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Ideal Setup For Pole Building Shop/Living Quarters

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Slick85, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    You can put insulation around the edge of your building. The slab gets insulated between the edge and the wall.
    The wall gets insulated. The only thing that does not get insulated is the bottom of the footing.



    Seriously consider 2x6 construction with a monolithic slab or a traditional footing instead of a pole barn shell.

    A Garn would be great for your scenario.

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  2. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    I'm in Southern Indiana. Why wouold you favor 2x6 over pole barn? It seems like it would be substantially more $$. After talking with insurance the rate will be about $400 less if I put the poles around the "living" portion on a footer. The one quote I have so far has that being about $2500 more.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  3. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    There is no question in my mind anymore that a radiant floor, if done correctly, is the most economical way to heat a structure. Sure, that method has some disadvantages such as not being able to quickly change the temperature in the building, but overall I have found no other method of heating that will provide the comfort level and overall long term economy of a radiant slab. These advantages are amplified in the case of any structure with high ceilings....which I would define as anything over 10'.

    The building in the pictures here heated the entire season last year with pellets. The owner went through 7-1/4 tons start to finish which equaled about $1,400 total cost to heat a 6,400 sq ft building. Hot water was provided with a Windhager BioWin260 which is rated at 88,000btu maximum output.......so much for the old rule of thumb assuming 30btu/sq ft........
    Interesting to note that the temperatures at the ceiling in the 16' part run about 3* cooler than the temp at "human height". This is the huge difference between a radiant system and one using forced air heating where you would typically see ceiling temps running 10-15* warmer than at the floor.
    The Windhager sits on the pad where the Central Boiler Maxim used to be. We just connected to the same piping and the owner built " Das Boiler Haus" over it to keep it out of the weather.

    It is typical pole barn construction which yields a wall cavity of about 8". The whole building is blown cellulose with the walls being 8" and he has 14-16" in the ceiling. The center 3,200 sq ft has a 16' ceiling and the lean-to sides are each 1,600 sq ft with 9' ceilings. The entire structure was kept at 65* 24-7.
    The slab edge and the entire floor was done with 2" foam and the slab itself is 6" concrete. As you can see there are pretty substantial door openings so the 8" thick wall insulation only applies to maybe 60% of the total wall area. The overhead doors are all 1-1/2" foam insulated for an actual R-value of maybe 7.5. The North and west walls are mirror image of what you see in the pictures of the East and South so you can get a rough idea of total door and window area.

    Regarding wall insulation, we are seeing a lot of hybrid application being done now. They spray 1' of closed cell foam on the outer wall and then fill the rest of the wall cavity with cellulose. This gives the advantage of total air sealing with the foam and the sound deadening quality of cellulose while keeping total cost reasonable. It's an excellent system and in reality, anything beyond that rapidly reaches the point of diminishing return.
    Windhager pictures 163.JPG Windhager pictures 202.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
    BoilerMan and ewdudley like this.
  4. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    That is a great looking setup! Thanks for sharing.
  5. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    My building is 2X6 stick built 24" on center on top of slab. The cost actually equal to pole building. Especially if you factor in framing to finish exterior walls on a pole building.

    Trusses are lighter weight and 4' on center instead of 8'. This allows the use of steel ceiling without adding any additional framing lumber for nailers. The steel sheeting will span 4'.

    The advantages you have with stick built are;

    1.No wood in the dirt to rot.
    2. Easier to insulate.
    3.Interier finish walls are easy because you don't have to add any additional nailing members.
    If you are going to have finished living space I would consider stick framing instead of pole building.

    gg
  6. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    Goosegunner's reply covered it.

    You have to buy 2x4 girts to finish the interior. Cost winds up similar.

    Find a couple of 20 or 30 year old pole barns in your area owned by friends. Or old decks supported by 4x4s. Get a shovel, dig down a foot or two, and look at the condition of the wood. I have seen too many (including one I previously owned) in poor condition after that time.
  7. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    I understand where you all are coming from. Would it make any sense at all to "stick build" the living portion, then use pole construction for the shop? I know a lot of people are going with a pvc sleeve over the post, or even concrete bases on the posts to prevent any wood to soil contact. Thoughts on that?
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I have a son in law that does that work for a living and thats exactly what he told me, probably should have listened to him, by the time I finish off my pole building the costs will be about the same, if you are not going to finish it off then a pole building makes good sense.
  9. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    the 18,000btu was a little of 4k and the 12,000btu was about 3K. varies a little , depending on install time.

    I got info from mitsu on the watts on the 18,000btu model . 1240watts for cooling and 1540watts for heating @47f outside temp. It goes up to 2620 watts when it's 17f outside temp. A Kwatt up here is about 17cents and hour. So heating in the shoulder season will cost me 25c cents an hour, when it's running? Once it drops below that outside i will be using the gasser. My local utility was offering a $600 rebate to install the hyper units.
  10. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Thanks for the info flyingcow.
  11. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Mitsubishi is the ONLY brand of mini split that we sell any more. Tried LG, Fujitsu(not bad), Sanyo, etc......none of them perform like a Mitsubishi. We put those in, set them up right and never see them again except for cleaning and normal maintenance.
  12. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    That is one sharp looking structure. Then wing bays, two-tone siding, window placement, and wide eaves all work great together.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  13. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I talked to 2 different installers that i highly respect. Both of them voted hands down for the Mitsu. On a very rare occasion if there was ever any issues, customer service was very prompt and resolved the problems quickly.

