Tag Archives: tornado safety

Tornado Safety, Garage Additions, and Utilities in Post Frame

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the safety of a pole barn in the event of a tornado, whether a new post frame garage can be added to an existing home, and the standards to run utility wires and pipes through posts.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How safe are pole barn houses in tornadoes? BRENDA in CHATTANOOGA

DEAR BRENDA: Fully engineered post frame (pole barn) houses are as safe and sturdy as their design wind speeds. We can have your building engineered to resist wind speeds up to and in excess of 200 miles per hour (basically encompassing EF4 events). In weighing out risk/reward – a Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer can price for you incrementally starting at your jurisdiction’s mandated design wind speeds. This allows you to determine what you are willing and able to invest.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to design a 2 car garage to attach directly to the side of my house with matching vinyl siding? AMY in CLEVELAND

DEAR AMY: Yes it would be possible. We would need to have information on (dimensions and location of attachment) and photos of your house as well as what brand and color your vinyl siding is.

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?? 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.