Will pole building hold up as well as steel?

I have a question that I hope you’ll share with others interested in residential airparks.

What percentage of hangars at fly-in communities are steel frame and what percentage are wood frame?

I was surprised that a lot of hangars have wood “pole barn” construction with the wood column set in the ground. My lifetime concern has always been wood rot and termites, carpenter ants, etc. I know most builders use treated wood for the posts.

My personal preference would be concrete “piers” or foundation with steel frame.

Friends have told me the wooden buildings are guaranteed for 50 years but in my opinion, buildings should last indefinitely. My house was built in 1951 and I would hope it lasts more than 50 years.

Anyway, I’m curious about the split between wood and steel in hangar foundation construction. I guess another related question relates to the long-term success of various structures in term of “endurance”, wind and snow load resistance, etc.


AL Masetti

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One reply on “Will pole building hold up as well as steel?”


I owned a business building pole building for years and have built 100’s of building. You are on the right track here with steel buildings. Wood post frame buildings depending upon the height of the building requires the depth of the hole and the size of the post. If you build say a 12′ high building then your post hole depth would be around 4 feet with a post size of 6″ x 6″ or 6″ x 8″. You would need a truss at the end of the gable to carry the load. If you have ever built a fence with concrete you know over time the water can pool at the base and rot the post because it holds moisture. Many times people you concrete because of the uplifting of the building with the door open, it make like an umbrella. A pressure treated post with a concrete 6″ pad in the bottom to prevent the post from moving or sinking is best. Pour gravel around the post and pack well with a vibrater. Make sure you pack well around the posts so your concrete does not crack. I really like pole buildings and yes they will last 50 years however over time the metal will change colors unless you pay for a better grade. May I suggest a steel frame building with wood girds. Check out Web Steel Buildings out of Sandy, OR. You can build this thing yourself. Let me know if you have any more questions.


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