Tag Archives: steel siding

Insulation Costs, A Pole Barn Home, and Wall Steel Options

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about adding insulation to a quote, a quote for a pole barn home, and the use of standing seam steel on exterior walls.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I live in Jim Thorpe, PA and have ordered a 20×24 Pole Building. The quote didn’t include insulation. So I asked for a separate quote. The quote included the following:

(1) Ceiling Liner access door insulated White $275
Wall: R-21 w/Liner
Roof: R-38 w/Ceiling Liner

They don’t include the materials used, so I can’t research the materials cost. But does this sound like a reasonable quote? Seems high, but this is my first pole building. Maybe material cost is like lumber, UP UP UP…?

Can you give me your opinion or shed (no pun intended) any light on this? Thanks so much! ROBERT

DEAR ROBERT: Without knowing your building height, number and dimensions of windows and doors and how your building is proposed to be framed (without any liner), it is impossible to determine if this is or is not reasonable. Keep in mind, probably roughly half of this price is due to your provider’s overhead, profit and labor, so if you are handy at all, you might want to consider doing this work yourself.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Looking for a pole barn home.
Wish List:
Ranch Style
3 bedroom 2 bath
1 craft-hobby room
Overhang porch
Attached 2 car garage
Can this be designed and priced?

DEAR JOLENE: Yes, it can be both designed and priced.

First Step is the design phase:

Have professional floor plans and elevation drawings done before pestering a builder. Very few builders are professional designers or architects – expecting them to be is unrealistic.

If you do not own the dirt, it is impossible to craft a barndominium plan to best fit with your building site.

Some plan tips to consider:

Direction of access – driveways are not cheap and shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Curb appeal – what will people see when they drive up? This may not be important to you, however some day someone will try to resell your barndominium.

Is there an appealing view?

North-south alignment – place no or few windows on north walls, but lots of windows on south wall. Roof overhangs on south wall should provide shade to windows from mid-day summer sun.

Is there a slope on your building site?

Work from inside out – do not try to fit your wants and needs within a preordained box just because someone said using a “standard” size might be cheaper. Differences in dimensions from “standard” are pennies per square foot, not dollars.

Popular home spaces and sizes need to be determined:

Room in a Barndominium

With all of this in mind, order our custom designed floor plans here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Once your floor plans and elevation drawings have been completed, we can then give you an exact price.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, my question is, can the standing seam roofing material you show in your building catalog be use for siding? RICH in MARYVILLE

DEAR RICH: Absolutely, however it would need to be applied over 5/8″ CDX plywood as it is non-structural. Small world – my oldest son and his family lived in Maryville for many years, his mother and I helped build a post frame garage with a mother-in-law apartment above it in their backyard.



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.


Maximizing the Metal: Why all Metal is Not Created Equal Part III

Yesterday I shared a portion of Sharon Thatcher’s article on how painted steel panels need to be handled with care. The article also touches on the differences in paint, and which ones are the longest lasting. Here is Part III. The final segment of Sharon’s story, as can be read in the September 2016 issue of Rural Builder magazine.


The longevity of metal panels is a selling point but also can create an issue when warranties are involved. “You have these warranties for a long time, so do your due diligence,” said Dan Knight.

Knight recommends that builders have their suppliers walk them through the claims process. “If someone says ‘I have a 40-year warranty,’ understand what that means, and understand the remedy.”

What is covered for 40 years and what isn’t?

“Maybe the best thing to do is to say [to your supplier]: walk through the claims process with me. If I have this product for 10 years and I have a claim in 10 years, what happens? Whoever they’re buying it from should be able to tell them how it works.”

Also make sure you keep your receipts. Your bill of receipt will contain important coil numbers, batch numbers and paint code numbers. Assuming you are working with a legitimate company, all that information will help track down vital information about the coil’s production process and warranty details. Paint codes will tell you the type of paint and the years it is expected to last.

