Tag Archives: workshop

A Workshop, A Sliding Door, and A Metal Gauge of a Beverage Can

This Monday the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about a new a heated floor in a new workshop, adding a large sliding door to a building, and the metal gauge of a beverage can.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello, New fan of your site 🙂   We are designing a 40×80 pole building workshop for heavy equipment, with radiant in-floor heating.  Contractors want to use rigid foam board under the concrete, we are concerned about crushing under the weight of equipment, and then the concrete cracking.  What do you suggest?

Thank you, AL and LORI in COLUMBUS


DEAR AL AND LORI: Welcome, I am hopeful you have gained some information of value. Your 40 x 80 pole building workshop would be very happy as a new Hansen Pole Building.

Your concrete contractor is correct you will want to install XPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam sheets over your vapor barrier (and below concrete). You can specify a product’s compressive strength, but it appears even standard 25 psi should be adequate.

Although I have not tried it myself, I have read of others who have had two to four inches of closed cell spray foam applied directly over their prepared site. This would both act as a vapor barrier and as under floor insulation.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How much does a 20 foot wide x 13 foot high metal single sliding door with track and hardware cost installed in zip 51561 CHARLEY in PACIFIC JUNCTION

CHARLEY: We are not building contractors, so would have no idea. You might try contacting the Pro Desk of your local The Home Depot® to see if they could recommend a contractor who could tackle your project.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What gauge metal is the wall of an aluminum beer can or Coke can? How many millimeters thick is it? LETITIA in ONEONTA

DEAR LETITIA: My now adult children have accused me of being a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things of worthless trivia. It just so happens I have written an article on this very subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/05/steel-thickness-2/


Give Your Hobby a Home with These Custom Workshop Ideas

Customizable Workshop for Large HobbiesMaybe you have a hobby that’s outgrown its current space. Or your family has been telling you they’re tired of hearing power tools running in the garage. Maybe you just need a place to work that’s free of distractions. Whatever the case, it’s time to build a custom workshop.

You can create a backyard workshop for any number of activities. You might use a hobby workshop for:

  • Woodworking: If the sounds of sawing and hammering in the garage is driving your family up the wall, a custom workshop can give you a place to work without disrupting the rest of the household.
  • Welding: A cramped garage may not be the best place to use a blow torch, but a detached workshop is ideal for a welding hobbyist.
  • Car Repair: You can easily customize a workshop to be large enough for several vehicles, a car lift, a work bench, and your tools.
  • Home Brewing: If you’re tired of keeping your home brewing supplies in the bathroom or a guest bedroom, a workshop can provide much-needed additional storage space.
  • A Writer’s Retreat: With the right insulation, you can create a comfortable, quiet sanctuary to work on your novel or freelance writing projects.
  • An Art Studio: No matter what medium you prefer, a detached workshop provides enough space to work on your art.
  • A Man Cave: Maybe you just want a space where you can relax and hang out with friends. A detached workshop is great for that too!


Building a Workshop Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Two major hang-ups that some people have when they consider building a workshop are cost and labor. After all, isn’t any major construction project going to require a considerable investment of time and money?

Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case with custom built workshops. By choosing a prefabricated steel workshop, you can considerably reduce material costs without sacrificing quality. Prefab workshops are also relatively fast and easy to install, so you can turn your workshop construction into a DIY project and cut down on labor costs.

When you work with Hansen Pole Buildings, you can submit a design for your dream pole barn workshop, and we’ll create a pole building kit with detailed instructions for installation. That way, you’ll be able to get a detached workshop that meets all your needs without getting wrapped up in an overly expensive home construction project.

If you’re ready to have your own custom-built workshop, call us at 1-866-200-9657 or click here for a quote.

Is There a Pole Barn Tax Deduction?

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: Is there favorable tax treatment for a pole barn built in 2014 for use in a construction business (similar to that for agricultural buildings, per your 12/21/11 post)? HAVEN IN HERBSTER

DEAR HAVEN: The Federal and State tax codes have become increasing complex, in recent years. At the close of 2013, the Federal tax code alone amounted to 73,954 pages! (It was 8,200 pages in 1945 and 26,300 in 1984) There are no special tax breaks which we are aware of as a pole barn tax deduction.  However you should consult with your tax adviser, as they should be up on all of the latest tax rulings.

