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Pole Barns to Engineered Post Frame Buildings


The “pole barn” has been around for centuries. In fact, many prehistoric people used posts driven into the ground as a way to erect buildings for a number of uses. Buildings along shorelines were built with poles to raise them above the water line. In rural areas, poles were used as the base for farm sheds.

However, these buildings could only be relied on for a short period of time as the lifespan of the poles were limited due to contact with the ground, unless they were built in very dry regions.

As the Great Depression settle in and building materials were hard to come by, a new type of pole building emerged. An American entrepreneur designed a building that used 2′ x 4′ boards and a truss system.

Advances in Post Frame

Since the humble beginning of pole buildings, the industry has experienced many advances in engineering. Treated, laminated posts are standard in most building practices. Another option is the superior Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF) treated wood post that has an even higher level of protection than regular treated wood. Engineering to local codes, large rib metal with 40-year warranty, energy efficient doors and windows, Hardie Board siding, new building designs and modern accessories are just some of the innovations of the post frame industry.

New Era for Post Frame with Engineered Concrete Base for Post

Probably the biggest advance for post frame today is the introduction of the Perma-Column. Perma-Columns are precast concrete columns that keep wood out of the ground. They are the first product to combine the economy of post frame construction with the durability of a concrete foundation.

About Perma-Column

  • Uses the latest in self-compacting concrete precasting technology, which gives three times the strength of standard concrete
  • The special concrete mixture is designed to be so dense that water can’t penetrate it and subsequently freeze/thaw to break it up. The mixture is comparable to that used in bridge piers—meaning that it must stand up to cold temperatures around water.
  • Used for years in the U.S. and thoroughly tested by the universities of Wisconsin and Purdue, the Perma-Column outperforms standard wood posts
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee
  • Find out more about the Perma-Column engineering specs.

Modern Applications for Post Frame

If you look around the rural Canadian landscape, post frame buildings are everywhere serving a wide range of purposes: machinery storage, farm shops, hay and grain storage, riding arenas, commercial operations, new hip roof style barns and more. And it’s just started. Stay tuned to see what else is coming for post frame!

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