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

Return to Ask the Barn Geek.


 ***Please note: Our full barn kits are only available within a limited shipping area.  We are sorry if you are out of that shipping area, we are working on solutions for you that would include, hardware packages, templates for cutting your own timbers, lists of local timber suppliers, lists of local contractors, etc.  Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on the progress of these resources.  



Learn to build your very own post and beam barn!


Recent Articles

  1. Using Barn Plans to Calculate the Cost of Your Barn Project.

    Apr 20, 17 03:54 PM

    Good barn plans can be a vital tool to help you figure out what the costs of each stage of your barn construction process will be.

    Read More

  2. 40x46 Barn - Brownsburg, IN

    Apr 17, 17 09:11 PM

    I recently purchased a property with an old 46x40 Barn that I would like to remove. Some of the details are: 8x7 hand hewn beams 27' long- Qty 2 6x6x12'

    Read More

  3. 56' X 40' hand hewn barn frame with 11"x11" posts and tie beams - Southern OH

    Apr 10, 17 09:13 AM

    Heavy timbered 40 x56 timber frame barn. The 4 main bents have 11x11 posts and tie beams that are a full 40'. Magnificent open 2nd story. Queen post purlins.

    Read More

  4. 20x40 Gable Barn Plans

    Apr 05, 17 11:54 AM

    These 20x40 Gable Barn Plans are great for the small horse farm or homestead, this traditional barn plan has a great deal of storage space in the loft.

    Read More

  5. Protecting Your Chickens

    Apr 04, 17 08:42 AM

    Welcome to protecting your chickens, an article in my series raising chickens for beginners.

    Read More

  6. 40x50 Rough Cut Cattle Barn - Idaville, IN

    Apr 03, 17 02:24 PM

    I have a barn that will no longer serve the intended purpose for me and I am looking at selling it. It is still in a usable shape as a barn or if wanted

    Read More

  7. Timber Frame Barn (Birth Place of a KY Derby Winner) Harrodsburg, Kentucky

    Apr 03, 17 10:35 AM

    Due to recent storm damage in the winter of 2017, a historic timber framed barn will soon be dismantled piece by piece. This barn is located in the

    Read More

  8. 1820's Hand Hewn Barn Frame - Greenfield, IN

    Apr 01, 17 08:30 PM

    The Blooming Grove Barn was built in the 1820's with all hand hewn posts and beams. Like most old barns, the roof began to deteriorate which led to extensive

    Read More

  9. My Essential Barn Building Tools Checklist

    Mar 30, 17 03:23 PM

    biggest delay causing sticking point in a new Post and Beam Barn Project, or any project for that matter, is not having the right barn building tools to do the job.

    Read More

  10. Raising Chickens for Beginners

    Mar 30, 17 11:36 AM

    Welcome to Raising chickens, for beginners, in this article series I will be going through all of the basics and answering questions that many people have about raising chickens.

    Read More

  11. Building Your Chicken Coop

    Mar 30, 17 11:33 AM

    Welcome to building your chicken coop an article in my series raising chickens for beginners.

    Read More

  12. 3 barns for sale or salvage in Chelsea MI. 20 x 40, 64 x 50, 50 x 25

    Mar 29, 17 10:11 AM

    I have 3 barns for sale or salvage south of Chelsea Michigan. Barn #1 is 20 x 40, hand hewn and rough sawn beams, corrugated, galvanized steel roof installed

    Read More

  13. 1880's 36x54 Gambier Barn - Mt Gilead, Ohio

    Mar 29, 17 10:07 AM

    It has (3) 18' bays with nice 8x8 sawcut uprights and handhewn tie beams and rafter plates. All oak, great wind bracing details, nice large ladders.

    Read More

  14. Chicken Breeds How to Choose the Best One

    Mar 28, 17 05:46 PM

    In this Guide to Chicken Breeds, I'm going to be taking you through the very basics with everything you need to know about getting started with your first chickens.

    Read More

  15. Natural Chicken Health

    Mar 28, 17 05:44 PM

    Welcome to Natural chicken health, an article in my series Raising Chickens for Beginners.

    Read More