A note of warning: while there is a lot of good foreign steel there is also a fair share of cheap and poorly-made foreign steel. Getting satisfaction on a warranty from thousands of miles away, and across multinational lines, can get tricky.

Then there are the instances where a company is not legitimate. The guys at Steel Dynamics have seen it all. “What we find with off-shore steel in particular, they might mimic our warranty. It may be all misspelled, but they’ll copy it, except for the remedy. That’s important. The warranty may say ‘this warranty is only for the cost of the paint.’ So you just paid $12,000 for metal and the paint cost is $800. Or it may say ‘this warranty is not valid within a thousand meters of water, man-made or otherwise; or not in areas of high humidity; or all claims are settled in Chinese court.’ So you have to really understand these things. And compare that to other warranties.”

Switzer has even seen bogus companies passing out Bethlehem Steel warranties and Bethlehem steel hasn’t been in business since 2002.

The victim is ultimately the building owner, but of course everyone along the supply chain are victims as well, from the roll former who purchased that problem steel, to the builder who bought the finished panel and installed it.

Understand the claims process and your level of risk exposure.

“It’s one thing to sell a building to someone with a 40-year warranty, but it’s another thing to have that person come back and discover there’s nothing behind that warranty. And you live in the same town and go to the same church. It’s going to be hard to tell him, ‘well, I can’t really fix this.’”

Unfortunately, the consequences may come when you least expect it. “Even a marginal product will last 10 years pretty much anywhere in the country. So what’s going to happen in 10 years, faster in the south, there’s going to be a day of reckoning, where the offshore stuff people buy, the red is going to turn pink, the green is going to turn white or yellow.”

Bottom line: “Just understand there is a lot of exposure to this. To replace or repaint a roof is considerably more expensive than the cost of the metal.”

Where Pre-painted Steel Coil Comes From

Where Pre-painted Steel Coil Comes From

At the National Frame Building Association (NFBA) 2014 Frame Building Expo were several exhibitors who paint steel coil. These coils are used by steel roll formers to create siding and roofing panels, as well as trims for pole buildings.

Among these companies were AkzoNobel, Dura Coat Products, Precoat Metals, and Valspar.

AkzoNobel makes a complete line of high performance coil coatings. For the highest level of performance their Trinar has a 70 percent PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) resin system and all performance characteristics demanded for high profile projects. AkzoNobel also manufactures the benchmark of SMP (Silicone-modified polyester), Ceram-A-Star 1050. This proprietary resin system, combined with the highest quality pigments, give it unbeatable color retention and superior chalk and fade resistance. Both Trinar and Ceram-A-Star 1050 are available in Cool Chemistry formulations which help make projects more energy efficient and sustainable.

Dura Coat specializes in high-quality, high-performance coil coatings for commercial, farm and residential applications. Durapon 70 is a PVDF formulation equal to or better than any coating on the market. With an exceptional resistance to installation scratching, scuffing and transit abrasion, it is also flexible enough to handle demanding post-forming. The unique chemistry of Durapon 70 reduces the carbon footprint which makes a greener product. Ceranamel XT-40 SMP is a proprietary polymer formulation which is harder, more flexible and significantly more abrasion and stain-resistant than conventional coatings. Ceramic pigmentation prompted the name, Ceranamel. It has excellent flexibility, weathering and fade resistance properties. Both coatings are energy efficient and meet Energy Star standards.

Painted Steel CoilI’ve actually toured the Precoat Metals plant near St. Louis, Missouri. The entire process of applying paint to bare galvanized and galvalume steel coil is nothing short of fascinating. Watch future editions of my blog for more about Precoat’s processes.

Valspar Corporation is an international manufacturer of paint and coatings based in Minneapolis. With nearly 10,000 employees in 25 countries it is the world’s sixth largest paint and coating corporation. Those who frequent Lowes® have probably seen the Valspar name on the shelves of the paint aisle.

