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Old 02-07-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
jeff5295
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Default Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

Looking for some opinions here. We bought our house last fall and it included a 36 X 56 pole barn. It had no floor, wiring, etc. Basically just a large storage shed for the previous owner. I'm turning it into a workshop. So far I've added a concrete floor with radiant heat tubing in the slab. Next step will be to insulate, plumb, wire, etc, then finish the interior. My first thought was to install insulation bats in the walls, hang a steel ceiling with blow-in insulation, and steel line the walls. THis is how I did my shop at our last house.

After doing some research, I'm leaning towards spray-on insulation, maybe just an inch to seal the building and possiby finish with bats to save some money. Seams like the spray and bat combo on the walls might be most cost effective and still provide the sealing benefit. At my last shop, I noticed a lot of drafts around the outlets, so I think the spray foam would be a great for sealing the building.

The ceiling gets tricky. The building was built by some Amish people. The trusses are hand made and are 8' OC. They are 2x8 top and bottom with 2x4 bracing. The seams are sandwiched with blocks and nailed together rather than the typical steel plates use in modern truss designs. I'm a little concerned the trusses may not be adequate to take the weight of the steel ceiling with blow-in insulation. I may be able to "sister" some addition joists to increase the load but not sure if that would be cost effective.

Another idea I had was to not install a ceiling at all, leaving the trusses exposed. Use spray insulation directly to the underside of the steel roof. To get a decent R value, the ceiling spray would probably need to be pretty thick (I'm in Iowa, gets pretty cold in winter). I'm concerned as to how this might look, just leaving spray foam exposed. Maybe there's a way to "finish" or cover the foam? Also not thrilled about leaving the trusses exposed as I think it will look "unfinished" or cheap. I'm not trying to make a showroom, but I like my place to look nice.

A third option might be this. Spray an inch on underside of roof. Use some light weight alternative to steel sheets on ceiling to decrease load on trusses (or strengthen the trusses and use steel). Blow in insulation on top of ceiling. I should mention this building has no ridge or soffet venting. Not sure why he did this. The spray would seal the roof, but would I have trouble with the double insulation (under roof and top of flat ceiling)? There would be no air flow in the attic area. If I chose to do the flat ceiling with blow-in, should I bother with the spray on the ceiling (maybe just do corners and edges to seal it)?

Anyone run into this situation before? Any suggestion/opinions?

How could I calculate the load of these trusses to see if they could take the weight of steel, since they were handmade?

If I decide to go with exposed trusses, any good way to make it look nicer?

Any light weight/good looking alternatives to steel for the ceiling?

I don't have a huge budget for this, but it needs to look nice. I plan to do all the work myself.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I'm in the same situation as you right now. Your trusses sound like they're as heavy as mine, and I have a 56' span.

I've decided to go with the spray-on foam on both the sidewalls, and the underside of the roof.

I've been quoted an R-21 equivalent on the walls, and an R-28 for the roof.

I will line the walls with OSB, and the ceiling will be 29 ga. steel on the bottom of the trusses.

I've been told that you don't want insulation on top of the ceiling if you have the roof done. I'm all for that!!
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

i was told that the metal will rot/rust faster with the foam stuck to it (holds moisture) my buddys shop right on the water has reg insulat and its been trouble free since 84. also r max 4x8 is very light and once taped it helps hold the heat and the shiny foil reflexs light, on the ceiling would be easy install, i had a guy quote me a price on the finished insulation kinda looks like wall paper on the face comes in many widths and supported by wire stringers but no need for sheet rock and it was $2900 for my 30x80 im going with sheet rock for a clean look, let me know what you find out ive gotta figure out my insulation for my new pole barn good luck mike.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I also am in this boat currently.

I am studding in between my posts with 2x6's and plan on kraft backed insulation and then hanging sheet rock.

My pole barn (40x64) has posts on 8' o/c length wise (64') and 10' o/c width wise (40').

My trusses 2x8 top and bottom chords are also 8' o/c. My building is typical of the manufacturer of the building (HOBGOOD).

The previous owner (who had the building constructed) also had someone wall off a 24' x 40' room as a sort of "man cave" where he had various dead animals hanging on walls, a pool table, a bar of sorts, and a bunch of guns..... The ceiling in this area is OSB.

