Tag Archives: wet set brackets

A Dog Kennel, Types of Foundations for Post Frame, and Kennel Designs

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the possibilities of building a dog kennel with post frame construction, they type of foundation required for a post frame building, and what possible kennel designs Hansen has done.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: would it be possible to do a dog kennel in a pole barn. Can air conditioning be used in a pole barn? In other words could a pole barn be properly insulated to be efficient enough to make it worth it? RICHARD in NAPLES

DEAR RICHARD: Absolutely. Fully engineered post frame buildings make for your most economical and easiest to super insulate permanent structures. We have had a plethora of animal uses for our buildings beyond just dogs – from exotic birds to giraffes! Hundreds of our clients from all over America climate control their Hansen Pole Buildings for their primary residences even.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What Type of foundation if any is required for pole barn are the polls augured into the ground, and if so, to what depth? Usually we have a frost up here of 42 inches of poles cemented in after they are placed. JOHN in LEDYARD

DEAR JOHN: We’ve provided roughly a hundred fully-engineered post frame buildings to our New England state clients. Our son is completing his doctorate at UMass Amherst and will be getting married in Connecticut in May, so I do have a certain familiarity with your area. With embedded columns they, along with a concrete bottom collar, become your foundation. This is a Building Code approved structural design solution, used on a plethora of buildings every year. As for depth of holes to prevent frost heave, unless columns and embedment are thermally isolated, Building Codes require bottom of footings to be at frost depth or deeper. Specifics for your particular building will be included on your engineer-sealed structural plans.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What type of kennel designs have you done in a 36×48 or a 30×60? GERARDO in BLUFFTON

DEAR GERARDO: We have provided a plethora of various dimension fully engineered post-frame buildings to our clients who are going to use them as kennels. In all cases, our clients have actually done their own interior layouts. Due to so many different footprints being provided, I would guess actual layouts are as varied as their owners.

Things Hansen Pole Buildings Does Better Than Any Other Post-Frame Building Provider

Things Hansen Pole Buildings Does Better Than Any Other Post-Frame Building Provider

To those of you who have read my previous 13 articles, this will serve as a recap. For you who have not, please peruse when you have an opportunity.

STRONGEST GLULAM COLUMNS

While manufactured from lumber 157% as strong as what is typically found, they have many other benefits. These include (on pressure treated applications) every lamination being completely saturated with preservative chemicals for in-ground portion and roughly 1/3rd weight of a solid sawn 6×6. Glu-lam columns tend to be highly resistant to warp and twist.

SAVINGS FOR BRACKET MOUNTED APPLICATIONS

For bracket mounted application, our same ultra high strength glu-lams are available untreated, helping offset costs of our ICC-ESR code compliant wet set brackets.

COLUMNS NEXT TO DOOR OPENINGS

Not every provider places columns next to every door opening. Not for your doors – either a glu-lam or a bracket mounted kiln dried Douglas Fir timber will support both sides of every door opening!

FOUNDATION RATED #1 GRADE SPLASH PLANKS

Fewer defects, pressure treated throughout and kiln dried after treating for lighter weight.

LUMBER-TO-LUMBER CONNECTIONS

Simpson SDSW16300 screws afford greater strengths and easier adjustments than any sort of nailed connection.

DOUGLAS-FIR WALL GIRT LUMBER

Douglas-Fir is greatly prized for strength and dimensional stability. Less prone to warp, cup, bow and twist than other framing lumber species. 2X8 and 2×10 bookshelf wall girts are PREMIUM graded, minimizing wane (and possible screw misses).

HIGHER GRADED TRUSS LUMBER

No Utility, Standard, Stud or #3 lumber in Hansen Pole Buildings’ trusses. All material is no less than #2 grade.

EASY INSTALL PURLIN HANGERS

Simpson PFDS series hangers slide over pairs of roof trusses and screw to top chords, making for a quick install of hangers as well as connecting chords together at same time.

END PAINTED FRAMING MEMBERS

Wall girts, roof purlins, floor and ceiling joists all have one end uniquely color painted. This immediately allows DIY clients, building erectors and inspectors to quickly identify correct placement of these materials.

EASILY MEASURED SPACING OF WALL GIRTS AND ROOF PURLINS

Spacing has been standardized to fall so measures are evenly divisible into eight (8) feet. Examples are 32”, 24”, 19.2” and 16”, all of these are keyed to markings on standard tape measures. This also matches with applications of 4’ x 8’ sheet goods (plywood, OSB, etc.).

RAISED HEEL INTERIOR TRUSSES

When endwall overhangs are ordered in conjunction with ceiling joists, interior truss heels are greater (raised) in order to have all truss bottoms at same height above grade.

HIGH GRADE RAFTERS

For rafter applications (side or end sheds, monitor building wings) Hansen Pole Buildings has invested in MSR (Machine Stress Rated) lumber 243 to 266% stronger than #2 grades of Douglas-Fir (even greater in comparison to Southern Pine). This allows for greater spans and fewer pieces needing to be used.

FABULOUS FLOOR TRUSSES

By utilizing higher strength lumber, your second floor can be clear-spanned with roughly one inch of truss depth per 18 inches of truss span. Eliminate a profusion of interior columns and bearing walls, HVAC and plumbing can be run through, creating a flat finished ceiling.

MILL DIRECT BUYING

We have cut out middleman wholesalers and retailers buy going direct to mills for multiple truck and rail car loads of lumber – passing these savings on to you!

SHARED TRUCKING

Our shipping expediters consolidate buildings being shipped geographically to minimize freight investments for our clients.

EXTRA SAVINGS FOR STANDARD DIMENSIONS

As lumber comes in two foot lengths and steel roofing and siding in three foot widths, there is already savings to be found in multiples of six feet (less waste). Choose a width in six foot multiples (12’, 18’, 24’, 30’, etc.) and a length of a 12 foot multiple and receive an extra 5% discount!

THE ULTIMATE POST FRAME BUILDING EXPERIENCE

No one does post frame better than Hansen Pole Buildings – and if you are not yet convinced, watch subsequent articles for even more benefits for you!

Don’t rely upon a builder to look out for your best interests in materials’ selection – take control by ordering from us and pay an erector to assemble,

NEW Hansen Pole Building Columns in Brackets

NEW Hansen Pole Building Columns in Brackets

Even though our glu-laminated columns are pressure preservative treated entirely through, there are some people who are just not convinced of longevity of properly pressure preservative treated wood in ground.

We have a solution for you.

There is only one commercially available with any significant moment (bending) resisting ability and ICC-ESR approved. (Read about ICC-ESR approvals here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/01/icc-es/). Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets meet these requirements (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/).

Now these brackets are not free, however we again have gone out and ordered multiple pallets of them in order to get an absolute lowest cost.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

(I know, sounds like a late night TV commercial – but we are not throwing in a Ginsu)

For bracket mounted situations, we are offsetting some of bracket costs, by use of untreated columns. Yes, these are same high strength as our treated base columns produced by Richland Laminated Columns, LLC.

No, it will not completely offset bracket costs, however it does make a significant difference.

Planning on a bracket mounted column application? We have you covered with high quality at an affordable investment!

What happens next to door openings?

Unlike many providers, Hansen Pole Buildings has always provided columns on both sides of entry, sliding and overhead door openings. Other than for buildings ordered specifically with bracket mounted columns, these have always been embedded. And pressure preservative treated. And prone to same challenges of warp and twist.

We have decided to change this picture. We hunted down kiln dried Douglas-Fir 4×6 #2 timbers to use as columns next to doors (where a glu-laminated column does not already exist) and are bracket mounting them as well. For those not used to working with Douglas-Fir, is has a reputation as being an exception product to frame with, as it tends to maintain being very straight.

Call 1.866.200.9657 TODAY to participate in “The Ultimate Post-Frame Building Experience”.

And, don’t forget to watch for our next article!

San Diego County, Wind Speeds, and Wet Set Column Brackets

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about whether or not Hansen has sold a building in San Diego County, CA, a building with a design wind speed of 150mph, and a recommendation for use of PermaColumn wet set brackets.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have you sold pole barns in  San Diego County, CA? KEN in RAMONA

DEAR KEN: It is a challenge to find any county in America without a Hansen Pole Building (or several) in it. We have provided close to two hundred fully engineered post frame buildings to our clients in California – including in San Diego County.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, Our codes recently changed to 150 mph plus for wind load and I want to build a post frame home. Do you have engineering to satisfy that for any pole barn kit/trusses/etc that you may offer for sale? I’ve attached a file and have the spacing showing in red squares as 10 ft-10 ft-8 ft-10ft-10ft. Thanks. JEFF in MARIANN

DEAR JEFF: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. We are able to engineer for design wind speeds in excess of 200 mph. One of our Building Designers will be reaching out to you shortly, or call 1.866.200.9657 for immediate assistance.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello Mr. Mike. I have attached our plans and had a couple questions. What do you think about perma column brackets for this type of build? What do you think about our plans in general? Any issues? We are building in south Georgia. Thank you so much. JASON & ERIN in THOMASVILLE

DEAR JASON & ERIN: Your plans did not arrive as an attachment, so I am unable to speak to them. If your concern is with properly pressure preservative columns prematurely decaying when embedded in ground, then Permacolumn Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets are indeed your best design solution. Unlike other, cheaper, brackets, these actually will resist moment (bending) forces and have ICC-ESR approvals as being Building Code conforming. For extended reading on Sturdi-Wall Plus brackets: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/

Please forward your building plans, site address and best contact number to Caleb@HansenPoleBuildings.com, as our team can evaluate them for practicality as well as providing a firm price quote.

