of Construction, Sliding Doors, and Roof Vents

Today the Pole Barn Guru visits with readers about, types of construction, sliding doors, and roof vents.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello Mike – I am working with the NFBA on a study of the post frame (pole barn) building market in the US. Among our objectives is to understand what % of construction in a given geography, sector (residential, commercial, etc.) is post frame vs. other types of construction.

In order to do that, we need to define the major types of construction. So, the question I have is:

In addition to post-frame, what are the MAJOR types of (or methods for) building construction?

So far, it seems like there is:

  1. Post frame (pole barn)
  2. Stick frame (stud wall)
  3. Metal frame
  4. What else?

Any direction or insight you may have would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you have a direct phone line that I could call you on.


DEAR BERT: Thank you for reaching out to me, am glad to assist.

#2 should be wood stud wall

#3 might be best divided into structural steel (“red iron”) or steel stud

Concrete tilt up (either precast or cast on site)
ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms)
SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)
Straw bale


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: All we are looking for is a total width of 8 foot steel sliding barn doors for our garage instead of standard garage door. Is that possible? BARB in DOVER

DEAR BARB: Possible? Most certainly, however unless you are going to make a serious investment in an opener(s) for your door(s) you will quickly grow tired of having to manually open and close them. For information on openers for sliding doors, please read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/propel-electric-door-openers/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I will be putting a plumbing vent through the roof after the building is up. Does Hansen have any recommendations or suggested methods for this? From what I’ve read, a boot and lots of silicone is the normal way. JAMES in LEBANON

DEAR JAMES: I’ve used these with great success and no caulking: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/09/dektite/ plus Justine can get you a price on them, if you provide quantity and diameter of the pipes. In the event you do feel the need to caulk a suggested caulking is TITEBOND Metal Roof Translucent Sealant available at The Home Depot®.








Garage Idea, Barn Doors, and Another Eave Height Question

Today’s blog discusses a Garage Idea, Barn Doors, and Another Eave Height Question.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: 30’ wide x32’ deep garage 6×6 posts spaced 10’ apart except one side 16’ span. 2×8 headers doubled 2×6 side walls supporters on slab. 2×6 rafters with on 2’ centers with 2×6 connectors between rafters also on 2’ centers 1’ fall to read. Metal roof & sides. Does this sound thanks. JIM in PORT O’CONNOR

DEAR JIM: My expert opinion is you are setting yourself up for a failure – hopefully one which will not injury anyone in the collapse.

The right thing to do is to contact a post frame building kit package supplier who can provide you with not only the materials, but also the engineer sealed plans specific to your structure.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I order just steel door barn doors and tack systems from you versus an entire building? And how would I do that? And for a split door system to accommodate an opening of 10ftX5ft, what would be a rough cost estimate. Thank you. ROCKNE in PLACERVILLE

DEAR ROCKNE: Due to issues with damage in shipping, we only supply doors with the investment into a complete post frame building kit package. We suggest you visit the Pro Desk at your local The Home Depot as they should be able to assist you.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is the “height” considered the peak or total height? If so, what are the exterior wall heights on an 8′ high building (for example)? Thanks in advance for your time. SHAWN




DEAR SHAWN: Post frame buildings heights are “eave” heights. Here is some reading on eave height: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/eave-height-2/. An eight foot high building has an eave height of eight feet from the bottom of the pressure preservative treated splash plank to the underside of the roofing at the outside of a sidewall column.






Radiant Barrier, Wind and Hail, and Sliding Door Parts?

Mike answers questions about a adding radiant barrier, wind and hail, and parts for sliding doors:

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing pole barn and want to add a radiant barrier to the inside walls before I insulate and cover the walls. Is this wise and can I use a foil that comes in a roll. Once attached there would be a 1 and 1/2 inch air space between the foil and the metal. 

Thank you for any advice you would have with this. CANDICE

DEAR CANDICE: This would not be a good idea as you are creating a space between two vapor barriers in which condensation could occur and moisture problems develop. Your best bet is to remove the steel siding, one wall at a time, install a well sealed building wrap (like Tyvek), then reinstall the steel.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We get a ton of wind and hail throughout summer months. How will pole barn hold up to these conditions? REBECCA in PEYTON

Aerial ViewDEAR REBECCA: Here are quick links to your answers:

Wind: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/06/more-high-wind-news/

Hail: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/09/steel-roofing/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning. We have a Miracle Span Quonset, would you have 10 x 14 sliding doors that would fit it? KRISTEN in BRAINERD

Farm Storage BuildingDEAR KRISTEN: Thank you very much for your interest. We do have sliding doors which would fit, however due to shipping challenges we only provide them with the investment in a complete post frame building kit package. We would suggest you visit the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot®.


Sliding Doors, Roofing Tar on Posts? and Condenstop!

Sliding Doors, Roofing Tar on Posts? and Condenstop!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an arena with 12×12 openings at each end. I want to find a rolling door solution. I would like to have 6.5” doors that open left and right. I’m also interested in finding a door solution that instead of tan metal (matching my building) I find translucent panels.

I can upload photos in a few days when I return to the farm.

Is this something you can help with?


building problemsDEAR JASON: If yours is typical post frame (pole) building construction, your opening probably measures 12 feet from center of column to center of column, in which case you would be looking at needing a 12 foot width split sliding door. This would give you two door leafs just over six feet in width, enough to cover the opening, provide an overlap on each side and be able to be covered with two three foot widths of steel siding.

