• Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad

Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad

Patrick's Barn: What Will It Look Like?

comments (5) June 14th, 2011 in Blogs
patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, Associate editor

The stock plans we ordered from Barns, Barns, Barns come complete with an architects wet stamp. I dont know if stock plans would fly everywhere, but our towns building department signed off without complaint.
This section drawing shows the recommended alternative footing and highlights the designers skilled drafting and attention to detail. I was really surprised at how thorough the plans are, especially given the low price.
This is how weve configured the building. The larger gable-roof main barn will be my wifes studio space. My workshop will be the 12-ft. by 24-ft. lean-to on the right. An open porch is at the back. The plan set shows a dozen variants to the basic 18-ft. by 24-ft. main building. Lean-to structures for every elevation and every function are shown in the plan set.
The stock plans we ordered from Barns, Barns, Barns come complete with an architects wet stamp. I dont know if stock plans would fly everywhere, but our towns building department signed off without complaint.Click To Enlarge

The stock plans we ordered from Barns, Barns, Barns come complete with an architect's wet stamp. I don't know if stock plans would fly everywhere, but our town's building department signed off without complaint.

Photo: Rendering: Donald Berg, AIA

Before I moved to Fairfield County, Connecticut, I spent 10 years in northern Vermont. The building requirements for Vermont vs. Connecticut could be described as radically different. My Vermont town would often issue building permits based on a single conversation with the town's zoning administrator. If you sounded like you knew what you were doing, you'd likely leave with a permit in hand. While living there, I added a second story to my home, with plans drafted on graph paper.

My Connecticut town, in contrast, has several code enforcement officers and requires a half-dozen inspections, including a plan review. Needless to say, when I went before the town requesting permission to build my new workshop/artist's studio, a sketch on a legal pad wasn't going to cut it. And hiring an architect or designer just wasn't in the budget, so my wife and I found a set of plans we liked at Barns, Barns, Barns and ordered four copies. For less than $100, I think we got a great deal. The design is good-looking, the plans are detailed, and the floor plan is flexible. For our Maple Creek Barn, we opted for a shed-roof lean-to on the right side and an open porch on the back.

The building itself is a pole-barn, also called a post-frame building. In this type of structure, PT 6x6s or 4x4s are embedded in concrete and run up to the eaves. Horizontal members called girts receive the siding and provide racking resistance. One problem inherent to this type of building is the main framing members are stuck in the ground where they're subject to rot and insect damage. To solve this problem, Donald Berg, the architect who drafted the stock plans, suggests attaching the posts to concrete piers, which is what we did. Supported on metal post bases more commonly used for decks, the posts are kept dry and insect free.

Because the posts run from ground level all the way to the eaves, you can put doors and windows just about anywhere between them. As a result, we haven't settled on where to put the openings. I'm hoping to get a good deal on something that was misordered or damaged, but the right windows have yet to come along. I'm also hoping that Matt Jackson, who contributes to the Digital Job Site blog here at, will continue to help out with the window layout.

Read more about my barn here.

posted in: Blogs, framing, patrick's barn, storage, workshop
Back to List

Comments (5)

res res writes: Patrick: How adaptable would this structure be to make it into a bank barn on a drive in basement foundation?
Posted: 11:14 am on October 24th

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: Your plans are great Don and thanks for commenting. Maybe other readers considering plans like the ones I bought will have questions for you.

Yes, I'll be posting regular progress updates. The first batch of framing lumber is scheduled for delivery tomorrow; just in time for the long weekend.
Posted: 12:21 pm on June 30th

DonBerg DonBerg writes: Patrick,

I'm glad that my plans were of some use. Will you be updating this blog as you build? I'd love to see how your workshop comes out.

Other builders of my Maple Barns and Garages have sent photos. Let me know if you'd like to see them for ideas on your door and window placement.

Posted: 10:27 am on June 30th

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: Thanks for the kind words, Ryno. I wasn't familiar with lumber link connectors, but a quick web search filled me in. Looks interesting; you're planning to use them?

The connections spelled out in my stock plans are pretty conventional--nails and lag screws generally.
Posted: 1:42 pm on June 15th

ryno ryno writes: Patrick,

Loving this blog. I'm going to be doing a very similar barn in N. VT next summer so keep updating as much as possible.

I was looking at using the Lumber Link connectors. I was wondering if you and anyone else has looked at using these? They aren't cheap but liked how they seem to work.

Anyway, looking forward to more posts, partilarly how you are doing the post joints.

Posted: 6:28 am on June 15th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.