Tag Archives: technical support

Lumberyards-Don’t Burst Customer’s Dreams

Lumberyards – Don’t Burst Customer’s Dreams

A week or so ago I was contacted in regards to a 42 wide by 48 foot long 12 foot eave post frame (pole) building kit. This person had actually ‘purchased’ this building from a vendor local to him for just over 12,000 dollars with steel roofing and siding, with him to provide his own doors. He was also planning upon adding a front deck (as in photo) at a later date.

Now this seemed to be a heck of a deal. Client had lined up a builder to start right away and all was lovely until his Building Department asked for engineered plans. And his provider of choice could not provide them!

This client was nice enough to provide his earlier provider’s invoice, so we could do a comparison. It was only then that I discovered there was more than just engineer sealed plans absent from this equation.
Look at trusses specified on this invoice. 30 foot span would need a major board stretcher to cover 42 feet. Good news is there are 25 of them, enough to go 48 feet of building length. Bad news is, there is no material for truss carriers (aka headers or beams) to run from column to column to support these trusses. No idea why trusses would have overhangs on only one side.

Posts are perfect in quantity for a 10 foot on center spacing, however there should have been four more (ignoring wrong building width) to have placed client’s three nine foot width overhead doors. In case you are curious, these three doors would not have fit across a 30 foot wide endwall.

Endwall steel is plenty too long for a 12 foot sidewall, however no provision has been made for shorter panels above overhead doors. Where this gets dicey is when roof steel is looked at. 19’3” would be a correct length for a 10-1/2” eave overhang, at 30 foot wide and 8/12 slope. Assuming no end overhangs, each 48 foot roof side takes 16 three foot width pieces. 20 are on the order? Maybe just 30 feet on each side of roof?

No idea what was planned to cover 48 feet of ridge using four 10 foot long ridge caps.
Sidewall steel exhibits similar problems – only 20 pieces 14 feet (again too long for a 12 foot eave), however there is a mysterious 10 pieces of 8’2”.

By now – I am sure you are getting an idea as to how upset this client would have been with his 12 foot too narrow building. How about his builder? Even had 30 foot been accepted, there would have been many a trip back to this supplier (over 50 miles away) to even come close to being able to assemble this mess.
This is what upsets me – this unknowing client has scrimped and saved for his dream building and now believes he can afford it. Only to have those expectations and dreams smashed by a supplier who (in my humble opinion) had no business even leading client to believe they could supply what he desired, wanted and needed.
At Hansen Pole Buildings, we guarantee we will furnish a complete and ENGINEERED post frame building kit per invoice and plans. Along with all step-by-step instructions on how to assemble and unlimited free Technical Support from people who actually know how to erect post frame buildings.
Want it done right? Please dial 1 (866) 200-9657 and speak with a Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer today.

Pole Building Technical Support

“With a Little Help from My Friends” was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released on the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. It was written for and sung by the Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr as the character “Billy Spears”.

Several years ago, we provided pole building kit packages through the lumber yard chain 84® Lumber. Besides Hansen Pole Buildings providing packages, some of the individual 84® Lumber locations put together and sold their own kit packages. There was plenty of business to go around but trying to convince some of the 84® Lumber sales staff of how easy we could make their lives by letting us handle the work for them, sometimes required a lot of effort on our part.

Now, astute readers, you may be seeing where this is going – where one chain (in this case 84® Lumber) is doing things two diversely different ways.

Frankly, one or more of the 84® Lumber sales people had very little clue as to what it was they were selling (when they did it on their own) and even less of an idea as to how to offer pole building technical support when their customers couldn’t figure out how to put things together. With limitations on the plans they were able to provide, and no assembly instructions, some of the 84® Lumber team were in over their heads.

A few of the folks who had invested in the 84® Lumber version of a pole building connected us with 84® Lumber (it may have had something to do with our brochures on the 84® Lumber sales counters), and began contacting our Technical Support Department for assistance with pole building assembly. Although we had no financial benefit from doing so, we did what we felt was the right thing and gave as much technical support as we possibly could. This was outside of the fact we had no idea as to what had actually been supplied by 84® Lumber.

Although it has been years since we supplied pole building kits through 84® Lumber, the spirit of assisting anyone with pole building questions of any sort still exists here at Hansen Pole Buildings. My philosophy has always been to help others, because it’s “just the right thing to do”.

Have a question, need technical support for constructing your new pole building? All you need to do is ask to get a little help from your friends: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/ask-the-pole-barn-guru.php

Mike the Pole Barn Guru: Unemployment Line?

Mike the Pole Barn Guru: Unemployment Line?

I don’t think so….

Back in 2002, this was just a fledgling business. Sure, I had over 20 years of experience, but this new business meant starting over from nowhere.  I had never before sold buildings primarily through the internet.

Our building plans – two pages (granted they were full blueprint size at 24” x 36”) would “get you there”, but you had to guess a bit and pay a lot of attention.

Hansen Buildings Detailed Construction Manual

The reason most pole builders do not want to sell pole barn kits…instructions.

If you provide really, really good instructions, you get very few phone calls and Emails for help. But, it takes crafting those directions. And it is a long and time intensive project, especially when you want to sell “custom” buildings.

When we first started, our instruction “manual” (using the term loosely), was less than two dozen pages.  The directions had been written by me back in the early ‘90s, when I was a builder – we had our subcontract crews using them.

Now from the plans, the instructions and my having been involved in several thousand buildings, I certainly could have put together a fine building. However, very few people (even those who pound nails and drive screws for a living every day) have my level of experience.

Over the years, every time a client would have a question or concern about either the plans or the instructions, we would add more wording, pictures and “live” drawings to the appropriate documentation. We wanted our clients to have the best possible building experience, and our pole barn plans and instructions reflected our desire.

The building plans became more and more detailed, swelling to six pages or more. And the “Construction Manual” over 400 pages!

Along with this, we got to the point where we had such a huge volume of business – we ended up with one person pretty much doing technical support full time. Technical support means helping people via phone, text, FAX and/or Email through their building project.

Now this was crazy!

In hopes of better servicing our clients, I ended up as Technical Director (meaning “Mike, you can do the Technical Support”).  First it was sort of a joke, but the name Pole Barn Guru quickly had me “flagged and tagged”…and the name stuck!

Over an 18 month period, our Construction Manual was completely revamped and rewritten. Chapters were made very narrowly focused. More drawings were added as well as actual construction photos. The guide now appears in each client’s login on the Hansen Buildings website.

The chapters which pertain to each particular building are now highlighted. We’re back to keeping it simple.

So how does all of this pertain to an unemployment line?

Judy, one of Hansen’s owners, asked me today about how many total hours I have spent on true Technical Support with our clients since the new construction manual “went live” at the beginning of 2011.

While I couldn’t give her the exact number of minutes, I know it has been less than a total of a half day of time, in seven plus months!

I had worked (written) myself out of a job…..

Or did I?

See tomorrow’s blog…..

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