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Old 09-23-2016, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pole barn style garage questions

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We're wanting to build a new garage that's roughly 24x32. It will be primarily for parking daily drivers, the motorcycle(s) and storing recreational equipment (bikes, kayaks, etc.). I have almost no permitting that has to be done to build in my township. I don't have enough cash up front to build the entire thing and pour concrete. I do have a chunk of cash, but I'm also cheap and really capable of building shit.

So here's my questions:

Is it ok to build the building and pour concrete later? (I know it's not ideal, but freaking concrete is a lot of $$$; would ease the hit and spread it out)


Is it plausible for me to just build the roof portion now and enclose it in the spring? (I could spray some paint on any exposed lumber just to protect it temporarily if need be) Would give us ability to park under for the winter for now and me not be rushed to finish a WHOLE building before winter.


Is it plausible to just build the damn thing myself? As in not buy a kit? Kit's are fine and all, but I've heard mixed feelings about material quality, etc. with a kit. Also, I could this way just buy what I needed for the poles and roof for now and purchase the rest later. Between myself and my family I really believe we're more than capable of figuring out what we'd need and how to build it after looking at how others have been built and looking at plans found online. (poles, 2x12's, truss's, purlins, metal roof panels and fasteners right? WTF else is there to it?)

Soon as I finish my front porch this weekend, this is the next big ticket on our list and I think there's still enough time to knock something out before winter. I'll rent whatever the proper tools/equipment are if we don't already have it. Just thinking out loud here and if it's a yes to the above questions then that is my ideal situation.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would probably do posts and a roof first.

Rather than setting wooden posts below grade, look at wet-set column anchors that you can either set in individual footings, or directly into the slab.

My Dad built a 20x24ish one ~30+ years ago. 6x6 wooden posts, custom built concrete anchors wet-set in slab, flat roof using full span of longest 2x12's he could get. Still standing in good shape... I think one or 2 posts have been changed (split/rot), and the roof replaced once. Never got enclosed though.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No problem at all waiting on concrete. I built my pole barn last spring/summer, and poured the floor this spring. Only issue I had was a lot of condensation inside coming up through the gravel, that caused a lot of equipment I had in there to rust. But my building was complete otherwise (walls, insulated doors, insulation in walls, etc), so that probably didn't help. I'd recommend looking into permacolumns as well. They add about $100 per post, but the bottom 5' is cast concrete, so no wood is ever in the ground.

I personally wouldn't like having all the non-treated lumber exposed to the elements over winter, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything. Trusses would be the worst part, but they'd be covered by a roof so would be fine. I'd make sure to do everything except the metal though (put on all the girts) to help keep the posts from twisting. Don't just put up the posts and the roof.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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By posts and roof only, I still meant to include adequate post/beam bracing. Up to you if you want that permanent, or replace it as you fill in the walls.


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Originally Posted by cj7jeep81 View Post

I personally wouldn't like having all the non-treated lumber exposed to the elements over winter, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything. Trusses would be the worst part, but they'd be covered by a roof so would be fine.
My shop has raw lumber posts too... I hit them with copper naphthanate after the fact. Seems to be keeping the mold/fungus away.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No problem at all waiting on concrete. I built my pole barn last spring/summer, and poured the floor this spring. Only issue I had was a lot of condensation inside coming up through the gravel, that caused a lot of equipment I had in there to rust. But my building was complete otherwise (walls, insulated doors, insulation in walls, etc), so that probably didn't help. I'd recommend looking into permacolumns as well. They add about $100 per post, but the bottom 5' is cast concrete, so no wood is ever in the ground.
You might put a vapor barrier under the gravel to help with that...

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I personally wouldn't like having all the non-treated lumber exposed to the elements over winter, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything. Trusses would be the worst part, but they'd be covered by a roof so would be fine. I'd make sure to do everything except the metal though (put on all the girts) to help keep the posts from twisting. Don't just put up the posts and the roof.
I would put walls on (even if you leave the doors as holes) just to reduce the amount of rain/snow, but we have a fair amount of snow here in the winter.