You should be looking at a door system which has all steel girts (horizontals) and verticals, preferably pre-painted. While translucent (polycarbonate) panels could be used, I would typically not recommend them due to their not having a resistance to wracking.

In our case, Hansen Pole Buildings only provides sliding door components with the investment into a complete engineered post frame building kit package. We typically would recommend you pay a visit to the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot to acquire the parts you will need.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Enjoy reading your blog. I will be building in thick wet clay and am worried about post rot due to the amount of moisture. Will painting the entirety of the buried portion of treated pole in roofing tar help preserve the wood? TIM in LEXINGTON

DEAR TIM: Thank you for your kind words, I hope to be both entertaining and informative. Will painting the entirety of the buried portion of a treated pole in roofing tar help preserve the wood? Well, it might, although I have found no studies which would confirm the ability. I did find an interesting article in Scientific American, which may shoot down the idea: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-tar-and-its-products-as-preser/.

The reality of the situation is, a properly pressure preservative treated column is going to outlast all of us, and probably our grandchildren. This article should be of interest: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello guru. I bought a bunch of 1/2x4x8 sheets of insulation to put on my new 40×60 barn roof under the steel and on top of purlins .Planned on taping all seams for a moisture barrier. It’s not the really dense foam more of a bead style with a silver back on one side plastic on the other so it’s a little bit squishy. After thinking about it what worries me is that after time it may cause the barn screws seal to loosen up. If the foam lowers it could cause the steel to drop a bit. Than could create a leak under the rubber washer. Or do you think it will work ok? Should I just use Tyvek instead on the purlins? What is your opinion Guru? ABE in WAYLAND

DEAR ABE: Do not use this insulation as you have intended, it will cause you nothing but grief. Not only will your post frame barn roof leak, but the diaphragm strength of your roof steel will be severely compromised, which could lead to a catastrophic failure. Tyvek and other building wraps are not condensation control barriers, they are moisture barriers. There are several possibilities – invest in roof steel with Condenstop or Dripstop preapplied, use a radiant reflective barrier between the purlins and roofing, or spray closed cell foam on after the roof is installed.



BIB’s Insulation, In-Ground Posts, and Rodents

BIB’s Insulation, In-Ground Posts, and Rodents

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m still in processing with the county to get permits for our new Hansen home building but in the meantime I’m trying to figure out insulation for our raised floor. County requirements (I’m assuming IBC code) requires R30 floor insulation. The building floor design wound up using 2×6 floor joists so I’m trying to figure out how to get R30 worth of insulation in a 2×6 joist cavity? I’m planning on either BIBS or blown/dense pack cellulose for the walls and ceiling and there’s no problem there, but the floor is an issue. I’d rather continue cellulose or BIBS in the floor but I’m not seeing a clear solution( I can do spray foam if absolutely necessary but I’d really rather not). Do you have any suggestions? LONNIE in COLORADO SPRINGS

DEAR LONNIE: I know you have read my blogs, so you know I am a huge fan of BIBs, having used the system in two of my own buildings. I previously have had some qualms about the use of closed cell spray foam insulation, however my physics teacher son had good results with it in the remodel addition to his home, so we used it when we added the elevator shaft to the rear of our own home and I am now a convert. You can get R-30 with as little as four or so inches of closed cell spray foam and it absolutely seals up everything.



DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I will be building a post and beam barn (40×48 or thereabout) on my property and would like a central loft that I can finish for additional living space. I have been advised that posts concreted into the ground are unlikely to last but I’m a bit concerned about a two story structure with posts bolted to concrete piers… What would you normally recommend? MIKE in LEXINGTON

DEAR MIKE: Whoever is giving you the information about the lifespan of properly (key word being properly) treated pressure preservative treated columns not lasting, knows not what they are talking about.

I personally own three multistory post frame buildings, including our home which has 8000 finished square feet and a roof peak 44 feet above the ground. Every one of them has treated columns in the ground.

While columns bolted to piers will work in most situations, why go to the expense and extra efforts?


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I was wondering if you had any ingenious ideas about how to keep mice coming in from sliding barn doors? We have stuffed steel wool and sprayed foam into the corrugated hollow sections of the walls but they’re still able to come in through the gaping hole under the sliding door.  Any ideas how to resolve that? MELANIE
carport barnDEAR MELANIE: I always warn people who are planning on using sliding doors – as long as you do not mind your neighbor’s cat getting into your building, they are great. No matter what you do with a sliding door, short of affixing it so it will not open, the mice are going to get in. An adult mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime in order to enter your building. By its nature, the sliding door needs to do one thing to function – slide, and in order to slide it has to have space to be able to clear the members which are under it. If your building does not have a concrete slab on grade floor, you could pour a concrete curb across the door opening, however the bottom of the door will still need to be adjusted up high enough to clear the concrete given the fluctuations in expansion and contraction of both the door and the building due to seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

If you truly want to eliminate the problem, replace the sliding door with an overhead door. In the meantime, it might behoove you to invest in a good barn cat or two.


Maximizing Barn Door Width

Maximizing Barn Door Width for your pole barn.

No different than encouraging folks to construct the largest building which will fit on their property and be within budget, when planning your new post frame building, maximize the width of doors to achieve the greatest functionality for your barn.

Here is a case in point…..
Reader ELLENE writes: “Hello

We are building a pole barn to accommodate a medium size tractor and some smaller vehicles.  Now it’s time for roof and doors.

The width of the front is 19.5 feet from inside of pole to the other.  I want to keep that opening as wide as possible.

