Tag Archives: wet set brackets

Bolt to Slab, Metal Distortion, and a Moisture Drip Issue

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about use of dry-set brackets to existing slab, spray foam distorting metal, and a problem with drip when temperature is just right.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How thick does the edge of concrete need to be to support a pole barn if using the bolt on top of existing slab? CHRIS

DEAR CHRIS: Our independent third party engineers have determined brackets dry mounted to existing concrete slabs are not a good structural solution and will no longer certify such connections. We would recommend either saw cutting holes in your slab to use either embedded or wet set bracket mounted columns, or to place columns around your slab’s perimeter.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Why does the spray foam distort the metal? LARRY in KALISPELL

DEAR LARRY: Properly installed closed cell spray foam insulation should not distort either roof or wall steel. My lovely bride and I used it when we added an elevator shaft on the rear endwall of our shouse and it was used to insulate a recent approximately 3000 square foot addition to Hansen Pole Buildings’ warehouse. Both were done with no noticeable steel deflection. Here is some further reading on this subject https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/04/spray-foam-insulation-3/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We have a moisture problem in our 36×45 pole barn when the weather is right it drips when the sun warms it up. I understand I need more ventilation. Along the top center ridge there is formed foam gasketing like you have talked about. Some of it is falling out. Can I remove that to improve ventilation or is that there to stop rain or snow from coming in? Really appreciate many of the tips you have on your site. RON in MAZOMANIE

DEAR RON: I will suspect your dripping issue is due to there being no thermal break between your building’s roof framing and roof steel. If this is your circumstance, your only real solution is to have two inches of closed cell spray foam applied to inside of your roofing. While adding ventilation may remediate some of your challenge, there is still going to be some degree of warm moist air trapped inside.

In order to adequately ventilate, you will need to have both an air intake and an exhaust. You could remove your ridge cap and replace your present formed ridge closures with a similar vented material (vented closures). For air intakes, if your building does not have vented sidewall overhangs, you could add gable vents at each end.

 

Rock Letters

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Doug recently sent this message to company owner Eric and me:

“I’m getting the question regarding rock letters from Clients and builders in central and eastern Oregon. 

Have we, or do we ever send the building department a rock letter regarding buildings where optimum post hole depth is not achievable?”

When I was building, a Volkswagon sized rock was generally parked and could be found in any given project’s last hole to be dug.

With all other holes dug – moving the building to avoid a rock just never felt like a viable option. I hated digging holes to begin with as they always entail dealing with unknowns, what is lurking beneath the ground’s surface. RMS Titanic’s Captain Edward Smith must have had some of these same feelings about icebergs, you never know what is below the surface until you hit it.

I used to take a steel stake used for anchoring concrete forms and a sledge hammer to investigate job sites prior to digging. Once building hole locations were laid out, said stake could be driven in at each hole location to determine if there were challenges ahead which could not be seen on the surface. At least by doing this stake test, we could determine with some degree of accuracy where challenges might lay, and if we thought we were going to have one, negotiate with our new building owner about shifting building location to avoid isolated rock.

My first choice for a solution would be to dig said rock out. Even if it leaves a crater numerous feet across, a sonotube can be placed at this column location, properly backfill around and column can be placed in the sonotube. This excavation is probably going to involve some heavier equipment, like a backhoe.

Behind door number two – rent a jackhammer. Unless you have hit solid granite, most rocks can be broken apart by use of a jackhammer and physical exertion to operate it.

Or a third choice (and often most practical) rent a “ram hoe” (aka concrete breaker) attachment for a skid loader or backhoe. This Hydraulic Breaker makes quick work out of a tough job. With a smart and efficient design it provides a workhorse with only two moving parts. Vibration and shock are controlled by shock absorbing polymers, minimizing machine wear and sound while improving operator comfort level. One can easily smash through concrete, even on an incline, with hardest hitting breakers in their respective impact energy classes. It has only two moving parts, one grease fitting. Also features low recoil and minimal hydraulic pressure spike, as well as unique trapezoidal shock wave for greater breaking power.