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Old 09-24-2016, 01:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Since you mention no real inspections, can you weld pretty thick plate? If so, dig post holes, fill sonotubes, place in your copy of perma-column brackets, erect poles & girders, install trusses, roof, then side and gravel/concrete when you have the money. Leaving non-treated outside isn't ideal, but it won't rot away in a winter.

https://www.permacolumn.com/wet-set-models

These guys have inexpensive kits and will work with you to only buy what you can afford now.

Pole Barns: Nationwide Pole Barn Construction
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Putting wood posts in the ground is economically short sighted. Eventually they will rot and need replacement, something that is basically impossible when you have poured a slab around the posts.

In short a disposable building.

Either build a conventional stick farmed building on a conventional footing or at least perma-columns or drilled pier with wet set perma type connections.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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By the time you set the poles, do the top beams, set the trusses, and put the metal roof on, you realize you will be 85% done anyway right?

All that's left after that is a couple more horizontal runs and some metal on the sides.

And as for the materials, yes, that's about it. But you need to have a set of plans or at least a plan on how your tying it all together.

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Old 09-26-2016, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanni View Post
Putting wood posts in the ground is economically short sighted. Eventually they will rot and need replacement, something that is basically impossible when you have poured a slab around the posts.

In short a disposable building.

Either build a conventional stick farmed building on a conventional footing or at least perma-columns or drilled pier with wet set perma type connections.
I simply do not have the money to go conventional with this. The concrete and foundation work would kill it I'd think. It really just seems like post frame/pole building is more economical as long as proper care is taken in the parts that contact the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tab2 View Post
Since you mention no real inspections, can you weld pretty thick plate? If so, dig post holes, fill sonotubes, place in your copy of perma-column brackets, erect poles & girders, install trusses, roof, then side and gravel/concrete when you have the money. Leaving non-treated outside isn't ideal, but it won't rot away in a winter.

https://www.permacolumn.com/wet-set-models

These guys have inexpensive kits and will work with you to only buy what you can afford now.

Pole Barns: Nationwide Pole Barn Construction
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj7jeep81 View Post
No problem at all waiting on concrete. I built my pole barn last spring/summer, and poured the floor this spring. Only issue I had was a lot of condensation inside coming up through the gravel, that caused a lot of equipment I had in there to rust. But my building was complete otherwise (walls, insulated doors, insulation in walls, etc), so that probably didn't help. I'd recommend looking into permacolumns as well. They add about $100 per post, but the bottom 5' is cast concrete, so no wood is ever in the ground.

I personally wouldn't like having all the non-treated lumber exposed to the elements over winter, but it probably wouldn't hurt anything. Trusses would be the worst part, but they'd be covered by a roof so would be fine. I'd make sure to do everything except the metal though (put on all the girts) to help keep the posts from twisting. Don't just put up the posts and the roof.
Quote:
Originally Posted by u2slow View Post
I would probably do posts and a roof first.

Rather than setting wooden posts below grade, look at wet-set column anchors that you can either set in individual footings, or directly into the slab.

My Dad built a 20x24ish one ~30+ years ago. 6x6 wooden posts, custom built concrete anchors wet-set in slab, flat roof using full span of longest 2x12's he could get. Still standing in good shape... I think one or 2 posts have been changed (split/rot), and the roof replaced once. Never got enclosed though.

Yes I do like the idea of Permacolumns, but damn they're expensive and you need hefty equipment to work with them! I've not ruled them out yet though. I've repaired a garage and build multiple decks/porches using the sonotube/bracket method and it seems to have worked well enough for that so far. You can purchase the brackets for 6x6's and they go roughly 2ft down into the concrete when you pour it. Challenge being you better set them right the first time else you're screwed. This is what I used basically:

Simpson Strong-Tie 4 in. x 6 in. 12-Gauge Standoff Column Base with SDS Screws-CBSQ46-SDS2 - The Home Depot

I know I'm mostly there with the roof and columns up, but it's questionable whether I'd get it done by snow fall or not and I friggin hate doing tedious work out in the cold (siding, trim, etc.). I could easily tie the posts together with some diagonals or the horizontals for rigidity. That would be much issue at all.

