Tag Archives: Structural stability

Hay Barn Loft Removal, Screw vs Nails, and Find a Builder

Today’s “ask the Pole Barn Guru” visits questions about the stability of a hay barn once the loft floor is removed, what screws can be used as a substitute for nails, and if Hansen could assist in finding a builder to erect a garage.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a very old gothic arch barn. 30ft wide x 40ft long. It is beautiful inside and solid. Our barn is stabilized by a “hay floor” at about 7ft. This appears to be holding the walls in. The walls total height is 10ft with the hay floor at 7 ft. I want to remove the hay floor and open the barn up in order to pull my 5th wheel into the barn and eventually beautify the barn interior. It has a height clearance of 13.5 ft. I’m concerned about compromising the integrity of the building. Can you give me suggestions on how to support the walls / roof to maintain stability? I’ve heard rods or cables could be a possibility. Would beams across the width work? That would be 30ft beams at a height of 14+ ft with floor post supports. GARY in HUNTSVILLE

DEAR GARY: We have many gothic arch buildings in our general area (NE South Dakota and West Central Minnesota) and not having grown up around them, I found their proliferation quite interesting. My best recommendation is going to be to engaged services of a local Registered Professional Engineer who can actually visit your building and make a best determination as to what route to take to maintain your building’s integrity.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can we use screws to construct our building or do we need to use Nails? If we can use screws which do you suggest? JEREMY in CRESCENT VALLEY

DEAR JEREMY: From Page 24 of Hansen Pole Buildings’ Construction Manual:


0.148” x 1-1/2” nails may be replaced by Simpson SD9112R100 or SD10112R100.

0.148” x 3” into hangers may be replaced by Simpson SD9212R100-R or SD10212R100-R.

0.148” x 3” lumber-to-lumber nails can be replaced by Simpson SDWS16300QR75.

Fastener quantities remain equal in all cases.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: If I was to purchase a residential garage kit, is it possible for you to help me find someone local to install it? I just don’t have to time or muscle to do it myself. AMANDA in HARRIVILLE

Engineer sealed pole barnDEAR AMANDA: While your new garage will be designed for an average physically capable person who can and will read instructions to successfully construct your own beautiful buildings (and many of our clients do DIY). Your building will come with full 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (suitable for obtaining Building Permits), a 500 page fully illustrated step-by-step installation manual, as well as unlimited technical support from people who have actually built buildings. For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states. We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders. However they may not necessarily be local to you as many builders enjoy the variety of travel. Please keep in mind, many builders are already booked out until 2022 and 2023.