Progress Report 6 – 30×48′ Pole Barn build


In today’s update the building crew finished up the windows, doors, metal, and breezeway to the house! Check it out for finished pictures.

Catching up on the build

If you are just now joining the journey, I have a bunch of other posts on the process of designing, quoting, and building my pole barn. Click the button below to go to the list of all the posts on it:

Finishing up the building framing

Steps to building a pole barn
Under construction. Here they have framed the man door and are about to start on the breezeway.
Steps to building a pole barn
West wall fully insulated. About to get sheeted with steel.
Steps to building a pole barn
One crew was sheeting the outside while the other started on the breezeway.
Steps to building a pole barn
This is worth noting. Since the posts are in nothing but dirt, the crew accelerated the compaction step by ‘watering’ the dirt down with a hose. This compacted all the dirt in the hole so they could add more dirt on top. This reduces the chances that it will settle later and leave a big hole.

TIP: Apply water around the posts once backfilled to settle the dirt. Once the water soaks in add more dirt to fill it back in. This will prevent future settling of the dirt that could make little sink holes around your building.

Steps to building a pole barn
Here is a view of the bathroom footing in the building. They added an extra post and changed the spacing on the West side that way we didn’t have to have a post on the footing itself. I put the cones on the top of the rebar as a reminder to keep everybody (including my kids/dog) safe.

Building the breezeway

Steps to building a pole barn
Here is the wall on the house where the breezeway will attach. I had removed the light so it was ready to go.
Steps to building a pole barn
The start of the breezeway! First they lag screwed headers both into the house and on the shop above the doors for a secure mounting location. Then they made some box beams from 2×8 (maybe they were 2×10, I didn’t measure them).
Steps to building a pole barn
The head inspector came out to have a look around after naptime… I think we passed
Steps to building a pole barn
The crew insulated and sheeted the front of the building as far as they could until the breezeway was done.
Steps to building a pole barn
The initial framing with slots created for the mini-trusses they built on site.
Steps to building a pole barn
Here you can see the mini-trusses the builder made on site. The hole is where my electrical will come through. The wire you see is just where the small outside light used to be.

I told the builder it looked so beefy that I was going to put a hook in the bottom and pull engine blocks with it 😀 I don’t think he thought it was as funny as I did 😛

Steps to building a pole barn
More mini-trusses. Building them on a piece of plywood was a cool technique. The builder said it made the trusses both stronger and easier to build because it gave you a platform to put them together on.
Steps to building a pole barn
Meanwhile on the other side, soffits and trim were being installed.
Steps to building a pole barn
Here is a close-up of the perforated soffits for ventilation on the side walls of the building. The gable ends are NOT perforated. Here the outer piece of trim wasn’t installed yet.
Steps to building a pole barn
This breezeway is BEEFY. Originally it was spec’d to have posts but the builder thought they would have been in the way all the time (and I very much agreed) so he designed and built it on site to not have posts. This thing ain’t going nowhere!

TIP: Make sure if you have a breezeway built for your shop that you make sure they provide a ‘nailer’ board at the top under the sheeting so gutters can be attached. This is just a 2×4 behind where the gutters will go so they have something to screw/nail into.

Steps to building a pole barn
Breezeway at the end of day 4
Steps to building a pole barn
Morning of day 5. They started sheeting the roof of the breezeway. It has a vented ridge and roof sheeting just like the shop.
Steps to building a pole barn
Here is the roof under the breezeway. Turned out PERFECT. I will eventually put 2 or 3 round lights under here to light the walkway.

Building crew completed their part

There are multiple stages of contractors in the build process. In this case the building crew is done and has pulled out for good. It will be up to other crews to finish up their parts down the road.

Steps to building a pole barn
The backside of the building done with trim up. Notice the split trim colors. The bottom is wainscot color and all of the upper trim is white. I think it turned out great.
Steps to building a pole barn
Finished breezeway where it meets the house. Again, I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.
Steps to building a pole barn
Finished breezeway at the building.
Steps to building a pole barn
This is the end for the building crew!

Handling the leftover trash and materials

TIP: It is typical for the pole barn builder to write into the contract that the owner is to haul off any trash created from the build.

I was left with the significant pile you see in front of the garage and another pile of metal in the backyard to take care of. I am slowly working through it, separating out the useful bits from the trash as I fill my trash bin each week.

If you didn’t want to get rid of it slowly, my recommendation in hindsight would have been to get one of those ‘bagster’ bags from Amazon (assuming your trash company will pick it up or has a similar program) that you can have the crew toss their trash in then you can just call the trash company to come pick it up when ready.

Steps to building a pole barn
The colors on the shop are awesome. The only bad part is that now it looks like our house needs painted as it has faded to a ‘pink’ color. We will paint it to match the shop eventually.
Steps to building a pole barn
Steps to building a pole barn
PJ gets to claim the title for first vehicle in the shop and first job done in the shop (I put on new windshield wipers 😛 )

There you have it. In just 5 days a crew totally assembled my 30 x 48 pole barn with a custom breezeway attaching to the house. The only reason I did the breezeway is because the city required it, but in the end I am glad for it because it will be nice to have a clear walkway in the winter / rain. I think if they didn’t have to mess with the breezeway it would have cut a day off the build.

Stay tuned for the next post! We still need to tackle some dirt work, gravel, temporary lighting, plumbing, and lots more.

Now YOU, go outside and work on something!

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