Seems like consensus is that I could probably get away winging it on my own plans? I mean I'd work it all out on paper and come up with a materials list and price it, maybe it wouldn't be less idk. I guess when it comes to the trim and doors etc. the kits would be worth it vs my time trying to gather all that.

Last edited by three60fish; 09-26-2016 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by three60fish View Post

Simpson Strong-Tie 4 in. x 6 in. 12-Gauge Standoff Column Base with SDS Screws-CBSQ46-SDS2 - The Home Depot

.....

Seems like consensus is that I could probably get away winging it on my own plans? I mean I'd work it all out on paper and come up with a materials list and price it, maybe it wouldn't be less idk. I guess when it comes to the trim and doors etc. the kits would be worth it vs my time trying to gather all that.
Pole barns use the poles planted in the ground to make a moment resistant connection for lateral loads.

A properly sized and spaced perma column can accomplish the same.
That Simpson connector is not a moment resistant connection and using them instead of the proper ones would lead to a structural collapse.

Post bases do not provide adequate resistance to prevent members from rotating about the base and therefore are not recommended for non-top-supported installations (such as fences or unbraced carports).
^ from Simpson's website.

You shouldn't be winging anything on a structure. It needs to be built for the snow, wind and earthquake loads it may see.

If you build a conventional structure with a footing and stemwall the interior slab can be poured later.
Also the building code has a prescriptive section (cookbook) for such buildings so a reasonably competent builder can design it themselves.

Lastly and it isn't just you, but I see lots of guys with toys, MCs, rec vehicles, boats, etc that want to only build a low cost and low lifespan structure (yes they go together) and don't have the money to build anything better.
To me you have your priorities mixed up.
All the toys plummet in value, whereas a well built building goes up in value about in pace with inflation (location of course).
A poorly built building has low value and eventually will have negative value because someone has to tear it down and haul it away.

You aren't going to acquire any wealth in life by constantly purchasing plummeting assets.

Last edited by juanni; 09-26-2016 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Lastly and it isn't just you, but I see lots of guys with toys, MCs, rec vehicles, boats, etc that want to only build a low cost and low lifespan structure (yes they go together) and don't have the money to build anything better.
To me you have your priorities mixed up.
All the toys plummet in value, whereas a well built building goes up in value about in pace with inflation (location of course).
A poorly built building has low value and eventually will have negative value because someone has to tear it down and haul it away.
Not to mention when it falls on all your junk in a wind or snowstorm that it is a real bummer.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanni View Post
Pole barns use the poles planted in the ground to make a moment resistant connection for lateral loads.

A properly sized and spaced perma column can accomplish the same.
That Simpson connector is not a moment resistant connection and using them instead of the proper ones would lead to a structural collapse.

Post bases do not provide adequate resistance to prevent members from rotating about the base and therefore are not recommended for non-top-supported installations (such as fences or unbraced carports).
^ from Simpson's website.

You shouldn't be winging anything on a structure. It needs to be built for the snow, wind and earthquake loads it may see.

If you build a conventional structure with a footing and stemwall the interior slab can be poured later.
Also the building code has a prescriptive section (cookbook) for such buildings so a reasonably competent builder can design it themselves.

Lastly and it isn't just you, but I see lots of guys with toys, MCs, rec vehicles, boats, etc that want to only build a low cost and low lifespan structure (yes they go together) and don't have the money to build anything better.
To me you have your priorities mixed up.
All the toys plummet in value, whereas a well built building goes up in value about in pace with inflation (location of course).
A poorly built building has low value and eventually will have negative value because someone has to tear it down and haul it away.

You aren't going to acquire any wealth in life by constantly purchasing plummeting assets.

Ok, I see what you're saying. So the Simpson system isn't appropriate for that type of structure; noted.

