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Old 11-11-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Iowa
3 posts, read 82,884 times
Reputation: 13

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I am considering building a home inside of my pole building. I have a 68x100 pole building with a 30x 30 cemented, heated shop in it as well as a 16x38 cemented and heated shop storage and 16x100 of horse stalls that are now being used for storage. I have an open area of about 50x65 that I would like to build my garage and home living space in. I am concerned about zoning etc. It is zoned residential in the city limits. It has 13' sidewalls and would need to be built up about 2-3 feet anyway before constructing the interior. It would leave about a 9-10 foot wall inside. Where am I going to run into problems?? (other than getting my wife to agree...) The property is on 10 acres of grass/pasture with a creek and a nice pond. Love the area.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,007,973 times
Reputation: 379
Does it have frost footings or is it slab on grade construction? Unless you're in a rural area where building codes are much more lax, my guess is that most cities would prohbit the occupied conversion of the building if it didn't already have frost footings. You'll want to check on the availability to provide utilities to the building also.

Many cities do not allow two dwellings on the same lot, so if this behind an existing house, you may run into zoning problems.

As a snarky aside, unless your financial situation dictates it, who wouldn't want to live in a pole barn?
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:26 AM
 
Location: SE Iowa
7 posts, read 56,120 times
Reputation: 13
While it all depends on where you are there may be a great deal of issues to contend with. I have seen this trend become more popular with people who want a cheap building with little to no maintenance. Just like sheet metal roofs. Are you building a new building or wanting to convert? Any building that is used for residential purposes will have to have windows! (I’ve seen people who built houses without windows) but pretty much the building code will dictate most of it. You might have some unexpected insurance rates since it’s now a home and not a shed.
As this becomes a more popular choice many towns have begun creating aesthetics ordinances that restrict this type of building. While the intent is to save money and reduce maintenance there are unintended social issues and neighboring property values with these buildings resulting from aesthetics. (Think about trailer houses)

-You might want to take a look at Morton Buildings they make nice pole barns.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,007,973 times
Reputation: 379
I would think that by the time you insulate it correctly and make it sealed tightly enough to keep rodents out (most pole barns aren't), you may end up spending nearly as much as you would on an inexpensive modular home.

You probably wouldn't see much for resale someday, compared to a traditional house.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Iowa
3 posts, read 82,884 times
Reputation: 13
Our property is already divided into two parsels. One is 2.5 acres with the existing house (which is a 1900 house that was moved in a completely renovated on a new basement and has every amenity that man does not need....and about 3100sf of living space). I spent months after work until early hours in the morning, slaving on this house. It is beautiful, but is more than we need. We are living beyond our needs and it drives me nuts. The Pole building is 68x100 and was built 50 years ago. It is very sound. It has a finished 31x31 heated shop in it and another 16x38 heated shop area adjoined. We have an area about 65x50 that we would be cementing(with frost footings of course) and installing heated tubing like we did in our other house. The insulating of this alone is going to cost around $9,000 including the extruded foam under the cement. The ceiliings will be around 11' high (the bottom of the existing trusses.) We love 'different'. This will be different. I have learned to stain concrete with acid stain in unique patterns. Our walls will be sheetrock where needed and covered with old building wood and home sawn oak lumber and beams. It will include windows on the north and east side (not ideal, but the only sides possible.). I will need to look at our local codes and see if this is doable or not. With a 20% overage figured in, we will have about $75,000 wrapped up in this project, including all utilities trenched in etc. The only barrier I see is the codes for a living home. Not sure if our town of 2,000 will be very strict or not. This will look nice when done, but everyone has a different idea of nice... Thanks for all your comments and keep on bringin 'em! I enjoy the comments and don't get offended.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,729 posts, read 18,511,606 times
Reputation: 14663
I'd be a little concerned about the underground condition of those 50-year-old poles and would want to know they were still sound before pumping $75K into it.

Years ago I was a part owner/director/v.p. of a newspaper that burned down. (Sad story -- two died in the fire.) Of course we had to quickly find a new office. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but we ended up buying a pole-built office building and renovating it. You'd never have guessed that it was a pole building.

It was located in the downtown area of a well-known tourist town. This was strictly an office building, as our press was housed in another building a few blocks away where we had a large printing company. I can't tell you about the longevity of it, as I sold out 6-7 years after the move, but it seemed to work pretty well.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Iowa
3 posts, read 82,884 times
Reputation: 13
I bielieve I will dig around some of the poles a ways and check the condition of them. I can poor footings around the poles and anchor them fairly easily. thanks for the advise. The roofline is as straight as an arrow, but that doesn't mean that it isn't about to start settling due to post rot. Thanks again. Any other comments are greatly welcomed! Again, I won't be offended. Please be honest.
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