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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

setting pole barn posts

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7lazy77

07-27-2010 20:06:18
72.36.61.233



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I am putting up a pole barn & have done a little research on setting the posts/columns, but am still not sure how I want to set them or what is the best way to set them. My soil is kind of sandy & I live in WY. What is the best way to set these posts so they last for a long time??




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kyhayman

07-29-2010 08:59:55
75.104.128.36



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
I've got some eastern red cedar. set in earth 3 feet, 1 bag of sackcrete, and then backfilled with soil. Been there since 1970, got some others set in earth only that have been there since the 40's. A couple of barns have them sitting on a concrete foundation platform. Just sitting there. As to which I like, in ground all the way. I've had one post replaced due to rot, 1 to wind, and 4 to equipment impact. Cant really tell a whole lot of difference.

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jm.

07-28-2010 18:08:04
75.105.128.54



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Anybody that follows this board knows this has been argued to death on here. All depends on local and what your father used to do or what codes says you have to do.. Me I dig a hole about 30 in deep throw half bag of redi mex in the hole sit the post in kick in enough dirt to square it up may be i2 in or so then put the rest of the bag of redi mix and finsh up the hole with good soil, gravel or sand which ever is close. Have some 30+ year pole barns still standing..

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Pair-a-dice farm

07-28-2010 16:41:49
207.119.83.233



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Here in N Ar we don't have any codes out in the country but I always set my poles or corner posts in gravel or crushed limestone. I dig a hole as deep as by auger will go before I hit solid rock. I used to set them in concrete but with our humidity they would rot off in 4-5 years. I've never had a problem with gravel in 20+ years



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Banditfarmer

07-28-2010 16:24:13
174.103.146.69



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
We built a pole barn 4 years ago and used per-ma coliums. There 4 feet down set a cement and will not rot out. They cost a little more to use the concrete per-ma coliums but my ground is wet in spring and fall and I don't have to worry about the posts rotting of at the ground like our neighbors barns have. Its worth it in the long run and I know they withstood 80mph winds from a bad storm 2 years ago. Bandit

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bc

07-28-2010 10:35:33
71.158.218.1



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Besides what the others have said, the companies around here like Morton use laminated posts. Depending upon the building size, three 2x6's or 4 2x8's. When building the posts, they vary the overlaps by a couple feet for strength. They build the bottom section first that goes in the hole (with treated lumber) so they can be manhandled without needing a lift. Then build the upper portion one board at a time. For example, the bottom portion may have a 6 footer, then a 10 footer in the middle, and an 8 footer on the other side.

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MarkB_MI

07-28-2010 06:48:56
99.156.247.109



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Code here is they must be set at least 42 inches deep. Under the pole you need a concrete plug minimum 10 inches thick and 10 inches in diameter to support the weight of the building. Backfill the first foot with pea gravel for drainage. I like to dump a half bag of dry redi-mix over the gravel to "lock in" the post.



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jaden

07-28-2010 05:39:38
98.23.142.223



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Mine were set in a 4' hole, then backfilled with 3/4" crushed limestone. So far, so good.



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Cal Innes

07-28-2010 03:41:22
75.194.83.210



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
I also am in the process of building a 20x 65 pole barn for equipment and have debated about even setting the poles in the ground at all. I decided that I am going to pour concrete piers 4 feet deep and also have about a foot above ground (5 feet in all) with a heavy pin in the top. the poles will be drilled to set over the pin. the poles are trees cut to length with bark peeled.I figure by putting them a foot above ground on a pier I never have to think about rot. I worked at a place that had done a barn this way and it worked well and that was built around 1900.
.......my 2 cents. Cal

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Mike (WA)

07-28-2010 08:36:07
69.10.196.7



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to Cal Innes, 07-28-2010 03:41:22  
Most building codes don't allow setting on pins, because there is nothing to resist lift in a windstorm, and little lateral strength either. I understand there is a bracket now that is approved as an alternative to burying the post, that is set deep enough in the concrete, and comes far enough up the pole, to duplicate the strength of the pole itself. Would be more accurate, and less work, than setting poles.

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jiminct

07-28-2010 04:58:38
76.204.149.111



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to Cal Innes, 07-28-2010 03:41:22  

Cal Innes said: (quoted from post at 03:41:22 07/28/10) I also am in the process of building a 20x 65 pole barn for equipment and have debated about even setting the poles in the ground at all. I decided that I am going to pour concrete piers 4 feet deep and also have about a foot above ground (5 feet in all) with a heavy pin in the top. the poles will be drilled to set over the pin. the poles are trees cut to length with bark peeled.I figure by putting them a foot above ground on a pier I never have to think about rot. I worked at a place that had done a barn this way and it worked well and that was built around 1900.

.......my 2 cents.
Cal


we have built a few pole sheds for eq,hay storage and a new work shop. most of the holes were dug by hand and are about 4ft deep., but the work shop's poles were drilled by the line crews digger truck as the holes for that shed needed to be accurate. the poles we used for the structures were old telephone poles that we removed during electric system upgrades, my dad and grandpa both worked for electric co. we set them using the loader on the back hoe, and b4 we set the poles we treated any cut ends w/ a treatment and then b4 backfilling the holes we wrapped the poles w/ a roofing felt type material at ground level to help w/ moisture and rot so far so good esp on the older sheds that were built b4 i was born in the early 70's. they're holding up great and have no sign of rot at ground level the side walls have had to have some repairs though as those we made w/ rough sawn soft pine or whatever was cheapest to buy at the time.

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VADAVE

07-28-2010 03:15:53
149.32.192.33



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Remember poles really only rot where they alternate between wet and dry--the surface. That being said when I built my pole building here in Virginia I drilled a 14" hole as deep as the auger would go--about 4 feet. Dumped a bag of dry concrete in the bottom for the pole to sit in--seals the end.
Then with some of them I set with a dump truck by raising the bed with pole on it until the end was in the hole; lowered the bed thus raising the top end and quickly backed to finish. Quickly because you really don't want the pole to go sideways.
The rest I did with a backhoe--just pick the pole up so the bottome is down and put in the hole.
Line up to a string line and with the outside edge of the pole vericle--use a level--fill and tamp the hole.

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Eldon (WA)

07-27-2010 21:10:15
98.247.110.142



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to 7lazy77, 07-27-2010 20:06:18  
Here in WA they require a 2 ft diameter hole 4 ft deep...filled with concrete.



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Mike (WA)

07-28-2010 02:16:23
97.113.242.69



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 Re: setting pole barn posts in reply to Eldon (WA), 07-27-2010 21:10:15  
It must vary by county- here, you can also set them with gravel, and I'm not aware of a required hole diameter. I suspect it has to do with wind and snow loads anticipated.

Which brings up a good point- what does your local building dept. say? Poles will last longer in gravel than in concrete, but concrete may be required where you are.



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