Can it be done using barn doors that slide from side to side? They’re telling me that it has to be narrower to frame in for the doors.. which means a narrower opening.  I’d like it as wide as possible.

I’m attaching a photo.

Can you please help…

Thanks much”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

As far as a “fit” a sliding door can be as great as 1/2 of the width of the wall it is being placed upon, without going past the edge of the building. Given 19.5′ from inside of column to inside of column, you should have about 20.5′ from outside to outside. This means you could have a sliding door as wide as 10’3″. For column placement, the columns on each side of the sliding door opening should be placed at the width of the door – from center of column to center of column. This allows for an overlap between the wall and the edge of the door.

If you truly want to maximize the width of the opening – consider going to a section steel overhead door. These have many advantages over sliding doors as they will seal much tighter, greater widths can be achieved and an opener with a remote can be attached for a fairly nominal investment.

Now I will make it tougher for you…..

Before making a choice as to what door type and width you will have, you need to have a discussion with the engineer who designed your building to determine if adequate shear will be provided by the remaining solid wall surface. It may be necessary to add plywood or OSB to the wall(s) adjacent to the large door opening in order to prevent your building from toppling in the event of a catastrophic wind event.

In the event you failed to invest in a building kit package which included engineer sealed plans, it isn’t too late to get an engineer involved and the small amount you will pay is well worth the peace of mind.


To Remove, To Replace, and To Design!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey Guru! I’m getting ready to build a pole barn and I will have to remove a tree. The tree is basically right in the middle of what the floor will be. I will be putting a concrete floor in and was wondering do I have to completely remove the stump or can I just cut it down below grade and cover it with dirt and gravel? MARK in BROKEN ARROW
DEAR MARK: Completely remove it. You do not want any sort of organic material to remain under a building site. Eventually it will decay, sink and if you have poured a concrete slab over it, the slab could fail any you could find yourself parked in the bottom of a hole in the middle of your barn. Stump removal is relatively inexpensive – and it is something you could probably do yourself along with a properly sized piece of excavation equipment.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have a pole building that had a 12’ X 12’ slider door that was recently damaged and needs replaced. Can you point me in the direction I need to go to get a replacement. We wanted to replace it with an overhead door but do not have sufficient clearance for our motorhome. JOYCE in FRANKLIN

DEAR JOYCE: Replacing a sliding door with an overhead door can end up being a near epic challenge as the opening sizes will not be the same. At the very least it will necessitate a custom width overhead door. Before you get too deep into the process, contact three local overhead door companies and ask each to come out to give you a quote on the door. They will be able to tell you what the maximum height is you will be able to get into your building (keeping in mind this may necessitate increasing the height of the door opening). Once this step is done, if you are not already over budget, run an ad on Craigslist under “gigs” best describing the work to be performed – which should include replacement of all of the steel siding on this wall of the building (otherwise it is never going to look right). I have no idea how large your building is, but could easily see this as being a three to five thousand dollar price tag before all is said and done.

Which leads back to – the solution might be to bite the bullet and just replace the sliding door with a new sliding door. You can probably get all of the needed components by a visit to the Pro Desk at your local The Home Depot®.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Storage for trailer 35 ft what is a pole distance set with 10 – 12 ft opening? TRACY in NAMPA

DEAR TRACY: I will have to read between the lines here and hope I am able to provide an answer which fits with what your question truly is.

For starters, if I had a 35 foot long trailer to get through a door, I want the opening to be about 12 feet wide. Going 10 feet wide appears to me to be risking some damage.

If the door is to be a sliding door, the space from center of column to center of column on each side of the door should be 12 feet. This will allow the sliding door itself (which should be about 12’2” in width to cover the opening and provide an overlap on each side.

For overhead doors, if getting a residential overhead door, the space BETWEEN the columns should be 12’1”, so as when the 2x jambs are placed on each side of the opening, the finished opening will be 11’10” in width. This will allow the overhead door panels to overlap by an inch on each side. For a commercial overhead door, increase the width between columns by two inches.


Sliding Doors, Codes, and Quonset Huts!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I would like to get a quote for sliding garage door for commercial building.

The size that I would like to have is 8′ wide 12′ tall. If I can get two slide garage door it would be perfect (two 4’x12′ garage door) if not One door is fine.

White garage door with no window would be nice.

Can it be automatic door or does it come with manual only?

Can you do installation? or do you guys only provide materials?

Thank you. HANG in ROCKY MOUNT

DEAR HANG: Thank you very much for your interest.

building problemsNot sure a sliding door is the best option for a commercial building, due to security issues. Sliding doors typically seal tight enough to allow the neighbor’s cat into your building. You may find a sectional steel overhead door to be a better option, as well as being less expensive.

The sliding door(s) could be either one piece or split (bi-parting), are available in your choice of any of the popular roll formed steel siding colors and can be fitted with automatic electric openers (read more about openers for sliding doors here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/04/propel-electric-door-openers/).

As we are not contractors, we do not provide installation of anything, anywhere.

Hansen Pole Buildings provides sliding doors only with the investment into a complete post frame building kit package, due to the amount of damage when shipped by themselves. We would recommend you contact the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot®.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: You’re getting a lot of foot traffic coming through your front door and you do not know how to answer the questions direct them my way I’ll take your builds it’s a damn shame that you don’t know how to build a pole barn house to code

Please get out of the way a residential construction guys really staying to the pole barn homes and I’ll keep out of your way as well on just straight back yard pole barns


DEAR KURT: What appears to be a shame is you know so little about our business you have chosen to just wing out your suppositions without having educated yourself. My life experience has taught me you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar – this adage holds true with business relationships as well, just a suggestion you might want to give a try to.

