So, I will warn you all right away, this won't be a fast moving thread. I always enjoy seeing others build threads though, so I thought I would share mine with everyone as well.
I am building a pole barn myself on nights and weekends (with help from my dad, father-in-law, brother-in-law, friends, and a guy I hired that we used to work with that builds pole barns for a living). We are also having a house built starting very soon and will be putting some work in on that as well so that will distract us from the pole barn at times (I will probably include a few pictures of the house too when the time comes).
A little back story: We bought the land last summer/fall, and over the winter made plans to build a house and pole barn on the property. We are on a sandy hill and can see for about a mile in almost any direction and just felt it was the best land we had seen in the 4+ years of looking. The land was a corn field last year, so we are truly working with a blank slate. Around here you can't build a pole barn without at least a house permit filed as well, so with delays from the bank, etc. we were finally able to get started recently on the pole barn as the house will be started in the coming weeks.
The pole barn will be 40' x 70' with sidewalls approximately 15.5' tall. The size was limited by the township but should be big enough for what I have planned. I will probably only be able to fill about 2/3 of it myself right away, but I already have others wanting to store stuff in it, funny how that works. We will be putting in two larger overhead doors at 16' wide and 14' tall (clearance enough for the 2 fifth wheel campers that will be kept in there) and a smaller overhead door at 10' wide and 8' tall. The smaller door will be for a separated bay that will store my future JD 1025R in the summer and my Camaro in the winter, I am also thinking of lining it so that I can use it as an indoor wash bay for everything. Behind that bay I will have a workshop area, and above both of those will be a storage loft. We are using cathedral trusses in that area to provide additional headroom for the loft.
The land is a "flag lot" and there is a natural spring spot near where the land opens up where the old owners buried a pond years ago. This spot was still low and a little mushy this spring, so our first step was to cut a ditch along the future driveway for draining surface water and to dry up that spot. It worked like a charm and the driveway should be good to go when we get to that point later this year. We also found all of the survey markers from last year and put in 6x6 posts to clearly mark the property lines.
We found out the week before we planned on starting on the pole barn that we had to have some serious footings under the poles . We had planned on the pre-formed footers that you can buy that are 16" in diameter and 4" thick. What we actually needed was 28"-32" diameter footings that were a minimum of 8" thick. So we rented a 30" post hole digger attachment for my dad's bobcat (that he purchased to help us out and play in the dirt on our land). All of the footings ended up closer to 10-12" thick with the larger diameter footings on the sides of the overhead doors being over a foot thick. We had a local cement company deliver us 5 yards of cement for all of the holes. Unfortunately, everything happened so quickly that day that I didn't get action shots, only pictures of the aftermath. In the end it was okay because the rental of the larger post hole digger was actually cheaper from a different rental place and the cement was only a couple hundred dollars more than the post footers were. Plus, this building should never, ever go anywhere with footings like that!
On that day, we also got our temp electrical service installed so we don't have to work with generators. Our builder loves us for this too so that he doesn’t need generators either when he starts the house.
A few days later, we spent a Saturday setting all of the poles except 1 that was left out for the skytrack to enter the building when setting trusses.
The following Saturday, we installed all of the headers, and many of the purlins around the outside of the barn that the steel will be fastened too.
During the following week, my dad and I put up some more purlins and prepared for that Saturday when we installed the trusses!
That was this past Saturday so that is where we are at right now. We have some more bracing to do in the trusses still, but there is enough in there for now to keep it stable in wind and storms if we can’t get back to it soon.
Like I said, this is going to be a somewhat slow moving project compared to others since we are doing it ourselves on nights and weekends when available around doing work for the house we are building as well as getting our current house ready to sell soon.
Thanks for looking and let me know if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!