Tag Archives: structural plans

Can I Purchase Just Plans?

Can I Purchase Just Plans?


I live in NC, and love the building pictured on your website–can I purchase just the plans? I’m attaching the picture for reference, and thank you so much for your time & assistance!”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Thank you for your kind words in regards to this particular building. As every building we provide is uniquely engineered specifically for climactic conditions at site it will be built upon (as well as particular Building Code edition and local amendments), having this original set of structural plans would be worthless for where you are. Our engineers also will not place their seals on structural plans when we are not providing materials, as there is no way for them to otherwise assure materials being specified, will actually be incorporated into the building (some of these materials are proprietary to us as well).

www.HansenPoleBuildings.com is America’s leader in providing fully engineered, 100% custom designed, post frame building and barndominium kits, with multiple buildings in all 50 states (including over a hundred in the Carolinas). Your deliveries come from one or more of our thousands of shipping locations across our country (minimizing delivery costs) – so chances are excellent we are ‘close’ to you (as well as supporting your local economy)!

Your new building kit is designed for an average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell, without extensive prior construction knowledge (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), our industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

One of our Building Designers will be reaching out to you shortly, to discuss your building needs.

Engineered Plans, P-Bex Through Posts, and Drill Set Brackets

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru tackles reader questions about drawing up engineered plans to match some non-engineered plans reader currently has, if it is possible to run p-bex through columns, and whether of not a person can set a building on an existing slab with use of drill set brackets.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am currently in the process of getting my plans drawn up for a hybrid metal frame home. The plans are drawn up but are not engineered plans. Can I get a cost to have engineered plans drawn up by you if I send you the plans that I currently have. Also, I am located in California, Riverside County to be exact.

Thank You.

Forgot to mention. I am leaning towards post frame construction versus the metal frame. CODY in RIVERSIDE

DEAR CODY: Thank you for reaching out to us. We provide engineer sealed structural plans and verifying calculations with every custom post frame building package. Due to proprietary nature of some materials, our engineers are unable to draw and stamp plans when we do not provide materials.

A member of our Building Design team will be reaching out to you shortly to discuss your building needs.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning sir, I am building a shop/house and have a question about running wire and PEX water lines through the posts. I have read your threads about this yet still not 100%. I do not have the gap between the metal and the posts like you spoke of so drilling the posts seems like the easiest way for me to accomplish the routing of the wire. So what is the right answer, can I drill the posts or not per code? Who do I have to convince of this, the county inspector or the engineer? I am getting so many answers it’s frustrating. The ability to drill through the posts of my pole building would be the easiest and economical way to run all wiring and PEX.  Thanks SAM in KENNEWICK

DEAR SAM: Think of a hole being drilled through as being an “open knot”. Lumber grading rules refer to these as being “Unsound or Loose Knots and Holes” due to any cause. Most structural framing – like wall girts and roof purlins or posts and timbers are graded as Number 2.
For practical purposes, a hole up to just less than ¼ of board face being drilled through will be within grade in #2 lumber. Example: 5-1/2” face of a 6×6 a hole up to 1-1/4” may be drilled through, as often as every two feet. Allowable hole sizes are reduced and spacing increased for higher grades of lumber.
You should engineer who sealed your plans approval. His or her seal will quash any concerns your inspector may have.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have already had a monolithic slab poured on my site. 40×60. rebar top and bottom of thickened area 12×12 with 6″ slab. Also rebar both sides of the cut lines at 10′ intervals. The concrete is 6 sack with fiber. Can I put a pole building on top of this slab and secure it with a bracket that is anchored by drilling holes and using a fastener. Building will be 40x60x16. Thank you for your consideration. DAVID in HELMVILLE

DEAR DAVID: Can and should are not often a same answer (or result).

Dry (drill) set column brackets (from any manufacturer) are not designed to resist moment (bending) loads. While they may work just fine, it only takes one good wind event to turn your beautiful new building upside down. Even worse – a smart insurance company will hire someone like me to testify what you used was not a structurally adequate design solution and deny your claim!

There are some options:

You could use a concrete saw to cut out column locations from your existing slab, or (and probably more practical) increase dimensions of your proposed building to 42′ by 62′ and place embedded (structurally best) or wet-set bracket mounted columns on concrete piers outside of your current slab.

Truss Bracing- A Framer’s Perspective

Truss Bracing
My friend Christopher Gould is a Registered Professional Engineer and President of Gould Design, Inc (https://www.goulddesigninc.com/). He recently authored a blog article on truss bracing, of which I will steal (borrow) profusely from him.

Truss bracing is additional, field installed, bracing which is specified by the design software to reinforce specific webs needing extra support to meet the loading and design requirements of the job.

What we are referring to are web braces which are typically displayed as the symbol shown below:


A system of trusses may also require additional “bracing” specified by the EOR (Engineer of Record) such as gable bracing like this:


These details are typically found in the structural plans, and as a framer are the easiest details to find and install, since they are related to nailing requirements and necessary hardware and clips which should be installed on order to satisfy shear transfer and drag loads. These are also the easiest pieces of reference for the building inspector to identify.

Bright, shiny clips and straps have a way of standing out against wood on a job site. Much more so than additional wood on top of the many directions of webs in a truss system like this:


These pesky braces tend to be the most misunderstood and overlooked part of installing a truss system when it comes to completing a job, especially if the crew doing the work and the building inspector don’t know what they are looking for. When the trusses are delivered they leave behind a packet of paper which can be hundreds of pages with a layout on top. The layout is often peeled off and used for proper placement of the various trusses, but the rest of the packet showing the truss profiles and required web bracing is tossed aside and possibly not looked at again.

Many times flipping a web or upgrading the web lumber can eliminate many of the braces which are specified through system default design without the designer spending much time on it.

This last step is part of what Hansen Pole Buildings’ beloved Purchasing Department Manager (and newlywed) Justine does. When she gets a preliminary truss drawing in from our truss manufacturer, she reviews the required web bracing and consults with the truss designers to see if there is a solution which will reduce or eliminate the need for web bracing. While this may add a few dollars to the cost of the trusses, it can well result in a wash for cost by reduction of bracing – and make it easier for you to construct your new pole building!

When the average person or builder invests in a set of roof trusses, often the dictate for selection is low price of the trusses, without looking at the added costs of bracing which another fabricator might have very well taken into account.

Just one more reason to invest in a post frame building kit package from the people who deliver “The Ultimate Post Frame Experience”™.