Building codes and requirements

by Paul Schmidt
(Reno, Nevada)

My local building department requires that the plans be approved by a structural engineer and be stamped, are your plans stamped?

Also, they require fire resistant materials on the siding. Do you have any recommendations?

Answer:

No, our plans are not stamped by an engineer, even if they were they would likely need to be re-stamped by an engineer that is local to you.

For most places this is not a problem because most areas do not require an engineer stamp. The closer you get to city's especially those that have lots of regulations the more likely your area will have requirements like these.

Our plans are very basic and follow some basic structural guidelines and principles that have been tried and tested for thousands of years. They do not require an Engineer's evaluation. It is like asking a Nasa rocket scientist to make sure your new bicycle will work. You will end up spending thousands of dollars and in the end be afraid to ride it.

So, what do you do then?

Well, the best thing I can suggest is to take your plans to your local building inspector, have them look at them. Once he or she sees them and sees how simple they are they will most likely allow you to build it without the engineer stamp.

If not, then I'm sorry you have no freedom left in your area.

As far as fire resistant siding, of course the best is brick, but there is also a cement fiber board that looks like wood and can be painted. You should be able to find it at your local lumber yard.

I'm surprised they require fire resistant siding, are there a lot of wild fires in Reno?

Comments for Building codes and requirements

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 03, 2015
engineering stamp
by: Anonymous

Why couldn't I take your plan to an engineer who knows our county engineering requirements, have them add to the plan and then submit for permits?

Jul 15, 2015
Re Engineer Stamp
by: Barn Geek


Yes, you can present the plans to an engineer to get a stamp. Use caution though, I have found that about 50% of engineers will want to redesign the barn, adding a large amount of unnecessary cost to your project. It is unfortunate, but those who do this are more concerned with their own goals than they are with your project goals.

I have encountered 2 kinds of engineers though. Usually those who have more experience that are close to, or past retirement are much better to work with and don't have something to prove.

Keep in mind our kits are priced according to our designs, if an engineer changes the design, the costs of the kit will likely increase.

I would recommend finding an engineer that is either semi retired, or is recommended by a mutual friend. I would also warn against using any engineer that the building dept. recommends. There are usually relationships there that involve a close circle of builder-engineer-building inspector and they all look out for each others interest, and that rarely aligns with a home owners goals.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Barn Geek.


How to build the 20x30 sugar Shack for under $12k!  


Recent Articles

  1. Old 36' by 55' barn Gambrel Barn - late 1800's - near Hammondsport, New York

    Aug 16, 19 09:01 AM

    Solid structure, straight with the following wood: 5 main beams 10' x 10' x 36' 12 support beams 8' x 8' x 14'6 1 support beam 8' x 8' x 11' 1 upright

    Read More

  2. 57’ x 52’ late 1800’s barn Woodland,Ca

    Aug 10, 19 12:37 PM

    This late 1800’s barn has very nice weathered wood siding. Sizes of planks vary 6”x 15’10” x 15’. Roof support boards are 8”x 22’ Please call 530-662-1232

    Read More

  3. Mississippi Barn

    Aug 04, 19 08:48 PM

    Beautiful Mississippi barn for sale and will need to be relocated. I hate to part with it but lumber is already cut for new barn and this one has to go.

    Read More

  4. Double Bank Barn mostly Oak & white oak

    Aug 02, 19 06:55 AM

    Barn is already being dismantled, in northern Ohio. Beams are about 50 percent oak/white oak, other 50 percent other species. Lots of big beams. Beams

    Read More

  5. Hand Hewn 48 x 50 Barn - Wilmington OH

    Jul 26, 19 07:57 AM

    This barn is 48' wide and 50' deep, with bents spaced 12' apart. It has massive 10 x 10 hand hewn posts. There's a swing beam on the second bent from

    Read More

  6. Old 30x60 Barn in Suffield CT

    Jul 22, 19 06:04 AM

    Selling house and buyers do not want the barn. Barn built in early 1900’s outside typical wear and tear. Inside in very good condition never had water

    Read More

  7. 100 Year Old Barn - Ontario, Canada

    Jul 15, 19 08:55 AM

    Barn wood - 100 year old high quality old growth Dunnville, Ontario (Haldimand County) Approximately 70” by 40” with impressive amount of timber beams

    Read More

  8. To Sell At Auction! Late 1800's Era 36x44 Handhewn Barn Frame, Mount Vernon IL

    Jul 12, 19 08:29 AM

    To be Sold at auction July 20, 2019 https://www.proxibid.com/aspr/Hand-hewn-barn-frame-labeled-and-dismantled/48945771/LotDetail.asp?lid=48945771 36x44

    Read More

  9. Bank Barn 36'x50' and a Grainery 25'x40' Bellevue, Ohio 44811

    Jul 08, 19 03:03 PM

    The barn has 8x8 beams most are hand hewn. The outside wood is 7x 12' and weathered gray. It has hay lofts on both sides. It has a shingled roof. The

    Read More

  10. Most Unique Shelby Ohio

    Jun 29, 19 09:36 PM

    This Barn frame dated 1830s, measuring 40 x 53. This Barn has 4 bent sections with a bent layout of 19' - 15' - 19'. This Barn has very large 10 x 15 hand

    Read More

  11. old 121x53 hand hewn beams barn in Merril, Wi

    Jun 25, 19 06:19 AM

    Pictures can be seen at https://link.shutterfly.com/vu8OWeCQCX Beams are rock elm hand hewn. This barn is in very good shape. This barn would be a good

    Read More

  12. Southerland Frame - Shelby, Ohio

    Jun 24, 19 07:26 PM

    This Barn frame dated early 1840s, measuring 35 x 45. This frame has four bent sections with a bent layout of 18' - 14' - 12'. What makes this Frame so

    Read More

  13. Old 50x55 and 55x57 barns on the same property -Linden Indiana

    Jun 13, 19 11:00 PM

    I have two barns on my property that I'd love see get a new lease on life. Both barns have roof damage but still have loads of excellent lumber. The barns

    Read More

  14. Kornbau 30x59 - Shelby, Ohio

    Jun 12, 19 09:08 AM

    This Barn is dated late 1830s. Measuring 30x59 the Bent layout Is 19'22'18'. It has full length 9 x 10 low and mid rafter plates. The uprights measure

    Read More

  15. Rahm Barn Frame Early 1860's 40'x64'

    Jun 11, 19 12:10 PM

    The Rahm barn frame dates to early 1860’s. This all handhewn barn frame measures 40’x64’ along with an original build 8’ overhang. The bent layout is 14’-14’-14’-22’.

    Read More