My Pole Barn Heats Most of Southern Michigan
Most post frame (pole barn) buildings were not designed with an idea of efficiently and effectively being able to climate control them. Likely very little (if any) thought was put in by the salesperson other than giving his client a lowest possible price to secure a signed contract.
Reader CHRIS in SOUTHERN MICHIGAN now has become owner of one such pole barn. Chris found contact information for Hansen Pole Buildings’ Materials Wizardress Justine and wrote to her:
I recently bought a house with a heated 30’x50′ pole barn. However, my heating cost is obscene after two months of (mild) Michigan winter. The building has soffits and a ridge vent, so I’m assuming all of my heat is just going out the roof right now.
I’d be interested in acquiring some engineering consultation regarding if I can put a ceiling in this building or not, and what the best method may be. I had thought about seeking out local structural engineers to Southeast Michigan but Hansen seems like well-regarded experts on this subject.
I found your e-mail from this article:
Mike the Pole Barn Guru answers:
There exists an inexpensive and easy way to determine if your roof trusses will support a ceiling load as constructed, or if an engineered repair will be required. Every pre-manufactured wood truss must (by Building Code) have a permanent stamp affixed to indicate manufacturer. Locate one of these (should be along truss bottom chord) and simply contact the manufacturer. They should be able to find records for your pole barn’s truss order by an address lookup. Worst case scenario – you can send them information as to the dimensions of your building, spacing of trusses, roof slope (probably 4/12) and some digital photos of your trusses. If a repair will be necessary, the most cost usually engineering from the truss company will run $100 or less.
If, by some chance, original manufacturer has closed, contact a nearby truss company for recommendations as to an engineer who would be capable of examining your building and providing a repair, if necessary.