Tag Archives: surveyor

Subcontractors for Your Barndominium

Welcome – you are maybe here because you have followed my biggest money saving tip in building a new barndominium, you are acting as your own General Contractor. If you are not yet convinced, please take a brief pause to jump back to: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/02/does-my-barndominium-need-a-turn-key-general-contractor/.

There are those who have time and patience (or skills) to learn how to DIY everything. Most do not fit into this category and are going to need some skilled subcontractors to do more (or all) challenging tasks.

A subcontractor is an individual contractor or a contracting firm who contracts with a General Contractor (now you as an owner builder), to perform part or all of a specific barndominium building job. In construction industry jargon, subcontractors are also called subs.

With you in control as general contractor,  you will build your new home by subcontracting with others for specific jobs.

You will pay for your project by setting a predetermined contract amount with each subcontractor.

You will have no hourly wage employees working for you, meaning you will avoid mountains of governmental red tape and taxes concerning employees.

Your contractors and subcontractors are not considered to be employees.

Some subcontractors, or contractors, need to be licensed for their trade. Check with your local Building Department to confirm these requirements. For those needing to be licensed, be sure to ask to see a copy of their contractor’s registration and verify it!

Below is a list of barndominium contractors, subcontractors and professional people you probably will be contracting with, listed generally in order of need (along with links to relevant articles, where appropriate).

Real estate agent (for land search) https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/08/a-place-for-a-post-frame-barndominium/

Real estate attorney (many states require them for property closing)

Loan officer at banks, credit unions, or mortgage lenders https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/06/things-to-complete-before-going-to-a-barndominium-lender/

Barndominium designer http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/?fbclid=IwAR2ta5IFSxrltv5eAyBVmg-JUsoPfy9hbWtP86svOTPfG1q5pGmfhA7yd5Q

Structural engineer (every Hansen Pole Building comes complete with fully engineered structural plans, so this aspect is covered for you)

Surveyor https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/02/pole-building-20/

Well driller (if no public water)

Grading and Excavation Contractor

Septic system installer

Soil Treatment Firm if in termite country https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/pre-construction-termite-treatment/

Your Hansen Pole Building kit (www.HansenPoleBuildings.com 1.866.200.9657)

Hansen Buildings Construction ManualBuilding Erector (Hansen Pole Buildings are designed for average physically capable persons who can and will read instructions to successfully construct their own beautiful buildings and many of our clients do DIY). Our buildings come with full 24” x 36” blueprints detailing location and attachment of every piece, 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 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

Concrete contractor to pour concrete slab or concrete floors, as well as drives, walks and approaches.



HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning)

Insulation installer

Drywall contractor


Finish carpenter (Installs kitchen and other built-in cabinets and trim around doors and windows)

Flooring, carpet, and countertop contractor

Tile contractor

Cleaning crew contractor

Landscape contractor

Cross off from this list all tasks and trades you are willing and able to do yourself. You are now journeying a step closer to your barndominium General Contracting success!

And the Survey Says

July 12, 1976 had Richard Dawson (Corporal Peter Newkirk of Hogan’s Heroes fame) uttering these words, “and the survey says” on the very first Family Feud television game show.  Sadly Mr. Dawson has met his demise, however the show goes on with Steve Harvey as the current host.

Well, when it comes to placing your new post frame (pole barn) building properly upon your site, a poll of 100 random American adults is probably not going to meet with the requirements of the local Planning and Building Department. Our oldest son Jake went to construct his own post frame garage outside of Maryville, Tennessee Blount County’s only requirement was to meet the setbacks from the property lines. No plans had to be submitted (I believe my readers have heard my opinion on this), no inspections of the building – just don’t build too close to the neighbors.


Apparently the idea is when your structurally under designed building collapses due to snow, or falls over due to wind, it is okay as long as it doesn’t land on your neighbor?

Yes, it was a rhetorical question.

Getting back on task – someone from the county came by after Jake had begun construction. Said person had the idea Jake’s building was too close to his neighbor’s lot (even though Jake told them where the property corners were).

The solution – Jake had to hire a surveyor to come out and properly locate the property corners (they were where Jake said they were) to the satisfaction of the authorities. In the meantime – work ground to a halt waiting upon the official results.

Chris Brinkman, construction supervisor in Minnesota for Lester Building Systems was recently interviewed by Kathy Jonas for Frame Building News. Here is what Chris had to say:

“How important is it to hire a surveyor?

Many times a customer tries to save money on the front end by not hiring a surveyor as part of the site preparation process. I have seen sites where new buildings were built too close to a setback or property lines, which can vary tremendously depending on the particular type of setback and government entity involved. Moving your building site due to setbacks can be very expensive. Calculating the setback is also an area where mistakes are easily made but can be easily avoided.”

Check with your local permit issuing authority to determine, in advance, if a survey of your property is required prior to construction. If you feel there is even a remote possibility of your new post frame building being too close to a setback from the property line, it is far better to be safe than sorry. A few hundred dollars investment into a surveyor is far less expensive than having to move a building.