Actually we do not build anything, we supply complete ENGINEERED building packages for post frame buildings of all sorts – including houses. All of our buildings are structurally Code conforming and we have the ability to answer all of our client’s questions, although we do appreciate your offer to do so for us.

Next time you decide you want to sell or construct a post frame building which actually meets Code – drop us a note as we can provide it for you and/or your client.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good day, I would like to replace the shingles on my Quonset shop with tin and was wonder if 29 gauge would form to the shape of the roof and what kind of spacing you would recommend for strapping under the tin? MATT in ALBERTA

DEAR MATT: Roll formed 29 gauge steel is not going to bend to fit the curve of a Quonset. I have seen people apply it going horizontally (lengthwise) on Quonsets, although have not done it personally. Under most snow and/or wind load conditions, supports every two feet beneath the steel should be adequate.


Propel Electric Door Openers

I’ve written in the past about our oldest daughter, Bailey. Bailey is a professional horse trainer (Tennessee Walkers) and is well respected within her industry at the now ripe old age of 27. She is a smart lady – she wanted overhead doors with electric openers on the sliding doors of her barn aisleways..


Because, she wants to be able to hit the remote……

To open and close the doors…..

From the back of her horse.

I do not blame her. Bailey mounts and dismounts from a untold number of horses every day. Those ups and downs can wear out anyone over time. So I don’t blame her for saving her body one bit.

In reality, if Bailey had electric openers for her sliding doors, she would probably be even happier! Sliding doors allow the user to have the door opened only partially. This provides for aisleway ventilation to be controlled, especially in conjunction with another sliding door at the opposite end of the aisle.

Now, I’ve previously waxed poetic about electronic openers for sliding doors, both are good reads in my humble opinion:



Don’t just take my word, listen to what the Propel  Sliding Door Automation spokesman has to say:



Considering a sliding door for your new post frame building? If the door is of any sort of significant size, or having an opener for it would be a total convenience, be sure to get a quote with your new post frame building kit package (openers not sold separately).

Clear Span Width, Interior Sliders, and Roof Quote!

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the widest free span I can get in a pole barn? I live in zip 54474 for snow loads. Needs to have a door opening of 14′.

LES in ROSHOLTDEAR LES: It would be very practical to have a clearspan of up to and including 80 feet. In some markets, we are able to have clearspan trusses of up to 100 feet prefabricated and shipped.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good afternoon,  

I’m writing to see if you offer some sort of light-weight door panel system for an interior application in a courthouse. Our design intent is to have two movable door panels (that appear to be made of solid wood) in a bypassing setup. Each door panel is approximately 12’-0”H x 13’-9”W. Is there some way to achieve this size of panel that is movable by an average person? Maybe something with a fiberglass/steel structure paneled with a wood veneer? LAUREN IN NEW YORK

DEAR LAUREN: Thank you very much for your inquiry. Our sliding doors are appropriate for exterior applications on barns and we provide them only with the investment in a complete post frame building package.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking to see if a quote for a roof is reasonable.
Endwalls width 20, Eavewalls Length 70, Eave Height 14 feet6 inches, Snow Load 40#, Bay Size Eavewalls 12, Bay Size Endwalls 12, Pitch 4 MICHELLE in BEAVERTON

DEAR MICHELLE: Chances are good the quote for a roof will be quite reasonable. Only one challenge – you did not happen to leave any way for us to contact you!

Need a quote on a complete post frame building package? The easiest and quickest way to get one is to complete a request at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/freequote/ . The more ways you can provide to contact you (home and cell phone numbers, email address, Skype, etc.) the more likely you will be to get a quick response.

Arcadian Sliding Doors

Over the past 36 plus years in the post frame building industry, I’ve personally sold, delivered and/or specified pretty easily at least 10,000 sliding doors. I am certain someone has provided more, most probably far less. Very, very few of them have ever been with glass in the doors.

Sherri in Kansas recently asked, “Do you have the double sliding doors with windows, If so how much are they- I can provide a picture”.

Yes, we have them, however we do not sell them individually – due to the challenges of just shipping sliding door components.

One of the Hansen Pole Buildings’ valued suppliers is MWI Components (www.mwicomponents.com). MWI happens to produce a sliding door known as Arcadian Sliders. While they are available in 17 standard sizes, they can also produce (for a nominal fee) custom sizes to your specifications.

Arcadian sliding doors are available either with double cross bucks (similar to the classic dutch door look) or with what is known as a half-light (top ½ of the door is glass).

The nice people at MWI like to ship doors “knocked down” (in kit form), however they will gladly ship the doors fully assembled. Keep in mind the fully assembled doors are going to be more expensive for not only the cost of assembly, but also for freight. Care must be given in handling the assembled doors during loading, shipping and off-loading to prevent unnecessary damage.

Arcadian sliding doors come with all door assembly components and the fasteners are even included!

The sliding doors are 1-1/2” thick and come with precut 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” box girts. The sliding doors have an all Galvaneal substrate (Galvaneal is the coating between the bare metal and the finish paint). Arcadian sliding doors come in your choice of over 30 colors.

The price of these doors is not for the faint of heart – they will be significantly more expensive than standard sliding doors, as well as most sectional steel overhead doors. However, if you are looking for this particular look for your new building, Arcadian sliding doors might very well be the way to go.

Should You Choose Sliding or Overhead Doors for Your Pole Barn?

