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Any pole barn builders here?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by curtis, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Anyone here ever built a pole barn or had someone build it for them? I have the materials ordered for a 14'x20' with 10' walls, 1 8x7 garage door and one service door. metal sides and shingle roof. I thought that i would just put it up myself but now im thinking maybe it would be easier just to have someone build it for me. What should i expect to pay for it being built? I have the excavation work done and all they would have to do is erect the building, no finishing of the inside. Also if you guys know anyone in Northern Michigan that does this kind of work let me know, Im located in Boyne City.

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  2. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    When i was younger i helped dad build one. They're really not hard to build. Very basic construction. Hardest parts being excavation, placing trusses and pouring concrete.
    As far as cost goes, I'm not sure. A small to mid sized barn could probably go up in a weekend though.
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    We have a lot of Amish carpenters around here who will put up a pole barn in a day for pretty reasonable prices. Since it is basically down to labor costs given that you already have the materials, I would expect that to vary pretty widely by locality.

    That's not a big building to frame up, I'm guessing you will only have 11 post holes to dig, and the metal siding should go up pretty quick given that you only have 2 doors and no windows.

    The shingle roof will probably be the single most labor intensive thing. Might consider doing that yourself to save some dough. Just get some paper down and it will be fine for long enough to shingle it.

    Are you pouring a floor? That's about 3.5 yards of concrete, which is not a big job, but big enough that you would want to rent a power trowel. If you ever plan on insulating it and heating it I would consider putting down some XPS under the slab and along the perimeter.

    Is all your fascia and soffit pre-cut and pre-broke too? If so that's an easy job.

    What I'm getting at, is break down all the different things and hire out what makes the most sense....which may be all or none of it.
  4. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Yes it would be easier, but if you break it down into smaller steps you can do it yourself. They go up fairly easy. Then when you are done you can stand back and admire your work.
  5. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Heres the deal with the floor. Two years ago I poured a 8'x16' 4'' pad and what im planning on doing is putting my pole barn with that slab centered inside. That way all I will have to do is pour 3' on the sides and 2' wide in the front and back. I am going to insulated the barn but the only heat that it will recieve will be heat coming off of the boiler.
    I would really like to build it myself if i can, I just would like to have someone who has done it before to help me. I went to homedepot and lowes last night to see if they had any "how-to" books but all they had where conventional framing books.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I built one within the last two years. I did it all myself except had help finishing the concrete, setting trusses, roofing, and anything else that needed a second guy on the other end. Pole barns are easy and I did some nerdy things that I think make it better. I have 2 foot eaves all around and composition roof to match the house, 2" foam insulation under the slab plus 1800 feet of pex radiant tubes in the slab, tyvek hosue wrap between the metal siding and the wood, etc.

    I would have hired it out but the total price was always at least double the price that I could do it for. I had three bids.

    The hardest part was tipping the posts into the holes. The holes were 4 feet deep and the poles were 20 feet long true 6x8s slopping wet with fresh preservative.
    PapaDave likes this.
  7. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    It's probably to late to change the roof to metal, but do it if you can. I've changed every shingle roof I have to metal. My roofs are both high pitch and low pitch. I've found that asphalt shingles may at best have a 15yr. usable life. I've had inexpensive and expensive shingles and 15 yrs. is about tops for life.

    My guy down the road built a pole barn about the size of yours. Did most of the work himself and took him about 4 weekends. I helped setting the post and setting the top ledger and truss.
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Built one back in '07, and had someone else do the excavation work.
    I'll give you a heads up.....don't try setting trusses while standing in sand.>>
    Rented a bobcat and auger to do the post holes. I was sick for 2 weeks while all this was going on, but had to be out there to help since I had guys here to help.
    Brother and I set the top ledger, brother and nephew and one other guy helped do the trusses, and I did most everything after that.
  9. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Brother just had one built in early July - 40 x 60 & wished he went bigger.All electrical is in now,has a buried waterline that was added on to the one at the house 300 ft to the east.Floor isn't done yet,he wanted to wait a bit longer since blowing through so much cash on the original project.Eventually will have concrete floor,it will be partitioned off for various uses such as 5th wheel trailer storage,a small workshop,stalls for the 3 horses & other things.His Ford Industrial tractor is already parked inside temporarily.
    PapaDave likes this.
  10. curtis

    curtis Member

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    How critical is it to get the poles buried the same depth? I have to have them 48'' down and sitting on 8'' of concrete so i have to drill holes 56'' deep. If the ground isnt perfectly level than it seems that your poles will be at different depths?
  11. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    My requirement was 42" below grade.
    Each one will be 56" below ground surface at the point of the hole.
    Make sure all the posts are long enough if you have a slope. Low side of the slope needs longer posts.
    Why so deep? I'm in Northern Mi too.
  12. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Heres the county that I live in requirements, http://www.charlevoixcounty.org/downloads/pole_building_specs.pdf
    It says footing depth is min. 48" and that you have to have atleast 8" of concrete. Does that mean 48" to the bottom of the concrete or top?

    As I was typing this I got a call back from the building inspector and he told me that I need a 48" hole and then 8" of concrete and then the pole. So 40" of the pole will be in the ground. That makes it a little easier as I will have a little wiggle room on the length of the poles and will probally end up having to cut a few inches of the top of the pole off.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    First grade the site level. Compact. Then level. Then compact again. Build your pad much bigger than your building, at least a ten foot border around the building.

