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5 Ways to Build Agricultural Buildings With Durability in Mind

60x120 Shop 14' lean to

If you’re going to build an agricultural building, you’d better do it right. It takes a durable structure to withstand the forces of mother nature, gravity, animals and more. We realize how enticing it can be to always choose the cheapest building option.  You see cheaper materials or services that seem equal to their more expensive alternatives, so you choose the cheaper option. A building’s a building after all, right?

Absolutely not. That’s like saying “a car’s a car,” but everyone knows a 1990 beater is definitely not equivalent to a brand-new Mercedes. There are a lot of details that go into a building, and those details – no matter how small – can make or break its durability.
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Post Frame Airplane Hangars

Post frame buildings make hangar construction and design easy and affordable. Airplane hangars are a valuable asset, allowing you to minimize your plane’s maintenance and maximize your flying time.

Integrity Post Structures builders aircraft hangars with clear-spans up to 120’ to fit your airplanes. Whether you need a hangar for a large or small aircraft, our post frame buildings can provide a strong, durable structure that offers tremendous functionality and weather protection for your aircraft.

Install Offices, Maintenance Areas, & More

Your airplane hangar can range from simple to sophisticated. During the design process we can include mezzanines, maintenance areas, office space, and more.
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Airplane Hangars Help Extend the Life of Your Plane

Doug Harvey contacted several companies about the possibility of building an airplane hangar. After careful consideration, he chose Integrity Post Structures. “I’m really happy with the way it was put together,” says Doug. “The crew worked together very well. The building turned out great.”

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Hangar Building | Tips for building your dream airplane hangar

Hangar construction and design can be easy and affordable. While hangars are sometimes referred to as glorified garages, they are a valuable asset—allowing you to minimize your plane’s maintenance time in the hangar and maximize your flying time.

Considering you’ve made a sizeable investment in your airplane—for hobby or professional use—you’re probably also thinking about the advantages of owning an aircraft storage building. A hangar allows you to work comfortably in the middle of winter and can be designed for a range of uses.

If you’re thinking of building a hangar, read these four tips first.

1. Determine how you will use your hangar

Your hangar will be used for airplane storage, but what other uses could your hangar serve? Hangars can vary from basic designs to complex. Consider including a workbench area where you can repair your aircraft in a comfortable, indoor environment. Many hangar owners have included mezzanines, maintenance areas, bathrooms and office space.

 

hangar interior

Doug Harvey’s hangar includes an area where he can repair his aircraft in comfort, out of the elements.

 

2. Size of your hangar

“I’ve never met a person who said they built too small,” says Al Williams, Integrity Post Structures partner. While you will develop your plans with your specific airport restrictions in mind, think big when planning your building. “It’s always easier to add square footage at the beginning of the project than at the end.”

Your aircraft hangar building can be engineered for many different airplane sizes. Consider the overall size of your plane or planes, what other equipment you may be storing in the hangar and additional functions your hangar may play.

Integrity Post Structures builds hangars with clearspans to 120’ to fit a wide range of planes.

 

Hangar airplane storage

64’ x 80’ x 18’ hangar building with 52’ x 18’ diamond bi-fold door

3. Choose your doors carefully

A popular choice for the main door is our Diamond bi-fold door that measures up to 90’ that allow for easy entries and exits with your aircraft. The bi-fold door is also a popular option because:
• Mount above clear opening so full headroom is maintained
• Heavy-duty steel construction with triple truss design resists wind loads and prevents sagging
• Door operation isn’t affected by wind, snow or ice
• Simply and securely locks from inside of building to keep your equipment safe.

Hangar owner Doug Harvey installed a 48’ Diamond bi-fold door as well as two overhead doors and walk-in doors for ease of access. “I put in the overhead doors so I can park my vehicle inside and just depart with the aircraft,” said Harvey.

Hangar door

Hangar door: 70' wide bi-fold with dual-drive operator

4. Extend the life of your building with Perma-Column concrete posts

Do you want your hangar to last? Then consider the benefit of concrete posts. A new option for Canadians, the Perma-Column for post frame is only available from Integrity Post Structures in Canada. These five foot precast concrete columns come with a lifetime guarantee. They keep wood out of the ground, ensuring your building’s foundation will last. They are the first product to combine the economy of post frame construction with the durability of a concrete foundation.

Many pilots who own or plan to own an aircraft want a hangar to protect their valuable aircraft from the elements. If you’re looking for a strong, engineered and long-lasting hangar, and some help with planning and design, contact Integrity Post Structures.

“I had several quotes but I chose Integrity because I found that they had the whole aspects of building a building together,” said Harvey. “I’m really happy with the way it was put together. The crew worked together very well, didn’t have to talk to each other to know what to do. The building turned out great. The corners weren’t out a quarter of an inch when it came to the corners.”

Find out more about hangars, see photos in our hangar building gallery, or hear more about Doug Harvey’s building on YouTube.

How to Prepare Your Post Frame Building Site

Congratulations! You’ve made a smart decision by choosing to build post frame.

Before the crew arrives, you’ll need to prepare your building site. Here are four tips to help guide you through the process.

1. Select the best location
Choose a location that will allow proper water drainage from all four corners of your building.  We can help you in this process by /transiting/ your site.  A transit level is used to locate level building lines. Your experienced salesperson can also help you choose the most appropriate spot. Remember to consider the finished building height (think trees) as well when choosing your building site.

A transit can be used to help level your building site.

A transit can be used to help level your building site.

You may need to analyze the topography of the site where you are preparing to build. Is the land is rolling, level or sloped?

Remember to consider the direction of the wind in your yard. And plan enough room for yards, driveways, walkways and thoroughfares to other buildings.