Valspar offers a full range of high-performance architectural coatings in PVDF, SMP and polyester formulas. These superior coatings are available in a full palette of colors and surface textures to meet the most demanding environmental conditions and designs. Valspar’s flagship Fluropan coatings containing 70 percent PVDF resins offer premium protection against harmful UV rays, chalk, fade and chemical degradation. Their WeatherXL is a new silicone polyester coating which offers enhanced protection against weathering and superior scratch resistance.

These steel coil coaters are producing the high quality painted steel which is utilized by the best of the steel roll forming companies in America.  Stay tuned for more on the Precoat process!


Steel Siding and Zinc

Galvanization refers to the coating of steel with zinc.  This is done to prevent rusting of the steel. The value of galvanizing stems from the corrosion resistance of zinc, which, under most service conditions, is considerably greater than steel. The zinc serves as a sacrificial anode, so it cathodically protects exposed steel. This means even if the coating is scratched or abraded, the exposed steel siding or roofing will still be protected from corrosion by the remaining zinc – an advantage absent from paint, enamel, powder coating and other methods. Galvanizing is also favored as a means of protective coating because of its low cost, ease of application and comparatively long maintenance-free service life.

The earliest cold roll formed steel siding and roofing panels were unpainted galvanized steel.

Sharon Glorioso writes in a Metal Roofing Magazine article:

zinc roofing“It’s common to find zinc roofs that have been in service for more than 100 years throughout the major cities of Europe.  For example, the famous German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) used zinc extensively for roofing and building ornamentation on several historical buildings and palaces, which still stand today.

The latest example of the longevity of zinc involves the renovation of St. Catherine’s Church in Reutlingen, Germany.  The church was built in 1890 in Gothic Revival style and utilized large portions of zinc tile roofing.  After approximately 120 years, it was determined that a restoration was needed.  The craftsman Wolfgang Huber was commissioned to conduct an assessment of the roof and a study to determine the feasibility of reusing the historic zinc tiles.  Huber, along with an industrial climber, ascended the roof and spires for a personal, up-close inspection of the effects of weathering and previous repair attempts.  “This climbing technique is a cost-effective method of accurately determining damage and planning the remediation,” Huber said.

The restoration plan called for dismantling and removing all zinc tiles for inspection and cleaning and salvaging as many tiles as possible.  Tiles determined to be too damaged for reuse were recycled.  The original tiles on the eastern portion of the roof, which was not exposed to the main west wind and weather were nearly all reusable.  Located at the old cemetery in Reutlingen, the church building has now been preserved to nearly its original state in 1890.

Two distinct but related attributes of zinc in buildings are major factors in its environmental performance: durability and recyclability.  The widespread application of zinc in roofing and wall cladding began in the 19th century.  These were often civic buildings and cathedrals–built to last for generations.  Today, zinc products used in architectural construction have an extremely long service life: an estimated 80 to 100 years for roofs and 200 to 300 years for walls.”

While most steel siding and roofing panels are now factory painted steel, the base coating beneath the paint is still either galvanized, or galvalume® (for more information on Galvalume®: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/04/galvalume/). For longevity and value combined with lifespan, steel siding and roofing just cannot be beat by any other product.

Is Galvanized Steel Siding an Eyesore?

Like many things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I recently saw a photo of a McMansion in Florida, valued at eight figures, with a galvanized steel roof. Personally, I thought it looked pretty darn nice (as did the architect, builder and home owner apparently).

What got me going on this subject was a recent blog posting in the “Ask The Mayor” column of the Aberdeen (South Dakota) News:

Galvanized Steel Screws“Q. What can we do about a home in our neighborhood that is a disgrace? There are no gutters, the deck fell off and now we hear the owner plans to put up ugly galvanized steel siding just like on a pole barn.

 Is there an ordinance that will prevent this owner from doing something that will be an eyesore for the whole neighborhood? Are there rules about what kind of siding can be used?