Posts Out of Ground, Brackets Wrong Orientation, and a Rebuild

This week the Pole Barn Guru delves into reader concerns over use of a thickened edge with brackets instead of embedded columns in and area of northern Minnesota with heavy snow loads and lots of rain, the issues with wet set brackets set in the wrong orientation, and the prospect of rebuilding over current slab with existing building that is too small to fit needs.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I see your communications on here a lot so figure I would take a shot at asking you some questions. If you’re not interested in wasting your time I understand and disregard. I am trying to plan out a future build for a pole building probably 36x46x16 to heat and store a RV in. My area in Northern MN gets heavy snow and lots of rain so I think posts out of the ground would be best (mounted to slab). So we would do a thickened edge like we did with our home. Is there any semi-basic logic to what kind of thickened edge would be required or does it need to be calculated by an engineer? SHAINE in DULUTH

DEAR SHANE: Always happy to help. Thickened edge slabs are most often used in areas of little or no frost. It most instances, it is going to prove most cost and performance effective, to use embedded columns. Properly pressure preservative treatment (UC-4B rated) columns will outlast your grandchildren’s grandchildren, even in areas with profuse rainfall. If you do opt for a thickened edge slab, then it will need to be properly insulated (or extend downward to below frost line) to prevent heaving. Whoever provides engineer sealed plans for your building, can properly detail foundation depending upon route you ultimately pick.

Sidebar – if you have the space, consider building 36′ x 48′ as it will be nearly identical in investment due to efficiencies of material usage.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Builders put wet sets in wrong set 2×8 4ply glu lams columns now the laminated side is running with the face not the trusses. How much strength did I lose how can I fix it without demolition? 62ft trusses 80 ft long 10 ft post spaces in front (it’s open) back is 12 ft spacing with an additional 18ft lean to. Main building is 14ft high. KURT in HAGERSTOWN

DEAR KURT: Do-it-yourselfers just do not make mistakes such as your ‘professional’ builder just has, because they will actually look at plans, follow instructions and use common sense. 4 ply glulam columns measure 5-3/8″ x 7″ Column strength in bending is based upon Section Modulus (Sm). As designed, Sm – 5.375″ x 7″^2 / 6 = 43.896, as placed by your builder 7″ x 5.375^2 / 6 = 33.706, so you are losing over 23% of your bending strength. You have a bigger problem than strength of column – wet set brackets are not designed to take a load when rotated 90 degrees. Sadly, sounds to me like your builder has an expensive demo on his hands.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am looking into a property with an existing pole building on a 24×40 slab (construction history unknown, it’s old so there might not be any). The building is too short for my needs, and is also pretty worn out overall. My question is would I be capable of taking down the current building and reconstructing my own on the current slab? Would it be possible to have the slab inspected as to know it’s exact structural capabilities? Would it be best (or even possible) to have a 2′ skirt with footings poured and tied in around the entire perimeter, and just build a larger building on that as to avoid the structural limitations of the current slab? Thanks! BEN in ZIMMERMAN

DEAR BEN: As no building is ever too big, I would look to build outside of existing slab, then infill.

Rather than pouring footings – use properly pressure preservative treated columns, embedded in ground. Will prove structurally superior, easier to build and far less costly.

Allowable Variations in Concrete Slabs on Grade

Allowable Variations in Concrete Slabs on Grade

Growing up, I witnessed my Father forming and pouring four foot squares of concrete for our backyard patio. He would alternate them between smooth finish and exposed aggregate to create a variation in appearance. Oh how he made it look all so easy.

Me – I know very little about concrete finishing, other than I try to avoid it like a plague. Those perfectly finished squares by my Father, I could seriously bungle. If I need concrete finished, I hire a professional.

When hiring a professional, how does one determine if an outcome meets accepted practice? ACI 117-10 American Concrete Institute “Specification for Tolerances for Concrete Construction and Materials” should be included in contract documents with your finisher.

Here are some relevant sections:

2.2.1 In slabs four inches or less in thickness rebar placement from top or bottom of slab shall be within ¼” of specified depth. Over four inches thick, deviation can be 3/8”

2.2.2 Concrete cover of rebar from concrete surface can be no more than 3/8” less than specified.

3.3.2 Drilled piers (poured for wet set brackets) can be as much as 1” too tall or three inches too low.

Here is a big one:

4.4.1 Top surface of slabs (slabs-on-ground) can vary by ¾” up or down. Seems like a lot to me personally.

Paying to have fine grading done?

4.4.5 Fine grade of soil immediately below slabs-on-ground can also vary ¾” up or down.

4.5.4 Thickness of slabs-on-ground, average of four samples for every 500 square feet poured, can vary no more than 3/8”, with maximum variation for any one sample being ¾”.

Table R4.8.6.1 gives methods to determine flatness of a given slab on grade. In simple terms, placing a 10 foot straight edge anywhere on slab should yield a gap no larger than 3/4” to meet a conventional application. For “moderately flat” maximum gap would be 5/8” and for ‘flat’ 3/8”.

Foundation Requirements, Stem Walls, and Building on Slab

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the type of foundation and uplift requirements there is for and RV cover and “what not,” building a home on a stem wall or with crawl space, and pluming for a building built on slab.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: For a 24 x40 x12 pole barn residential use as an RV cover and what not what type of foundation and uplift requirements are there other than the post being set around 4 feet in the ground? STEVE in FORT MCCOY

DEAR STEVE: Column embedments and encasements need to be engineered to adequately resist uplift, overturning and gravity and will be determined based upon design wind speed and wind exposure, roof dead loads (plus snow in more northern climates), whether building is enclosed, open or partially enclosed, etc., as well as soil bearing capacity. When columns are effectively constrained by a concrete slab on grade, it helps to potentially reduce depth, diameter and required amount of concrete needed for hole. Due to complexity of these factors, embedment and encasement, as well as any added uplift plates or cleats should only be determined by whatever engineer will be sealing your plans. He or she should also provide verifying sealed calculations to certify adequacy. A consideration – if this will be a roof only structure, Moment (bending) loads on columns are four times as great than on a fully enclosed structure – this results in more concrete being needed for holes.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a post frame building/house. I want to use stem wall or pillars, wet set brackets. Is there a huge cost difference or benefit over the other? Does stem wall, if used, have to be on a footer or does it act as it’s own footer? I want floor to be 1.5′ above grade if that makes a difference. Thank you for your time and input. LONZY in CONWAY

DEAR LONZY: Post frame buildings make for excellent homes! Great choice. My educated guess is your floor is going to be over a crawl space. If so, your top of floor will probably end up being more like two feet above grade, rather than 18 inches. This allows for better access to utilities as well as not requiring all supporting beams and joists to be pressure preservative treated. Concrete stem walls will need to be at least six inches thick and on top of a six inch deep by 12 inch wide concrete footing (for a single story), resulting in a far greater investment in forming and pour (both in materials and labor). Concrete piers are pretty low tech and then sides of your crawl space will consist of (usually) steel siding.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the best way to plumb a pole barn home. I would like to keep the concrete floors, but I need a way to plumb it without having to jackhammer concrete when there is an issue. NICHOLAS in LOUISVILLE

DEAR NICHOLAS: In all reality, chances of a modern plumbing failure under a concrete slab are very, very small. Tens of thousands of homes and apartments are built every year in our country with plumbing under concrete floors, attesting to how rare a failure occurs. Older slab on grade buildings have had challenges from deterioration or perforation of copper pipes or joint issues. Your best prevention is a well-prepared site, as shifting soils are your most likely cause of a plumbing challenge. Remove any expansive soils and compact fill in no greater than six inch lifts. Keep water from being able to run under your home – by grading away from building perimeter at least 10 feet at a 5% slope. Build pad for building up above surrounding property. Use French drains if underground water is suspected. Drain gutters sufficiently away from home. Use PEX for all under slab water lines. All pipes need to be extensively tested for drainage and air pressure in supply lines multiple times during rough-in process prior to slab being poured. Testing should take place once after rough-in is completed and before backfill when dirt is pushed back into trenches to cover pipes. It should be tested once again after backfill has taken place to ensure no damage to pipes, then once again after concrete slab prep has been finished. I have heard of people running their under slab PEX through larger diameter sleeves, however this seems to be an unnecessary expense.