Eric’s response to Doug was, “When they can’t achieve designed depths required as shown on plans they would need an engineered fix.  No simple letter resolves the fact they could not get down to depths shown on plans. If they don’t go to use of wet set brackets a fix can be a variety of solutions depending on the rock’s size and depth. Previously our engineers have had clients who hit bedrock epoxy rebar into hole bottom bedrock to connect to concrete column encasement. Shale or other easily chipped rock doesn’t work for this solution, so it really depends on individual situations. In each case our engineer of record has to review circumstances, arrive at a design solution and client will incur costs to do so. “

This last option is not one to undertake on your own without an engineer’s involvement. You don’t want this to become a weak link resulting in failure of your beautiful brand new building.

Barndominium on a Daylight Basement

As post frame construction moves into a world filled with barndominiums, shouses and homes, there are of course those who would prefer (or need due to lot slope) to build upon either a full or partial (daylight) basement.

Post frame buildings are ideal for this situation.

Reader LOUIE writes:

“Hi, I just started the process of building my first home and came across your website, hoping maybe you can help. So far I have purchased the land, got the septic design and have started to clear it. I have a good idea of what I would like to build but have a few questions. Can you design buildings to be built on daylight basement foundations? Also I see that the kits on your website include the windows, doors and exterior finish. Would it be possible to buy a kit for just the the framing?  Ideally I want to build something like this roughly 28×36. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Yes, we can design to build on a daylight basement, columns on the basement’s open side would be long enough to extend into the ground and be embedded. My shouse (shop/house) in Washington was engineered this way. In my case we dealt with 12 feet of grade change on a 40 foot wide site. Our solution was to have a 12’ tall ICF block wall on one side and 10 feet of front, then step down across the rear endwall to follow grade. Engineered wet set brackets were poured into top of ICFs (read about wet set brackets here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/).

Besides your framing package, we would like to provide your building’s steel roofing. If you are using some sort of board or plank siding, we would like for you to obtain it and we would provide OSB or plywood sheathing as well as a Weather Resistant Barrier.

We would need to have some wall at the corners of the window end in order to adequately transfer shear loads from roof to foundation. Ideally for a 10′ tall wall, roughly 3.5′ at the corners.

To achieve your vaulted ceiling as shown in the photo, the best method would be to place a column at peak 12′ in from each endwall. If your interior plans cannot stand columns, we could run a ridge beam down the center from end to end.

If you do opt for interior columns, I would also recommend using engineered prefabricated floor trusses for your floor system. This would provide a clearspan lower level and allow for all ductwork and utilities to be hidden in your home’s floor.

For extended reading on barndominium floor trusses please see: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/01/floor-trusses-for-barndominiums/

Builder or DIY? In ground or Brackets? and Remodel or Rebuild?

Today’s Pole Barn Guru discusses finding a builder or DIY, posts in the ground or use wet set brackets, and whether or not to remodel or to rebuild a new structure.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thank you for this great website.
I have learned so much reviewing the blog articles.
I will definitely buy one of your kits (I have submitted an initial request today)
My only concern is finding a qualified builder to put it up.
Thank you again for sharing all your knowledge
Looking forward to working with you all :). TODD in MONERA

DEAR TODD: Thank you for your very kind words.

