Tag Archives: wainscot

Not a Hansen Pole Building

From a Distance Every Pole Barn Looks About Equal

Earlier this year I shared back and forth several conversations with a potential client (who eventually did not invest in a Hansen Pole Building).

He shared with me photos of his brother’s beautiful new pole barn shop and intended to have one built by this same builder.

Although a plain rectangular box, with absolutely no frills (things I look upon as being important – like wainscot and enclosed overhangs), from a distance it appears as though it would be highly functional.

Notice, if you will, a lovely view for a distance – meaning this building site is Exposure C for wind (See here for an explanation: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2022/06/wind-exposure-and-confusion-part-iii/). How does Exposure C impact (literally) a building? It must structurally resist a 20% greater force than an Exposure B (protected) site.

Now this potential client was impressed also, because his brother’s building was fully insulated. Let’s go inside and take a look….

Well, yes – it has Metal Building Insulation, a very poor investment in a very small effective R value. Please read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/metal-building-insulation-in-pole-buildings-part-i/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/metal-building-insulation/.

Nice insulated overhead door in one end – although it is insulated, don’t expect much true performance from an insulated overhead door https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/07/barndominium-high-r-value-overhead-doors-part-i/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/07/barndominium-high-r-value-overhead-doors-part-ii/.

There is also nothing to lead me to believe this overhead door is wind-rated. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/

With an Exposure C site, my guess is one morning after a 60 mph (miles per hour) or so overnight wind gust, this door will be laying flat on ground outside of the building.

This building utilizes home-made dry-set brackets to mount columns to slab. Even though these brackets have no ICC-ESR Code approval (and dry set brackets, in general, have no ability to resist moment – aka bending forces), there is one significant challenge. Only every other sidewall column has a bracket!


Somewhere, somehow, some body neglected to install any roof truss bottom chord bracing (aka rat runs). For single trusses, this would be required no more than every 10 feet. I would imagine at least the longest diagonal truss web (as well as maybe vertical at center) should be braced as well.

In this Exposure C site, externally mounted 2×6 #2 wall girts are likely to be overstressed https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/girts/

Both sound engineering practice and Building Codes require roof purlins on edge to be restrained from rotating at bearing points. Solid blocking between purlins going over top of trusses, or purlins joist hung between truss top chords would accomplish this.

This story has a moral similar to “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. If this building was an absolutely free gift, then it was a heck of a deal (provided it is well insured), but to have paid hard earned money for a building unlikely to survive more than a few years – not such a great deal.

Here is where I reiterate my mantra – always build from fully engineered, site specific plans.

Help! My Overhead Door Jambs are Rotting!

Help! My Overhead Door Jambs Are Rotting!

I am fairly certain this problem occurs more often than I hear about. Reader DAVID in ROLLING PRAIRIE writes:

“Enclosed are two pictures showing my pole building’s overhead door. One picture is the inside door jamb that is decaying from water damage and the other one is a picture of the outside J channel and siding above the overhead door. My question what items need to be removed and what needs to be done to repair and seal the inside door jamb area? This an FBi building built in 1989. The outside upper J channel appears not to be sagging and there is no evidence of any leaks from roofing or front walls.

Thank you in advance for any help given.”

Mike the Pole Building Guru responds:

Thank you for sending photos. As you can tell from photo of outside J Channel, water has been collecting in channel, resulting in wall steel deterioration. Water most likely enters your building through one or more of – a hole or holes have rusted through J Channel, an uncaulked splice along top jamb length, or poorly executed (and possibly uncaulked) trim intersection at opening corners.

If it was my own building, I would approach a solution in this fashion:

In order to repair this area properly will involve having to remove some siding. Your building’s siding was fastened with nails, meaning it will be destroyed in removal process. Therefore, I’d remove all steel siding and trims from this building wall and replace them. Over 29 years your paint has faded and chalked significantly. For replacement I would go with Kynar painted panels (read more about Kynar here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/?s=Kynar). While in steel replacement mode, I would add wainscot to this wall, regardless of whether building balance has it or not. Wainscot will enhance your building’s appearance, as well as providing short length panels easily replaced if damaged.