Pool Insulation, Span Tables for Floor Joists, and Post Brackets

Today the Pole barn Guru addresses reader questions about the use of 2″ Dow Styrofoam sheets to help insulate and above ground pool, advice for a structurally sound 20×40 room with a loft in a building, and if post can be set onto a cinderblock wall.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I live in Minnesota and wanted to insulate my above ground pool. I cut sheets of 2” Dow styrofoam to fit in between the legs of the pool. I want to use pole barn steel to surround the pool frame to hide the styrofoam, any ideas? SHERRIE in MINNESOTA

DEAR SHERRIE: Maybe I should also be known as “Pool Barn Guru” LOL. All joking aside, if top and bottom edge of your pool support system are wooden, you could order steel panels to your pool’s vertical dimension (I’d probably hold top edge down somewhat to avoid folks being cut from top edge of steel) and screw panels directly to top and bottom supports. You could also reach out to your pool provider for suggestions. Best of success.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My 40’x60’x16’ shop is almost done being built. I’m wanting to do a 20×40 room in the back wall for a man cave type area, I can build the room no problem. The only thing I’m wondering is about the loft above the room. I’m having trouble figuring out what I need to do to build that 20×40 loft that will be structurally sound. What do I need to span 20’ for the floor without putting posts in the middle of the man cave. VINCENT in EAST ALTON

DEAR VINCENT: Luckily there are readily available span tables for floor joists. 2×12 #1 on 12″ centers https://www.southernpine.com/app/uploads/SPtable2_060113.pdf

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you put the posts on a cinderblock wall that has enlarged footers under the block wall. I have a 30×30 continuous footer under the cinder block wall where I want to put the posts. The cinderblock wall is filled with concrete. Let me know your thoughts please? And thanks in advance. TAMI in MADISON

DEAR TAMI: Provided footings beneath your CMU wall are adequate in dimension, probably. In areas of your existing wall where ICC ESR approved engineered wet-set brackets for columns will be placed, existing blocks will need to be removed and replaced, so brackets can be properly poured into wall. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/

 

 

Post Frame Design Questions

Regarding Post-Frame Home Design
Reader MAUREEN writes:
“Hello. I was forwarded to you because I have some questions for you regarding my home
design.
What are the most economical size of trusses?
What brand of doors and windows do you use?
Can Hansen Buildings be built on a crawl space foundation?
Can in floor heat be used in crawl space foundations?
Are foundation designs sent for the foundation prep company?… to ensure the correct
foundation?
And please send your financing options.
Thank you!”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru says: 

Planning your new home around what span of trusses might be most economical is likely to end you up with a less than desirable outcome as you are trying to fit your ideal spaces into a preordained box, rather than creating a box to best fit your spaces. With identical features, building shells (other than in extreme wind or snow situations) become less per square foot up
to 40-50 foot spans, then generally level off until clearspans exceed 80 feet.

Here are some thoughts you may find helpful:
Have professional floor plans and elevation drawings done before pestering a builder. Very
few builders are professional designers or architects – expecting them to be is unrealistic.
If you do not own the dirt, it is impossible to craft a barndominium plan to best fit with your
building site.

Some plan tips to consider:
Direction of access – driveways are not cheap and shortest distance between two points is a
straight line.
Curb appeal – what will people see when they drive up? This may not be important to you,
however someday someone will try to resell your barndominium.

Is there an appealing view?
North-south alignment – place no or few windows on north walls, but lots of windows on south
wall (in the South reverse this). Roof overhangs on south wall should provide shade to windows
from mid-day summer sun.

Is there a slope on your building site?
Work from inside out – do not try to fit your wants and needs within a pre-ordained box just
because someone said using a “standard” size might be cheaper. Differences in dimensions
from “standard” are pennies per square foot, not dollars.

Popular home spaces and sizes need to be
determined:  https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/room-in-a-
barndominium/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/09/the-first-tool-to-construct-
your-own-barndominium/.

With all of this in mind, order your custom designed floor plans
here: http://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/post-frame-floor-plans/

We furnish Plyco insulated commercial steel entry doors, with steel jambs. Both doors and
jambs are factory finish painted. These doors are available in six panel and cross buck styles,
with a variety of glass options.

Our windows are dual glazed vinyl and can be ordered with tempered glass. They come from a
variety of manufacturers and have appropriate U-factor and SHGC rating for your particular
climactic conditions.
More window and door information can be found within our Product Guide
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pdfs/Hansen-Buildings-Product-Guide.pdf

Yes, our fully engineered buildings can be erected with crawl spaces (and do not necessarily
require perimeter concrete foundation walls)
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/03/slab-on-grade-or-crawl-space/

Radiant floor heat can be incorporated into post frame crawl space designs.
Most of our clients use embedded columns for their foundation. Regardless of whether you go
this route, use piers with wet-set brackets, thickened edge slab with wet-set brackets, poured,
ICF, or CMU foundations, our engineered plans will include foundation designs.

Here is information of our financing: www.HansenPoleBuildings.com/financing
This book (co-authored by me) may also prove helpful https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tips-Your-post-Frame-Home-

Answers to Questions Unable to Find on Website

Answers to Questions Unable to Find on Website or Learning Info

Even having penned over 2000 articles on post-frame design, there are always more topics to cover and questions to be answered. Luckily, we have potential clients who want to know – as informed clients are happy clients!

Reader CARY in RAYMOND writes:

“Raymond Nebraska, Exposure C (in Tornado Alley), monitor style pole barn (30’ wide x 40’ deep x 18’high with 2 16’ wide x 40’ deep x 10’ high sidewalls.

We have sustained winds of 30 to 45 mph and gusts from 60 to 75 mph during storms. Our new house lost 1/3 of its roof During tornado event in 2013 and insurance agent stated 160 mph winds in our area. For this reason, I want a very sturdy structure to minimize damage should another tornado pass by. Wind driven snow and drifts are a problem as well although this past winter not too much snow.

  1. I wish to retain a monitor style building and it appears a gambrel roof style would be your preferred scheme to minimize wind wall loading if I read your info and blog correctly. Is there a preferred ratio of slanted side to top panel roof for a gambrel style? If so your ideas. Diaphragm design, working storm design, tornado straps, etc., to mitigate damage.

 

  1. Max load duration of 10 minutes per lifetime??  I understand that wind does not sustain high speeds usually however buffeting can be quite severe. How does one account for this in this calculation? Just an answer a layman might comprehend, I am not an engineer, but 10 minutes over the lifetime of the building.

 

  1. The double truss design piqued my interest yet the attachment to the columns has me baffled. If I recall Kyle from Rural Renovators uses your laminated columns and trusses and wet sets. The upper portion of the 3 ply column is constructed minus a portion the middle 2×6/2×8 to allow truss with 15 1/2” heel to fit. With a doubled truss would this design require a 4 ply column or how would it be done / connected?

 

  1. What is the strongest way to mount a column for a pole barn?  Buried 4 feet in concrete (frost line here 39”), wet sets placed in a footing to frost line, constrained by concrete on all sides ( 4’ sidewalk around building ) negating hairpin. On this subject what is the plastic sleeve I believe I read about on your site, extra protection against rot?

Thank you for your time to answer these questions and I shall forward line drawings of my project once I understand these issues. I have gone to many sites and yours is most helpful.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru’s answers:
Code design wind speed in your area is 115 mph (just an FYI). For Exposure C sites, effectively buildings must resist roughly 20% greater forces than Exposure B at the same design wind speed.

1) Monitor style with a gabled roof would minimize effects of wind loads. Gambrel style roofline increase vertical dimensions, creating a greater surface horizontal wind forces are applied to. Our engineers verify every component and connection for adequacy to resist selected design wind speeds and exposure. Hansen Pole Buildings are designed utilizing diaphragm design.

2) Sound engineering practice for wood design incorporates a  load duration of 10 minutes at design wind speed, across building’s lifetime. P (pressure) at a given wind speed is determined from speed (in mph) squared x .00256. For 115 mph, P = 33.856 psf (pounds per square foot). A 75 mph gust produces a force of only 14.4 psf (just over 40% of design load). For structural design of systems incorporating wood, we are only allowed to utilize design values of 40% of Pult (ultimate failure pressure). To paint a picture in layperson’s terms – if 100 samples of a given grade of lumber were tested to failure and their failures were plotted on a bell curve, we would go to 5th percentile failure from the bottom of the curve and utilize 40% of this failure’s value for design. This results in a tremendous safety factor for engineered wood design and explains why engineered wood structures, built to plan, do not fail within design loads.

3) Double trusses are notched into one side of columns, rather than having to have expensive lifting equipment to raise trusses up and over a central notch in a column. This allows for entire bays of roofs (two sets of trusses, with purlins and bracing in place) to be cranked up columns using winch boxes https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/11/winch-boxes-episode-v/


4) Properly constrained embedded columns are strongest method to resist wind loads. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/11/importance-of-constrained-posts/.  An external sidewalk would not provide constrainment, as there would be a joint created where splash plank divides two independent slabs. Although properly pressure preservative treated (UC-4B) columns will not experience premature decay within lifetimes of anyone alive on our planet today (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/pressure-treated-post-frame-building-poles-rot/), we do offer Plasti-sleeves, for those who may yet have durability concerns https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/04/plasti-sleeves/.

Vinyl Backed Insulation, Post Brackets, and Rebar Hairpins

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about the availability of a tool for installation of vinyl backed insulation, pouring concrete prior to use of brackets and the limitations of “dry set” brackets, as well as setting vapor barrier once rebar hairpins have been installed.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is there a tool out there that I can clip on the end of my vinyl back installation to pull it tight other than my hands. If so what would that tool be called and where can I buy it. I was hoping that there would be some type of alligator vice grips or something like that that we can attach and pull. MARK in OKLAHOMA

DEAR MARK: You are now finding one of many “joys” of using vinyl backed metal building insulation. You will want to read my personal metal building insulation story: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/metal-building-insulation-in-pole-buildings-part-i/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/metal-building-insulation/
In answer to your question – there is not such a commercially available product.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I plan to build a workshop with a concrete floor. a 24×40 x10ft building. Seems like it would be easier to just poor the concrete slab first and then just drill into the concrete and bolt the post brackets in place,,, rather than dig a bunch of holes and pour concrete piers for the post with wet set brackets…what are the advantages of setting all the posts first, then pouring a concrete floor later? Are there any disadvantages to bolting brackets to the concrete rather than using a wet set bracket? Ii am in a high wind area, (120 mph) and seismic area ‘e”. RON in HILO

DEAR RON: Problem #1 is dry set (bolted) brackets are not rated for moment (bending) forces, unlike wet set brackets. This becomes problematic, especially in areas of high wind.