Keep in mind, all of our buildings are designed for the average person who can and will read English to successfully erect their own beautiful building. Most of our clients do build their own and frankly do beautiful work – better than what they can pay for in most instances. Your Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer can assist you in finding one or more possible builders, should you not have the time or inclination to assemble yourself. You will want to properly vet them out and follow this guide: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Posts in the ground versus above grade or on the slab – After inquiring about mortgages for a “Pole Barn” house I was informed that if I put the posts in the ground the interest rate would be higher (approx 2%) versus having the posts on top of the slab or above grade by using something like the Perma Columns with Sturdi-Wall Brackets or using the Sturdi-Wall Brackets (wet set or placed after the concrete is poured). My question is — If I pour a 24″ column say 4 foot deep(of course engineer designed) and Wet Set the Sturdi-Wall brackets into the concrete column – How do I install 2″ styrofoam insulation vertically 2 foot down the side of the slab? STEVE in WHEATFIELD

DEAR STEVE: It is unfortunate lenders just do not understand longevity of properly pressure preservative treated wood. Moving forward, most economical solution for above ground is poured piers with wet set brackets. This is a regularly used option we offer. You can install insulation boards on exterior of splash plank, from below base trim down. Your foam insulation does not have to be in direct contact with your slab on grade – you just need to create an adequate thermal break.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Just bought a property with an old pole barn and I want a workshop and storage and assume restoring the barn is my best bet, partially because I am not sure of what I would be getting into if I built a new barn dealing with the local planning people who seem not to be able to give straight answers. The existing building seems to have good structure and the poles seem to be similar to telephone poles. The siding is old metal that was nailed on. There are sliding doors that are in bad shape, one half gone, and they seem stuck. I would like to make a second floor inside the barn and assume I could do something like an interior deck. Also want to concrete the floor. Any suggestions? DOUG in LOUISVILLE

DEAR DOUG: Before making a decision, I would ask to meet face-to-face with your Planning Department Director and get some clear answers (and in writing). My guess is worst case will be you can replace your old pole barn with a comparably sized new post frame building.

In regards to what you have – rarely will an old pole barn be adequate in design to meet current Building Code standards. If you do decide (or have no other option) to restore the barn, you should invest in a Registered Professional Engineer to do a thorough inspection of what you have and provide any structural modifications needing to be done to insure you are not throwing good money after bad.

Having been involved in several remodels, unless work to be done is minor, you are normally best to dig a big hole and push your old barn into it.

 

 

The Case of the Frost Heave and a Pole Barn Porch

Allow me to preface this post about a frost heaved porch with a reference to Sherlock Holmes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes and Watson solved fictional criminal dilemmas with deductive reasoning. In my cases, nearly 40 years of experience (plus knowing and relying upon input from many brilliant engineers) allows me to recommend solutions with a fair degree of certainty as to their outcome.

Reader RICHARD in WOOD STOCK brought to me this interesting case:

“My concerns pertain to my 50 foot by 72 foot pole barn which was built in 2008.
The barn has a brick paved porch that wraps around the length of the barn on the south side of the building. The interior of the barn has a cement floor, poured at the time of construction.

The barn has been very stable and sturdy since it was built, that is until this winter.
Shortly after the subzero weather we had in northern Illinois back in January, I was checking the barn for any issues and noticed that the pavers at the end of the porch had heaved up and the soffit of the porch was no longer level. Upon closer inspection I found that the two last support poles for the porch appeared to have heaved up causing the porch to lift and pull away from the barn to the point of wrinkling the steel siding. I have been closely monitoring the situation and have noted that the porch continues ton move up and farther away from the barn. M

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

I’d say Richard is probaby correct as to heaving cause. His building might get some degree of return to normalcy after Spring thaw, however probably not back to straight and level.

Without involving services of a geotechnical engineer, who could actually do an onsite evaluation – about best I can offer will be how I would probably attack this challenge. I’d temporarily support the porch in the heaved column area. Cut both of these columns off at grade. Excavate ground below columns to remove embedded portions. Excavation needs to be deep enough so bottom of hole will be 1.5 times frost line depth below grade (probably around six feet). Place an appropriately sized Bigfoot® (https://bigfootsystems.com) in excavation bottom with a Sonotube® (https://www. sonotube.com) above. Use Sturdi-wall Plus wet set brackets (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/05/sturdiwall-brackets/) in top of concrete poured in Sonotubes® to attach remaining portion of columns. All of these above suggestions, as well as proper sizing of Bigfoot and diameter of Sonotubes®, should be confirmed by a Registered Design Professional (RDP – architect or engineer), ideally whomever designed your building originally. Moving ground water away from your building will also prove to be an excellent idea to reduce or eliminate future challenges from frost heaves.

