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Barn Blog

May 5, 2015

Pole Barn Truss Spacing 101

One of the most important aspects of a new pole building, from a structural point of view, is the truss spacing on the roof. Pole barns and other post frame structures have several significant differences from traditional stick-built ones, and therefore have different building requirements. Obviously you want truss spacing to be tight enough that the structure is secure and strong as possible, but you don't want to waste time and money by overdoing it either. So what's the ideal for pole barn truss spacing?

From an engineering point of view, this question is going to depend on a lot of different factors, the most important of which are what kind of roof the building is going to have, and the required snow load for the area.

For example, metal roof is usually a light lighter than one made out of traditional asphalt shingles without sacrificing much, if anything, in the way of strength, so a metal roofed pole barn won't require as tight a truss spacing as many alternatives. Regardless of material, though, a building in Maine or Ohio will need more trusses for support than one in Tennessee or North Carolina, due to the greater snow load it's guaranteed to hold.

Another consideration is how you intend to finish the inside of the building. A simple pole barn intended to store equipment or some other basic function with a minimum of insulation and finishing will require fewer trusses than one that will have a fully-finished ceiling. A greater number of trusses will give an advantage for more thoroughly finished roofs, as there are more, sturdier mounting points for insulation or other finishing.

One final consideration is local building codes and regulations. Depending on your local jurisdiction, there may be minimum or maximum truss spacing requirements for pole barns or other buildings. Be sure to check with local authorities when getting your building permit.

Some engineers will say that truss spacing of anywhere from 2' to 4' is standard, but with modern engineering and technological developments in building and hardware, functionally sound truss spacing can go as far is 8' to 12'.

At the end of the day, there's no magic number or ideal truss spacing formula. The best decision for your building is going to be dependent on the building's specific use, location, and materials. The best thing to do is check with a reliable builder or engineer, tell them exactly what you need, and ask them the best, most economical way to do it. If you don't trust them to be honest, you shouldn't be working with them anyway.

For high-quality, reliable pole barn kits east of the Mississippi and beyond, look no further than The Pole Barn Company. They have custom pole barn kits for almost any application under the sun, with fair prices and sound engineering. Contact them for a quote today.

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