Problem #2 – you can’t just pour a flat slab on grade, you would have to thicken slab edges to probably 18″

With wet set brackets, you can monolithic pour a slab with deeper excavation points at bracket locations, however I typically recommend waiting to pour slabs until after a roof is on to avoid heavy objects from falling and chipping your freshly poured concrete.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do I install the concrete vapor barrier after the rebar hairpins in the columns have been placed?

Rebar Hairpins

Thanks! REID in WILLISTON

DEAR REID: Vapor barrier will go under rebar hairpins, so either block up one hairpin end or have someone lift it for you (this will cause other end of hairpin to raise) – slide vapor barrier under hairpin and up around sides of column. Seal vapor barrier to column and you are all good.

 

Hurricane Straps, a Loft Floor Truss, and Site Specific Engineering

This Wednesday, the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about use of hurricane straps to anchor 8×8 posts to sill plate, the possibility of adding a beam to old a loft for open concept, and if we do site specific engineering for Panama City Florida- yes.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey I’m on the starting process of building a barn and wanted to ask your opinion on something. The barn I’m building is a 40x60x16 on a 2ft block wall. My question is what is the strongest way to attach my 8×8 post to my sill plate? I’ve looked at many others and it looks like they just “toenailed” the post into the sill plate but I had thought about using these hurricane straps instead…. What do you think?

DEAR RICKY: Pour wet set brackets into the top of your block walls, like these: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How can I have a 26 foot span 12 feet off the wall with no poles underneath for an open kitchen areas like this? DOUG in TERRE HAUTE

DEAR DOUG: You can run an LVL beam from wall-to-wall or use prefabricated wood floor trusses. Your building’s engineer will need to adjust diameter and depth of footings under columns appropriately. For extended reading on floor trusses: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/01/floor-trusses-for-barndominiums/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do you do site-specific engineered plans for Panama City Florida? I’m trying to find someone to do our plans, quote them, and erect the building so that we can GC the rest ourselves. Can you help? Do I just tell you what I’m looking for to get a quote or how does it work? BRITTANY in PANAMA CITY

DEAR BRITTANY: Every building Hansen Pole Buildings provides comes with site specific engineered structural plans and verifying calculations. We are not, however, contractors, so the great majority of our clients erect their own building shells following our detailed step-by-step instructions. We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in your new home. Please email your building floor plans and elevation drawings (even if rough or just photos), site address and best contact number to our Design Studio Manager Caleb@HansenPoleBuildings.com 1(866)200-9657 Thank you.

 

 

Barndo Living, Bracing a Roof Only, and Housewrap

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about “barndo living” and the how to’s of post frame construction in Pagosa Springs, CO, bracing a roof only structure for working cattle, and if sheathing and housewrap are needed for a post frame building using wet-set brackets.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have you ever constructed any barndominium‘s in Pagosa Springs Colorado area? Also, ball park figure, what is the square foot price of finished barndo living space in this area. I’m talking very, very simple nothing fancy finishes. What do you mean DIY? Is that in reference to assembling the kit? And would we need something like an extended boom forklift to assemble it, or no need for such equipment? If we’re building something with 12 foot doors, so presumably need at least 2 more feet for roll up doors then even more for trusses, how would we do that without some sort of boom fork or crane? Scaffolding maybe? SAM in PAGOSA SPRINGS

DEAR SAM: I personally have never built in Colorado. Hansen Pole Buildings has provided nearly 300 fully engineered post frame buildings to our clients in Colorado. Chances are good, several are in your area.

Fully engineered post frame, modest tastes, totally DIY, move in ready, budget roughly $70-80 per sft of floor space for living areas, $35 for all others. Does not include land, site prep, utilities, permits.
DIY – as in Do It Yourself In most instances, no heavy equipment is required. Skid steer (aka Bobcat) with an auger is handy for digging holes.
For information on lifting trusses, please see: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/11/winch-boxes-episode-v/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m building a steel truss kit just like this one for working cattle. To me it doesn’t seem very stable with just post in the ground. How’s the best way to brace this style of building? The long sides of the building will have guardrail 3 rails high down the side so I know that will help some but unsure of how to brace the gable ends. RICKY in KINGSPORT

DEAR RICKY: Provided your columns are adequately sized for the wind load and embedded in fully concrete filled holes, it should prove to be fairly stable (follow the recommendations of the engineer who designed the plans). Ideally, you would have enclosed endwalls so shear loads can transfer from roof to ground through them.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Was wondering if I could ask you a question I’m getting ready to build a barndo was going to use wet set brackets do you recommend me using sheeting on it as well or just house wrap? Having problems with this issue thanks. DOUG in INDIANA

DEAR DOUG: If your steel has adequate shear strength, then there is no structural reason to sheet it. Housewrap is a must unless you are planning on closed cell spray foam for insulation.

Here is some extended reading on Weather Resistant Barriers: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/determining-the-most-effective-building-weather-resistant-barrier-part-1/
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/determining-the-most-effective-building-weather-resistant-barrier-part-2/
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/determining-the-most-effective-building-weather-resistant-barrier-part-3/

Insulation Options for an Idaho Barndominium

Insulation Options for an Idaho Mountain Post Frame Barndominium

Loyal reader LORISTON in NAMPA writes:

“We are in the initial phase of preparing for our residential post frame home and are excited to partner with Hansen Buildings when ready. Thank you for all the amazing information and supporting your clients. Question: I am targeting a highly efficient design, with >r-40 walls and >r-60 roof. There is a lot that I do not know and humble to learn from others. My mechanical engineering background helps. I would like your advice on a wall and roof design that meets my targeted R-values incorporating (from outside to inside) metal siding, >3/4″ rain screen, rock wool >2″ external insulation, Zip insulated r sheathing for WRB and thermal break/R-value increase, laminated Timber Tech glulam columns with bookshelf / commercial girts, closed cell spray foam internal insulation around 3″ thickness, fill remaining thickness from spray foam to inside edge column with insulation (recommendation would be helpful on type of insulation), internal insulation on inside of wall for thermal break if needed or helps, with final residential area having 5/8″ sheetrock and shop area having metal inside finish. We have not solved how to create a space for utilities on the outside wall as we would prefer to run them on inside of columns or thermal break insulation. We are contemplating internal framed 2×4 walls spaced away from post frame wall to create a space for utilities. No water will be run on external walls, only power, low voltage, gas, telephone as reference. Suggestion on how to run utilities with this highly efficient wall design would be appreciated. Roof is similar to wall, just horizontal with >r-60 performance, as we are targeting a conditioned attic space. Roof exception may be a second zip sheathing layer over the insulation (under rain screen/standing seam metal) but to be determined. Climate Zone 6 region in the Idaho mountains for reference. Post frame columns and wall will be on a full foundation wall with thickness based on wall design. Performance is priority over cost, targeting an air tight and efficient living space. Your experience and practical approach are greatly appreciated. Best regards and thank you.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

Thank you for your very kind words, they are greatly appreciated.

Rather than add an expensive and structurally unnecessary concrete foundation wall, I would recommend embedded properly pressure preservative treated wall columns (as my first choice), columns above grade set into wet set brackets on concrete piers as my second. Either of these can be insulated using R-10 EPS (Extruded Polystyrene) insulation boards. I would run them on the inside of the splash plank, with the top even with the top of the slab, extending down two feet, then outward horizontally two feet.

In Climate Zone 6, I normally would not look towards spray foam as my go to choice, however conditioning your attic and your desire for air tightness come into play, so here goes:

Walls (out-to-in): Steel siding over 2×8 bookshelf girts; 4″ of closed cell spray foam applied directly to inside of wall steel and balance of cavity with either open cell spray foam or rock wool (rock wool being my preference). No internal vapor barrier or continuous interior insulation boards as we want walls to dry to interior, without trapping moisture in the wall cavity.

Roof (out-to-in): Standing seam steel over 30# felt or synthetic ice & water shield (second preferred) over 5/8″ CDX plywood. Zip sheeting is OSB and screws just do not hold well into OSB. We can specify 2×12 roof purlins in order to get a deep cavity for insulation. Closed cell spray foam 5-3/4″ (R-40) plus R23 rock wool (5-1/2″).

This combination will require mechanical removal of humidity.

My normal recommendations would be:

Walls (out-to-in): Steel siding over a Weather Resistant Barrier, over 2×8 bookshelf girts. Fill the cavity with two layers of R15 rock wool. Add R-10 EPS well-sealed on interior. This wall will now dry to the outside.

Roof (out-to-in): Through screwed steel with an Integral Condensation Control factory applied, or standing seam steel over 30# felt or synthetic ice & water shield (second preferred) over 5/8″ CDX plywood. Roof trusses with 22″ raised heels, vent eave and ridge. Blow in R-60 on top of ceiling. This eliminates the expense of heating/cooling a dead attic space.

In either instance, I would have no fears or concerns about running non-plumbing utilities within your wall insulation cavity.

Post Frame on a Rock Pile

Post Frame on a Rock Pile?

