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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below is a pic of my pole barn. (was a hazy morning)

Clearance is about 100 inches on the nose, but I am interested in raising it if possible as all the tractors I am looking at are in the 102-105 height range.

Is it fessible to do this, and if so, how? What equipment would be required?


Sky Building Plant Tree Land lot
 

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I needed to raise mine by 8". I lowered the floor. I had an excavator dig out 20", added 7" of compacted class 5 to work as a base for the 5" concrete floor that went on top of the base. Then I insulated the entire perimeter on the outside with 2" of pink insulation board and poured a 4" apron around the building. The poles are not attached to the concrete.

Filled in the gap at the gap at the bottom, insulated it, added a furnace and no more horse barn, now a fully functioning shop.

The old barn sat high enough on the grade that I was able to cut away 8" all away around the building so it drains away. The poles don't sit as deep as they used to but with the perimeter insulated and heat inside I do not worry about frost lifting a corner of the building. With the ceiling fully framed out and the plank and OSB walls the building is incredibly solid and stable.

I did consider raising the building and pouring a slab under it and converting it from a pole barn to a slab on grade structure but decided against it. If i had the entire building up on jacks and any wind came up I think it could be a very dangerous situation.

Your building looks a little smaller than mine but you have the center posts to deal with as well Without the dimensions I can only guess. If lowering the floor is not an option I think a beam (double 2X12 LVL should be enough) on each side and down the center securely attached to the posts and high enough fit a jack and blocking under. With 6 - 9 jacks (depends on capacity of beams) and the posts detached I think it could be done. Raise each jack a 1/4" at a time, regularly checking to keep the whole building level. I would enlist your least favorite in-law to man the jacks in the center row. Use long 2X4s to brace the posts so they can't deflect.

The risk here is not only a wind, since the post will not be secure so any wind can pick up an edge and then its game over. You also have posts with little to tie them together. As weight transfers a post could kick out and again its game over. The more you can cross brace the posts the better.

So you buy some LVLs, lumber and jacks. How much more for the new right sized building?
 

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provided you couldnt lower the ground like mentioned above

first question is how far do you really need to raise it ?

second questions would be where do you want to raise it......bottom,middle or top of columns?....do you want to replace columns or add on tops or bottoms? etc.

from the very limited picture posted i would probably go to a steel shop and have some 10ga galvanized steel sheeting made in to a C shape to fit the poles i would want them at least 4' longer than what amount i wanted to lift the building so i could end up with 2' of overlap on both top and bottom i would want the Cs to fit tight and be full size on 3 sides ...i would lag on a 2x scab on one side of the pole 2' off the concrete then cut the pole at 2'......then fit the C on the pole with thru bolts on the bottom 2' ....and a few moveable screws on the top 2'+ .....then remove the 2x scab and screw on two jack boards and jack column up a 1/2" at a time putting in a shim....then the next column ...and so on till i raised the building as much as i wanted it then i would cut pole fillers and put them in the gaps ...and ...put thru bolts on everything.......<<brief description ....this method could be done with minimal jacks just moving each pole up 1/2 and a time and resecuring each time....you could also use a lumber C ......i would also probably do some temporary X bracing etc....just tossing this out as a minimal equipment type option ..but there are many ways to do a lift ...also you could probably hire some house movers to do it for you

this description was to illustrate a method type only ...sizing of parts and pieces would be up to the builder to determine what would be adequate

largest building i ever had moved was a 60 x 100 all metal building about 100yds accross a street
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Great detailed feedback gents, thank you for taking the time to write that out. I had already contacted my general contractor about reinforcing the supports this fall as this building was constructed in 1937, but I can read your posts to him to give him food for thought on increasing clearance and see what approach he might want to take.

Dimensions are 30 ft x 30 ft

The current grade drains fairly well, but some water does creep in a few feet and pool in the front of the left side during heavy rain, so I do like the idea of improving that situation as well. This is in Georgia by the way, so snow is not a factor.

I priced a new steel building and it is around $20K delivered and installed, but does not include the slab/foundation. I'm guessing raising this structure/lowering the ground would be a good bit cheaper, and I also like the idea of preserving this building for sentimental reasons, as it seems to be in good shape, and the property has been in my family since 1950.

Thanks again
 

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Below is a pic of my pole barn. (was a hazy morning)

Clearance is about 100 inches on the nose, but I am interested in raising it if possible as all the tractors I am looking at are in the 102-105 height range.

Is it fessible to do this, and if so, how? What equipment would be required?


