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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Barns Pole Barns

Post Message Barns Pole Barns

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Old School who s with me

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John Davidson
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2002-05-15          38661


I am looking at putting up a 30x32 pole barn(10 foot wide doors if you will open on the eastern side) I am leaning toward using eastern white cedar cut and pealed by yours truly scored or burnt on the bottom to prevent rot. I Will try to go 4 ft down and use a bag of sacrete on each bottom. I do not have the resources that u people have, but I may be able to spring for PT 6x6 or 4x6. I am open to any suggestions? I will keep you posted from ground breaking thru ridge cap(metal roof)

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-16          38673


I'd appreciate periodic reports about the construction. I'll likely undertake something similar within a few years.

A couple of comments: We put a wash shed on top of posts at our camp last summer. I went down 4' with a 12" auger and used 6 x 6' posts. We just put the posts in the holes leveled and plumbed and back-filled them. We did put quite a bit of diagonal bracing across the posts to keep the plumb while the posts set up in the ground for a couple years. I realize the frost is likely to catch the posts and heave the shed a bit but I don't think that's a problem.

I suppose the technique sounds a bit slipshod but I figure I may want to get the posts out sometime and wouldn't want to dig concrete out as well. In addition, from somewhere I recall that concrete around posts may promote rot.

I also figure that anything like flat rocks in the bottom of the holes aren't going to spread the weight much more than just the bottoms the posts. It's a 'wait and see' approach. If the shed settles too much I'll just jack it up a bit and set the shed rails on blocks. The blocks will spread the weight and the posts would still provide wind resistance.

The only reason the shed is on posts in the first place is so there's a drainage angle to a raised gray-water leeching pit. I suppose we should be glad the high water table is so high that only a raised pit was capable of making the health inspector happy. At least the dug well didnít go dry during last summerís drought.
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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2002-05-16          38674


If you can get a load of the lime rock fines it works as well as the concrete at the bottom of the hole and can be used to back fill the hole. Once packed and wetted it has nearly the same consistancy as concrete. It helps when trueing the poles to have something that will not compact. Its alot cheaper than concrete and easier to move if the plump is out. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-17          38708


Just a thought on the old school part of it: I might cut, limb and skin my own poles just to do it--if I had the time. It may not be economically rewarding though.

Last summer a guy near here cut some of his cedar to made a fence for his grand-daughter's pony and hauled the materials about 200 miles. We also built a cedar fence last summer. I picked up the posts and rails at a farm supply about an hour's drive. I think the prices (CAN$) were around $10 for 8" posts; $5 for 4" posts and $8 for rails. I remember thinking that cutting your own seemed a lot of work when 'ready-mades' didn't cost that much.

I also spent a fair amount of time cutting notches with a chainsaw and splitting wedge. I could have done it on a table-saw if I used squared timber, but then the results wouldn't have been as pleasing.

My chainsaw work did remind me that there are many many pole sheds around here and framed with varying degrees of skill. They keep standing under the snow loads but sometimes you wonder how. For myself, I not up on framing techniques for poles. It would take me quite a bit of time to learn the techniques and do the framing compared to using square timber. I might do such a project, but I'd think of it as a hobby.
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John D
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2002-05-18          38753


Is the lime rock the same as something they call stagmatt(SP)? TOM I am only 45min from canada? If you are in NYS tell me the name of the lumber source? ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-19          38776


John: I got the cedar fence posts and rails from M&R Feeds, Micksburg, Ontario. A very small place south of Pembroke, which isn't too big itself as things go. Dawson Tree Farms in the same area has very inexpensive posts that are rejects from a highway guardrail post contract but I don't think they're cedar. For bigger timber, there are several log house manufacturers around that sell cedar or pine houses. Their log suppliers almost certainly would have logs that didn't meet specs.

Anyway those are some ideas. However, I don't know about problems with do-it-yourself log importing. For all I know logs might be considered to be agricultural products and subject to all sorts of treatment, testing, inspection stuff or simply countervailing duties. Be good to check these things.
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daveg
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2002-12-28          46656


you can wrap plastic around the bottoms of the pole's like we do up here in snow country.. as far up as you sink them....then frost can't garb the side's of the poles and push them up... cheap and it works! ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-12-29          46664


The wrap is called a frost barrier here and I think it's a code requirement for both foundation walls and sonno tube construction. Should be pretty good for pole construction too. I did have a thought though. I don't know if wrapping a pole in plastic would increase, decrease or have little effect on the expected lift of PT or cedar poles. I guess that would depend on whether the plastic kept the poles drier or wetter.

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2003-01-05          46995


John, I've gone full circle from concrete footing and stem wall conventional stud frame buildings with asphalt shingles in the mid 60's to treated ploe frame steel buildings with poles guaranteed not to rot off in 40 years (they did anyway) with steel roofs that leaked from the day they were built back to conventional stud frame buildings that don't rot off and don't leak. I think you'll also be surprised at how little more a regular building with vinil siding costs than a pole shed especially if you can do some of the labor yourself. ....

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RandyG
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4 Northern Michigan
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2003-01-07          47125


I've built quite a few pole buildings. I discovered that if you dig a 4' hole and mix and pour 1 bag of ready mix and let set for a few days, the concrete becomes your footing below frost level. Set the pole onto the concrete footing and backfill with sand, compacting the sand every foot or so with the handle of your shovel. The sand around the pole allows water to run through it, thus not submerging the pole and not giving anything for the frost to grab and heave. This method allows you to move the poles N - S and E - W for a fudge factor. When your ready to set the purlins and girts for your metal siding you can plumb as you go.

Your less likely to get a deep frost in snow country as the snow insulates the ground. ....

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