Reader MIKE in MAINE writes:

“Hello ,

I am looking to purchase a Post and Beam Barn kit, but I have been advised by my excavator guy that I won’t be able to set the sonotubes in the ground due to the mixture of rocks sizes at my location

A bit of background:

The location is northern Maine and the soil composition is granite and clay, with poor drainage. Freezing line is probably at 8+ ft

The location chosen is a 75×75 area that has a pile of rocks collected from all over the old field years ago, and the suggested plan by the excavator guy was to grade that over a 75×75, add crushed gravel on top (10 inches or so) and when I told him I would need the sonotubes embedded at least 4-5ft down, he said I wouldn’t be able to dig the holes, but I won’t have any problems with heaving

This is an incorporated township, so there is no code requirement or enforcements (just as a fyi), but I still want to do things by the book for my own safety and investment protection

He suggested a perimeter sidewall of 12×12 and attach the posts to the wall with the perma column type brackets

My plan is to build at minimum a 40×50, ideally a 50×60 barn with porch around

I’ve uploaded a video of the site (as well as an alternative spot just across the road from it) and some still photos to help you help me divide what type of foundation do I need, and if it is in fact viable or doable

I would greatly appreciate your assistance with this before I commit tens of thousands of dollars into a kit I would not be able to build

Site video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCUO6jBIWvE

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building, as well as for providing so much valuable information.

Your rock pile site would be far less than ideal for several reasons, beyond just an inability to auger holes through rocks. Biggest challenge would be this being a terrible surface to pour a concrete slab on top of. Adding crushed rock over this is going to leave temporary voids between those larger, underlying stones. Over time crushed rock will slowly filter into these spaces, now your gaps will be directly below your slab – forcing your slab to bridge across them. Without significant amounts of rebar being added, slabs are not going to perform well under this scenario. Be prepared for more than just minimal cracking.

Any uninsulated foundation not extending to below frostline is likely to present frost heave issues over time.

My vote would be to opt for your alternative site. I have previously penned a four-part series on site preparation starting here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/11/site-preparation/

You have several options for foundation:

My favorite (also most cost effective and easiest to construct) – embedded columns. You can limit needed embedment depth to 40″ below grade by use of R-10 EPS insulation, going down two feet, then out another two feet.

Second choice would be using concrete piers with wet set brackets. Square piers can be formed out of EPS insulation (again to limit needed depths) with continuous insulation between piers. Sonotubes could be used, however they are difficult to effectively insulate, so it would be recommended to embed them to frost depth.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time with questions or concerns.

A House on a Hill, Slab on Grade, and Post Brackets

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about building a house on a hill lakeside, building a slab on grade instead or embedded posts due to rocky soil, and use of dry set brackets.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey. We have a lot on the lake that is on a hill (not super steep but does have a decent slope). Is a post frame house an option and if so how would be the best way to build it as far as ‘foundation’. ASHLEY in BOWLING GREEN

DEAR ASHLEY: A post frame home is certainly an excellent design solution for a slope building site. You do have some options (both of these I used on a personal building site of my own) – you can cut to create a ‘daylight’ or ‘walk-out’, or build on stilts.

Here is how I handled cutting into a hillside: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/02/grade-change/ as well as a little reading on stilt houses: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/09/stilt-houses/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m finding it prohibitive with local excavators to set poles in this part of rocky NH. It makes a slab on grade look better than ‘poles’. However – I assume I lose lateral support if I build on a slab will horizontal girts provide enough stiffness to the building or would bottom sills/sheathing be required. I’m looking at a 30×20 shed and would like 10′ bays and metal roofing, local green lumber vertical b&b siding. DAVID in GRANTHAM

DEAR DAVID: Even building with a slab on grade is going to require excavation, as you need to have footings either extending below frost line, or thermally isolated to prevent frost heaving. Horizontal girts, by themself, provide little or no resistance to racking. Properly engineered, your steel roofing and board and batten siding can provide adequate shear resistance.

If it were my own building, I would probably consider excavating holes, place and properly backfill sonotubes, and use ICC-ESR approved wet set brackets to mount columns. I would avoid use of green lumber, in any circumstance: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/09/499green-lumber-vs-dry-lumber/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing 35′ x 50′ slab with 16″ beams around the perimeter. Is it possible to construct a pole barn on it that meets windstorm qualifications for my area? ALAN in LAKE JACKSON

DEAR ALAN: There are plenty of folks out there who would gladly be willing to use dry set brackets to mount pole barn columns to your slab. In most instances, this is a less than adequate design solution as these brackets are not designed to withstand moment (bending) loads. (For extended reading, please visit https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/dry-set-column-anchors/).

My preference would be to use embedded columns – either by placing them outside of your existing slab perimeter, or by saw cutting through edges of your existing slab.

 

Permit Problem, OSB Wall Sheathing, and a Flat Roof Slope

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about a permit problem for building the reader would now need a permit for, whether or not OSB wall sheathing is necessary for an addition, and if a 12′ peak to 10′ eave will appear flat.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I built a pole barn in 2020 without a permit. I sank the posts (6″ x 6″ red fir) in the ground 4′. However, I did not use concrete under the poles or around the poles. Since the ground is quite rocky here I just sunk the poles in the ground. Prior to inserting the poles in the ground I burned the poles with a torch and then painted 3 coats of asphalt paint on them for treatment.
I am now wanting the building to be a commercial building and need to go through the permit process with my county. I don’t think how I built it is to code and wondering if you have any ideas on how to make it right after the fact? Build a foundation under slab and tie the poles to it?
Any recommendations are welcome. Attached are my drawings. MICHAEL in EL RITO

Building PermitDEAR MICHAEL: As you have realized, your immediate challenge is your columns, their lack of adequate treatment for structural in ground use, and a missing foundation system.

Your solution is going to involve hiring a Registered Professional Engineer, experienced in post frame construction and registered in New Mexico, to review your ‘as built’ situation and approve appropriate fixes throughout your structure. I am copying him with this response and will forward your drawings to him as well.

Most likely solution will be for your untreated building columns to be cut off an inch above any existing (or future) concrete slab. Concrete piers can be poured beneath each column (once remaining embedded column has been removed) adequate in dimensions to prevent uplift, overturning and settlement. Code Approved wet set brackets can then be placed in each pier and bolted to column.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Have a 32’wide by 30’long pole barn garage heated and insulated going to add on for storage only. It will have a concrete floor with vapor barrier and 2 inches of rigid foam. The walls and ceiling will be steel. There will be a 1 foot overhang all the way around to match the existing building, and one garage door at the rear of the building. The eves will be vented along with a rig vent. My question is that normal I would have used OSB for roof and sidewalls cost is an issue, what are your suggestions for the underside of the steel in both the walls and roof? ERIC in IRONS

DEAR ERIC: Provided your addition is properly engineered, there should be no structural reason to sheath your walls or roof with OSB or plywood. Order your roof steel with an Integral Condensation Control factory applied and between wall framing and siding place a Weather Resistant Barrier (Tyvek or similar).

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am wanting to build a single slope pole barn. The highest point would be 12 feet and the lowest 10 feet. Is that enough height difference to create a slope or will the roof appear to be flat? ZOE in LAREDO

DEAR ZOE: It will depend upon how wide your building will be. If 12 feet wide, it may appear okay, if wider, it is going to start to look flat. One thing to keep in mind, most steel paint warranties are void on roof slopes of less than 3/12. Side lap sealants are also required for steel roofing on slopes under 3/12, adding to investment and complexity.

Moisture Control, Insulating Existing Structure, and a Post Rot Fix

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about moisture control, insulating a building with a ridge vent, and a solution for replacing posts that have rotted out.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thanks for the abundance of technical information you provide your readers. Like many of them, I inherited a pole barn with the same ceiling sweating, heat, cold issues and need a post construction solution. The slab sweats only in some places. I have a typical wood post with 2×4 horizontal purlins, wood truss and purlin roof, and metal skin walls and roof. My goals are, #1 stop the moisture inside, #2 insulate for moderate comfort (no codes to comply with and I can heat with a wood stove and abundance of wood) , and #3 if I can afford it, skin the walls with T-111 or other wood for an attractive look inside. I did not see any suggestions about double-faced radiant barriers in your other articles. Do you think expanded polystyrene cut to fit in the 1.5 inch cavities to flush with purlins, and then add the radiant barrier (bubble type) stapled over that directly to purlins would be appropriate and not trap moisture? If so, should I allow and air space between the polystyrene and radiant barrier? Many thanks, Mr. Retired…finally! JOHN in CHEROKEE VILLAGE

DEAR JOHN: Thank you for your kind words. If your slab sweats at all, it is likely there is no vapor barrier under it and it would behoove you to apply a sealant. 1.5″ expanded polystyrene (EPS) boards cut to fit tightly and with all seams tightly sealed would give you some degree of insulation (roughly R-7.5 other than at girt and purlin locations). You could add unfaced rock wool batts to increase insulation. Radiant barriers provide next to no insulation value and only function if seams can be perfectly sealed, we’ve actually opted to no longer offer them to our clients.

Unless you want to heat area in triangle of trusses, you may want to consider insulating at ceiling level, then vent dead attic space above.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello Mike. I came across your website while trying to learn more about what to do with the ridge vents in a pole barn when you plan on insulating it with closed cell foam. My wife and I purchased a property that has a 36w x 48L unconditioned pole barn with 8 skylights, a couple of ridge vents and (2) sets of huge doors on each end. While we know this will never be a tight building, we need to insulate it for our pets (10) dogs and (11) cats, and for a hangout area for us to spend time with them rather than inside our home.

We have a high-end American Standard heat pump split system that will condition the entire space.

Would you be able to give me any advice on what you recommend I do regarding the existing ridge vents? I’m not sure if I should insulate around them and leave them as they are…open. Or, should I temporarily trim out around them and seal them for the time being?

Any information you could provide me on this topic would be greatly appreciated. ROGER in HOUSTON

DEAR ROGER: With those large sliding doors, your investing in closed cell spray foam may be for naught. If your expectation is to be able to control any sort of heat loss/gain you should consider replacing them with insulated steel sectional overhead doors.