Overhead door pole barnOne of the many decisions you’ll need to make when choosing a customized pole barn is the door type. You can opt for either an overhead door that raises up or a sliding door that pushes from left to right (or vice versa) – so what’s the better choice?

The sliding versus overhead door decision really comes down to what you plan to do with your pole barn. If you’re going to use it for purely agricultural purposes, a sliding door (or multiple sliding doors) can be a good option. However, if you’re planning a commercial or residential use pole barn, we recommend an overhead door.

Sliding Doors for Agricultural Applications

Pole barn sliding doors have long been the most popular choice for agricultural buildings, machinery workshops, and airplane hangars. This exterior door type works well for oversized equipment (such as combines, farm trucks, and airplanes) that wouldn’t be able to fit through a standard overhead door. Having sliding doors in your pole barn also gives you more interior clearance, since you don’t have to worry about installing overhead door tracks.

In addition to being used for machinery storage buildings, sliding doors are also sometimes used on horse barns, since they are cheaper than Dutch doors. Modern sliding door tracks are also incredibly low maintenance, since they’re designed to be self-aligning, self-cleaning, and self-lubricating.

Steel sliding doors are designed to stand up to just about anything you throw at them, including bad weather, animal contact, and even accidental machinery contact. That being said, they don’t create as tight a seal as an overhead door and aren’t as secure against theft. This is why we typically only recommend sliding doors for pole barns that will be used for purely agricultural purposes.

Overhead Doors for Residential and Commercial Use

When it comes to non-agricultural pole barn uses, overhead doors are usually your best bet. Overhead doors create a tighter seal, which protects against both theft and the elements. Unlike sliding doors, overhead doors can also be outfitted with electronic openers. If you plan to use your pole building as a garage and you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re driving home in the rain or snow, you’ll probably be pretty happy to be able to open the door with the click of a button rather than getting out and pushing it open manually.

While some people worry that overhead pole barn doors will be considerably more expensive than sliding doors, the smaller sizes are actually comparable. Larger overhead doors may be slightly more expensive, but many pole building owners decide that the slightly higher cost is worth the added security and convenience.

Overhead doors can also be designed to accommodate fairly large vehicles and equipment. Commercial overhead doors come standard up to 24’ in width, and 26’ or 28’ wide doors are available, but require a special manufacturer’s quotation. Standard overhead doors are 14’ tall, which is high enough to accommodate any vehicle of highway legal height.

Still Not Sure What Door to Choose?

If you’re still not sure what type of door to choose for your pole building, contact us directly. Let us know how you plan to use your pole building, and we’ll make a recommendation and even provide you with a free building quote.

Bi-parting Doors on Airplane Hangars

Double Bi-parting Sliding Doors for an Airplane Hangar

airplane-hangar-buildingEvery once in a while I get asked a Dear Pole Barn Guru question which just demands its own space in order to do the subject topic true justice. This happens to be one of them.
DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want to build a 50x40x16 for an airplane hangar. I need a 45×14 door. Without spending a fortune on a bi-fold or hydraulic is there a way to double sliding barn doors? LUKE IN SARAH

DEAR LUKE: The answer really comes down to would sliding doors be the best design solution and/or be practical.

Bi-parting sliding doors on double tracks would mean you would have four sliding door panels of roughly 11’6” in width each. In order to fully open these doors, they would have to be able to slide PAST the corners of the building and out into space (actually they could slide on a header out to a column which would be planted 9’ away from the building corner).

This poses some challenges – first being, do you have exclusive access to a location this far away from the building corner? Second, if you do have the exclusive rights, these posts tend to become targets for things to run into. When (not if) something does run into one of the columns, it is going to damage the something, as well as potentially create a “fall down, go boom” situation for your sliding door track.

You can read some of my own personal experiences with sliding doors on hangars here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/hangar-n3407s/

Now the practicality part (yes, darn the practicality thing).

In order to get four sliding doors to function properly it will require steel guide brackets to be poured into (at the least) concrete piers at the intersection of each door. These will tend to get in the way of your plane (or vehicles) going in and out.  The piers should extend below the frost line, to minimize the possibilities of frost heaves making it impossible to open the doors.

Sliding doors, on their own, tend to not be the tightest for security. Placing them on double door tracks multiplies the possibilities of being unable to seal them well. Plan upon visits to the inside of your building by small rodents and feral cats. Neither of which is ideal (mice can chew up the insulation on wiring faster than one might imagine).

My recommendation – we can design a post frame building kit for you which will accommodate a Schweiss Door.  No, they are not free, however they are a well-regarded door and should provide for you years of operation as a happy hangar owner. Here is an article with more information: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/hangar-doors-2/

Pole Barn Guru on Crossbuck Doors

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a client in Akron, Indiana with a new horse arena.  The new horse arena has custom crossbuck doors on it, but the owner does not like them due to overall weight, and that they are constructed with a plywood backing.  The plywood baking is a problem because my client waters down the sand inside the barn and that moisture is starting to warp the doors.  If you would, can you provide me with information on how you construct your custom crossbuck doors?  Do you have an option that would eliminate all wood and reduce the weight?