There was a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings which save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building which meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting any one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These tax deductions were available for systems placed in service from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013, so your building would not be eligible. Sorry – I don’t currently know of any but ask your tax advisor for the latest on a pole barn tax deduction.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We just moved in to a place that has a 20 x 20 pole building. It was used it for horses but I want a workshop there instead. There is an opening at the rear of the building that measures 5 ft. wide and 8 ft. tall.  Should I: A take 3-20 ft panels and just wall it in or, B… put another door there? All I need is a 8 foot tall by 5 foot roll up door and that is all! Thanks for your input. NEARLY NEW

DEAR NEARLY: A five foot wide by eight foot tall overhead or coil door is going to be a special order due to the width being less than eight feet. Unless you have a need for a door of this size, at this location, you would be economically ahead to close the opening in. If the building is very old, you may want to just order new steel for the entire wall, so the color is all uniform – as paint fades.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, I was wondering if you have any electronic brochures that you could email with pricing.  When I click on your residential link it shows a small picture of a Cape Cod style home with a garage.  We got pricing from another pole building company and they were very pricey!  We are looking for at least 4 bedrooms.  We like a craftsman style look.  Any assistance would be great!

Thank you for your time HOTMAIL HOUSING

DEAR HOTMAIL: We have brochures which are downloadable on our website at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/product-guide.php

In order to print our pricing, onto 8-1/2″ x 11″ pages, they would more than fill up a semi-trailer – so probably not the best way to start! All of our buildings are custom designed, so your choices are almost limitless….and pricing varies from state to state mostly because of changes in wind and snow loads.

What IS the best way, is to find an existing house plan you like – from any website, then send us the link, or scan and email to us. One of our Building Designers can work with you to determine the best combination of features and make changes which you desire, and get the project scaled properly to a price which is within your budget. I believe our price will beat any other for same size and features, and comes with your own personal designer to help you. The entire quote process and design time – is FREE.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Dear Guru: Should I Add Trusses?

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: I had a 40×90 pole barn built by Pekul Buildings in 2007 with the intention of being cold storage only. The 40′ trusses are 4/12 pitch and on 9′ centers. I think the trusses were made by Midwest Manufacturing, and I can see a stamp on them stating 30/4/1 rating for 9′ spacing. I found their truss drawings on the Menards website and see a note stating essentially no additional bottom chord loading is allowed.

Now I would like to convert one end section of it into a 40×36 workshop with steel liner paneling and insulate it with polystyrene sheet insulation… I know I should have anticipated this before it was constructed, but my situation changed and long story short now I need a workshop of my own…

The 1 PSF bottom chord loading concerns me as I would like to hang a metal ceiling and put polystyrene sheet insulation on top of that ceiling. What are my options? I had a thought (but it might not be a good one) of adding 5 additional trusses to support the workshop ceiling. The same trusses would have a 30/4/5 load rating if they were on 8′ centers or a 50/4/5 load rating if on 4′ centers. Maybe I could attach the additional trusses to the other side of the existing posts instead of bridging between posts or adding additional posts. Is this a realistic option or is there a better one? I prefer to maintain the clear span without adding any center posts (obstacles).

Your input is greatly appreciated, as you clearly are the pole barn guru!


DEAR MINDFUL: Thank you for your kind words!

Re-purposing pole buildings happens a lot, you will not be the first, nor the last to deal with issues of wanting to finish a ceiling in a building which was not designed to support one.

The first place I would start would be to contact Midwest Manufacturing and inquire about a repair which would allow for an increase in the bottom chord dead load to 5 pounds per square foot, from 1. More often than not, this is the least expensive solution.

While trying to add another truss to the opposite side of the columns, or in between the existing columns might be a solution, it is going to come with expense, lots of work to get them in place inside your building, and a fair amount of mental frustration.

Interior columns are not going to be a viable solution – your existing trusses are designed to clearspan, placing a column beneath them is going to entirely changing the load paths within the trusses and could cause a failure.