View attachment 804319
2-5" shouldn't be too bad by just jacking up the posts if they are already deep enough in the ground. However, I'll throw out another alternative. This is material inexpensive but could be labor expensive. Block up the existing structure, cut it loose from the posts but save the posts. Raise the structure and set short sections of 6" deep x appropriate width timber on top of the posts. I'd go to the width of the existing diagonal bracing. Tie everything back together. It's an alternative but not necessarily what I'd do.

I see one post is already on a concrete pillar. Those are also alternatives, just need to tie things together so wind can't uplift the building.

Lots of ways to get a few extra inches, you just need to figure out the most economical way that leaves a structure with the strength and stability needed for your area. If that post is just sitting on a concrete pillar, that's not great as wind can easily lift it. Some way to tie the two together even if it's anchor bolts into the concrete and strapping is needed.
 

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What is your location? Is frost an issue?
Raise the building, raise the roof or either?
 
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Is it just a perspective of picture or is the left side of the building leaning? If it leaning then it’s time to replace those poles before parking a tractor in there. Also a good chance to go 6” higher with the new poles
 

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Consider this, take and cut the posts one at a time at say four foot. Nail three 2xs the same width as the post say six foot long on three sides to the bottom 4 foot and screw the fourth side in. Put them 2 foot off the ground. Due this for all the posts. Now jack up the posts say a foot and insert a block to let it rest on by removing the screwed 2x. . Now fasten the top side of the boards to the raised posts and reinstall the fourth 2x.. The risk is minimal that the wind will blow it off while you are doing this. Borrow a few floor jacks and raise it a few inches at a time, block it as you go and work your way to the height you want. Second idea, I drove by a guy who slowly raised the roof on his concrete block garage using a different method. He raised the roof slowly till he had the height he wanted and then added a short 2x4 wall to fill the gap. There are multiple ways to do this. If you are nervous about the wind, wait for a still day and do what you can and then anchor the roof down with straps or chains via heavy weights or machinery until you can finish and tie it in properly.
I am no engineer but I am known to be creative, have a smart person confirm if these ideas have merit.
 

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Bunch of good ideas here.
This is completely doable for minimal $$$

Replacement cost of new building is stupid high.......save what ya got
 

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Great detailed feedback gents, thank you for taking the time to write that out. I had already contacted my general contractor about reinforcing the supports this fall as this building was constructed in 1937, but I can read your posts to him to give him food for thought on increasing clearance and see what approach he might want to take.

Dimensions are 30 ft x 30 ft

The current grade drains fairly well, but some water does creep in a few feet and pool in the front of the left side during heavy rain, so I do like the idea of improving that situation as well. This is in Georgia by the way, so snow is not a factor.

I priced a new steel building and it is around $20K delivered and installed, but does not include the slab/foundation. I'm guessing raising this structure/lowering the ground would be a good bit cheaper, and I also like the idea of preserving this building for sentimental reasons, as it seems to be in good shape, and the property has been in my family since 1950.

Thanks again
There's something classy about the look of that structure.

Makes me want to say "they don't make 'em that way any more".

Wonder if you could have the entire structure raised and put on perma-columns?
 

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Depending on how much you want to raise it, its doable.
Couple of us helped a neighbor raise his 6".
He had 3 sided metal brackets made up, we cut each 6x6, bolted the bracket below the cut, when every post was cut and brackets installed we started jacking up each section 1 1/5" inserted a 2x4 till they were all 6" higher, then we pulled the 2x4s and put in a section of 6x6 and bolted everything together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is it just a perspective of picture or is the left side of the building leaning? If it leaning then it’s time to replace those poles before parking a tractor in there. Also a good chance to go 6” higher with the new poles
Yes that does look bad doesn't it. Must be something from the camera lense.....they are definitely plumb in person
 

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Consider this, take and cut the posts one at a time at say four foot. Nail three 2xs the same width as the post say six foot long on three sides to the bottom 4 foot and screw the fourth side in. Put them 2 foot off the ground. Due this for all the posts. Now jack up the posts say a foot and insert a block to let it rest on by removing the screwed 2x. . Now fasten the top side of the boards to the raised posts and reinstall the fourth 2x.. The risk is minimal that the wind will blow it off while you are doing this. Borrow a few floor jacks and raise it a few inches at a time, block it as you go and work your way to the height you want. Second idea, I drove by a guy who slowly raised the roof on his concrete block garage using a different method. He raised the roof slowly till he had the height he wanted and then added a short 2x4 wall to fill the gap. There are multiple ways to do this. If you are nervous about the wind, wait for a still day and do what you can and then anchor the roof down with straps or chains via heavy weights or machinery until you can finish and tie it in properly.
I am no engineer but I am known to be creative, have a smart person confirm if these ideas have merit.
Only comment is to keep from creating a "knee" joint in your columns. Make sure any cut and extension is restrained from buckling in all directions.
 
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