Pole Barn Tips

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I think I'm going to make a pole barn of 8' x 12' or maybe 16' for an animal shelter (dirt floor is good).
Can you point me to some online or hardcopy reference materials? A $20 book is fine.
What are the main advantages of foundation buildings over pole barn buildings? Why aren't PBs more common?
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Some, depending on design, may be either more suited to the climate or purpose.

They are far more common than you realize. They just don't even resemble what you think is a pole building any more. Offices, garages, workshops, ministorage, the list goes on. Have a look at a majo manufacturer's web site, like Morton Buildings in the midwest. HTH
Joe
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coloradotrout wrote:

They are common. Just about every commercial structure you see, every strip mall and office building is a pole barn. Except the poles are steel.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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BTW, I'd prefer a pole (post and beam) building over load bearing walls, anytime, for a utility building.
You can more easily modify the structure. Once the poles and roof trusses are up, that's it. There nothing else needed for structural support. You can do anything inside without worrying about what's bearing the load. You can also trenches for cables without worrying about crossing footings.
You can build and remove interior or exterior walls anytime you like, for whatever purpose. Want another garage door, fine, tear the wall out and put one in. As long as you don't cut that green post, you're good. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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You may be able to get free utility poles from the power company. I got some free ones here. I built a 24' X 48' pole barn using free treated railroad ties which were new. I used trusses and put on a metal roof. I strung a 5/8 steel cable and pulley between 2 trees and used a tractor to pull up the trusses. When you get old you have to work smarter not harder. Virgle
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So could I build a 8' x 16' x 8' sloping to 7' pole barn using 4x4 posts (6 of them - a pair on the ends, a pair in the middle) and then wrap it with 2x4s space 2' apart for the walls and then three 2x4s to hold up 16' 2x4s for the roof?
Where do I get some guidance on pole spacing, wall support, roof support, etc?
My 1st PB will be a simple animal shelter. I live in NE KS, so not sure about snow load, and not worried about code.
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Just off hand, it might be cheaper and easier to buy one of those pre-fab sheds. They are basically trusses the shape oh a shed. You stand them up on concrete blocks, run stringers along to hold the up and attach them to each other. Side it, shingle it, doors, done.
A couple guys can do it in a day. No waiting for concrete to cure. You might get some "crawling" in the freeze and thaw, but it's just a shed.
--

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16 foot 2x4s for the roof! Even from their own weight these will start to sag quickly, not counting wind load, any possible snow load and rain. Don't use 2x4s for any horizontal loading, even if you are crossing the 8' dimension, go larger or create a peaked roof with a homebuilt truss using the 2x4s.
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We have a small barn on this site - maybe 600' under it...
Front half is a room - windows... - back is covered equipment or storage area. Roof is metal 'tin' - second or n hand.
Underneath this metal is 2x4. Rafter breakage is common. Knots fall out and board breaks. They have to be replaced and new metal one of these days. It won't be easy since the building has been there for years and not built well - pier and beam of questionable design. Should replace it with a new metal building.
So 2x4 rafter - won't last. Use 2x8 minimum or 2x10. Or more poles.
Martin
EXT wrote:

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So how many woodworkers built their shop from a pole barn?
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On Mon, 2 Mar 2009 16:19:55 -0800 (PST), coloradotrout

I replaced my old garage with a new pole building, 30x30', which is now my shop.
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I assume PT for all the wood that touches the soil, but can standard 2x's be used everwhere else?
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I assume PT for all the wood that touches the soil, but can standard 2x's be used everwhere else?
Man, you need a book or, at the very least, a manual from one of the steel building companies to get some advice. Piece-mealing it with bits of info garnered here may leave you open to the one little bit that never got mentioned. Sometime the manuals and sales materials give you enough to go on to at least know what questions to ask. Oh yea, check a libray for "Steel Building Construction" and "Post and Beam Construcion" (if anybody else knows another title please chip in).
Also, I know that you want to keep it simple with a dirt floor but you are looking at a future building that you can scarcely stand to go into. Animal urine and fecal deposits eventually contaminate the soil and it becomes permanently fouled. I worked in a railroad car repair shop and the standard urinal was under an open canopy back in a corner. It was so foul that it was barely a useable structure even with the air freely moving through.
I hope that it all works out for you. Best of luck. Chuck
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Check with the county farm agent. They likely have a small pamphlet or manual. A&M type universities across the states generate documents and run tests for improved farm stuff from trees to ice-cream.
Martin
C & E wrote:

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coloradotrout wrote:

You might want to browse here:
http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/extension/extpubs/planlist97.htm
Pole buildings are common in my part of the country. I provided the heating panels for this one:
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
and if you click on the photo you can see some construction photos.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Do a web search for: shed plans extension and look at any address that contains "ag" and/or "edu". Tennessee and North Dakota show up early, but there are others too. Many of these are the same ones, but there are some that are unique on each site. Most of the free plans out there, and even some of the "for pay" ones are just these same ones anyway. http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/extension/extpubs/planlist97.htm#General%20Barn%20and%20Utility%20Shed%20Plans http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/abeng/plans/index.htm
Study a bunch of the different sheds, barns, stalls, and miscellaneous outbuildings and you will either see something you can use directly or get enough of a feel for the style and details to make what you want.
Also if you look at the tractorbynet.com forums under "projects" and search for "pole barn" there is quite a bit there.
You say this is for animals, if this is going to hold horses or cows, make it sturdier than you think it needs to be--a ton of animal using it like a scratching post can be pretty hard on it.
--Glenn Lyford
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GOOGLE "Free Pole Barn Plans," "Pole Barn Construction," "Building a Pole Barn" or even "Building an 8x16 animal shelter."
Having said that, consider the advice relative to pouring a slab. Consider that your intended use, today, may not suit you down the road and the effort of building a 128sf structure with limited uses might be better applied to building something that can serve the immediate need and be pressed into other service(s) subsequently as circumstances change (as I've heard they do).
In our case, I took a ten by twenty shed roof pole barn to 18.5 x 32 feet by adding a slab and stud walls and a sloping roof addition into a barn that serves as a workshop and equipment (tractor, etc) storage and would up removing a pole (may remove a couple others that are, now, in the way - middle). When I get done, I'll have a fully insulated structure with 220 AC that can keep goats, tractors and table saws high, dry and out of the weather.
We saved all the old barn siding, sheathed the thing in OSB covered with roofing felt and TYVEK and put the old bar siding back over that so it still looks like the fifty-year old structure the Tax Man saw last year. (which reminds me - portable shelters are not added to your tax base so one of those Tractor Supply shelters might do you as well (save the Snow Load issues, of course).
Whatever floats your boat - do they have boats in Kansas?
(;
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On Tue, 3 Mar 2009 07:42:15 -0800 (PST), Hoosierpopi
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Stone boats
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I looked at Building Small Barnes, Sheds& Shelters by Monte Burch. We used 6x6 pressure treated to hold non-kicking horses. We used 2x6 for girts. 2x8 for rafters. What size you need to use depends on what livestock you are keeping. Rats and mice will do ok with 4x4 and 2x4. Horses and cows can trash 6x6 and 2x6. The 3/4 plywood we used to line the stall walss could be dicey for kicking horses. Your local AG office may have ideas.
On Mon, 2 Mar 2009 12:35:56 -0800 (PST), coloradotrout

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