As a loyal reader, you know I am not a huge fan of steel liner panels for ceilings. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/08/steel-liner-panels/

If it works for you and meets your needs, wonderful.

For ease of installation, lowest cost and overall best performance, I would encourage you to look at blown in insulation.

No matter which path you ultimately follow, if you create a dead attic space, be sure to adequately ventilate.


Mike the Pole Barn Guru

and a followup from Mindful…

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thank you for taking the time to reply, and so soon!

I sent an inquiry to Midwest Manufacturing and we will see how/when they reply.

I do have the ability and equipment to install additional trusses inside this building,  as I do some pretty complicated and technical construction work.  I also have a mechanical engineering background.  Just not sure if it is the best option for supporting a ceiling.

I am not against the echo effect of steel liner panels, and do admire their lighter weight and easier cleaning.  I plan on using the workshop for my automotive hobby work and occasional welding/fabricating.  I also plan on heating it intermittently to prevent condensation.

I am leaning towards using polystyrene sheets for insulation as I have a good source for free surplus material up to 8″ thick.  Free is good if it will work!

The building already has eave and ridge ventilation.

Condensation on the bottom of the roof tin is another issue.  I was misled by the builder as they said the eave and ridge vents would prevent this.  I am unsure of what can be done besides spraying insulation against that surface.  I have seen roof panels rust completely through (from the bottom side up) on a metal frame building with foil faced fiberglass insulation and heat, and do not want that problem with mine.

Thank you again for the fast response.  Your problem solving contributions make this world a better place.  I do the same automotive-wise for others. MINDFUL IN MUKWONAGO

DEAR MINDFUL: Thank you very much again – it really is about paying it forward.

Hopefully a truss repair will be the easiest solution.

If you do decide to add trusses, they should be directly attached to the existing ones – not on the opposite side of the column. None of the existing trusses is designed to be able to support a ceiling load, so the new ones would need to do all of the ceiling load carrying work.

If you do not have a good vapor barrier under your concrete floor, heating will actually ADD to the condensation problems, as it will cause moisture to rise through your slab. If you do not have a vapor barrier under the floor, then a good sealant should be added to the top of the slab and you may need to add ventilation.

There do exist some builders who either are lazy, or just do not have the knowledge to understand what the cause of condensation is. Eave and ridge vents alone do not normally prevent condensation problems. Pretty much your choices now are going to be spray foam, or to remove the roof steel, apply reflective insulation, and reinstall the steel.
Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I added a pole structure 30 x 32 (ready for trusses) to an existing 40 x 30 pole barn. It is square to the back of the building but it is out of square by two and three-quarter inches from the front of the structure. (hindsight is 20/20) I should’ve run a string from the front of the building, looking for solutions other than excavating around the posts and re squaring. OH NO IN ORCHARD PARK

DEAR OH NO: Whether you do or do not have a serious challenge depends upon where the “out of square” is occurring. Pole buildings can be very forgiving and can hide a plethora of oops!

What is important is the ability to have the roof planes square, and the columns on each wall in a straight line. If those two things can occur, then the rest can be worked around.

This is where it really helps to be able to work from a building kit which has explicit written assembly instructions, including diagrams and photos. You should make sure to refer to the ones you received with your building often as you continue on your installation.

As you do not yet have the trusses placed, there is plenty of time to be able to adjust things at the eave line so the width and length measures are 30 and 32 feet from outside of column to outside of column (assuming you set your columns to approximately these measures – some people hold their columns in 1-1/2” resulting in added work and cutting).

With the width and length measures adjusted to “right on” (is necessary), square up the diagonals of the corner columns and brace them so they stay securely in place while trusses and purlins are installed. Take caution to insure the roof does not grow or shrink while placing purlins.

Prior to installing reflective roof insulation and steel over the purlins, square up each roof plane – if you have followed my advice, this should be fairly easy. With the roof now square and the columns basically in a straight line at the ground, install the balance of the wall framing.

With the “unsquareness” you originally reported, there is a good chance one of your corner columns is not going to be plumb. This will not be the end of life as you know it – just run the steel panels on the wall to plumb and the differences can be hidden behind corner trims. The worst thing is – someone who is really looking will be able to tell the corner trim does not exactly parallel the steel ribs.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru