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Pole building for guest cottage?

Posted by happykate (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 20, 10 at 23:45

Good evening! We'd like to have a small guest cottage built [2 bedrooms, a full bath, and a very small mini-fridge/microwave/coffee maker/sink area] no more than 400 s.f. total.
The most cost-efficient plan is a pole building, w/ insulated floors, walls, & ceilings. Has anybody ever seen anything like this? It sounds a little flimsy to me; I'd love to hear what you know. Thanks! Kate.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

I have heard from the building inspector I deal with pole buildings could be banned shortly. They do not last as long as a regular framed building.

On the other hand if you put on cement piers high enough to keep your poles out of the soil then then can be replaced if needed later on.

He said it is better to do a monolithic cement pour for a floor and build regular walls. Depending on snow loads the thickness of your walls. It is not all that much more expensive and will last so much longer and be stronger.

I would have to look it up We had a 30 by 30 shop building with cement floor 2 by 6 14 foot high walls and 100 pound roof load trusses osb sheeted and all metal exterior for I think 12K. Can get the actual tomorrow if it is important. We also added on a carport of 12 by 30 on one side. And it is build like a pole barn with posts up on cement piers.

The next four pictures but one are the shop garage and carport.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shop building with pole attached

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

Shades, sure can tell you are a pro at the building code stuff.

Our building codes here are even more stringent than before, because we have real problems with termites in this climate. I bet they do not allow pole construction here. We are under the International 2006 Residential Building Code.

Our house is on a cement foundation around the edges, with a 2 foot crawl space below. Vented every few feet but not sure exactly. The soil under our new addition had to be treated for termites also. Any windows redone or added new have to withstand 140 MPH winds unless the owner does them himself. Not sure what that means. And there are straps and anchors from roof to foundation, which the building inspectors were very particular about having in place.

So what part of the country are you located in, HappyKate?
Welcome to Smaller Homes.

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

My favorite site for this kind of stuff is at They do sell plans for cabins and small homes, but there's a great forum with friendly folk that know a lot about this sort of thing. I think the cheapest way is to build conventional stick construction on top of concrete piers.

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

My husbands art studio is a pier building.

About 400 sq feet. It is actually a building that we brought in a placed on 12 inch round concrete poured in tubes. The entire floor is insulated and sealed and above ground ranging from 1 to 2 feet. We actually store stuff underneath.

It is not flimsy at all and we would do this again.

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

Thanks, everyone! Pole buildings are going strong here. We're in western Washington state, so we get wind & rain, but not much bitter cold. This cottage would get used only occasionally, but it certainly should be warm and comfortable.
jmagill, we're in zone 8; looks like you're prone to much colder weather ~ how do you heat that art studio? What do you know about the floor insulation & sealing? [All new to me, and I hate to just trust that it would all be done satisfactorily without any information.]
Thanks again, all!

RE: Pole building for guest cottage?

The bottom was built like it was sitting on a foundation. The difference is that they added plywood to the bottom and insulation between the joists. We heat it with a small propane stove.

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