Author Topic: Pole barn homes?  (Read 777 times)

Offline JS721

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Pole barn homes?
« on: May 20, 2018, 04:38:24 PM »
Quick summary - looking for a relatively inexpensive yet durable home for a property I own, and was wondering if anyone had any experience with residential pole barn homes.

Details...

I have a family owned property in Kentucky that my wife and I are slowly turning into a homestead. 100+ acres, and I am planning on building a home somewhere in the less-feral portions of the plot. There is a house there now that would be ungodly expensive to rehab and make liveable (built in the 1930's, small, no septic (pipe into a field), ancient wiring, and full of asbestos, ladybugs, etc. ) so I was looking at affordable, non-mobile home type options for a house, and pole barn homes seemed to fit the bill best.

Does anyone here have any experience at all with building/using this type of structure for a residence? I have also looked at steel frame kit homes, etc. but keep coming back to the pole barn option as being the best I can see for the property.

Could use some input if anyone has any.

Thanks.

Offline CharlesH

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2018, 04:47:46 PM »
I’m pretty sure these are much too expensive for what you want, but check out sandcreekpostandbeam.com for examples of what CAN be done.  I suspect you will see it is quite doable.  A local home builder would be able to fill you in on whatever permits and inspections are required for a home in your area, and I would not skimp on jumping through those particular hoops.  I don’t have any more info, but I’m sure it can be done.
 
Sorry to hear there is an old house full of asbestos on the property.  Here in Michigan remediation of that stuff is an expensive pain.  Hopefully it isn’t so bad where you are.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 07:32:13 AM »
Do you plan to build it yourself or have it contracted out?

A shouse (shed or shop-house) can be just a sturdy as anything else out there.  Instead of just a metal roof, you have metal walls to.   ;D

Just be sure to seal and insulate well (weather and critters) and it will be fine.  (Garage type doors instead of horizontal sliders etc.)  If contracting, you want someone that has done one before.

Another option one of our friends has done is to put a small mobile home in a pole barn while they build their house.  They get the extra space now and when they are done, it becomes all workshop/equipment shed.

I hear you on the old house.  We are going to renovate one, but mainly because my grandpa built it.  Would be cheaper and quicker to build new...     

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2018, 09:51:44 AM »
Hi JS721 - I have actually built a 'Pole House'.....my wife and I have some acres in the desert and after much research and pondering, decided on this route. It is considerably less expensive and much stronger in some ways. Do you have any building experience? Asking because this is not typical building, and while not necessarily harder, it does help to have a bit of experience in general building techniques. The hardest part may be finding telephone poles, at least where I am, they are not as readily available these days.....
Questions you will need to figure out:
Obviously, size...increments of 4 ft is best
Set the poles in concrete or not? Pros/cons
Framing - Do some research as the load-bearing of the structure is all different
Floor - How to seal from critters sine it is raised foundation
Roof - Raised?

We are now all finished and have added a large screen porch and decks. Our terrain was rocky and sloped so this was an easy way to go. If you have a flat area with good ground, it may be easier to just pour a slab and go the regular way. Although having a Pole house is fun and unusual, definitely has a good vibe to it :-)
I tried to post some pics but seems like you have to use a host.....
PM me if you want more info...

Offline IKN

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 07:19:58 AM »
A lot of good points made.
Also consider things like local building & tax codes for what's allowed.
I have a friend here in Illinois who built one years ago. Most of the structure is home, but part is used for a garage and a shop. What he found out later was that the entire structure was considered "Living Space" and taxed as such.
Other things to consider are longevity, appraisal values, and resale values.
One major thing, if you decide on a Pole Bldg, used laminated posts. A friend and contractor who built my agriculture pole barn told me the solid posts have a tendency to snap off if put under stress (wind loading or impact) whereas laminated posts do not. In addition, making the posts yourself or custom built allows you to use treated lumber for the below ground portion and less expensive non-treated lumber for the above ground portion.
The biggest issue with this type of construction is the need to frame in the interior which adds expense. Also, most suppliers have went to 28 or 29 gauge metal. This stuff is crap and will sag under its own weight. When pricing be sure to specify for 24 or 26 gauge metal. More expensive, but you won't regret it.
Something else, "Sweat". Given the climate during certain times of the year, the metal can cause condensation to for due to temperature differences especially if it's humid. This can result in both mold and corrosion issues. Be sure to use good moisture/vapor barriers.