The door sizes are as follows: (2) 10’x10’ (1) 16’x14’ Please feel free to give me a call to discuss. ARCHITECT IN AKRON

DEAR ARCHITECT: We actually do not construct custom crossbuck doors ourselves, we purchase them from third party vendors – who use plywood on the inside of the doors (appears to be pretty much an industry standard). While they look very lovely from the street, the issues your client has raised, along with the extreme cost make them less than the idea choice for most applications. The best option, for most people, is to use a steel framework door which has 29 gauge steel siding screwed to the outside face of the framework – it will be lightweight, won’t twist or warp and is affordable.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a barndominum and would it be ok to pour a flat slab and have the sheet metal come down over the edge of slab? BARNDOMINIUM BUILDING

DEAR BARNDOMINIUM: As long as the bottom edge of the steel (or any base trim) is at least four inches above the highest point of the outside grade, it should not be an issue. In most instances, a 2×8 pressure preservative treated splash board is installed to a level point with the highest point of grade even with the bottom of the splash board. (You can read more about concrete slab installation here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/concrete-slab-3/)

The steel siding will later be attached to the outside of the splash board, with the bottom point of the base trim drip edge being at four inches up from the bottom of the splash board. This allows for any exterior concrete landings, sidewalks or driveways to be poured against the splash board, without being against the steel.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I have an existing 6×6 pole building with a center clear span of 20ft., two side bays of 12ft. each and a thick cement slab. I would like to raise the center clear span by 4 feet. Would it be reasonable to bolt taller poles to the existing center ones and then add new trusses to those? EAGER IN ENUMCLAW

DEAR EAGER: The operative word in your request is probably the term “reasonable”. What you have in mind is at the best a major undertaking which should only be considered after review from a qualified RDP (Registered Design Professional – engineer or architect), who can evaluate your circumstances thoroughly from a site visit. Your Building Department is going to require engineer sealed plans and calculations for any proposed project of this nature, so you might as well start off on the right foot, in the event you actually decide to move forward with this project.

And a quick word for those planning on “putting up a pole barn”….make sure you plan for any possible future additions/changes.  What may seem “tall enough” now, may not be down the road (taller RV, combine, adding in a vehicle lift, etc.).

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Dear Guru: Did I Get the Right Trusses?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I need to confirm that I was shipped the correct trusses for finishing out the ceiling.

On the plan drawings the ceiling joist are called out as 2×4’s on 24 inch center but are drawn with 2×6 bottom chords on the trusses.

The trusses I received are entirely manufactured with 2×4’s.  Is that correct? I know the plans state that the trusses are “Pre-fab trusses per truss manufacturer”, but do these meet the engineering design of my Hansen building and your engineering?

I read too in the plan general notes that the web design of trusses may vary from that depicted in the plans.  What I read on the truss manufacturers spec sheet I think they do but there are a lot of abbreviations and assorted alphabet soup acronyms that I don’t understand fully.

Thanks in advance, for confirming this for me. FLOUNDERING IN FINCASTLE

DEAR FLOUNDERING: The drawings for your building are done by draftspersons prior to the trusses being ordered and are merely a representation of the profile of the trusses, they are not meant to be an exact diagram of how any individual truss might actually be fabricated.

In review of the truss drawings provided by the fabricator, please note a box about 1/2 way down the page on the left side entitled “LOADING”. BCDL (bottom chord dead load) is listed as being 5 psf, which is adequate to support 5/8″ gypsum drywall, the ceiling joists and the weight of insulation.

These trusses meet the specifications of the building and properly installed should provide a sturdy roof system for generations.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I was just looking at your post from 2012 about the geothermal/radiant heating system you installed for your office there.  My wife and I are planning to renovate a barn on our property about the same size as your building and were looking to do something similar – radiant in an at-grade slab powered by geothermal.  I’d be interested in learning more about your experience with this, if you use any backup heating, how you are heating upper floors, what you do for cooling, and any other tips you might share.  We have a lot of space available for a geo field so I’d like to be able to get as much out of it as possible. IDEATING IN IOWA CITY

DEAR IDEATING: Thank you very much for reading the article. The geothermal wells are actually maybe the easiest part of the entire process and I kick myself for allowing my HVAC guy to talk me out of doing them when I remodeled my home in WA 23 years ago.

I can truthfully say I am fairly unknowledgeable when it comes to heating and cooling systems. I do know the mechanical side of our particular system is fairly unreliable, which I fault the company which did the original work, not the process itself.

On the upside – the cost to heat and cool both floors is very economical. We own a double-wide mobile home across the road from this building which we always thought was fairly reasonable, but the barn costs are about half of what it costs to heat and cool the mobile home, and it’s over 4 times larger. We love it that the floors on the lower level are always somewhat warm.

We do use electric forced air to handle the air in the upper floors.

For real expert advice, I’d suggest contacting www.radiantoutfitters.com

Mike the Pole Barn Guru


I’m looking to install a Sliding Steel Door to fit an opening of 10 ft high by 12 ft wide onto my Man Cave.

The building is sided in grey vinyl.   What color options are available?

We get winter snow so would January operation of the door be affected??  Does it have bottom rollers or simply hang from the top?

Are these doors secure from vandals??


DEAR LOREN: There are going to be some good things and bad things about sliding doors. Most people think of sliding doors as the first option, in the belief they will be significantly less expensive. In most cases, this is just not the case.


They can be sided with any possible material – including gray vinyl. Least expensive and most durable will be steel siding which is available in a wide variety of colors.


They are not airtight – go with the assumption your neighbor’s cat will be able to enter your building.
They are not practical to insulate.
While they do have trolleys which hang from an overhead track, there is also a bottom guide attached to the base of the wall in the direction the door slides.
In all probability, in snow country, the door will probably get frozen in one position.
Generally I would not consider them as being secure from vandals – they will keep the honest people honest.
Electric openers are far more costly than standard openers.

