Tag Archives: two-story building

To Wrap Posts, Two-Story, Barndominium Conversion

In this Wednesday’s Ask the Guru, Mike answers reader questions about the use of bituthene to wrap the bottom of posts in addition to the treatment, the possibility of a two-story post frame building, and if one can convert an existing Hansen Building into a “barndominium” (residential unit).

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi Mike, getting ready to build a pole barn and I have some bituthene I’ve been saving. The bottom of the posts are treated but I was going to wrap them in the bituthene as well to protect. Obviously this could potentially trap moisture in the post as well creating more problems than it solves. As long as the posts are dry do you see a problem with wrapping them? Thanks! TRAVIS in ELIZABETH

DEAR TRAVIS: Properly pressure preservative treated columns (UC-4B rated) should last in ground for your grandchildren’s grandchildren to be able to enjoy this building. Provided columns are dry (and kept dry during construction), wrapping them with a complete seal should not negatively impact their performance.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have an two story options? I’m looking for a two-story barn kit that is approximately 40×60. Thanks. KRISTIN in JENISON

DEAR KRISTIN: We have provided a plethora of two-story buildings to our clients all across America. (Photos of a few of them are available here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/gallery/homes/). We can provide up to three stories and 40 foot sidewalls (or four stories and 50 foot sidewalls with fire suppression sprinklers)


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning. I have a question about the project-11-1106. I now own this property and have two questions below.
1. Is this barn eligible for barndominium conversion? If so, do you have architects/engineers that you can recommend in the area?
2. If it stays as a barn, I’m planning to insulate it will Rockwool R23 comfortbatt. Do you have any recommendations how to properly get this done without causing any issues with moisture and I structure?
Thank you for making this “ask the guru” available. I will appreciate any guidance you can provide since you are more familiar with the structure of this barn/r, AMIE in OAK HARBOR

DEAR AMIE: Thank you for reaching out and for your kind words. This particular building was engineered to 2009 IBC requirements as a low-risk structure. In order to convert to a barndominium, it would need to be assessed and engineered to 2018 IRC with Washington State Amendments. If submission is on or after March 15, 2024 then 2021 Code would apply. We could work with this building’s original E.O.R. (Engineer of Record) in order to make this happen, however it may not be cost effective due to possible needed repairs to reach upgrade requirements. This would need to be done on a time basis, with an upfront nonrefundable retainer, as a fair amount of analysis will need to be done, as well as drafting and engineering costs.

In any case, adding of insulation and appropriate vapor barriers of any sort could result in excess humidity concerns and you should entertain involving an experienced HVAC provider to discuss mechanical dehumidification.

Proper Foundation and Slab, Two-Story Buildings, and Door Parts

Proper Foundation and Slab, Two-Story Buildings, and Door Parts

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Dear Sir, I read the details of pouring a concrete slab after building the barn. I live in Montana with some pretty cold winters. If I were laying a slab for a conventional stick built structure i would be required to dig footings 48” deep all around the perimeter. What should I do if I am building a pole barn? While I may supply low level background heat I would like a construction that does not require it to resist Montana winters.

DEAR DEREK: Regardless of the type of construction used, the success or lack thereof for your slab is going to come from what you do underneath it, as well as grading the site properly to keep water from pooling below it.

Follow along first by reading my series of articles devoted to site preparation which begins with: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/.

You will want to have your building site graded so as there is a 5% slope away from the building, when completed.

Now the fun part – protecting your building itself. I’ve become an advocate for Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations. Here are a couple of articles which should get you heading in the right direction: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations/

and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/post-frame-frost-walls/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you offer 30 x 40 2 story apartment/garages?? ROB in ALPINE

About Hansen BuildingsDEAR ROB: We offer any dimension of footprint you desire, not just 30 foot width by 40 feet long and would encourage you to look at what works best for you in an internal layout, then create the exterior dimensions which best fit your interior needs. Two and even three full or partial stories can easily be done with post frame construction and if your zoning allows the overall height and you are willing to add sprinklers, you could go four stories.

Your mixed use will probably result in having to at least one-hour fire separate the apartment from the garage. This could include having to protect the stairs, if they are interior, as well as to provide clear protection all the way to the outside world. A discussion with your local planning and zoning friends could provide you with added insights.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you have available, either metal or wood, a barn door and hardware for an opening 8′ high and 5′ wide, to be placed within a screen porch (the entrance to the garage)? TRISH in WIMBERLEY

DEAR TRISH: Thank you for your interest. Due to shipping challenges, we now only provide barn doors along with the investment into a complete post frame building kit. You might try contacting the ProDesk at your local The Home Depot®.