    Now you have a level pad so you can determine your post length. It's not worth it to try and get too close. I cut a foot off of the top of each pole. Poles are pretty cheap and the difference between an 18 footer and a 20 footer is small enough that it is not worth the risk to try and cut it close.

    I have known men that ended up with a barn slightly taller than planned because after they set the poles they realized that they had an extra 6" of height and didn't want to waste it.

    I used a bobcat mounted hydraulic auger to drill the 30" diameter holes. This is nice because you can reverse the bit. To pour the bottom 8" of concrete I had one of those concrete trucks come out that mixes the concrete from ingredients right there onsite. 4 sticks of rebar in the bottom and then flattened with a rake IMAG0145.jpg IMAG0143.jpg IMAG0146.jpg .
    begreen likes this.
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Highbeam said it better than I.
  15. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Ok, like I said earlier there is a 4" 8x16 slab right where I am building my pole barn. I was out there today and realized that the slab is just a little to low compared to surrounding ground. In the spring and fall water would run on to it. So what I'm thinking is skiming the topsoil off around that slab and then leaving the slab there and bringing in fill sand to build the area up a foot or two. That slab is built on a good sand base therefore I think leaving it there should not be a problem. What do you guys think?
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Slab over slab is fine. We build roads like that sometimes with gravel between. The integrity of your top slab depends on the integrity of the old slab.

    It's not hard to remove a slab. Just in the last two weekends I removed a 12x30' slab where the old barn was in that photo. Concrete was 8-10" thick since the previous owner's dad worked for the concrete company and concrete was cheaper than fill. Rental electric jackhammer and then load the chunks into a stout pickup.

    I'm not a fan of sand for fill. It squirts out.
  17. curtis

    curtis Member

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    I have about 10 yards of sand at my house that I will spread out over the old slab and building site and then figure out how more fill I will need and have some gravel brought in to finish it off. Will a gravel base be good to pour my new slab on?
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Compacted gravel on top of compacted subgrade. Then 6 mil poly, then 2" foam, then pex heatingtubes, then mesh on top of the pex, and then pour slab.

    Sand is for the beach.

    In the photo I had put the mesh beneath the pex, if I could do it over I would have put flipped that to mesh on top. Not rolls of fencing but the 20' long matts of mesh for concrete.

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  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    shop10-22b.jpg Oh and sawcut within 24 hours of the pour. I was amazed at how the sawcuts caused cracks to form in the bottom of each cut instead of randomly in the slab.
  20. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Seems like everyone around my area has told me to use sand under the slab. I think I will use up the sand i have here already to bring it up to level with the rest of the surrounding ground and then maybe 6-12" of gravel on top. I have the 6 mil poly sheeting and since the building wont be heated except for the radiant heat loos from my boiler I wont be putting pex in the concrete or the foam. What do you recommend on the saw cut for my 16x20? Should I cut it into four sections or more?
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    With sand, the poly VB is even more important to keep the concrete wet as long as possible. I did one pour on sand without plastic and the concrete kicked way faster than normal and he got cracks. Not sure if the cracks were from the rapid drying or from the sand. Be sure that the sand is confined and can't squirt out. After you put 6-12" of gravel on top the sand really will be a non-issue, it's just bulk fill at that depth. Regionally, people use sand for odd things.

    With a 16x20 I would not cut it any more than twice so you would end up with 4 sections, each 8x10. 15' is how frequently we cut freeway slabs, so I would not leave the 16' dimension uncut. Rent the walk behind sawcutter that uses water and a diamond blade. Only cut 1.5-2" deep, no need to cut through, you are only trying to create a weak spot. Make the cuts within the first 24 hours of the pour and keep the slab wet for the first week. The poly will help with the moisture.

    Concrete is fun. Even if you don't plan to heat the slab, I would still try and get some insulation in under the slab and on the edges.
  22. curtis

    curtis Member

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    Alright, I have my ground level and compacted and my holes drilled and inspected. Tonite I will mix the concrete and pour it in the holes and let it set up for a day. I have a question on the framing part for you. Where my service door is going to be do you not put the bottom skirt board on in that 3ft section? Or do you figure out floor height and cut a notch out of the top of the skirt board so that it is level with where the top of the concret floor will be? If you guyes have any pictures of framing out the door for me to look at i would appreicate it.
  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    It is easiest to put the board in, then notch it out with a recip saw after the pour and all the other door framing is done.

    Make sure your skirting is adequately supported because concrete is heavy and will bow it out. I usually cut down 2x material into a right angled triangular wedge and drive it into the ground at least 18" deep, with the long flat side of the board butted up against the skirting. Just make sure you get the top of it below the skirting to make screeding easier.
    PapaDave likes this.
  24. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    This is good advice. In the couple I've done you lay out the XPS, then put down the vapor barrier, then lay out your rebar and tie it. You can do VB then XPS too.
  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The bottom board is called a mud girt. It is treated of course. It made perfect sense to me to use the mud girt as a standard, leave in, form board. Top of mud girt is the top of concrete. Use it to screed the concrete and water will run over the mud girt instead of being held in.

    I had to do a little touch up on the actual doorway to make the bottom perfectly level. It's tough to be very accurate when pouring between posts like that.

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