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Barn Blog

October 13, 2015

How to Build a Durable Pole Barn

If you are going to build a pole barn to use on your farm, you should take the time and invest the resources to do it right. A pole barn on a farm needs to be able to stand up to weather, gravity, and animals. Cutting corners can end up costing you more in the long run. Follow these tips to make sure your pole barn will be durable enough to last for many years.

Be sure that your pole barn is properly engineered. The designer should take into account the building's intended use, the soil on the building site, the building materials, and how the building is to be assembled. Have your pole barn designed by a licensed, professional engineer and be sure that the builders receive a complete set of construction plans.

Hire qualified builders who understand the engineering of a pole barn and will follow the designer's guidelines. They should use appropriate power tools for the job.

The building site needs to be prepared correctly for your pole barn to be strong and durable. The site should be level. Building on an uneven site might require the builders to make adjustments that could affect the integrity of the building. The site should also have good drainage to protect your pole barn.

It is important to use high-quality building materials. Use Machine-Evaluated Lumber (MEL) or Machine Stress-Rated (MSR) Lumber. This will tell the engineer the exact strength of each piece of wood. Lumber should be attached with high-quality fasteners and nails, and columns should be bolted to trusses, not just screwed or nailed together. Using stronger steel will protect your pole barn from impacts caused by hail or stones, increase the rigidity of the building, and prevent movement and flexing. Steel should be screwed, not nailed. Invest in high-quality windows and doors that are properly sealed to reduce your long-term maintenance costs.

It is essential to properly ventilate an agricultural building. Moisture from animals' urine, manure, and breathing can cause wood and steel to deteriorate and loosen fasteners. A good ventilation system will get rid of moisture and allow fresh air to circulate throughout the pole barn.

DripStop is a moisture-controlling polyester felt-like layer installed under the steel on the roof to trap moisture. It stops moisture from condensing and dripping onto purlins, trusses, and the interior of the pole barn and causing deterioration.

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