When considering a new building, many wonder what is better; convention stick build or a post-frame, or pole barn construction. Many consider pole frame construction to be easier, stronger, faster, and cheaper. And when planning your building, what more could you ask for?
Here are some facts to convince consumers:
Foundation costs usually exceed 15% of the total cost of construction for typical single story construction. Pole buildings use posts as the framing member. The strength of posts buried 4 to 6 feet deep provide excellent lateral and vertical bearing strength.
Rather than pouring huge amounts of concrete accompanied by a large excavation project, the foundation for pole buildings can simply be the holes that are drilled using a power auger, with posts supported by footers, and a dirt backfill. Optionally, a floating slab can be poured using the grade boards as forms to provide a 4″-6″ slab for a garage or workshop.
Properly engineered pole barns often include wide truss spacing compared to stick built structures. With proper truss design, bracing, and connection details, trusses can span 8′ and further and support heavy snow loads and 3 second wind gust conditions.
The cost savings for wide span buildings that are extremely long is significant.
For areas that are not flat, a conventional foundation would require earth moving and grading to level the site. Pole buildings require less site preparation than other forms of construction.
Rather than waste a prime location for your new building because of excavation issues, instead build a pole building in a less desirable area since site contours are in some cases acceptable for certain pole barn uses.
Your pole barn can be fully framed to look just like conventional construction or be an open air barn with minimal finishing costs. Walls are non load bearing using pole construction methods. The poles support the weight of the building. Non load bearing walls also lower framing costs too.
Post frame buildings have fewer thermal breaks than conventional construction. Posts on 8′ or greater centers can be insulated better than a stick frame building with studs 16″ or 24″ on center.
A properly designed and constructed pole building can handle weather that would destroy conventional structures. A post embedded in the earth transmits lateral forces (wind loading) on the walls directly into the ground.
Structures supported by poles do not tend to collapse during a fire like conventional wood framing on foundations do.
Post frame construction is ideal for dozens of building types including:
– Utility buildings
– RV Shelter
– Strip Malls
– Retail Stores
– Aircraft Hangars
– Office Buildings
– Vacation Homes
It is a good rule of thumb to check with your local zoning department and to get a building permit prior to planning your construction project.