 

For extended reading about Bigfoot® Systems and Sonotubes® please see https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/05/bigfoot-systems/  and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/11/sonotube/

Engineering Your Pole Building for Free

Please Let Me Engineer Your Post Frame Building For Free

Pole Barn Guru BlogBecause I am not a Registered Design Professional, I can’t engineer your new post frame building for you. And, if I was, I most certainly would not be doing it for free. Typically an engineer should be compensated somewhere in the area of 8 to 12% of the value of the project, depending upon how involved they have to be with it, as well as if a visit (or visits) to the site are included.

Reader TERRY in FORT WAYNE had written and had his original request fly off into cyberspace, so he tried again:

“Mike, Thanks for getting back to me. That doesn’t surprise me!! Questions: 1) My barn will be 44’x32′ x15′ wall height with the trusses running the 44′ way. What size of holes do I need to bore for my post anchors? I’m not barring my post, pouring concrete to the top with 18″ tall “U” brackets made from 1/4″ plate and (4) jay hooks 18″ long on the bottom of brackets that will be in the concrete 18″s. Also what size header do I need on the truss support side if I install trusses every 24″ with plywood and shingles with A 16′ oh door opening .( Wanted to match my existing garage roof.) I will be tying the new barn to the existing garage on one end. If not a good idea what header to use with trusses at 8′ and wood purlin and metal roof? Let me know if you need any more info. Thanks for your help. Dirt is clay and figured at 3-4K in my area.

If you have any questions please call.

Thanks.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru replies:
You are asking questions of me which should be directed to the RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who designed your building and provided the plans. These will include the foundation design as well as any truss carriers.

Some commentary – there are wet set brackets made specifically for post frame buildings. I would recommend you invest in them rather than trying to fabricate (or have fabricated) your own, unless they were designed by your RDP and inspected by him or her after production. For Clay soils, the Building Code allows a value of only 1500 psf – any greater values should be used only if an onsite soils test has been done by a registered engineer, else you are at risk of settling issues. See Table 1806.2 https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/document/IBC2015/chapter-18-soils-and-foundations.

If you are not too deep into your project and do not have an RDP involved, I would strongly encourage you to deal with a post frame building kit supplier who can provide engineer sealed plans and calculations for your building, along with the materials to assemble it and complete instructions.


 

 

Real Estate Value, Post Brackets, and Interior Finishing

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: As a licensed Real Estate agent and looking to move, I realize how crazy the market is (at least in Michigan and the Grand Rapids Area).

Considering building a pole barn home for my wife and I when we sell our house, however what about resale value?

My concern is regarding appraisal or the possibility of having comparables should we need to sell after we build. At best I could think of manufactured, but that would depend on what the building is “labeled” as. Speaking to a professional lender he seemed convinced that I would HAVE to have a cash buyer, or someone doing a portfolio loan at 15% down.

Do you know of anyone who was able to sell their pole barn house with financing, and if so, what did the appraiser use as their comps?

Thank you in advance! GAGE in ROCKFORD

Gambrel roof pole barnDEAR GAGE: Post frame homes will have the same value as a comparably sized and featured stick built home. Think of it from this aspect – both have permanent foundations, both are constructed onsite out of wood framing. The structural system is “wood framed”. Period.

When you (or a buyer) go to get a loan, remember to use “wood framed” otherwise you will entirely confuse the lender. For comps, your appraiser will be looking at other similar sized and featured wood framed homes which have sold recently in your area.

I cannot vouch for people selling their homes with financing, however I financed and refinanced my own home and with two very elaborate post frame accessory buildings (both of which are livable spaces). Through three appraisals, never once did the question of post frame come up.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Wondering if you can place the 6×6 pole onto a concrete foundation with brackets that hold pole to concrete?

DEAR JOE: Yes, it can be done, provided the 6×6 is adequate to carry the loads being imposed upon it. Here is information on the brackets: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/09/concrete-brackets-2/.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a pole barn that I would like to finish the interior on
the posts are spaced 8′, the building has 7/16 osb over the wall girts (vinyl siding), I did a cut
and cobble job of rigid foam (1 inch) . My idea is to use 7/16 osb to finish inside and Maybe add sheetrock at some point- my concern is the support of interior walls-do I just let the wall girts carry the load or do I figure a way to anchor into posts? Thanks very much, Robert in Middletown.

DEAR ROBERT: Not sure why you would want to go to the added expense of placing OSB on the inside and then later adding gypsum wallboard, other than your post frame building frame may have too much deflection to prohibit taped drywall joints from cracking.

Before adding GWB (gypsum wall board) you should verify with the engineer who designed your building to make sure it is adequately rigid to be able to support it. If you are unable to contact the engineer, then you should consult with a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer) who can confirm it is adequate, or recommend a fix or fixes if it is not.

Once you know all is good, a set of girts should be attached to the inside of the columns to support the GWB. This will also create an insulation cavity where you can add fiberglass batts or even better – do BIBs (information on BIBs here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/bibs/).


 

Dear Pole Barn Guru: Can I Use Concrete Brackets with a Foundation?

New!  The Pole Barn Guru’s mailbox is overflowing with questions.  Due to high demand, he is answering questions on Saturdays as well as Mondays.

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you do metal plates with anchor bolts to mount the poles to? CAN I IN CANTON

DEAR CAN I: I will assume you want to either mount columns to an existing foundation wall, or to pour concrete brackets into a future foundation wall. If so, then the answer is yes, we can provide wet-set or dry-set concrete brackets for either situation. For more information on specifics, please read:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/concrete-brackets-2/

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: In a previous article, you discuss sliding doors for hangars and mention that you will be writing an article about better options (I assume to include bi-fold doors, stack doors, etc).  Did I miss this article in your index, or have you not yet written it?  Would be very interested in your ideas, as I am looking at constructing a 50×60 hangar with a 40-45’x12′ hangar door.  Have not yet decided whether I will pursue this in a steel or wood frame, thought budget may determine that.  The building is to be located in Boise, ID.  Thanks for your time. GLIDING IN GOLDSBORO

 DEAR GLIDING: You’ve caught me! So many topics to write about, and just not enough days of the week to post them. I’ve just returned from the 2014 Frame Building Expo, where Schweiss Doors (https://www.SchweissDoors.com) was one of the exhibitors. Keep a watchful eye open, as I will be writing about their products and other hangar door options in the very near future.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do I insulate a pole barn cost effectively. COLD IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR COLD: This is one of the most often overlooked areas when people are planning their new pole buildings (as well as one of the most asked questions after construction). Provided you are still in the planning phase, here is some good reading on the subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/04/climate-controlled/

Ask The Pole Barn Guru: Where Can I Buy Concrete Brackets?

Greetings…and WELCOME to my new blog Feature – Dear Pole Barn Guru!

Starting today….each Monday I will post questions submitted to me about pole buildings and pole barn construction, products for use in pole buildings, along with my answers.  Scroll to the bottom if you have a burning question for the Pole Barn Guru, and look for the answer in an upcoming Monday segment of Dear Pole Barn Guru.