2. Consider the soil
How is the soil? Do you need to be concerned about rocks? You need to know if there are large rocks or sandy areas that will need to be addressed before you start grading and the crew starts building.

3. Clean and level the site
Remove all organic material—including trees and bush.  Level your site within six inches across all perimeter points of the building.

If you will be poring a concrete slab after your building’s up, you’ll want to grade your land and set your building height to a position that allows for a layer of compacted road gravel to be placed under the conrete pad.

4. Place washed rock for building outside of footprint

Arrange to have gravel delivered before the materials arrive (as per your contract) and place outside of the building footprint so the crew has plenty of room to work and are able to square up your building.

Find more pole building tips here to get ready for your post frame building.

Choosing Doors for your Post Frame Building

Tips to help pick the perfect doors
Every post frame building needs at least one door to make it functional. In reality, most buildings require two or more to make it the most useable for you. But how do you choose the doors that would work best for your operation? After all, this is one of the most critical decisions when designing a building.

  • Key points to consider when choosing doors for your building:
  • What will you be using the doors for? Moving animals or equipment?
  • What’s the largest piece of equipment you would bring in?
  • How many different types of doors will you need?
  • What purpose will each serve? Where is the most logical flow of traffic to help direct where you would place the door(s)?
  • Do you need to drive your equipment straight through the building? If so, would you consider having doors on both ends?
  • Is the building insulated or cold storage? Will you potentially insulate it in the future?
  • What’s your budget?

Here’s a quick primer on the pros and cons of doors available for post frame buildings.

Sliding Doors

Sliding door in machine shed

Sliding door in machine shed

Benefits

  • Most economical
  • Wide range of uses for all building types
  • Great for cold storage
  • Available in widths up to 32’
  • Available in all colours
  • Moderate seal against building

Application
Used in all types of post frame buildings

Considerations

  • Generally used for uninsulated or cold storage buildings
  • Manually operated

 Overhead Doors

Shop with overhead doors

Shop with overhead doors

Benefits

  • Available in a variety of sizes up to 30’ wide
  • Have an insulation value of R16
  • Clear span to 30’
  • Tight seal against building (weather stripping)
  • Optional electric operators
  • Optional remote control
  • Can be used in insulated or cold storage buildings
  • Available in bright white

Application
Riding arenas, shops, garages, commercial, barns, acreage

Considerations
Need extra 2’ in height for clearance

Bi-fold Doors

 

30’ x 18’ bi-fold door

30’ x 18’ bi-fold door

Benefits

  • Heavy-duty doors
  • Long lasting
  • Clear span to 90’ makes it a great option for large openings
  • Full height opening means no head room loss
  • Tight seal against building (weather stripping)
  • 220 volt electric operator comes standard with door
  • Many accessories available including remote control, automatic locking controls and more
  • Available in all colours
  • Bi-fold doors supplied by industry leader Diamond Doors

Application
Wide range of uses from airplane hangars to insulated shops
Can be used for cold storage or insulated applications for any large building
See a bi-fold door in action on an airplane hangar.

Walk-in Doors

Benefits

  • Available in 3’ or 4’ widths
  • Steel
  • Available in bright white

Application
We suggest adding a smaller service door (walk-in) beside larger doors so that the large door does not have to be opened for routine activities.

Next Steps

1. Take measurements
The increasing size of today’s farm equipment requires increasingly larger door openings. Avoid unpleasant surprises by taking measurements of your equipment and carefully verify your needs.

2. Choose the characteristics you need
We’ve looked at the general characteristics of the different types of doors and where to best use them. Now it’s time to decide which characteristics will work best with your needs

3. Decide on placement of doors
We recommend placing large doors in the end walls of your post frame building for a couple of reasons:

  • snow doesn’t fall directly in front of them making it easier for you to enter and exit your building during the winter
  • ensures your building is structurally sound.

See how the design of the post frame machine shed at Prairie Rock Farms and placement of an overhead door on each end of the building has made moving large air seeders a breeze.

4. Ask for advice
While this is my last bullet, it really should be your starting point. We have designed and built hundreds of post frame buildings for a variety of uses. We’re more than happy to help customize your building with the best doors for your needs from the start.

Contact us to find out more on pole building design.

New for Canadians: Concrete Post Foundation Now Available

This is an exciting post for us at Integrity. We are so pleased to let Canadians know of the biggest development to hit post frame! The Perma-Column is a pre-cast concrete column–the first product on the Canadian market that keeps wood out of the ground.

Perma-Column in Post Frame Building

Perma-Column in Post Frame Building

They give the best of both worlds:  the cost-effectiveness of post frame construction with the durability of concrete. The Perma-Column has been used for years in the U.S. and is now available for the first time in Canada.

Tested by both Wisconsin and Purdue University, the Perma-Column outperforms wood posts in comparative strength tests.

How is it made?
The wood column is attached to a “U” shaped steel bracket made of 1/4” steel with 1/2” thru-bolts and 1/4” lags. This bracket is robotically welded to steel reinforcement that runs the entire length of the column. All the steel is a premium domestic high strength alloy.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the benefits of this new technology:

  • made of the latest in self-compacting concrete precasting technology give 3 x the strength of standard concrete
  • microfibers add shock resistance and durabilit
  • microsilicia enhances flexural/compressive strength and erosion resistance
  • corrosion inhibitor protects the rebar reinforcement from rusting
  • a final admixture is added to give freeze/thaw protection

We have more specs at Integrity Post Structures or you can get more information on Perma-Columns direct from the manufacturer.

Read the Canadian announcement on Perma-Columns.

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