Pole Barns and Concrete Footings

Pole Barns and Concrete Footings

If you are planning to build a pole barn on your property, you need to be sure that the poles are anchored securely in the ground in order to support the weight of the building, roof, and possible snow. Soil is not usually able to resist applied vertical loads through a post alone. Pole barn posts should therefore be set on footings to provide additional support.

Footings must be large enough in area to prevent the pole barn from settling under the weight of the building, snow, and minimum live load requirements. The footings also need to be thick enough to keep the posts from punching through them. Concrete is usually the best material to use for footings because of the size of the footings that will be required to support the weight of the building and other loads.

Some people are concerned that setting pole barn posts in concrete can cause them to rot. However, this should not be a concern if the wood is pressure-treated with preservatives. The International Building Code requires that pole barn posts be treated in accordance with AWPA U1.

Be careful when choosing pressure-treated wooden posts to build your pole barn. Not all wood that is treated with preservatives meets the requirements for pole barns set by the International Building Code. When you are shopping for lumber, check the tag to see the level of pressure-treating that was used for that wood.

Using wood that has not been adequately pressure-treated with preservatives and placing the poles in concrete footings can lead to rot. If you use properly treated posts backfilled with pre-mix concrete in a monolithic pour with six to eight inches of concrete below the posts and eight or more inches up the posts, you should not have a problem with rotting poles.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


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Contracting with CHA since December 2009, to have two very large buildings constructed at our farm. We have personally referred several friends, relatives and neighbors to use them and we have never heard anything but praise for their workmanship and hard work. Our experience with CHA has shown us that they are most honest, reputable building company we have contracted. Their staff is very hard working, polite and very conscientious about their work. They got the job done on time, work tirelessly and waste no time while working. At the end of the day they clean up the job site and put all their tools and equipment away leaving the job site spotless.

Carin Guelich