Whoever did the work, bridged between the trusses (8' o/c) with 2x4's (2'-0" o/c) and hung the ceiling from that. They used blow in insulation above that ceiling.

In my shop area (the remaining 40' x 40'), I am leaving the trusses exposed. My building has some sort of wrapped insulation (including under the roof deck) and I am relying on that to be good enough for my shop area. I too am a little concerned with hanging a ceiling from the bottom of trusses spaced 8'-0" o/c, so I'm not doing it.

I already had to get creative to install my lift that requires 12' ceilings in a building with 10' clear to the bottom of the trusses.

Here is a few (really bad) pics of what I'm doing. The walls really stiffen up (and square-up) the building. I am toe-nailing my new walls to the existing horizontals used to attach the metal siding.



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Old 02-08-2009, 08:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

if you can call and ask the company that built the pole barn about sheet rocking the ceiling and see what they reccomend, those trusses can take one hell of a load, not to mention you have to fill in between them any way for nailers for the rock , john man you all ready have the insulation that i described it works in my budys shop great even in the coldest days, you should be good on that , if you wanted to cover the walls theres always 3/8 sheet rock alot lighter and for the ceiling put that r max foam board stuff i did it in my home garage it looks tight you can even paint it, looking a johnmans lift thats gonna be my problem i see i just cut out one truss in my garage and made to opening 8 foot thinking my lift would fit but i see that with the poles up there over 8 ft, i bought my lift used over a year and a half and never measured it because it was going no problem in my old garage looks like if it dont fit im going to 4 post damn take care mike.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I was considering (for a moment) cutting one truss, but from my professional opinion (im a Mech. Eng.), I chose to stay clear of modifying an Engineered Truss system and all the hassles that go along with doing so if I were to relocate and have to sell.

I'm working on wiring now.....(the electrical shown in the pictures was existing)

I'm pretty confident that I would NOT ever build a pole barn for a shop.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I'm another in the same boat, bought a place with an existing 30x40 pole barn.
There is a 16x30 insulated room buit in the back that I intend to as is, but I have to figure out how to finish the remaining 24'.
Mine is built a bit differently than the one pictured above, the 2x5 horizontals are laid on their side between the posts, vertically spaced at 24"OC. This makes them flush with the posts so that I could simply add batts and then attach steel to the walls as is, leaving me with standard 6" insulated walls.

However, also being from Iowa, and after this winter's heating bills, I'm considering working out a "super insulated" setup. Not quite sure how I'm gonna do it though, as I have a couple options in mind.

Under consideration:
1. Spray foam, probably just enough to outline the studs/posts and steel so that all the seams are sealed. The disadvantage to this will be that it will cause problems if I ever have a need to remove or replace a panel on the outside. After the foam, insulate with 6" batts, and then put the interior on.

2. Same as above, except then stud out an addition interior wall with more fiberglass batts. This option will add more insulation and only take up 7" from the interior dimensions. It will also allow me to offset and isolate the studs on the exterior walls from the interior to stop some of the cold transfer through the walls.

3. Do the exterior walls as in #1, but then line the interior with 1" or so of pink or blue foam before putting the interior steel on. Should add almost as much insulation as batts, however if the seams are sealed decent it will stop air infiltration.

4. Ceiling will be 2x6's on 24" centers connecting the trusses, steel ceiling, andthen 15"+ of blown in fiberglass in the attic.

In addition to any of the above, wiring will be in conduit on the interior walls so as to eliminate any holes in the interior envelope as much as possible.

Heat will be pex in the floor, I'm also considering building a couple of the passive solar hot boxes on exterior of the south wall since I have decent winter sun on that wall. Just as well use it.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMAN View Post
I was considering (for a moment) cutting one truss, but from my professional opinion (im a Mech. Eng.), I chose to stay clear of modifying an Engineered Truss system and all the hassles that go along with doing so if I were to relocate and have to sell.

I'm working on wiring now.....(the electrical shown in the pictures was existing)

I'm pretty confident that I would NOT ever build a pole barn for a shop.


This is how i cut mine out but mine were also 4ft on center i opened it up to 8 ft o.c. for the auto lift .because of height restrictions in my town ive got 9,5 wall height and 15 ft to peak.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

There aren't any roof or soffit vents because the owner wasn't going to insulate that building so there was no need.