In all probability your best option will be a sectional overhead door.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

How to Replace Skylights

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have fiber glass roof light panels and they are leaking and damaged. I need new skylights. They have to match my old steel panels. Do you know where I can get some? HICCUP IN HINCKLEY

DEAR HICCUP: This is an ongoing issue with people who used fiberglass panels in roofs for skylights. The information you are seeking maybe found by reading: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/09/skylights-2/

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you sell just the large rolling track style doors? AIRY IN ALASKA

DEAR AIRY: Although our prime business is providing complete post frame (pole) building kit packages, we can supply just the components for sliding doors. We are happy to help you – Please be aware – there will be a considerable amount of freight in shipping a sliding door package to any location, and even more so in your case – Alaska. Please send any sliding door package assembly requests to Eric@HansenPoleBuildings.com

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m planning on having a pole barn built to be used as a shop building for my business. I want to insulate the roof and walls. The walls are easy, but I am not sure how to economically insulate the roof. The roof is supported by a pair of trusses bolted to each side of the pole (actually a 6 by 6 pressure treated post). Purlins are 2 by 6’s placed 24 inches on center, running parallel to the ridge. There is a vapor barrier “insulating blanket” (really very thin) on top of the purlins under the steel roofing panels. It is there to prevent condensation and subsequent raining inside the building.

One idea would be to nail 2 inch thick foil faced foam panels to the underside of the purlins, then 1 by 3 strapping nailed 16 inches o.c. perpendicular to the purlins, to create a three-quarter inch air space between the foam panels and the half-inch drywall nailed to the strapping. I’ve specified the roof be built to support the weight of the drywall.

Do you have better and or cheaper ideas? WANTING IN WASHINGTON

DEAR WANTING: Although it has little to do with insulating your building, I’ll start with a structural concern – instead of placing trusses on each side of the columns, I would recommend they be nailed face-to-face without blocking between, then placed into a notch cut into the tops of the columns. The trusses then actually act as a pair, as opposed to two individual trusses spaced apart. This greatly reduces the possibility of a catastrophic failure due to one individual truss failing, as the probability of the two joined trusses having the exact same weak point is infinitesimally small.

Moving forward – typically columns (and trusses) in your part of the country are spaced every 10 or 12 feet. If 2×6 roof purlins are to be used, they will not be able to carry the weight of the drywall without undue deflection.

Let’s go to simple, better and easy. In your proposed version, a large area is being created above the plane of the bottom chord of the trusses and below the drywall – where all of the heat is going to rise to. You will have to heat a large volume of space, which is not able to be utilized.

Instead – specify the trusses to be fabricated with a raised heel (see https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/07/raised-heel-trusses/). Install 2×6 ceiling joists at 24 inches on center between the roof truss bottom chords, using a Simpson LU24 or similar hanger at each end. Install 5/8” gypsum wallboard across the underside of the ceiling joists. Blow in cellulose or fiberglass insulation, or use unfaced batt insulation above the drywall.

Be sure to include specifications to ventilate the dead attic space: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/02/pole-building-ventilation/

These steps will allow you to climate control the least amount of space, with the least cost to achieve the insulating system.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru


Horton Stack Doors

Last October I was bemoaning sliding doors as a design solution for airplane hangars. At the end of the article (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/10/sliding-hangar-doors/) I threatened my loyal readers with some other alternatives.

This past week, one of our clients asked us about putting a 38’4” wide by 12’ tall Horton Stack Door on a Hansen Pole Building, which will be used as a hangar. This, of course, puts the pressure on me to actually have to get back on topic after an eight month hiatus. For those who have waited patiently, thank you.

Now I have no personal experience with the Horton Stack Door, although they have been used after market on several of our hangars.

The first Horton Stack Door was built in 1955. After searching the market for a hangar door to fit all of his needs, Frank Horton sat down with his brother and they designed what has become to be known as the Horton Stack Door.

Pilots are innovative type people, many are looking for the “better mouse trap”, or in the case of hangars, “a better hangar door”. Frank’s door received a lot of attention from fellow pilots with the ease of operation and trouble free working mechanism. In 1967 the Stack Door went into production. Within ten years demand for the Stack Door had skyrocketed and Stack Door merged with STOL-Craft to provide additional production facilities.

The Stack Door installs on virtually any type of building and they have been specified for aircraft hangars, tee hangars, industrial and agricultural buildings.

Horton Stack DoorUnlike most types of hangar doors, the Stack Door is NOT installed within the framed door opening. It mounts on the outside of the building. The Upper Guide Channel ad Mounting Brackets attach to the flat header, as do the end hinges on the flat jamb sides. Unlike vertical lift doors which store overhead, the framed opening height for the Stack Door is also the clear opening height. Horton Stack Door reports most installations can be completed in a single day.

Horton Stack Doors require no motors to open. All one needs to do is turn the handles located on every other panel, pull and the Stack Door glides on its bottom track to stack out of the way. The stacking design allows for a complete or partial opening. This may eliminate the need for a side entry door, however I would recommend verification of this with the appropriate Building Official, prior to not including an entry door.

The Horton Stack Door is designed and tested for a twenty-five pound wind load, which may or may not be adequate for all situations. Horton Stack Doors do not appear to have an ICC-ESR report, so it may behoove Registered Design Professionals to design buildings using “partially enclosed” as a wind design parameter. The Stack Door must be closed during high wind conditions, and the manufacturer claims to have never had a door blow in while closed.