On to your question – seal off ridge vents and spray foam across skylights (or, even better) replace them with steel roofing before insulating.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What are my options on repairing 32×40 all 6×6 posts are rotted off ground level. Floating slab, perma colum, helical peir, or strongway sleeve. CHAD in GREAT BEND

DEAR CHAD: I would repair one column at a time. Temporarily support roof system being supported by a column. Cut column off above point of decay. Excavate embedded portion of column and remove – hole being dug to be at least below frost line. Insure bottom of hole is firmly compacted. Place a sonotube in hole, attach an ICC approved wet set bracket to bottom of column and backfill with premix concrete. Compact granulated fill around sonotube in six inch lifts. Repeat at each column.

 

 

Costs to Erect, A Water Leak, and Expansive Soils

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about the costs of erecting a small metal barn, how to address leaks after moving a building, and building on expansive soils.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the cost to hire for installation of a small, 24 x 36, metal barn? JACKIE in CUMMINS

DEAR JACKIE: Currently (and for the foreseeable future) there is a nationwide shortage of building erectors. Many high quality erectors are booked out into 2023. We would strongly encourage you to consider erecting your own building shell and most of our clients are building themselves.

For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/find-a-builder/). We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders.
A CAUTION in regards to ANY erector: If an erector tells you they can begin quickly it is generally either a big red flag, or you are being price gouged. ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/
Your new building kit is designed for the average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits), the industry’s best, fully illustrated, step-by-step installation manual, and unlimited technical support from people who have actually built post frame buildings. Even better – it includes our industry leading Limited Lifetime Structural warranty!

Should you decide to engage a building erector, in most instances, fair market value for labor is roughly 50% of what your building kit investment is.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I just moved my pole barn forward 20ft. forward. There was a slab poured for the pole barn, so I added 20foot more on to the front of the original slab, anchored it to the old slab and pulled it forward. The back of the pole barn leaks water underneath the wall in spots and I was wondering whether I need to cut some kind of trough on the outside slab to let the water drain better. As of now I do not have gutters. The pole barn measures 30 feet by 50 feet. CHRISTOPHER in BURKESVILLE

DEAR CHRISTOPHER: You are far more ambitious than I in moving your pole barn. You should seal bottom of your pressure preservative treated splash plank to your building’s concrete slab. It would not hurt a bit to cut out a strip of slab adjacent to your wall, even better if a French drain system was placed in trough to keep water from flowing under your building.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I am planning a Barndominium on our property but we have challenging soils (8% swell with expansive soils) with the recommendation from the soils and structural consultants to do a stem wall and caissons with 4′ of over excavation for any slabs on grade. We had a rather large barn portion planned and the home section my wife is favoring a shape that would lead toward conventional stud frame construction method. If the foundation types are the same, it would seem that the two building types would be feasible but conversely I have never seen a pole barn on a caisson/stem wall foundation. Any insight is appreciated. Stacy

DEAR STACY: Expansive soils always make for a challenge for any building system. Post frame building foundations are, by their nature, a caisson style foundation – eliminating any need for a continuous foundation and footing system. This can be accomplished by either embedded columns, or columns attached by Code approved wet set brackets to concrete piers. For your home section, it would be unusual for stud frame construction to be more effective or efficient than post frame, regardless of shape.

For extended reading about post frame construction on expansive soils, please see: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/07/barndominium-on-expansive-soils/

 

 

Will My Minnesota Shouse Require Frost Footings?

Will My Minnesota Shouse Require Frost Footings?

Reader CHAD in JANESVILLE writes:

“I am planning on building a shouse or barndominium some may call. I am doing 5″ cement with a heated floor throughout. My hope was not to bury any poles but to anchor them on top of the slap. Do you recommend front footings or will I be same as long as I am heated?”

My lovely bride and I happen to live in a post frame shouse just four hours West of you (and you are welcome to come for a visit)! In our instance, we used embedded columns, as I fully believe they will outlive my grandchildren’s grandchildren (for reading on lifespan of properly pressure preservative treated wood https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/pressure-treated-post-frame-building-poles-rot/).

Now we do have a fair number of clients using wet set brackets, keeping their building columns above ground (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/).

These brackets need to be either placed into a continuous footing and foundation system, a thickened edge slab on grade or concrete piers. Any of these should extend below frost line, unless provisions are made to thermally isolate them from effects of frost.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research has been so kind as to publish a plethora of information on Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations, (while not specific to post frame construction) would apply to any structural building system. Heat transfer truly doesn’t care how you put a structure together, just so long as thermal resistance issues are taken care of adequately.

Those who are considering Frost-Protected Shallow Foundations should peruse this information: https://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/fpsfguide.pdf, and utilize it to determine requirements for insulation R values, as well as depth vertical insulation boards should be placed and width of horizontal insulation extending out from your building.

Whatever your choice is, you should have structural plans sealed by a Registered Professional Engineer to verify system adequacy.

Site Prep, Brackets on Slab, and Treated Lumber

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about site preparation and underground obstructions, a recommendation for building with wet set brackets on slab, and whether or not Hansen Buildings uses lumber treated for in-ground use– UC-4B.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We recently started the ground work for our future 48×72 pole building. Half way through excavation the crew hit a solid slab of rock at the corner of our building site. It appears to be Pennsylvania blue stone and the space that it takes up includes a majority of the back and left side where the building walls would sit. We were able to achieve a level pad but we are extremely concerned that now we won’t be able to build on this site. This is the only place on our property that has room for this build and we are very worried that we won’t be able to set poles in the ground do to the size of this solid slab. What are our options, if any? KIMBERLY in PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR KIMBERLY: This brought back childhood memories of my Dad taking me out on a Saturday to a site above Hayden Lake, Idaho where he and my uncles were going to be framing a custom home. Site had been cleared, and there were all sorts of roughly inch and one-half diameter holes drilled into solid rock – they had to blast in order to get a foundation in!

You do have many options, however blasting can be (I have found) quite affordable. Many years ago we built a horse stall barn near Benton City, Washington. This building had a total of 84 columns and was on a rock shelf. Powder monkey came out and blasted all of them for a couple of hundred dollar bills!

There are other choices – you can rent a “ram hoe” attachment for a skid steer or backhoe (this would probably be my pick). Read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/12/attacking-pole-barn-rocks-holes/

Or, a jackhammer – I would not suggest this option for more than just a hole or two.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am in the planning stages for a pole barn build. The building will be 50 ft wide by 40 ft deep by 16 ft high at the eaves, posts spaced at 10 ft centers. This will go on a concrete pad and I am looking into using Sturdi-Wall Plus wet set brackets. My question is in regard to the height of the posts (roughly 16 ft) and the bending moment loads (wind loads) on the side of the building. Have you designed/installed posts with this height or higher before? If so, is there a place where I can point the planning officials to that shows the calcs and what not so they can make a decision as to whether or not this type of application with my situation will work or not?

I appreciate your help! MICHAEL in UPTON

DEAR MICHAEL: Thank you for reaching out to us. We have provided fully engineered post frame buildings using these very same brackets and eave heights of 24′. Your real solution is to have your building plans done by a Registered Professional Engineer who can provide verifying calculations for all components and connections.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have a question about the structure of your pole barns. Do you use treated lumber or non treatmented lumber? I am asking about the post that go in the ground AND the boards that touch the metal roof. I worry about the wood rotting or bugs getting in it. KRISTEN in BAY MINETTE

DEAR KRISTEN: Any roof supporting structural columns are pressure preservative treated to UC-4B per International Building Code requirements. This is a greater level of pressure treatment than you can usually find at big box stores or local lumberyards. Any other lumber used in ground contact will be treated to UC-4A and tags will reflect ‘ground contact’. Lumber in contact with steel roofing (roof purlins) are not exposed to the weather, would not typically be pressure preservative treated. We do always recommend a condensation control be used between roof steel and roof framing. The easiest, from an application standpoint, would be a factory applied to roof steel Integral Condensation Control (DripStop or CondenStop). Other alternatives would be a Radiant Reflective Barrier (we can provide this in six foot width rolls with an adhesive pull strip attached for ease of joining rolls together) or to use two inches of closed cell spray foam.

 

ZIP Sheathing

ZIP Sheathing and Other Post Frame Thoughts

Reader SPENCER in WINLOCK writes:

“Hello, I’m in the planning phase and your roof purlin style and watching the “Hart and Home” youtube series have just about convinced me to go with Hansen buildings. I have a few general questions. 1. I have a tight driveway with a gate. What kind of a truck would 40′ trusses be delivered on? 2. I’d like to use zip panels on my walls and roof for sheathing below the metal. Is this something that can be added to the engineering package and supplied by me? I’m assuming the weight of the panels would need to be accounted for in the roof loading. 3. Are 20′ side walls a possibility with your buildings? 4. I’d like to use poured columns and wet set brackets for my footings. Is this something that can be added to the engineering package and supplied by me? My goal would be to have these installed well before taking delivery of the building. 5. I’d like to do a lean-to but need to keep as much roof height as possible for a 14′ door. Do these have to be designed with trusses or can I specify dimensional lumber? Thank you!”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

For those following along at home – Hart and Homes YouTube series can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjzEsuHQ8UFZEbXQc16RT9Q

Hansen Pole Buildings has provided more fully engineered post frame buildings to our clients in Washington State (roughly a 1000 at last count), than any other state. Mr. and Mrs. Hart are a great couple and have been a pleasure to work with. This roof purlin style (purlins on edge) is fairly typical in Western U.S. post frame buildings, however, recessing them between trusses with joist hangers is not. Our feeling is this engineered connection is far superior to attaching purlins to a very small block full of nails (extended reading on paddle blocks can be found here https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/05/paddle-blocks/).

