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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pole barn, approximately 30'x40'. Right now the floor is dirt, and very uneven, and the poles are in all the wrong spots for my intended use, which is as a workshop and tractor storage.
I am in the process of calling contractors to see if they can remove the poles and even the floor out. The barn is on sloping ground, and the floor slopes accordingly. It was okay for the horses (the stalls themselves are level), but not usable to me.
I hope that I don't have to tear this one down and start over!
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to ask the builders, or how to proceed with the work? I assume beams will have to be installed, along with footings that will support them. There is a hayloft above most of it, so there is also a second story involved.
I would greatly appreciate any advice and comments.

:thanku:
 

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Are you going to require permits ?

I'm thinking either way .. I would let an engineer look at at it before you get bids .. Lots of contractors THINK they know how to do that kind of stuff .. but if its done incorrectly .. and damage occurs .. I'm thinking your insurance would not cover you ..

Lots of fly by night contractors out there too .. who will say .. sure what ever you need .. I can do it .. no permit .. no inspection.. and many times no insurance
 

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Any pics...as of what your thinking of doing..:trink40:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will definitely get permit(s).
Builder will have to show me his insurance certificates, both liability and workmans' comp.
An engineer is a good idea - I'll see if any builder suggests one on his own, or if I need to do it myself.
The second floor/hayloft makes me more concerned than if it was just the roof. I don't need it, so maybe can eliminate it. I wouldn't mind lowering the profile of the building anyway, since it blocks some of our view.

I can post some pics later today. Will get out there with the camera after it cools down a bit, it's 89 and sunny right now.
 

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For the most part the posts are in the proper span/distance in between them. The best bet in my opinion is to get in touch with a barn contractor, like Morton buildings. They have reputable and compitent contractors.
Usually to move a post steel will be required to carry the load that the removed post was carrying.
 

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Should be as simple as installing headers or lam beams over wherever you want your doors or windows.If weight bearing poles have to be moved the weight must be placed safely to one side or another by transferring it via headers and footings.Always a good idea to ask for references as well as proof of contractors license and insurance.Would be nice to have a engineer involved but get references on him or her as well.The engineers involved in the building of a 210 unit apartment community i worked at insisted that the grade of the buildings did not need to be raised and poured the first floor 4 ft. under ground and in the 5 years that i worked there i had 34 flooded units.oops.:banghead3
Scott
 

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Lots of fly by night contractors out there too ..
I'm not a contractor, but I've done lots of those for myself, family, friends, and complete strangers. If you throw on some pictures of the inside walls, the loft, and the building as a whole, you'll probably get some good suggestions here.


PS- I can do that dirt cheap, and you don't need a permit. It'll be our secret.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is one of the carrier beams that run the length of the barn. The hayloft is above. One of the supports is at the left end of the wall. The metal pieces are just old garage door tracks, have nothing to do with the barn.




It doesn't show up in the picture, but the floor slopes away toward the doors, and there is a 12" dropoff at the door sill. Okay for horses, not for tractors.




The other carrier beam, supporting one edge of the hayloft.




Different angle of the post, showing the footing just behind the bumper jack on floor.





Same beam as picture #2, looking the other way. Patch of yellow is old road sign blocking hole at edge of floor of loft.





If more pictures would help, let me know what you need. Thanks!!!
 

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The first picture seems to be the only floor supporting beam correct?
The others seem to be holding up leantoo roofs.
Also by the looks of it some of those posts aren't structure but stall petitions. I may be wronv but that's the way it looks.
If so those could be removed without any compromise to the barns structue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's not clear in the pictures, but pics #1 and #3 show two parallel beams that support the loft floor. Behind the camera's back in #1 is an outside wall, which supports the other side of the loft. So, to support the loft, there is outside wall, then pic #1, then pic #3 & 5.
You're right, beyond the beam in pic #5 & 3 is a leanto roof. Perhaps a couple of outdoor shots would help. I'll get those today.
I agree, the stall partitions could come out, but I don't know how much, if any, load the studs support. That should become visible when the plywood is removed.
There were 3 horses kept here, and the amount of spider webs was phenomenal! I'd like to get this mess cleaned up and get the junk sorted out so I can use this space.
I'm sure hoping this structure can be "saved". We are using the tack room as a chicken coop, which works out fine, but I'm paying taxes on the rest just to store junk. If this can't be used for my shop, I might as well tear it down and start over. That is not too appealing an option for me.
I'll get back with some more photos later.
Thanks!
 

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How about removing the stalls/loft.. It would open up the floor & building for floor leveling and creating your shop area.. You can use the lumber to make walls for this. Just a thought..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The stalls are definitely going. The loft is useless to me. Removing the flooring is not a bad idea, I could use the lumber for the walls, as you say. It would also improve the ventilation in there, even though it's hardly close to airtight now. One option might be to remove the roof, skip the loft, and have a flat roof with a good slope towards the pond. That should improve our view of the pond.
 

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That would be a very fesable idea, the sloped flat roof.
Also as mentioned earlier an LVL or paralam beam would easily carry the load of the roof. These are used for garage door headers that carry the end of trusses/rafters on the load bearing end. As you mentioned though get the plywood down and the studs shouldn't really be carrying too much weight. The posts should be handling the load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The left side of this shot is the wall I had my back to in pic #1. It shows the loft and existing sloping roof:




Opposite end, really showing the slope of the land:




Overall shot:




I'm glad to hear about those beams. I just need to make sure the builder knows what he's doing, and uses heavy enough beams. We get quite a snow load here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is why I'd like a flatter roof, sloping away from the house - the roof now blocks our view of our little pond, where the deer and turkeys pass through:


 

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yeah that view would be awesome!
Just make sure the builder/contractor is licensed and insured.
I know that has been said many times but it's always worth repeating.
Those beams will definatly carry a snow load if sized properly.
Looking forward to seeing this project go forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, all.
One builder is coming out Monday evening, the other returned my call when i was out, will call back. The third builder I called never called back. Around here, that's phenomenal success. Perhaps the builders are getting really hungry like everyone else.
The alternative is to tear this down and start over with a steel building, which would have its advantages. I'm paying taxes on this old thing, and just housing some chickens and junk at this point. I would put the steel building elsewhere, clearing the view, but would have to run electrical lines a whole lot farther. This old barn has water and 20 amp electrical already. Cost will be a factor. A steel building that looks decent will be pretty expensive. I should be able to make a decision soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My worries are over - as I was taking the last batch of pictures, the chief engineer and architect was on the job:


 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh great! Just what I need, another pest around here. Between the crows, the mice, the hawk after the chickens, the stupid mourning doves hooting all day, carpenter bees eating my sheds - say, are there 40 days and nights of rain in the forecast? :Stop: :crybaby:

At least we're over 950' above sea level - it'll take a while to flood this high.
 
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