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Some Pole Building Basics
To help you consider whether or not a pole building is right for you, we’ve provided some basic information about pole buildings and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about pole buildings.

Have a specific question about your pole building?
Call (503) 302-7020
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So what exactly is a pole building?

A pole building, also called a pole barn, and a post-frame building, is a building utilizing pressure-treated posts that are embedded in the ground and backfilled with concrete or compacted crushed gravel.  The posts are typically spaced at equal distances (typically from 10’ to 14’ apart), and each pair of posts (one on each eave wall) support a roof truss or rafter attached on each side of the posts (2 trusses or rafters per post).

2x dimensional lumber provides support for the roof and wall coverings.   In the roof, “purlins” span between the roof trusses to provide support for the roof covering. For the walls, “girts” span horizontally between the posts to provide support for the wall covering.  Purlins and girts are typically spaced at 24” o.c. unless a closer spacing is required due to design loads.

Roof and wall covering, also known as sheathing or cladding, can vary widely depending on what the building owner wants.  The most common pole building covering is simply ribbed metal cladding over the purlins and girts.  However, plywood or OSB wood sheathing is commonly installed over the purlins and the metal roof cladding (or composition roofing) can be installed over the wood sheathing.  As with the roof, the walls may also be sheathed with wood sheathing and metal cladding or other exterior siding installed over the wood sheathing.

Pole buildings are often preferred over standard stud frame construction for basic shops, garages, barns and storage buildings due their lower material cost, and ease and speed of construction.  A stud frame building typically requires a concrete perimeter strip footing and stem wall to be excavated, formed and poured prior to the building being constructed.  Then the exterior walls (and other load-bearing walls) and wall sheathing must be constructed before the roof structure can be installed.

The basic shell of a pole building can be constructed in just a few days.  Once the holes for the posts are excavated and post pads installed (and pass inspection, if required), the posts can be placed and embedded, and the roof structure gets installed almost immediately, followed by the wall structure.  For a basic rectangular pole building, an experienced pole building crew can often get the shell of a pole building completed inside of a week!


How do I get started?

Every job requires the submission of the Pole Building Engineering Order Form included on this page. This order form can be faxed to us or attached as a PDF in an e-mail. Give us a call or fill out the Pole Building Engineering Order Form to fax and let's get started on your project!

Ph. (503) 302-7020
Fax (888) 535-6341

South Valley Engineering
4742 Liberty Rd S #151
Salem, OR 97302

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