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Barn Blog

September 28, 2015

How to Install Bookshelf Girts on Your Pole Barn

Girts are pieces of timber that connect corner posts of an exterior frame above the ground floor. It is common to nail skirt boards (grade boards), girts, and truss corners to the outside perimeter of the foundation posts. This is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive method if the interior walls of the pole barn are not going to be finished.

Bookshelf girts (commercial girts) offer greater strength to stand up to strong winds and provide the necessary substructure so that the interior walls of the pole barn can be finished. The method of installing bookshelf girts is fairly simple. Lay the 2x6 girts flat between the posts at whatever on center is required with 2x6 strongback support. Toe-nail interior girts in place with 16D or 20D galvanized ring shank nails.

When creating bookshelf girts, notch grade board and truss carriers (or girders) into the posts. Notch the posts 1 ½ inches so that the dimensional lumber fits flush with the posts to provide a plane to install siding. Embed posts at the exact length and width of the building. You do not need to allow for 1 ½ inches because you are measuring post to post, not girt to girt.

If you prefer, you can size the girts 1 ½ inches wider than the posts to let the girts protrude out parallel with the truss supports and grade boards. That can eliminate notching and create a deeper cavity for insulation and an air gap.

Blocking is used to fasten siding to girt rows, and 2x6 bracing is used to nail between rows of 2x8s that are installed in strong position. If your pole barn is going to have steel siding, it should also have sheathing and condensation barriers to protect it from mold and sound proofing.

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