When you look at a pole barn on the outside, most barns look just like the next one, unless of course you choose to add on a porch, overhang along the roof line, extra windows, and other items to add some flair.
However, if you’re a person who has ever purchased a few tools from the Dollar Store, then you’ll know that not all tools are made the same. We have all been suckered into picking up a cheap pair of pliers or a box of screw bits from a store that sells inexpensive import tools only to have them break on us after one or two uses.
Pole Barns are not that extreme, but they can be made on the cheap; and when that happens, you’ll notice over time that getting the quick deal was not worth it in the long run.
We contract with builders who have higher standards in the materials and construction of each barn.
Pole Buildings are anchored to the posts going into the ground, so their integrity is vital to the life of your barn. Instead of a solid block post, we only use laminated beams. Each beam is made from layers of 2X6 (or 2x8) Yellow Pine, glued, pressed, then screwed together. We bury the treated lumber 48" deep. (code is usually 36") You can learn more about it in an article from Construction Magazine where they explain why "glue-lams" are better for building.
There is certainly a place in the framing of a building for both, but where it counts, we use coated screws instead. The reason is because they just work better and last longer. Popular Mechanics did research on this topic and said that screws “… have stronger holding abilities than nails and can draw pieces together. Coupled with an adhesive, screws create a very tight bond between two pieces of wood.”
All Bower and Sons buildings are built with 4’ on center truss spacing. We will decrease the space to 2’ on center if you plan to hang drywall from the ceiling. Make sure to compare quotes accurately, as many builders will space trusses out to 6’ or 8’ apart. Closer truss spacing makes for a stronger building.
We build our barns with TWO "truss carriers" made from 2x12 lumber. These are then attached to each other with"rafter ties" which are 2x6 blocks mounted in-between the headers.
It's common to find barns with 2x6 or 2x8 single truss carriers, but for the longevity and integrity of your building, build it right the first time.
We use 29 gauge metal and partner with Qualiform Metals out of Shiloh, Ohio. They’re confident in their product and currently offer a 40-year warranty. They are also working to become the first company to offer a 50-year warranty on color fading. Did you know your insurance company may lower your rate for a metal roof, and they deflect the sun’s rays more than shingles, offering a bit more efficiency.
Even those who live outside of the Mid-West or Pennsylvania, where most of our American Amish and Mennonite families are found, all know about the folk-lore of the “Amish barn raising”. The time when multiple families and multiple generations come together for a colossal project. Sure, other guys can build a barn, but for these men, it’s in their blood.