When I re-built my pole building (I moved it from another location) I sheathed the outside walls with 1" blue styrofoam then used house wrap. I SHOULD have had the my son-in-law (who did much of the rough in work after we re-set the building) lay the 2X6 wall girts on edge so I could have used regular 24" insulation. But I had all the insulation from the previous build and it was various leftovers from other jobs... so I built 2X4 walls inside the poles and used the old insulation... mostly R-30.

You DON'T want to use spray foam on the interior roof panels then insulate the ceiling... I think you'd have condensation problems. You DO want to vent the attic area above an insullated ceiling just as you would any house.

29 gauge steel is great for the ceiling and will be lighter in weight than plywood/drywall/osb. With 8" top and bottom cords your trusses should be plenty strong to hold a ceiling.

If you lay the girts on their side to make insulating easy, a pole building becomes a fast and economical way to build a nice shop.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I've got a plan for the finishing the walls. I'll just get 2x3 studs (they're cheaper than 2x4's) and run them horizontally, nailed to the 6x6 posts. I'll hang wide bats of insulation between the posts first. This also leaves room to route wiring without drilling holes in the posts. The drywall or steel is fastened to the horizontal stringers. This is how I finished my last building interior and it worked great. Much cheaper/easier than using 2x6 framing run vertically. Of course you lose about 3.5" of interior space, but I'm not too worried about that.

I'm starting to think I should just add the soffet and ridge venting and do blow-in insulation on the ceiling. Still a little concerned if these trusses will take the weight. We have a pretty significant snow load here in the winter to deal with too. I'm pretty sure the guy who had this built didn't intend on finishing the ceiling, so I doubt he paid extra for suitable trusses.

My last building (a Morton) had a very wide botton cord (probably 12", maybe more). It also had 8'OC truss location. I just used joist hangers and ran 2x4 stringers between the trusses then screwed the ceiling steel to them and the truss. I had a lot of confidence in those trusses because Morton said they would take that load. My current building has the home-made trusses and I don't have as much confidence in them. Not using the traditional "nail plates" (for lack of the proper term) has me a little worried. I guess I could drill through the wooden plates and run bolts through them to strengthen them a bit.

I'd like to use steel on the ceiling for several reasons:

It's a one-step process. Screw it up and you're done.

I like the finished look of white painted steel.

Good for light reflectivity - brighter shop area.

With about 2000 sq/ft of ceiling area, drywall is way too much work for this shop. Hang it, tape it, mud, sand, mud, sand, prime, paint, paint again. All while working over your head. Did it once, never again.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

whats the cost of steel (white) panels compared to say 5/8 or 1/2 inch sheet rock? any body know.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

I can tell you that where I live (southern Indiana), 1/2" x 4' X 10' sheet rock is $7.43 retail. I don't know about steel panels.

I mainly decided to do 2x6 studs in between posts as there will be some stout shelves constructed to store most of my seldom used stuff that used to occupy my attic in my old shop. I am considering constructing high shelves on most if not all the walls. That should provide more than enough storage for all my existing crap as well as some future storage.

I vowed after this move not to collect as much junk as I have in the past. It may be tough to live up to, but we have to have dreams.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

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whats the cost of steel (white) panels compared to say 5/8 or 1/2 inch sheet rock? any body know.

Last week's local Menards ad had 26guage steel panels for $62/100sqft I believe. Yes, it's more expensive that sheetrock, but as has been said it's a one step deal, screw it on and go.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

Steel seems to keep coming down in price. It was about $80 for 100sq/ft just a few months ago. It's way more money than drywall, but so much easier to install on a ceiling. In my last shop I used steel on the ceiling and drywall on the walls because steel was extremely expensive back then. Even with the high price of steel, I thought it was worth it to not have the hassle of finishing drywall over head. When I get to the point of finishing walls on this shop, I'll do a price comparision of steel vs drywall (paying someone else to finish it) and decide from there.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Pole barn insulation and inside finishing

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whats the cost of steel (white) panels compared to say 5/8 or 1/2 inch sheet rock? any body know.
White is $2.22/lf
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:35 AM   #16
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Steel seems to keep coming down in price. It was about $80 for 100sq/ft just a few months ago.

They have "liner" panels for inside use which are I beleive 26ga, which I listed above at $62/sq, they also have the exterior grade with better paint and thicker steel, which is still over $80/sq.

Ain't come down much yet..........
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