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Pole Barn style Cabin?

  • bigstorm
    Participant
    Southern WI
    Posts: 956
    #1836644

    Just tossing around some ideas for the future and was wondering if anyone has any experience or opinions on a pole barn style house (set on a slab). Cleary has some of these as does Wick Homes

    The idea would be to purchase some land, then down the road, build. In the area we are looking at, there are some existing properties with homes/cabins or manufactured homes (double or single wide). We would want something with a garage to store the boat and/or atv/trailer depending on the season.

    Looking at some of these pole barn style structures, they look to fill the need. build 1 structure, it can be partitioned off with part of it being living quarters and the other part storage/garage.

    Just an idea at this point, but was hoping for some info from anyone here that may have this setup already or is familiar with them for any pros/cons of doing this rather than a stick build cabin or purchased something pre-existing (cabin or manufactured trailer type)

    Jeff Telander
    Participant
    Posts: 125
    #1836660

    I’ve built a bunch of them. Call Sherman Builders in Mora, MN.

    Eelpoutguy
    Participant
    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 7336
    #1836671

    Bigstorm,
    If I were planning on having a living quarters I would build it on frost footings and stick frame it with a frost footing between the heated area and the garage.
    You need the frost transition and a stick frame building is easier to insulate adequately.

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 9323
    #1836740

    I asked several contractors about this as an option for my hunting property. Got the same answer from 3 reputable contractors–bad idea here in the tundra.

    If you’re talking true pole barn construction (poles sunk in ground) the answer I got is that there will always be some movement. In a shed, it’s not noticeable, but start adding anything that will crack with a little movement like drywall-finished walls or ceilings, and you’ll end up with a cracked mess. I was warned not to be fooled by anyone who says thier construction method is better and the poles won’t move, in the south maybe, but here in the tundra you will get some movement sooner or later.

    Basically, I got the answer eelpoutguy wrote as the only reliable way. The problem is that this takes away a lot of the cost advantage of a pole barn because if you’re going to have concrete floors in the garage and cabin side, you might as well stick frame the whole thing and not mess with mixed pole/stick construction.

    I’m building a cabin this summer and I’m going to use steel cladding for the sideing and roof, so it will look like a pole building, but the farming is all stick. Much easier to insulate and finish the cabin side.

    Grouse

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 12855
    #1836762

    I just built 2 of these in Colorado. As mentioned above, designing for frost and having a true thermal break is key. You must have a thermal break that goes down to footing and extend up past your slab. Additionally, in floor heat with the proper HD foam beneath at minimum is a great supplement.

    The cost advantage comes when you want 1 structure to house office/living quarters and your storage. If your set on having 1 “cabin” and a separate storage shed, then your almost doubling up your shell costs. You frame out the interior walls only where your going to have your living/office space. Generally, we have all the other areas spray foamed.
    Its not cheap by any means if you do it right. But is does provide for an awesome super structure to have everything within.

    If your seriously considering this, give me a call and I’ll go through some of the details you need to follow to make it work. 262-617-5161 Additionally, if your following all the building codes and local ordinances, you may not be able to do this.

    bigstorm
    Participant
    Southern WI
    Posts: 956
    #1836776

    Thank you all for the replies. This was just an idea we were thinking about, and maybe the reasons provided are why we dont see many structures like this around here

    djshannon
    Participant
    Crosslake
    Posts: 486
    #1836779

    You might want to look in to thicken edge shallow foundation structures. They are stick built and put up like a garage, but the edges are 16+ inches thick. The concrete is poured on a minimum of 2 inches of foam and there is a minimum of 2 inches of foam extending out from the slab edges out about 4 feet.

    The process was used when the footing for the Alaskan Pipeline were built in the permafrost. The design ideas were developed in the 1950’s and test models were built in ND at that time. Some of those models are still standing, 60 years of data.

    I had my retirement home and shop built like this with heat in the floor. My wife and I love it.

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    reddog
    Participant
    Posts: 753
    #1836795

    You might want to look in to thicken edge shallow foundation structures. They are stick built and put up like a garage, but the edges are 16+ inches thick. The concrete is poured on a minimum of 2 inches of foam and there is a minimum of 2 inches of foam extending out from the slab edges out about 4 feet.

    The process was used when the footing for the Alaskan Pipeline were built in the permafrost. The design ideas were developed in the 1950’s and test models were built in ND at that time. Some of those models are still standing, 60 years of data.

    I had my retirement home and shop built like this with heat in the floor. My wife and I love it.

    Agree. Shallow Frost protected foundations are proven to work, but finding a concrete contractor that truly understands the concept is not easy. It shold not be a problem with code enforcement, as its been an acceptable (but alternative) method for 25 years. I built one of the test homes for NAHB Research committee back in 86 or so. Ive been building structures with frost protected foundations since the early 80s. There are different criterias, for a heated structure, vs a non heated structure, but its not a considerable difference, in the amount of foam protections needed around the perimeter. My cabin in South Dakota is built this way. SO is my shop and garage in Iowa, along with my 40 x 60 heated shop in South Dakota.. Regarding a pole building vs stick built, typically, if its going to be a heated and finished structure, you ladder frame between the poles and install your insulation in 24 by 96 horizontal batts, instead of a verticle installation. Vertical is fine when 8 to 10 feet tall, but any taller, and you risk it settling down the wall cavity. My Shop has 16 feet high walls, and is ladder framed..

    to_setter
    Participant
    Stone Lake, WI
    Posts: 567
    #1836840

    Very timely topic. I’ve got an old small cabin on a lake that I’m thinking of tearing down and building something larger. I have been considering Pole construction for a combined, house/garage as well, so I’m tuning in.

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