In answer to your questions:

1) Regardless of supplier, both roof trusses and steel roofing/siding are typically delivered by semi-trucks pulling 48′ trailers. You may want to make provision to have a utility trailer handy for at least a steel package to be off loaded onto, should you feel your entrance is just too tight for this sort of truck/trailer combination.

2) Zip System sheathing was introduced by Huber Engineered Woods in 2008 and it has been widely adopted in many U.S. states. Huber manufactures premium OSB products such as Advantech sheathing. Many builders prefer Advantech over plywood, due in part to quality problems they were seeing in plywood.

Zip System sheathing’s chief virtue is it marries a water-resistant barrier (WRB) to sheathing, eliminating the step of adding a separate WRB. Many builders like the Zip system a lot because it eliminates what has always been a troublesome step in building processes. This is, carefully installing large plastic sheets around an entire building, carefully lapping it at seams, and more carefully cutting and taping around doors and windows so it directs any water to the exterior.

While Tyvek (first popular building wrap), was originally marketed as an energy-saving material, it was soon disproven that a building with Tyvek, installed typically, wasn’t much tighter than a conventional building with asphalt felt.

A building built with Zip sheathing, however, taped and sealed as recommended, produces very tight results without a lot of fussing. This is especially true in relatively simple building plans without a lot of bumps, angles, and complex shapes.

Main Zip Sheathing downside is a heavy reliance on flashing tape. Huber makes high-quality tape in various widths and also makes a stretch version for window pan flashing and other tricky details. Still, water, frost, or dirt can undermine a watertight seal, as can sloppy installation.

Liquid-applied sealants offer an alternative to tape and is gaining in popularity. One example is Huber’s Liquid Flash, a thick liquid flashing applied with a caulking gun and spread with a trowel. Liquid flashing provides a nearly foolproof solution for waterproofing window pans, foundation joints, and other tricky or vulnerable transitions.

Like any product or system Zip sheathing has pros and cons. Some are actual and proven, some more theoretical. This product has not really been around long enough to stand time’s test. But, there are few in field failure reports and most contractors who have tried this system are happy with it overall.

Here are main arguments, pro and con:

Pros

  • Installs sheathing and water-resistant barrier in one step. Saves labor.
  • Makes it relatively easy to create a very tight shell.
  • This is a complete system with high quality tapes and liquid sealant, as well as published details backed by a reputable company.
  • Backed by a 30 year warranty, but not transferable, and subject to usual conditions about proper installation.
  • Window installation and flashing is easier than with building wrap (but relies on tape at window head flashing). Eliminates Origami style building wrap folding.
  • Quick dry-in for contractor with less concern about wind and water.

Cons

  • Tape must be installed carefully without dirt, frost, or moisture to seal well.
  • Horizontal seams are vulnerable to water penetration if tape fails. This is especially a concern at door and window tops.
  • Less permeable to moisture than most building wraps, so in theory the wall may not dry out as easily.
  • Not a true drainage plane, as can be created with draining building wraps. Vertical spacers or a second building wrap layer would be needed for a true drainage plane.
  • If nails are overdriven, especially “shiners” missing framing, OSB is exposed and needs sealing with tape or sealant.
  • More expensive materials (but savings on labor).
  • On a roof, especially, I would be reluctant to trust tape to prevent leaks, so would want another roofing felt or synthetic underlayment layer.
  • I would not want to screw roof steel to any OSB product.

Many builders like Zip system’s simplicity. To a large extent, its long-term performance depends on taped seam durability. If applied to a clean surface with a roller, as recommended, all indications are it will provide a long service life. This is a high-performance tape. Still,  it is partly a matter of faith it will remain water tight for decades.

Alternatively, building wrap does not last forever either. It tends to get brittle and deteriorate over time. It can deteriorate rapidly if it stays wet due to trapped water — for example, if a building wrap section gets bunched up behind a trim piece as I have seen around windows, corner boards and other exterior trim.

With any waterproofing product, workmanship quality is at least as important as material. A building built well with steel siding over plastic building wrap can perform as well as one with Zip sheathing. It just a careful detailing matter — especially  around doors, windows, and other joints prone to leakage.

With all of this said, yes, you could provide your own Zip sheathing and we can incorporate it in your engineer sealed plans.

3) We can provide eave sidewalls to 40 feet tall and three stories (50 feet and four stories with fire suppression sprinklers).

4) We engineer many of our buildings using poured piers and wet-set brackets. We typically provide brackets as ours have an ICC ESR Code approval and we ship them out to you far in advance of your building shell materials.

5) Our default for attached lean-to roofs would be rafters as opposed to mono-pitch trusses.

A Basement Foundation, Vapor Barrier for Arena, and a Hansen Kit

This Wednesday the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about building a post frame building on a basement foundation, insulation vs a reflective radiant barrier, and a question about what is include in a Hansen Building kit.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Is it possible to erect one of the pole barn kits on a basement foundation? LUCAS in LANDISBURG

DEAR LUCAS: Absolutely – if you are planning a poured concrete, concrete block or ICF foundation, you will want us to provide wet set brackets to be placed in top of your walls when they are poured. We also offer an option of a Permanent Wood Foundation.

Here is some extended reading: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/02/barndominium-on-a-daylight-basement/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey can you enlighten me on this product and if you are still using it in pole barn applications, I am considering a riding arena and need especially if commercial a vapor barrier and some added R-Value I am looking at the R-22 product.

Thanks,

Any information would be helpful Insulation4less.com doesn’t seem to have a phone number and very difficult to contact.

Saw Your Page:
https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/tag/prodex/

ROBERT in ROCHESTER

DEAR ROBERT: Thank you for reaching out to us. If you will note, in reference to our page where you found us, Prodex is a Radiant Reflective Barrier (RRB) – it is NOT insulation, regardless of what claims might be made by any distributor of this product.

Here is some further discussion about RRBs: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/04/reflective-insulation-wars/
In Southern Minnesota you are in Climate Zone 6. Here would be my recommendations:

Roof – order roof steel with an Integral Condensation Control (Condenstop or Dripstop) factory applied. Install a steel ceiling across truss bottom chords, blow fiberglass insulation in above steel ceiling. Vent attic at eaves with enclosed vented soffits and ridge.

Walls – use a Weather Resistant Barrier (aka Housewrap) between framing and wall steel. Place bookshelf wall girts two foot on center and fill wall cavity with rockwool batt insulation and an interior vapor barrier.
One of our Building Designers will reach out to you to further discuss your riding arena needs.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is all included in a pole barn home kit?

AMANDA in HAVRE

Click here to download our free brochure!DEAR AMANDA: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. These would be included items:

Fully engineered plans including:
Layout of all columns
Roof framing plan showing all trusses, rafters and purlins
Section view(s) through building
Elevations of all exterior walls showing all wall girts, window(s) and door(s) framing
Roofing and siding layouts
Connection details of all members
Any framing layouts for raised wood floors (either over crawl spaces or for 2nd or 3rd floors
Stair details

Verifying calculations from the engineer

Construction (assembly) Manual – over 500 pages of step-by-step instructions, fully illustrated

Unlimited FREE Technical Support

Fully itemized Material List

All Materials necessary to assemble structural portions of your building, including doors and windows, with the exception of concrete, rebar and any nails normally driven by a nail gun.

Designing to Withstand a Hurricane

Loyal blog reader and video watcher DANIEL in SULPHUR writes:

“What practices are best for increasing wind rating of a post frame building? My goal is to build a post frame home to withstand 150+ mph winds. I live on the gulf coast and hurricanes are a serious threat, I know I can’t make my building hurricane proof but I’d like to get it real close. My build site is surrounded by trees so I know that helps. Examples might be: -In ground posts vs wet set brackets -Smaller distances between posts and trusses 8 ft centers vs 12 ft centers – Additional trusses. Thank you for your blogs and videos I’ve read a bunch of them and watched almost every video!”

Daniel ~


Thank you for reaching out to me and for being a loyal follower! It is greatly appreciated.

We have provided fully engineered post frame buildings with design wind speeds of 170 mph (and could do in excess of 200 mph) and Exposure D (fully exposed to ocean winds). If your building site is fully protected on all four sides by trees, hills or other buildings 30 feet or greater in height, then you would technically be Exposure B for wind, however if you think they might every be removed in any direction (either purposefully by mankind or due to a hurricane) it might be prudent to opt for an Exposure C design. An Exposure C design makes your building roughly 20% more wind resistant than Exposure B (but does not require a 20% greater investment).

Our structural design software has been developed by our programmers under watchful eyes of our engineers and it checks every component and connection for structural adequacy for any given load combination. Merely reducing column spacing, having larger columns, more trusses, etc., will not make any difference, if even just one small connection happens to be under- designed. Our system allows us to incrementally adjust design wind speeds even one mph at a time, so we can provide you with numbers for a plethora of different design wind speeds so you can make a fair determination of what you are willing to invest.

Your weakest link is going to be windows, if enough of them get blown in (or more likely sucked out) it will increase wind pressures inside of your building shell by roughly a third – this is most often what causes those dramatic photos of roofs having been sucked off from buildings after traumatic wind events. While I have not used them myself, I have been interested in offerings from www.RiotGlass.com. While I doubt it is a cheap investment, if it keeps your home intact it could certainly be worth your looking into further.

As far as your building shell itself, embedded columns are more likely to survive a catastrophic wind event than wet set brackets would, due to continuity of materials and not having to rely upon a connection at ground level.

