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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys - I'm a DIY type of guy and have done everything from decks to sheds to paver driveways to full interior remodels. But I'm hoping you can give me some advice on a garage I would like to build.

I need a very tall garage. The walls will be 16' high, and the roof will peak at 20 ft. It'll be 18' wide by 33' long. It will be placed on a compacted gravel base (ground was excavated and the gravel goes all the way to the frost line)

My township doesn't require a building permit for this size building and as such, has been reluctant to give me any guidance whatsoever.

I am trying to find out the following:

a) I was considering using 6 x 6 PT lumber for the perimeter of the building, secured with ground spikes. On top of which I would use 2x4 studs for the walls. My lumber supplier expressed concern about using 6x6's for that high of a building.

Outside of pouring a concrete foundation, do you think 6x6 would be sufficient, or do you have any alternative recommendations for a stronger base perimeter?

b) Would 2x4's be sufficient enough for walls that will extend 16 feet high? Or should 2x6's be used instead?

c) The cost of the materials is much higher than I thought - $10,000+. For that amount, I was considering looking into metal buildings instead. Any pros / cons you could recommend?

d) Do you think a metal / steel building would be a better choice?

Any advice would be greatly appreciate guys. Thank you!
 

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Civil Engineer
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Very difficult to offer any advice since you do not indicate your location, you do not discuss whether there are high wind and/or seismic issues in your area, and you do not discuss the soil conditions at your location. It is certainly possible to build using 16 foot studs in a favorable location, however a building that tall is subject to higher wind loading than a conventional garage, and greater potential seismic issues, which need to be thought through.
 

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Just sounds like a really, really bad plan for lots of reasons.
Why so tall?
Really want to cheap out and under build it like that then the only way to go is with a metal carport style like you suggested.
Order it and they could have one built in a day when they show up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I am located in the northeast part of PA. Subject to cold temps and some decent winds, but no 'seismic' activity. This will be used for one reason - to park a semi truck (front part of a tractor trailer) inside. And specific to 'JoeCaption' - nowhere did I mention I was trying to cheap out. I want this done right which is why I solicited advice in the first place. True I didn't expect the quote for materials to be as high, but that doesn't mean I'm looking for a cheap way out.

If you guys have any other advice, or even recommended steel garage manufacturers, I'm all ears. Thank you!
 

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Retired Moderator
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Yep---I think a pole barn is just the ticket---and the pole barn installers are so reasonable that you probably won't want to DIY the construction.
 

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Ground spikes is definitely not the way go if you want the building to stay up.
You want a pole barn with the pole properly set into the ground.
 

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JOATMON
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I'm a garage guy....and what you are wanting is most likely a pole barn.

But you might also want to contact your local Amish towns. Those guys KNOW how to build a barn. Big barns. Could be one of the best experiences you ever have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have to say I never even thought of a pole barn building. Idea didn't even cross my mind. You have definitely given me a new direction to research thank you.
 

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I am amazed no permit is needed. Heck I need one for a garden shed where I live . Permit or a building if this size really needs a proper set of plans taking account the external factors and loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah apparently if it is under 1000sq ft no permit is required where we live. But I agree with what you said. Not everyone would research the proper options like I am doing.
 

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That 'no permit' is common in rural areas---I have farm zoning--and until a few years ago,we could build any sort of out building without a permit.

Sadly, those days are gone--urban sprawl has changes the requirements.
 

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Residential Designer
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Thanks guys. I am located in the northeast part of PA. Subject to cold temps and some decent winds, but no 'seismic' activity. This will be used for one reason - to park a semi truck (front part of a tractor trailer) inside. And specific to 'JoeCaption' - nowhere did I mention I was trying to cheap out. I want this done right which is why I solicited advice in the first place. True I didn't expect the quote for materials to be as high, but that doesn't mean I'm looking for a cheap way out.

If you guys have any other advice, or even recommended steel garage manufacturers, I'm all ears. Thank you!
I am pretty sure that PA. has adopted a statewide code, the UCC Uniform Construction Code, using the 2009 International Building and 2009 International Residential codes plus others of course.

Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey guys just thought I'd update everyone - I decided to go with the pole barn approach afterall. And I have you guys to thank for it. As common as it may seem, I didn't even think of this as an option for my garage. And the build will save me big time...both in cost and labor time. I'll be looking forward to getting this thing done in the Spring. So thank you for your recommendations!
 

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If I ever won the lottery I'd build a pole barn so big my house could sit inside it in one corner. Two walls of the house would face the great outdoors and 2 sides would face inside the pole barn. A barn big enough that parking 8-10 cars back near the house wouldn't put a dent in my floor space. :vs_karate:
 
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