A. When the building permit is applied for prior to starting a siding job, the applicant has wide latitude in the choice of type, color and design of the siding. There is no specific prohibition of this particular siding choice in the building code.

 Why not? As has been noted before in this column, the city building codes consider property rights as a major consideration when balancing aesthetics with freedom of action.

 That leaves it open, for example, for a person to paint their house any bizarre color. Home designs have great latitude to be wildly unconventional as long as they stay within the safety and minimum construction standards.

 Does that leave neighbors with any alternative? One possible avenue is the city nuisance code, which lists things which are prohibited because they are contrary to the general welfare.

 Among those nuisances is listing number three in section 28-118 of the city ordinance book:

 No person shall do something which “Does or tends to lower the value of adjacent real estate because of unsightliness.”

 If you are living next door and having to look at what you consider an eyesore every day, this language appears to be definitive and easily applied. But, it isn’t an easy determination to make; it’s hard to prove and could be challenged by the property owner. It is more typical for these disputes to be resolved by civil court action (or threat of action) rather than by government imposition.

 An issue regarding unsightly, galvanized siding in residential areas has not come up, probably because it is contrary to an owner’s interest and would lower the value of their own property. Now that this project is apparently a looming threat to this neighborhood, neighbors can ask for an evaluation as to whether the nuisance code application is justifiable.

 The question sent in did not specify the exact address in question. If the property owners in the area feel compelled to take action to stop that siding project, they should contact the city planning and zoning department, make their concern known, and file their complaint.” 

There are many architectural instances where galvanized steel siding (“just like on a pole barn”), is not only used, but is specified by the architect. I’ve supplied 22 gauge 2-1/2 inch corrugated galvanized steel for a mansard facing of a downtown hotel in a major metropolitan city. The hotel was considered a historic building and the refurbishing had to be done, to essentially match what had been on the structure for nearly a century.

Personally, I feel the mayor’s opinions are spot on!

Galvalume ®

Galvalume SteelMy first exposure to Galvalume ® was when ASC Pacific introduced “twice-the-life” Zincalume in the 1980s. They were marketing the product in its bare (unpainted) form as an alternative to the more familiar bare galvanized sheet steel. It looks similar to galvanized steel, but the visible crystals (or spangle) are smaller and close together, giving it a smoother appearance.  The combination of zinc and aluminum enhances both the positive and negative effects of aluminum.

Because aluminum is corrosion-resistant, Galvalume is more corrosion-resistant than galvanized steel, but because aluminum provides barrier protection instead of galvanic protection, scratches and cut edges are less protected.
Most consumers are familiar with old barn with bare galvanized steel panels which rusts (oxidizes) red. Bare Galvalume steel panels are not bright and shiny when new, unlike galvanized panels. As Galvalume ages, it oxidizes white. One prolific builder in the Pacific Northwest was actually even selling the product as a white roof!

Galvalume is a sheet steel with a hot dip applied alloy coating of about 55% aluminum 45% zinc. It is manufactured and sold as a trademarked product by companies such as Bethlehem Steel and National Steel.

I did find out, (the hard way) there are some limitations to uses of bare Galvalume steel panels. When the product first came on the market, we provided it as roofing for a building which later became a hog confinement barn (unbeknownst to us). The client called within two years of the roofing being installed, to complain about fist sized holes developing in his roofing. According to the roll former, It turns out the Galvalume coating had a chemical reaction to the confined urea, which basically “ate” holes in the steel. For this reason, Galvalume is best not used in animal confinement buildings.

Prepainted Galvalume roofing and siding panels are now used on buildings everywhere. It combines well with most other building materials and treatments. As such its versatility allows it to be used almost anywhere on building exteriors. Its excellent corrosion resistance has been proven by field performance on buildings for decades. An estimated 40 billion square feet of prepainted Galvalume sheeting covers buildings in all kinds of climates and environments in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The combination of long-lived Galvalume sheet with a wide range of modern high-performance paint systems results in a functional, durable, eye-appealing building product.