Wet Set Brackets, a Walkout Basement, and Rigid Foam Issues

Today’s Pole Barn Guru tackles reader questions about using wet set brackets on a stem wall foundation, if it is possible to build over a walkout basement, and the viability of installing rigid foam between framing and steel cladding.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey there guru. We are planning on building a post frame home next year. Now for my question/s. Is it possible to use wet set brackets for posts on a block stem wall foundation? I also had the thought of marrying posts with brackets to a conventionally anchored double sill plate? If using a pier and wet set brackets system… Can a person do a raised floor design? And if so how would one keep the bugs and critters out of the “crawl space”? BRAD in SWANVILLE

DEAR BRAD: Wet set brackets can be poured into properly engineered and constructed block, concrete or ICF stem walls. In order to resist uplift forces, brackets are best installed directly into top of walls, with a properly pressure preservative treated sill plate between columns to attach siding to.

When using a pier and bracket mounted column system you can most certainly do a raised wood floor (crawl space) design. Any crawl space would require encapsulation (read more here https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/11/11-reasons-why-barndominium-crawl-space-encapsulation-is-important/) by Building Code. A non-decaying barrier to prevent burrowing creatures would also be prudent (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/06/rat-wall/). My recommendation (and we can show this on your engineer sealed plans provided with your building) would be to use 19 gauge, 1/2″ x 1/2″ galvanized wire mesh around your building’s perimeter to a depth of three feet. This can be done be means of a trench and will be far less expensive than pouring a wall between columns.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can I put a walkout basement under a steel frame residence?
JEN in HARTFORD

DEAR JEN: While I would have no idea on what sort of engineering it would take to mount a PEMB (Pre-engineered Metal Building) to a walkout basement, fully engineered post frame buildings can be designed to incorporate a full, partial or walkout basement. Read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/02/barndominium-on-a-daylight-basement/

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, I am considering building a cabin using pole-construction. I was wondering is it possible to use rigid foam insulation between the outside of the structure and the roof/wall cladding? GILES

DEAR GILES: Placing rigid foam insulation board between framing and cladding is not structurally a good choice. Post frame buildings work due to shear strength of their ‘skin’. When a non-structural sheathing is added it allows for fasteners to deform between cladding and framing, reducing shear strength, causing elongation of holes in siding/roofing and potentially a failure condition. You would be better served to use two inches of closed cell spray foam on inside of cladding after your cabin is erected.

 

 

 

 

Unheated Post Frame Building Slabs on Grade

Are Unheated Post Frame Building Slabs on Grade Required to Be Frost Protected?

Reader BILL in CLAYTON writes:

“I’m in early planning for a post frame garage – just over 1000 sf but will reduce it if it solves a code problem for “private garages” in IBC. Ignoring that, where does the code permit a slab on ground floor in a post frame building to not be frost protected? Is it not a part of the “building and structure”? Obviously, the floor in most unheated post frame buildings with slabs are not frost protected. In IRC (which Hansen says does not apply to post frame) R301.1 says “Buildings and structures, and parts thereof…” shall be on a foundation and R403.1.4.1 “Except where otherwise protected from frost, foundation walls, piers and other permanent supports of buildings and structures shall be protected from frost by one or more of the following methods:…:” Is a slab on ground floor excluded from “foundation walls, piers and other permanent supports of buildings and structures”? The slab on the ground floor is not a part of the building and structure? Thank you!”

IRC R301.1.3 Engineered design.

“When a building of otherwise conventional construction contains structural elements exceeding the limits of Section R301 or otherwise not conforming to this code, these elements shall be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice. The extent of such design need only demonstrate compliance of nonconventional elements with other applicable provisions and shall be compatible with the performance of the conventional framed system. Engineered design in accordance with the International Building Code is permitted for all buildings and structures, and parts thereof, included in the scope of this code.”

Unless your site is precluded from having a detached accessory building of over 1000 square feet – my recommendation is to erect the largest building you can afford and fit on your property. Whatever size you build, it will not be large enough. Being over 1000 square feet just means you have an S-2 rather than U classification building and is not going to affect structural design unless your Building Official deems your structure to be Risk Category II, rather than I.

Foundations of most post frame buildings are either embedded columns or columns anchored by approved wet set brackets to concrete piers. A slab on grade, in a post frame building with foundation as described, has no weight of building placed upon it, therefore is not a permanent support of structure.

With this said, Jefferson County is in Climate Zone 6A. As such I personally would follow International Energy Code Table R402.1.2 and place R-10 rigid insulation inside of my splash plank from top of slab (3-1/2″ up from bottom of splash plank) extending downward 48 inches. This can easily be done by trenching at time of construction and would be of benefit should building ever be heated (as most strictly non-agricultural buildings usually are at some point) and be a point in eventual resale.

Foam Boards, Foundations, and Rat Walls

Today the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about adding kraft-backed insulation to rigid foam boards, if posts go in the ground or a foundation system, and if a pole building needs a “rat wall” poured.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have an existing pole barn, the front portion being 30×30 with 11′ walls. The walls have R tech faced rigid foam board between the girts with the reflective side facing the shop interior. The shop is only heated when I work out there by a vented propane unit heater. The walls will be finished off with steel liner panels. My question is can kraft faced fiberglass insulation be placed over top of the rigid foam board that is “foil faced” with the kraft paper backing facing the interior of the shed (back of liner panels)? JACKSON in COLEMAN

DEAR JACKSON: You should use unfaced batt insulation to avoid creating a situation where insulation is being trapped between two vapor barriers. It may prove necessary to dehumidify your shop space due to wall drying to interior, especially if your concrete slab on grade does not have a vapor barrier beneath it.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Do all your post go directly into the ground?  Do you have any type of foundation system? Thanks TONY

DEAR TONY: Our most common design solution utilizes properly pressure preservative treated columns (UC-4B rated) embedded in ground, with bottom of column hole below frost line (or 40″ below grade, whichever is greater). If potential decay of columns is a concern (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/pressure-treated-post-frame-building-poles-rot/) we can provide plastic sleeves to isolate columns from surrounding earth. We can also design using columns mounted to wet set brackets to either be set in piers or atop of a foundation wall or thickened edge slab. We have also had clients utilize concrete Permacolumns, however this is rarely a cost effective choice https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/perma-column-price-advantage/.

 

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Building a barndominimum what or how do you get a foundation or rat wall with pole construction do you dig out between the poles and pour it? LLOYD in ONSTED


DEAR LLOYD: There is no structural reason to pour a “rat wall” between columns (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/06/rat-wall/).

My recommendation (and we can show this on your engineer sealed plans provided with your building) would be to use 19 gauge, 1/2″ x 1/2″ galvanized wire mesh around your building’s perimeter to a depth of three feet. This can be done be means of a trench and will be far less expensive than pouring a wall between columns.

 

 

 

 

Post Frame Shouse Column Options

Post Frame Shouse Column Options – Risk vs. Reward

Loyal readers will recall a recent post involving GREG in KENTWOOD (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/dont-want-pressure-treated-columns-in-the-ground/).

Our discussion continues and I share below:

“Mike,

Thanks for the quick response.   

If I was a sane man, not sure I am, if properly pressure treated lumber will last a few generations, why would I not go with that?   

 

  • The time to DIY yourself wet set brackets could add a few weeks to the projects. ( I probably have the time.)
  • Using a Perms Precast Columns which are $152 each will be costly with probably needing 50 to 60 posts. (Adds about $10k to project)
  • I might be able to be talked into using pressure treated poles. 
  • Does the plastic help or does it add more risk of trapping moisture or other?
  • I will cost out each method, on a little “nerd chart” to determine what risk and reward I can accept.

Do you think your source for the pressure treated poles is better and more consistent than say a Menards or other source a non-builder would get supplies?

For a (2) story would you use laminated posts or solid?

Would you use only treated on the first 8’ to prevent shrinkage and warping at a (2) story height?

This will hopefully be all my questions prior to submitting a plan. 

Thanks Mike!”

Greg is probably going to be very satisfied with his end result – he is reading, asking questions and learning. Hours spent in preparation can save tens of thousands of dollars later.

I live in a million dollar shouse (shop/house) with roughly 8000 square feet finished. It has glu-laminated columns with pressure treated bases, embedded in the ground. I could easily have chosen any alternative solution, as cost was not a deciding factor.

Wet set brackets are probably only marginally more time consuming, however to minimize concrete needed for piers, you will (or should) be using insulated forms. When all is said and done plan upon roughly $100 per column for budget.

Precast columns have not just column investment, they are also heavy to handle onsite and do require a concrete footing or bottom collar to prevent settling.

Plastic sleeves might be effective, however I felt they were redundant given modern pressure treating technologies.

In most cases, it is impossible to walk into a lumberyard or big box store and get UC-4B treated lumber, it most usually has to be special ordered in. Our providers know, in advance, of this being our expectation (not to mention minimum requirement by Building Codes).

I would go with true glu-laminated columns (I did on my own building). They will be lighter, straighter and stronger than solid sawn columns and not have challenges as do nailed up columns. Lower portions are typically treated so laminations are a minimum of six feet of treatment (usually a 6′, 8′ and 10′ member are bottom treated segments). Pressure treating does not prevent shrinkage or warping – shrinkage is limited due to this lumber being kiln dried after treating in order to get moisture content low enough for proper glue adhesion. Warping is a by-product of laminations being oriented so lumber grain is all one direction and is a rare occurrence with glulams.

Ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decisions.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

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 no 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