    Very quiet inside the home, whisper quiet. And units outside, you have to walk over and look at them to see if they're running.
  14. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    That's great to know about the Mitsu units, if we do decide to go that route.

    I called the business that I had do the original quote and asked if they could quote me a price using 2x6s on 24" to see the price difference. He said it should be close. We will see. To give you all an idea, the original quote was just a shade over 50k for a 40x80x16 pole building with 10 ft porch, 12" overhang, framed wall between living area and shop, 10 windows, 3 overhead doors, and 2 man doors. Concrete is also included. I can't remember if that was 4 or 6" concrete, will have to look this evening. How does that sound for price?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  15. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Great advice above on many subjects. Not saying you'll ever sell your place, but if you ever had to and I was a potential buyer, I'd see those poles in the ground and immediately walk away. If you have long term plans for your building (for other than storing tractors) keeping wood that is a primary structure out of the dirt is a priority. I was just like you, planning on buying a Hardy like many of my neighbors until I started doing research here. Take your time in making the BIG decisions and you'll avoid BIG regrets. Marriage, building, business... a poor foundation eventually catches up with you. Best wishes to you and your bride to be.
  16. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    This is interesting, we install Fujitsu, I've heard the Mitsu's are prone to compressor failure? I have no first hand expirence with them. Daikin is also a big player around here, never anything bad about them other than they are $$$$$.

    TS
  17. 700renegade

    700renegade Member

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    I'm biased to what I built, but please consider 2x8 at 24"oc. Mine has 17' sidewalls and I also ran double 2x8's under each truss at 4' oc. You gain two things by going 2x8 - a much stiffer sidewall, and just as important - the ability to stuff another R6 worth of cellulose or fiberglass into the wall cavity. Do the math and you'll see that you are only dealing with about 150 or 180 studs and adding a couple $ each to go with the 8". You'll get that back in spades later due to the better insulation package.

    Regarding post frame construction, If you can come up with a good reason that sticking wood posts in the ground is wise, I'd love to hear it. I have a cattle loafing shed that at least half the posts are rotted clean off at ground level. Any jabber about pvc sleeves and concrete around the posts is proof that the concept is a bad idea from the start.

    Goosgunner hit most of the important points about stick built earlier, but I'll add - at 4'oc trusses, the roof purlins lay flat instead of 2x4's turned up on edge like they are on a pole shed. Contractor can throw them on with an airgun instead of manually doing 60D spikes. Productivity is about 3X and will save you some labor cost. Also, with 2x walls and trusses at 4', if you happen to get one weak one due to a crack or knots, you have a lot of redundancy with the next member being close by. Wood has defects. My ceiling liner spans the 4' trusses directly and has R75 cellulose lying on top no problem.
  18. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I will say that I'm not worried about resale. This building will border where my family's farm "headquarters" are, so selling won't ever be on the table. If we do ever decide to live somewhere else, the building will turn into a full time farm shop/office. With that said, pending the quotes, I am looking hard at stick built. The problem with these type of projects is you have to draw the line somewhere. The original idea was to put up a place to live/work more economically than building a seperate stick built house and shop. Then I come here and I want to stick build it and buy a $11,000 gasser.haha
  19. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    Well I have a similar garage with attached house, 38x78x16.5. I have been/am a pole barn fan, but not for much more than a machine shed. Did a full 4' frost wall, insulated, 2x6 @16" centers with 3" (ridgid) foam and r-13 fg. The best part is the radiant slab in the shop, we have it in the house as well but in southern IN I think that you may need central AC. This (sort of) get's you into 2 heating systems. I am thinking about adding a mini split in the house side for the ac (1 week a year here in ME) and heat use at the early & end of the heating season. I have a indoor gasser in an attached purpose built room off of the living space. My wood boiler really throws off the heat, and in a highly insulated space it can fool the t stats. If I had to do it over, I'd make use of that heat in the shop area rather than the house side. For the sake of being what I feel is reasonable, I set the shop slab at about 60° and with a little extra heat that the WB throws off would be no problem in the shop. I hired a radiant design co. for my job and am very happy that I did. They provided me with job specific drawings including the boiler piping, that allowed this carpenter to do the whole installation myself, and I am glad that I did as I completely understand my system. You might talk to some ? experts ? about your shop side. I did a highly insulated shell, with 3 giant holes in 1 wall (the 12x14 ohd's). It seems that the best "R" for a garage door (ohd) is about 7-8 but with that damn weather seal (40' each door) that only kinda slows the air down, there must be a point that makes sence for wall insulation before your wasting money. The radiant slab is deffinetly set it & forget it, no playing around with the t-stats to take the chill off. The heated slab does not seem to care if you open the doors where as my last (hot air) shop, even a NASCAR pit crew could not open & close the doors fast enough to retain any of the heat. This is my first time around with radiant heat & I'm sold on it. House & shop but esp. in the shop. It some how feels warmer than my (techmar) t-stats say. Usually with the slab at 60°, the room is at around 56°-58° and I am completly comfy in a tee shirt. By the way, with about 5 extra wall "plates" you can avoid the costly 18' or 20' lumber and have a very comfortable ceiling height for 2 floors if you keep your floor spans down in legnth.
  20. Slick85

    Slick85 New Member

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    Great info, 711. The two heating system deal, is what is bothering me about the gasser now. I haven't ran any numbers yet, and this would just be a guess, but, I doubt that the payback would be short enough to make sense with my setup, and still having to purchase a central air unit. Will need to run the numbers though to be sure. Still waiting to get the quote on stick built vs. pole construction. Really anxious to see it in black and white.

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