Concrete Bracket - Drill-SetDEAR POLE BARN GURU: Where can I buy the post to concrete heavy duty brackets? – DETACHED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR DETACHED: There are numerous brackets to attach pole building columns to concrete foundations. We’ve found only one which is capable of withstanding the moment (bending forces) which are introduced into the building columns by the wind. Contact Eric at Hansen Buildings (866)200-9657 for delivered pricing on concrete brackets.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: When is the concrete floor installed and by whom?—FLAT IN LIVINGSTON

DEAR FLAT: If the pole building has a door or doors tall enough to get the premix truck inside the building, I prefer to have all of the roofing and siding on. This allows the pour to be done, without the threats of weather (baked by the sun, or whipped by winds which cause curing too fast, or rained upon). If this is not possible, at least have the building roofed, prior to the concrete floor being poured inside a pole building. For some reason, when slabs are poured with only the columns set and the pressure treated splash planks (splash boards) installed, the columns tend to grow bull’s-eyes (which are seen only by pre-mix trucks).  More than once, I’ve had a column knocked out of plumb by a truck during the pour.

 As to whom? I personally have an aversion to finishing concrete. If this is outside of your skill set, most pre-mix companies can furnish a list of finishers who service your area. My recommendation is to always purchase the pre-mix yourself and pay the finisher only for labor. I’ve seen estimates of 40-50 square feet of finished floor per finisher hour. This feels very low to me, as I know of several finishers who have no problems finishing 800-1000 square feet in a day by themselves.

 While flatwork is hard work, I’d have a hard time paying more than about 50 cents per square foot in labor costs.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Are the supports set in or on concrete pilings? – DIGGING IN TEXAS

 DEAR DIGGING: In an ideal scenario, holes are augured into the ground (in most cases a skid loader with an appropriate diameter augur bit will dig them), the pressure preservative treated timber columns are placed in the holes and then pre-mix concrete is poured to flow both below and around the columns. This is going to be the least expensive and most structurally sound scenario. Temporarily nailing a couple of 2×4’s horizontally to the post will help to keep the columns at the required distance “floating” above the bottom of the hole until the concrete is set.

Alternatively, the holes could be completely filled with pre-mix and engineered wet-set brackets are placed in the concrete to mount the columns to.

 

HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE GURU? https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/ask-the-pole-barn-guru.php

 

 

Attaching Pole Buildings with Concrete Brackets

Keeping It Above Ground….

Concrete is poured for a new building. Plans change – it is now going to be a pole building. Now what do we do? Or, for whatever reason, you just do not feel comfortable embedding pressure treated wood columns in the ground for your new pole barn. For both circumstances, there is an answer.

Concrete brackets are available which have been specially designed for the post frame industry. These provide solutions for already poured concrete, or concrete yet to be poured.

The brackets are made with a high strength, low alloy domestic steel. The 1/4” steel plate is robotically welded insuring the highest quality.

Most current generation pressure treated wood available today is designed to minimize corrosion. All concrete brackets are finished with a baked polyester powder coat to prevent corrosion, resist UV damage, and provide a professional look to your project. However, if you have a high moisture application or are concerned about possible corrosion, place a barrier between the treated wood and steel bracket, and use stainless steel fasteners.

Drill-set installation with steel concrete brackets is useful in situations where the concrete foundation has already been poured. One of the main advantages of this type of install is the reduction of placement errors when a concrete subcontractor is used.  5/8” x 5” screw type wedge bolts are preferred for the attachment of brackets to concrete, because of their optimal performance. Two other common fastener options which can be used are epoxy anchors and expansion anchors, either of which can be obtained from local suppliers.

Wet-set (poured into the concrete) brackets are the preferred installation method. They provide for maximum shear, uplift, and moment capacities when compared to the standard drill set brackets. The special grade ½” or 5/8” rebar used in the wet-set models is seismic rated.

Custom sized concrete brackets to fit odd sized columns, such as glue laminated, are not currently available. However, universal one sided drill set brackets are designed to be paired together to fit any sized column while still providing the shear and uplift values as the wet-set models.

While the brackets do not currently have an International Code Council (ICC) Evaluation Report, design values have been certified by a registered professional engineer.

If your vision of your ultimate dream building has columns which are to be mounted on top of concrete, Hansen Buildings has the design solution for you.