Tag Archives: wind rated garage doors

Frustrating Builder, Post Size, and Sliding Barn Doors?

This week the Pole Barn Guru tackles reader questions about recourse against a builder that “never does what what he says,” a question about the necessary post size for an RV shelter, and the need for a structural engineer to answer the question, and advice for a reader whose doors blow out wondering if sliding doors are the solution— probably not.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thanks, I have a builder who has not done one thing right. The details are long and frustrating. What recourse do I have? It seems there is no codes in Heavner, Oklahoma I would like to send some pictures. I am disabled and to not have stress. This guy lies and never does what he says. Never got a contract, asked several times. KENETH in HEAVNER

DEAR KENNETH: Hire a Construction Attorney Now.

Do not give this builder any more money.

You have probably now realized you have committed a cardinal sin of building construction – hiring a builder, without a contract.
For those of you following along at home: ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/
And contracts are boring, until you go to court: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2021/06/contracts-are-boring-until-you-go-to-court/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What size post needed for 26 by 26 with 12 foot high wall and 4/12 beam roof RV port. DON in OMAHA

DEAR DON: This is a question best answered by an engineer who is going to seal your building plans (whomever you are purchasing your building kit should be including them). While I cannot give you actual engineering advice, I can tell you what will not work.

In a roof only post frame building, columns act as cantilevers (think diving board). There is a minimum column dimension calculation, based upon a column’s unsupported length. In most cases, this unsupported length is from top of full concrete backfilled hole, to bottom of roof trusses.

Let’s take a look at a 6×6 (actual dimensions of 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″). The L/d (Unsupported length divided by least dimension of column) ratio must be less than 50. 12 feet equals 144 inches, so 144 divided by 5.5 equals 26.18 – but, NOT SO FAST, columns are also impacted by a ‘magical’ factor known as Ke. For a purely cantilevered column Ke is equal to 2.1. Therefore 26.8 times 2.1 equals 54.98, as this is greater than 50 and a 6×6 would fail.

Greatest unsupported length of a cantilevered 6×6 column would be 130.95 inches. This does NOT take into account loads having to be carried by this column (snow, wind and seismic), hence your need for an engineer to verify structural adequacy.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’ve had my 2, 12 x 12 panel doors blow out and my roof dropped 1/4 mile away twice in 2 years. I’m thinking barn doors to maybe be a good idea for my door replacement this time as they mount outside, which will make it much harder for the wind to bend them. Do you make or can you suggest a door to replace these doors this time that will not get blown out by the wind? Thanks for your time and trouble. JOHN in SOLANO

DEAR JOHN: Sliding ‘barn’ doors are probably not your best design solution as very few of them will withstand high winds. What you actually need (at least my recommendation) are wind rated overhead doors. Whomever provided your doors originally (and replaced them) did you a true injustice. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/12/wind-load-rated-garage-doors/

Wind Rated Garage Doors

But can it Pass a Missile Test?

Many hurricane prone regions are following the state of Florida’s lead and are requiring all buildings and their components withstand a certain amount of wind pressure. Wind loaded overhead doors generally are design to withstand from 90 mph to 150 mph wind speeds. These design wind speeds are dictated by local Building Departments.

Hansen Buildings uses Wayne Dalton Wind Rated Overhead Doors

In some areas you may be eligible for a discount on your home owners insurance if you install a wind rated garage door. However, your insurance company may require the garage door to have a Miami-Dade County certification.

Just because your garage door meets the wind load rating which is required for your area, it does not automatically mean the door carries a Miami-Dade County certification. Miami-Dade requires the door to meet 150 mph wind load, the door must be made out of 24 gauge steel or heavier, and the door must also pass a missile-impact-test. In this test a 2×4 is shot out of a cannon twice at the door and the garage door must still be able to operate afterwards. The difference in cost between a door which meets the code in your area and a door with a Miami-Dade certification may exceed what you will save on your homeowners insurance over a ten year period. Check with your insurance agent to determine the insurance company’s discount requirements if you wish to take advantage of this program.


Hurricane winds generate positive (inward) and negative (outward) pressures so not only does the door need to be braced to keep it from blowing into the garage but it also needs to be designed so the door does not get forced out of the garage. Backing your vehicles up against the door from inside has very little value and may result in your car being damaged, along with the door. Our recommendation is to always ask your pole building provider to include wind rated garage doors which already meet or exceed your local wind load requirements.

Hurricane Andrew proved that a non-wind rated garage door was one of the most vulnerable areas of a building.

After Hurricane Andrew crossed Florida in 1992, many studies concluded the overhead garage door was one of building’s weakest points. The loss of the garage door contributed significantly to the severe damage and catastrophic loss of many buildings by allowing enough air pressure inside to literally lift the roof up and off of the structure. Today’s new building codes are based on what was learned from this devastation.

Hurricane Charlie struck Florida in 2004 and proved wind load ratings for garage doors which were put into effect after Hurricane Andrew were effective in protection of homes, buildings and pole barns directly in the path of the storm. Literally thousands of non-rated garage doors were blown out of their openings. However, the 130 mph and greater rated doors stayed in their openings and continued to function afterwards. Granted some were damaged (dented) from flying debris but the opening and the structure remained protected. There were a number of cases where one of the doors which had been replaced with a rated door before the storm survived the storm without a scratch but the non-rated door(s) beside it which hadn’t been replaced left the building completely (some were blown into the mangroves & never found).

Do yourself and your garage (and everything in it!) a favor, don’t skimp on the doors.  Wind rate them for over 130 mph so what is inside, stays inside, no matter what.

Bracing Garage Doors


Most people with overhead style garage doors do not realize the doors they have are more than likely NOT “wind rated”. This means, in the event of winds over 50 or so miles per hour, they stand a good chance of collapsing. If the garage door fails, the wind forces inside your building increase exponentially, which could result in significant damage to your building, or failure.

The great majority of Building Departments do not require garage doors to be wind rated. Hansen Buildings always encourages our clients to invest in wind rated doors, in many cases, the cost difference is negligible.

Not wind rated? Here is a suggestion from the U.S. Government:


Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, the wind may force it out of the roller track — especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails.

To secure your garage door:

  • Check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area.
  • Check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for bracing garage doors.

You should probably reinforce your double-wide garage door at its weakest points. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door.

If you decide to retrofit your garage door with a kit that allows you to operate the door after it is installed, make sure the door is balanced by lowering it about halfway and letting go. If the door goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.

If you are unable to retrofit your garage door with a kit specifically designed for your door, you can purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store. Also, check to see if the supplier can do the installation.