View Full Version : cinder block, wood frame or pole type???

08-30-2011, 01:25 AM
cost, strength, etc.???? would be only 16x24x12high, which is best for shop???

08-30-2011, 01:27 AM
Something bigger! lol
Pole is cheaper for the most part though!

08-30-2011, 06:18 AM
Pole barns should be left to store farm equipment.
Concrete block is forever, but difficult/expensive to insulate.
My vote goes to conc footings and block foundation with conventional stick frame construction. It's how I built my shop. Should last 100's of years if maintained vs 40 years for pole construction (I know people that have already replaced their supposed 60 yr treated poles in 30 years.)

If heating is not an issue then you can probably get away with pole construction.

08-30-2011, 07:10 AM
Are you building it yourself ? What are your skills ?

08-30-2011, 08:55 AM
According to another post you wrote- you mentioned adding on to your existing house/garage. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of aesthetics to use the same techniques and materials of the original building?

Or have you decided to do a detached building and the aesthetics are not an issue for you or your neighbors?

08-30-2011, 09:56 AM
Not all pole barns are created equal, and not all are built with wood contacting ground. Post-frame construction is just a building technique. As with any structure, if it is done the cheap/easy/corner cutting way, it will not last. As with any structure, it if is done the correct way with the correct materials, it will last forever.

My company uses post-frame techniques to build anything from barns, shore homes, through fire stations and medical centers. I can tell you for certain that post-frame construction is a fine choice when done the right way.

edit: Also, as with any style of construction, post-frame CAN be tied into existing structures. You will have no idea afterwards what it looks like underneath the sheetrock and siding etc.

edit2: And to be clear, as with any style of construction, post-frame CAN utilize ANY exterior and interior finishes. Brick, stone, vinyl, steel, hardiboard, shingles, sheetrock, wainscoting etc. etc. etc.

08-31-2011, 01:58 AM
Cinder blocks: More expensive, stronger, more experience to install, last longer, more foot print, very little damage from water.
Wood framing: less expensive, not as strong as cinder blocks, less knowledge to install, less foot print, more subject to water damage.
Pole type: Probable the less expensive of the three, stronger than stick built, same knowledge as stick building, same foot print as stick build, prone to water damage.
This is a rough estimate if you do the work your self, provided you also only have to build the walls. But a cinder block install should cast approx $1800 for blocks and mortar. A stick frame would be in the range of $800 for 2x6x12 and nails.

08-31-2011, 06:31 AM
Did you consider ICFs -- insulated concrete forms? Easy to build with, and have 2" of styrofoam insulation inside and out; easy to finish inside and out as well.

08-31-2011, 07:56 AM
ICF,s are nice but expensive if concrete and a pump truck.
If that is all the support you used I am surprised your corners did not blow out even at that height.

08-31-2011, 08:08 AM
akdiesel wrote:
Pole type: Probable the less expensive of the three, stronger than stick built, same knowledge as stick building, same foot print as stick build, prone to water damage.

It is true that post-frame can often be less expensive compared to an identically specified stick-on-foundation or other type of structure, mainly due to the speed to get the frame up (but also due, to a much smaller degree, to less material usage). Placing posts and girts is just faster than pouring a foundation. After this initial time savings, all interior and exterior finishes go up the same way as any other building.

Also agree that post-frame construction is very very strong style of construction. Google "post-frame advantage" to come to a non-commercial website that explains the engineering behind it.

I agree that many of the same carpentry skills used in stick framing would help that builder be a post-frame carpenter. The main difference being the skill it takes to properly set posts. If the posts are off, the whole thing is going to be tricky. But after that, no problem.

I do NOT agree that ALL pole barns are prone to water damage. I WILL agree that pole barns with wood posts directly in the dirt may be... BUT a well-built structure and placed on cement piers (which is still far faster and less expensive than a full foundation, but just as long lasting) are NOT prone to water damage. The issue here is that the cement piers add cost. If you want the piers, your pole barn company can source them easily, but most of the companies will not spec them in because it adds cost which can hurt a sale based primarily on price.

My tone here is purely informational, please do not read any other tone into it. Just aiming to be helpful to a group here that's helped me a ton along the way.

Thanks and good luck,

08-31-2011, 08:14 AM
ICF,s are nice but expensive if concrete and a pump truck.
If that is all the support you used I am surprised your corners did not blow out even at that height.

There were 3 or 4 supports inside and outside on each side (2"x6" and other scraps as shown in the photos). Any cut blocks were tacked together with scraps of wood as well to prevent any movement. Each block in the entire first course was foamed down to the concrete footings with spray foam. Also, (here) some ICF installers pour "a wall at a time" instead of pouring in a complete circle. It is somewhat hard to imagine but they drop the nozzle into the center of the wall and pour until that wall is full (after vibration), along with whatever spills over into the connecting forms; then they move onto the next wall until the whole batch of form work is complete.

If you pour in a circular fashion and fill (and vibrate) one course at a time, it greatly reduces the chances of a blowout since there is a constant pressure within each course... instead of a blast along each wall (as described above). The ICF installer I used had a few pieces of 2"x3" tacked on the outside of the corner forms to keep them secured. Also, they had strings run around each course to ensure that they stayed straight during the pour.

Of course, each course has rebar running horizontally and vertically, tied together with wire at every place where the rebars cross each other. He even looped/tied wire around the rebar after it was seated into the slots inside the ICF forms to prevent it from being bounced out accidentally by the pumper truck nozzle.