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Old 07-31-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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Add 2nd story to pole barn...


In Ohio I am planning on building a standard 24' X 26' pole barn with 12' ceiling, I want to add a 2nd story apartment to this. The apartment will have standard 2x4 stud wall 16" on center and a 4/12 pitch roof.

If I use treated 6" X 6" X 16' posts spaced 6 foot on center (in stead of 8'), will this support the second floor apartment without any issues?

This is a cash project I am building on my own and our local lumber yard doesn't seem to have an answer to this so any input would be much appreciated!


Thank you very much for any input!

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Add 2nd story to pole barn...


Have you talked to your building department about code for this. I doubt they are going to let you build a residential unit, even an apartment, supported only by posts. They are likely going to want to see some foundation.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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Right now I just want to make sure that spacing treated 6" x 6" at 6 foot on center will support the second story...

I have been waiting for over 2 weeks for a reply from our county engineers office.

There are several pole barns in the area with living quarters above them, the only difference that I have seen is that they have a poured concrete floor and I am not going to pour a concrete floor yet. One of them is a 100' X 200' horse arena that has multiple apartments upstairs and it only looks to be supported by telephone poles set in concrete and a separate poured floor.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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?????
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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You sure can build a poll barn with a second floor house. You really need to make drawing and have the local inspector approve it thou.

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Old 07-31-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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tony.g:
I think there's quit a difference between building a fully enclosed barn with a second story and a 4 story structure sitting on open posts...

Thanks for the humor though, I guess...
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminimoon66 View Post
Right now I just want to make sure that spacing treated 6" x 6" at 6 foot on center will support the second story...

I have been waiting for over 2 weeks for a reply from our county engineers office.

There are several pole barns in the area with living quarters above them, the only difference that I have seen is that they have a poured concrete floor and I am not going to pour a concrete floor yet. One of them is a 100' X 200' horse arena that has multiple apartments upstairs and it only looks to be supported by telephone poles set in concrete and a separate poured floor.
Well again I hint at foundation issues. How were you planning to anchor the foundation end of your posts? How deep?

How can we comment on whether what you have in mind will be structurally sound without knowing about the foundation?

You mentioned other similar structures near you. Are you, or could you be, on speaking terms? Perhaps they would share drawings and what they have already learned with you? Or the name of the draftsman, barn designer, architect or structural engineer they used with you. No doubt they have been through the permit and inspection processes already.

Sorry, but I just feel like you are asking us to help you build this from the top down? Could it or should it work? Dunno. I have sci-fi vision of a barn with apartment walking around on 6x6 stilts at the moment with live loads in the form of screaming women, children, puppies and kittens running from window to window.

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Old 07-31-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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its impossible to say with the limited information provided. It depends on the loads it must transfer to the foundation and thus to the ground. These loads are determined based upon the size of the structure, building materials used and code requirements for imposed loads. A broad general answer would be if you spend enough money you can accomplish almost anything.

I'd recommend you consult a local design professional that is knowledgeable on your area's building codes and requirements. If you want to check through the Ohio State Building Code for Dwellings here is the link http://www.com.ohio.gov/dico/docs/di...lCode10412.pdf

Most building codes now require a minimum of R-20 insulation in exterior walls. With 2x4 construction you would either have to use closed cell spray foam insulation or a combination of cavity insulation with rigid insulation board applied to the exterior. Thus my suggestion to consult with a local design professional.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminimoon66 View Post
tony.g:
I think there's quit a difference between building a fully enclosed barn with a second story and a 4 story structure sitting on open posts...

Thanks for the humor though, I guess...
I agree, and no offence intended.
(The cartoon is from a late 19th century magazine. It was based on an actual incident in London at the time, when builders had completely removed the ground floor of an old Georgian terrace house to install windows for a new shopfront. The structure was supported on slender cast-iron columns. The pressure under the columns was so great it crushed the bricks to powder and the building collapsed, killing several workmen).
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #10
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Design professionals are not expensive. Mine not only saved me money on projects but so many headaches. And they knew the ropes as far as inspection issues and so forth. Money well spent although perhaps not an expense you were planning on? You will end up paying what you would them one way or the other from my experience.

