Small But Important Techniques to Build a Strong Pole Barn
Building a pole barn that can stand up to the elements requires attention to detail. Small things can make a big difference in the performance and longevity of your building. Follow these tips to ensure that your pole barn will have a long life.
Bolt the trusses to the columns, rather than using nails or screws. Bolts protrude through all of the lumber between the trusses and columns and provide twice the shear of nails and screws.
If you use columns longer than 20 feet, you should use a 4-foot splice overlap pattern with truss plates on the exterior of the columns. You should also use 4.5-inch spiral nails and joint reinforcement truss plates to create a splice that will be 50 percent stronger than a nailed splice.
To create a strong foundation and enable your pole barn to stand up to the elements, your in-ground columns should be at least four feet deep.
Uplift anchors are extra pieces of treated wood at the bottoms of the columns that act like anchors to keep the columns from being lifted by wind by creating a much stronger foundation. If you don’t use uplift anchors, when a strong wind blows it can lift a side of the building and drop it back down, which could weaken the building and possibly cause it to collapse.
You probably won’t finish building your pole barn in a single day. When a building is incomplete, it is vulnerable to “racking,” which occurs when wind blows and misaligns the building materials. You can keep the building rigid while it is under construction by installing temporary and then permanent wind bracing.
Use permanent wind and corner bracing in the final phase of construction to protect your pole barn from strong winds. This is especially important if you are constructing a tall or large-span building.
Make sure the area laid out for your pole barn is square before you begin building. The best way to do this is to measure and mark the diagonals (the measurements from opposite corners of the building). The corners should be the same distance apart, and the diagonals should be the same lengths. When the columns are set or the concrete is poured, the walls will be straight and square.
Two types of lumber are used in construction: machine stress-rated, whose strength is tested by a machine, and visual grade, which is inspected visually. Visual grade lumber has been the standard for a long time, but its quality has declined in the past 10 to 20 years. According to the National Lumber Grading Association, the design strength of visually graded #1 SYP lumber is 25 percent weaker than its historically rated value. It is recommended that you use MSR lumber to construct your pole barn so that it will be strong and able to stand up to severe weather.
When nails are hammered in, they displace wood fibers, but the fibers push back and are forced out over time. As screws are tightened, they pull fibers upward toward their heads. This gives them about twice as much fastening power as nails.
It can be difficult for builders to balance high up on a ladder and complete tasks. If screws don’t go in straight, that can affect the strength of a building. Builders should use a scissors lift that raises them from the ground on a stable platform when constructing a pole barn.
Engineering drawings should have exact cut lengths so the builder knows the exact lengths and angles to cut boards. This will ensure that the pieces fit together properly and the pole barn is sturdy.
Using Quik Drive tools can improve the efficiency and accuracy of the building process. After the tool is adjusted, it will drive in each screw to its optimal depth.
Ring shank nails have rings embedded in them that catch wood fibers in divots. Use them to attach dimensional lumber. They will make it much harder for wind to pull them out of wood than straight nails.
When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.