I would remove present overhead door jamb boards and, as a precautionary measure, replace them with pressure preservative treated lumber. Any cut ends I would treat liberally with Copper Napthenate solution. Cover the entire framed wall with Weather Resistant Barrier (think Tyvek). Wrap barrier completely around wood jambs and staple to inside wall. Wooden overhead jambs should be covered with steel trim with an integrated J Channel to receive siding. Place self-adhesive flashing tape (3M All Weather Flashing Tape 8067 or similar) between weather resistant barrier and overhead jamb trim. Avoid a splice in horizontal trim across the top, if possible. Some steel roll formers will make trims long enough for a 16 foot wide door. Overlap trims at corners so any water potentially seeping in rolls onto yet another steel piece. Place liberal caulking amounts behind and between any trim splices or overlaps, especially near corners.

When installing steel siding above door opening, cut panels so bottom edge lands 1/2″ above integrated J Channel low point. This will reduce steel panel premature decay possibility. Use form fitted inside closure strips between these panels and jamb trim flange above the door opening.

Good luck, and please do send me pictures of the final result!



Building Colors: Unlimited Choices!

Yesterday I started talking a little bit about one of the hardest things to choose on a building – colors. This is one of those subjects where I feel totally out of my element, but because we get so many folks asking “what color should I choose for….?”, I feel I can share some of the basic “how to’s” I’ve learned over the years.  It has always amazed me in the thousands of sales I’ve personally been involved with, how many folks really struggle over this one last “choice” on their pole building kit: colors.  And it’s not just the women who hem and haw over which colors to put where, which trims to match the roof or siding, and will almond or white doors and windows match better?

Whether you choose wood, steel, or vinyl for siding, and shingles, steel or tile for roofing, the first consideration is that your building’s roofing material, siding and trim can all be different colors.  By using a highly contrasting trim against the siding, definition is created at corners and openings. Most of the time, (and I do say “most”), trim around the roof matches the roof. But it doesn’t have to!

Accent panels can be used on the walls to bring out trim colors.

Want the corners to stand out?  Have the first steel panel at each corner be the same color as the trim.  Industrial or shop buildings often do this.  It just helps to make them appear not so “plain”.  A variation on this is to skip to the second panel of the walls to match the trim.

Afraid your building will look too tall?  If you don’t plan on insulating the walls, polycarbonate eave lights on sidewalls make your building look shorter.  Wainscot can do this too.

What is wainscot?  This is where the lower three feet (approximately) of your building is a different color than the upper wall areas of the building, and often the wainscot matches either the roof or the corner trim color.  Wainscot can also be done in brick or stone, for a richer look.  It also guards heavily against any damages should a lawnmower pick up a stone or sharp object poking holes in the siding.

Trims do not have to all be the same color.  We have had people use as many as three or four different color trims on one building.  Every single time I see someone pick more than one color for trim, my eyes start to glaze over…only to be truly awed when I see the result.  Obviously my place is not in color design!

Accent basic colors with brightly colored doors.  Besides basic white, overhead and entry doors often come in other colors.  Be sure to get doors which are not merely “primed” but factory painted.  Most doors are only warrantied for 30 days after you install them (if only primed). So if you buy primed doors, the best thing to do is paint these doors before you install them – and then they can be painted a color of your own choosing.  My solution for one of my own pole buildings was to take my 3 entry doors to a body shop specializing in painting cars.  They did a great job and my bright red doors are a standout against the white siding.

Agricultural building?  Sliding door steel can be a different color than the siding.  Dutch doors for horse stalls are available in more than a dozen colors!  Panels for crossbucks can come painted with many color choices as well.

Bottom line – your building’s appearance is your opportunity to express yourself and your individuality, so my advice is….go wild!   I love my red doors on my shop!

Check out the Paint a Building feature on our website to play around with color combinations.   You can click on the paint can on our website home page, or click here to play with building colors:


Or email us for a color chart.

Color me –  Mike