And you need to be able insure and perhaps one day sell this structure.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:23 PM   #11
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This doesn't seem any different than how some homes are built on stilts
in coastal areas,other than the first floor is closed in.
Elevation requirements increase constantly in some areas because of
recent flooding or erosion problems.
This one is built in Galveston,Tx.,so it also has to be hurricane proof.
Looks to be about 12' to floor joists

Definitely possible,just do your homework and get an engineer's approval.
Too much at risk to rely on guesswork.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:11 PM   #12
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It is relatively common to build habitable structures supported on poles. I have personally inspected over a dozen houses built much like the one in the Galveston photo that performed very well under extreme loading conditions (hurricane winds and flooding). Unfortunately, I have also inspected over a dozen pole supported houses that failed in a variety of ways due to wind loading or water loading.

As with any design, the critical factor is that all loads, both dead and live, must be adequately accounted for via structural design. On pole structures, certain loads become more critical than in platform framing, including seismic and wind loading, due to the potential for buckling of the poles. Of course your designer will take this into account when they develop the plans for your structure. If you design yourself, then you need to carefully account for the potential for buckling of the poles, and the potential for unexpected movement of the structure due to lateral loading from wind or seismic forces. On pole structures, these types of loads are often resisted by bracing or special pole to foundation connection details. The exact details of the framing depends on the geometry of the house, the soil conditions, and the load conditions.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:39 AM   #13
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This drawing is how I was planning on adding the second floor to the top of the 6"x6". Hopefully someone will be able to understand what I have drawn! lol
The 2nd story walls will all be 2"x4"s 16" on center and the roof will be 2"x8"s 16" on center as well. The ceiling of the ground floor will be insulated and I will put a 5/8" drywall on followed by 1/2" drywall on that as a firewall (ceiling).

The 6"x6" posts will be 4' in the ground sitting on 4" concrete pads. I intend to nail treated wood blocks on the end of the posts before I bury and pack them in gravel.

I am not looking for someone to help me build this from the top down, was just hoping to find someone with a little more insight on what I am trying to do.

I do appreciate the info thus provided by everyone and maybe this drawing will answer some question some of you had. If not, please let me know and I will try to provide what I can.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:10 AM   #14
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simply put, if you are required to pull a permit to construct this you will need a design professional. nothing in the code prescribes this type of construction. whether anyone agrees with you or not does not matter. when a type of construction is not spelled out in the building code you must have a design professional that will certify it is compliant with the building code.

and no the drawing does not answer the important questions, and if built this way I foresee a potential failure of the floor framing

determination of the size of structural members is based upon spans and the loads they must transfer to the ground. what you propose may or may not work, it is impossible to determine with the limited information provided, thus another reason for you to invest in a design professional.

I'll leave you with a simple question, should you find someone on here that you do not know (or their level of knowledge and experience) that says, "yes, you're going about this perfectly correct!" would you proceed based upon their statement??????

not trying to beat up on you, but you've had people telling you what you NEED to hear, its just not what you WANT to hear

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminimoon66 View Post

If I use treated 6" X 6" X 16' posts spaced 6 foot on center (in stead of 8'), will this support the second floor apartment without any issues?
In all probability, the posts would support the vertical loading from above, though that would still need to be properly calculated as a check.

The main issue you will have is lateral stability under potential horizontal loads such as wind- and seismic loads. In post-supported buildings, this is achieved by devices such as diagonal bracing between the posts, or the inclusion of 'shear walls' somewhere within the structure (these help to resist horizontal loads). There is no significant lateral strength in the post/beam connection in your drawing.

In your case, you would presumably include such walls internally. Also, the cladding of the posts will play an important part in maintaining stiffness. This makes it even more important that the cladding is robust enought to accomodate the horizontal load without buckling, and that it is fixed securely to the posts.

What you are suggesting is OK in principle, but you really do need an SE to design and detail the 'nuts and bolts'.

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