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 07:51:57 PM »
"One major thing, if you decide on a Pole Bldg, used laminated posts."
Why not use real telephone poles? They will last for many decades even in severe climates...and if you can find them right, you'll get a real deal (can take some time though)

"The biggest issue with this type of construction is the need to frame in the interior which adds expense. Also, most suppliers have went to 28 or 29 gauge metal. This stuff is crap and will sag under its own weight. When pricing be sure to specify for 24 or 26 gauge metal. More expensive, but you won't regret it."
What do you mean by this? The interior framing is a breeze and much cheaper, because of the lack of need for load bearing walls.....I'm not using steel studs by the way...why make things more expensive or difficult?

Offline racer038

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 04:52:02 AM »
I'm in KY, too.  Pole Barns are great and economical.  I have recommendations I have received from homeowners that have gone this route. 1st: insulate the concrete slabs from the earth.  Put a layer of rigid insulation under the slab and around all posts in all areas that will be finished living space.  2nd: ventilation is a critical area to consider.  A pole barn is an oven.  Build passive and active ventilation into the plan.  3rd:  Critters will cause insanity.  Carpenter bees, squirrels, woodpeckers, ants, remember Mother nature wants her property back and will slowly but surely have her minions drive you out.  Prepare!  4th:  Evaluate your building site during all seasons and all weather events, if possible. Know where the water comes from and goes during a 3 day, 7 inch spring storm.  Know what happens during the 17" ice and snow events.   Groundwater freezing can do some amazing things.  Actively tile water away from your site and sink your posts like you were in Michigan.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 06:22:14 PM »
Why not use real telephone poles? They will last for many decades even in severe climates...and if you can find them right, you'll get a real deal (can take some time though)
This isn't just a pole barn, it sounds like he plans on living in this building at some point.  Telephone poles are typically treated with either creosote or pentachlorophenol.  Both are nasty chemicals that I would never want in my house.  These both give off a petroleum smell and have been tied to all kinds of health issues.

Here's the CDC page about pentachlorophenol and creosote

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 09:03:00 AM »
This isn't just a pole barn, it sounds like he plans on living in this building at some point.  Telephone poles are typically treated with either creosote or pentachlorophenol.  Both are nasty chemicals that I would never want in my house.  These both give off a petroleum smell and have been tied to all kinds of health issues.

I know he's building a livable structure. The house framing sits inside the poles and hangs on ledger boards. You have to substitute a standard 6x12 or something for the center pole, that's all.....the other 8 poles are outside of the house, you have no contact with them.

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 09:15:09 AM »
I'm in KY, too.  Pole Barns are great and economical.  I have recommendations I have received from homeowners that have gone this route. 1st: insulate the concrete slabs from the earth.  Put a layer of rigid insulation under the slab and around all posts in all areas that will be finished living space.  2nd: ventilation is a critical area to consider.  A pole barn is an oven.  Build passive and active ventilation into the plan.  3rd:  Critters will cause insanity.  Carpenter bees, squirrels, woodpeckers, ants, remember Mother nature wants her property back and will slowly but surely have her minions drive you out.  Prepare!  4th:  Evaluate your building site during all seasons and all weather events, if possible. Know where the water comes from and goes during a 3 day, 7 inch spring storm.  Know what happens during the 17" ice and snow events.   Groundwater freezing can do some amazing things.  Actively tile water away from your site and sink your posts like you were in Michigan.
1) There are two schools of thought on using concrete footings. I just dug down and set my poles into the earth.
2) Yes, figure this out, I did a double shed roof (skillion) with the lower one facing south for solar panels, the front, higher one is about
    3 feet higher and has 4 awning windows to let the hot air rise and escape.
3) Yes, build it tight, just like any other house, no difference really, except the floor is not a slab. You'll be using 2x 10's or 2x12's for the floor joist, which gives you room to stuff the floor with insulation and cover it from the bottom (inside the bays)
4) yes, see #2....I took a season to track sun/shade and built my rafter overhangs accordingly.. Also placed the house due North, etc. Figure out windows and door placement based on sun movement.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2018, 07:58:40 AM »
the other 8 poles are outside of the house, you have no contact with them.
Every pole barn in my area, the poles are inside the structure itself.  Yes you would put up framing and such, so there would be no physical contact with the poles.  However, these things off gas and that would be between the outer sheeting and the inner drywall.  Drywall does breathe, so the trapped gases could end up in the house.  To me, that's not an acceptable risk.  Easier and safer to me to use less hazardous treated wood.

Offline buckaroo

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2018, 08:40:21 AM »
In my build and around here, the poles sit outside the entire structure, so little risk IMHO.....

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Pole barn homes?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 11:31:47 AM »
In my build and around here, the poles sit outside the entire structure, so little risk IMHO.....
Interesting.  I've never seen them with the poles outside.  Guess it's just another technique.