I still believe that a pole construction garage is the way to go for us. I know I can set it up myself and that ability is of value to me. I don't see why a pole structure is that much less valuable than traditionally constructed garages. In my area, Northern Ohio and my community specifically, I would wager that there are more detached garages built pole frame style than there are traditional construction. Blah blah if everyone jumped off a bridge I wouldn't necessarily jump with them, but most of these structures have been around as long as I can remember. I had a traditionally built garage at my old house and the cement was cracking which led to the whole garage beginning to shift and move. Perhaps it wasn't setup properly, but I don't like that the only real fix for that was rebuilding the majority of the garage since the slabs and walls were moving. I feel that with post frame I can more easily repair if necessary without major project.

Again, I also feel that I can fully and more easily construct the post frame garage myself where what I want would not only take me less time, but also be more simple for me to do vs traditional construction. I've looked at plenty of the pole barns built on here and plenty in person and I just don't see anything complicated in their construction. Aside from ensuring things are lined up and square and taking your time with those aspects there's nothing else involved in them that's complex; at least from what I can see.

Let me adjust what I said before. I do want to save money and not spend money on something I either don't need or can do myself. I don't want to skimp on the construction. I do believe in doing things properly, but I don't want to do more than is necessary. If I can't use the Simpson units, which you pointed out a part I missed: Thank you, I would prefer to use the permacolumns as I feel it would be better to keep the post out of the ground if possible.

I guess I didn't necessarily mean half ass when I said wing it. I just meant that I could do the materials list and sketch up the structure and plan myself rather than paying for a kit, but when it comes to the finishing aspects I'm leaning more towards that kit as I feel it will be more difficult to put together all the little items necessary.

I don't need a fancy garage, I just need a place that's dry, secure and will last. I understand the toys will come and go. Where my house is and what it is doesn't dictate anything fancy. Plenty of homes out here have pole barns and they do increase their value. Part of the long term is maintaining what you have as well. I don't believe that a traditionally constructed garage will have any too much different effect on my property value than a post frame.

Last edited by three60fish; 09-27-2016 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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IMO, a big part of the longevity of a pole barn is having it on a well drained spot so that the poles don't sit in the water all the time.
The guys who put up my barn said that they use both regular posts and what I would assume is the same as the "permacolumns" (the ones on the trailer for the next job looked like permacolumns).
They said that they use them on occasion, but they haven't found them necessary unless you have standing water in the post holes.

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Old 09-27-2016, 11:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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IMO, a big part of the longevity of a pole barn is having it on a well drained spot so that the poles don't sit in the water all the time.
The guys who put up my barn said that they use both regular posts and what I would assume is the same as the "permacolumns" (the ones on the trailer for the next job looked like permacolumns).
They said that they use them on occasion, but they haven't found them necessary unless you have standing water in the post holes.

Aaron Z
Agreed. Treated posts will MOST LIKELY live longer than you, but your offspring will MOST LIKELY have to do something about it. Or don't put them in the ground and it last a few generations.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't have standing water, but our area tends to be fairly wet. There's not usually standing water in the spot that the garage will go, but I'd be concerned as to what was going on in the holes after its built that I couldn't see. Perhaps I'm just more paranoid than necessary. If I could swing the permacolumns I'd be inclined to use them.

Anyone used the post treatments? I know typically the issues are where the posts meet the ground, but I know there's sealants and plastic sleeve things for the posts to be in as well. What about packing the posts with screenings type material? (stuff used for patio base)
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The bottom line with putting wood posts in the ground is one day, sooner or later they rot and need replacement.

In a barn with a dirt or gravel floor, no ceiling etc, changing out those rotted posts isn't a huge deal.
Or sistering another along side it.

But in a garage with a concrete slab, insulation, sheeting, wiring and all the rest .... it is time to get out the jackhammer and at that point with chopping holes in the slab every 6-8 ft so you might as well take out the slab.
How are you going to remove a post and install a new one down a 6x6 or 8x8 square hole in the slab?

There are going to be a lot of guys kicking themselves in the ass, or pissed at the guy that built the barn before them who saved a few nickles and put wood in the ground.

Last edited by juanni; 09-27-2016 at 10:22 PM.
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