The Stack Door is not affected by adverse winter weather conditions. The patented design puts the working mechanism inside, away from ice and snow. The bottom track sits ¼” inside the framed opening. Neoprene Seals also protect the track assembly from snow and ice.

The Horton Stack Door opens to the left and right of the framed opening. When in the stacked position, the door panels extend 90 degrees from the face of the building, requiring only five inches of space for every two panels.

And there you have it…and I am hoping to personally get to see one in operation in the near future. When I do – you can be sure you will

Dear Guru: Where Can I Get Expanding Foam Closures?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday or Saturday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:I am interested in just the doors. Do you offer a barn door kit? I have a detached garage that I would like to replace the overhead door with sliding barn doors. Thanks for your response. FLAILING IN FALLS CHURCH

 DEAR FLAILING: Yes, we offer just the sliding doors. You may purchase just the hardware, or we can also provide steel siding for them, in a myriad of colors. Call our number on the top part of our website: www.HansenBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:where can i get the expanding foam closures to seal my ridge cap i have looked at lowes and home depo thank you. IRRITATED IN IOWA

DEAR IRRITATED: Your question is one frequently posed by owners of steel roofed buildings where either the seller cut corners and pocketed a few extra dollars by leaving them out, or the erection crew got lazy and wanted to save a few minutes of time. I’ve actually had owners of new pole buildings report their construction crew told them by leaving out the closures, they could have a vented ridge cap, for free!

Yes, without the closures, it will be vented alright…as well as providing easy access for flying critters of all shapes and sizes, not to mention rain and snow!

When I was building, and running as many as 35 pole building crews, we had three quality control persons on staff, who visited every building we constructed to make sure the finished products met with our standards. One of the tools carried by each QC person – field glasses, so they could tell from a distance if the closure strips had been installed under the ridge cap.

The Hansen Pole Buildings warehouse is an older pole building, which did not have closures under the ridge cap. To compound the problem – the ridge cap was nailed on! Luckily, one of the products we sell is an expanding foam closure strip which comes in a very thin roll, but expands to an inch square once installed. These expandable closures will stick to nearly anything, and can be a gooey mess to work with, but they did the trick in our case. They really do stick and seal!

If your building has a screwed on ridge cap, we’d recommend using form fitted closure strips which come with an adhesive pull strip on one side. They are available from Hansen Pole Buildings either as solid, or vented (with integral screening to prevent the “bad stuff” from coming through into your building. And yes, we sell the expanding foam closures  too. Check it out on our website.

Pole Barn Security: Plan to Zombie Proof

Or how to keep the undead minions at bay…..and yes, Halloween is upon us…

Prepared for a zombie apocalypse? Sure it sounds silly, but even the US Center For Disease Control (CDC) now has a page devoted to preparing for a zombie apocalypse https://www.bt.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_Blog.asp  The CDC’s page mainly covers items one should have on hand for any disaster but doesn’t really go into how to enforce pole barn security and keeping the zombies out.

Alarm systems won’t stop zombies. While installing an alarm system might be a great idea, it won’t prevent a zombie from breaking in. An alarm system is only good for notifying the police and your neighbors who may have already been turned into zombies. I would rather keep the undead out of my building rather than being alerted by a shrill alarm as they are preparing to eat me.

I’ve been broken into before (by thieves, not zombies), and it isn’t fun. The mess and the feelings of an invasion of privacy were far worse than the fairly worthless items which were taken.

In my post-break-in research, I found most criminals (and zombies) don’t bother trying to pick a lock or break a window; they just give the entry door one or two strong kicks and drive the deadbolt through the door jamb. Simple, effective, and quick. Zombies in particular love to kick things and use the sheer force of their undead will to break down your door.

Most pole buildings are constructed with man (OK – person) doors, which may as well have signs on them, “Break in here”. Why? Because building owners and builders all too often look at this as a place to save money – “penny wise and pound foolish”. Bargain basement doors have wood jambs which will be destroyed in an instant by any self-respecting zombie.

Good pole barn security means spending the money on a solid steel commercial entry door pre-hung in an all steel jamb. Now these doors will not prevent shooting a large caliber bullet through the door at a zombie, it will keep the honest ones out!

Sliding doors….I can design a zombie proof sliding door, however having to remove large quantities of lag screws from the door to open it, becomes inconvenient at best. Sliding doors are great for animal barns, as they are low cost and can be opened partially to allow for ventilation. When it comes to security, most sliding doors seal only tight enough to let the neighbor’s cat in! Zombies are going to be looking at sliding doors as a place for easy access.

Designing with sectional steel overhead doors, rather than sliding doors affords advantages other than just keeping zombies out. Besides sealing tightly, they can be insulated and hooked to a remote electric opener.

Both thieves and resourceful zombies love to smash their way into things with baseball bats. If they can’t get in through a door their next choice is a window. Luckily, pole barns are often not finished on the inside, and huge amounts of natural light can be added with the use of polycarbonate eave or ridge lights. About the only way the zombies are going to get to the polycarbonate is with scaling ladders.

Zombies can pound their heads and fists at your security laminate-protected windows for days and your windows will likely still hold up without breaking. You can have the laminate installed professionally or you can purchase a DIY kit for about $500 US that should cover most windows in an average sized home.

If you heed the advice above, hopefully the zombie’s will move on and break into the neighbor’s pole barn instead. Just remember, an ounce of prevention now may be worth a pound of cure later for compromised pole barn security. Keep up with all the latest zombie outbreaks and zombie-related news at https://www.zombieresearch.org.