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How Much Does It Cost to Repair Rotted Pole Barn Columns?

March 8th, 2021 | 7 min. read

Angie Dobson

Angie Dobson

Angie graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Prior to joining the FBi team, Angie was a kitchen and bath sales consultant in Lafayette, IN. In 2012, she started with FBi as the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. Today she holds the role of Sr. Marketing and Inside Sales Manager. Angie grew up in a farming community and has always enjoyed helping her family on the farm. A past 10-year 4-H Member, her passion for livestock pursued her to take a career in the agriculture field. She and her husband live in Northwest Indiana with their two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor leisure activities and spending time with friends and family.

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Rot. It’s bound to happen sooner or later, especially if you have an existing post frame building built in the late 70s or early 80s. Not to be confused with improper upkeep to your pole building, rot is a fungus that flourishes with moisture, oxygen, and darkness.

For example, do you or someone you know have an existing farm building that is simply used for cold storage? Perhaps your parents have a hobby barn that they use just to store fun, off-road vehicles. There’s nothing special about these buildings, nothing over the top or fancy. They’re your simple box building with no added bells and whistles and just the basic electricity to get them by. However, they do have two things in common...a dirt floor and wooden columns.

Over time, most of the microbial action from rot takes place within 6” of the surface, and when it does, it can start to damage your pole barn’s structural integrity

Fun fact: Back in the 1970s, wood columns were soaked in creosote. The chemical made it impervious to rot but also dangerous to the environment and water table. The industry then transitioned to 6 x 6 columns of treated wood, but it didn’t soak through the entire column, creating rot issues. Creosote was eventually stopped because of environmental issues.

In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that go into repairing a rotted post as well as what terms and conditions to look for in a pole barn builder’s column warranty.

Structural Integrity eBook_FBi Buildings

What Factors Influence The Cost of Repairing Columns?

As previously mentioned, no two pole barn builders will have the same cost to repair rotted columns, and no two situations will be the same. At FBi Buildings, our starting price is a minimum of $500 per pole (with at least six poles). 

You’re probably wondering why the cost is $500 and what factors influence the price. 

For example, are your current columns in gravel, dirt, or concrete? The floor of your post frame building will influence the price to replace or repair your columns.

Pole Barn Spalling ConcreteIf your existing floor is concrete, that will acquire more cost. A concrete floor will require the repair crews to cut out the concrete around the current column, or they will have to screw brackets on either side of the pole to the concrete.

If brackets are used to help secure the columns, proper structural integrity measures will occur to ensure load paths are being transferred to the concrete floor

There is also a material and equipment cost associated with the repairs. For example, FBi will use the following items to repair your columns:

  • Wooden stubs: the material used to repair your poles.
    • The FBi repair crews use a 3-ply 6’ long stub. The stub is generally placed 4’ in the ground or close to the existing footing. Sakrete or concrete is then used to help secure the wooden stub.
  • Hardware: the brackets or screws that will be used for the repair
  • Repair crews: the team onsite who will be doing the repairs.
    • Depending on your building’s current setup, will any exterior or interior steel need to be removed? If you have an interior steel liner, then you will need to have steel removed.
    • While onsite, this same crew will inspect for any truss damage. If you think back to structural integrity, columns affect truss loads, and sagging could occur if your columns are damaged.
  • Tools: the tools that will be used during the repair
    • Concrete cutter
    • Hand auger
    • Hole jacks
    • Drill
    • Level
    • Etc
  • Equipment: the equipment that will be needed to remove the existing flooring away from the columns, ie: skid steer

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

What Should Your Pole Barn Column Warranty Cover?

Rotted Pole Barn Columns_BlogFirst, a warranty is the written guarantee by manufacturers to purchasers promising to repair or replace defective products/services within a certain period of time. 

It’s important to note that there’s no standard warranty in the post frame industry. With that being said, you don’t want to skim through construction warranties.

Before you make a final decision when choosing a builder, make sure you double-check the following:

  • What components are covered by their warranty?
  • What components are not covered by their warranty?
  • How quickly will your professional builder respond to your warranty claims?

We can’t speak for our competitors, but FBi offers a lifetime warranty on columns.

The columns are rated for a lifetime warranty to the post frame structure’s purchaser unless you’re operating a commercial business, which is limited to 40 years. 

We’ll repair or replace the pressure-treated section of any laminated column whose failure is caused by decay or insect damage. Free of charge.

We’ll supply replacement material for any 4x6 solid post for ten years post-completion date, whose failure is caused by decay or insect damage. Examples include interior deck systems and exterior porches.

Please note that we cannot transfer the warranty to you if you did not purchase the structure.

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings


How Can You Protect Columns From Rot?

FBi Buildings_Perma_Column_OptionsWe can’t sit here and promise you that your columns will never rot. However, what we can tell you is that the likelihood of that happening is extremely low. 

For example, FBi uses three 2 x 6 pieces of wood laminated together to form a solid, impermeable column. For complete protection, we treat each piece of wood individually and to the highest standard. The industry standard is .60%, and we use .80%.

Another option to consider is upgrading your laminate columns to Perma-Columns. Perma-Columns eliminates the wood rot issue using a permanent concrete column system in the ground and treated laminated wood columns above grade. 

FBi has been using this system for more than 20 years and can attest to its extraordinary strength and durability. The benefits of Perma-Column are:

  • Made from 10,000 psi precast concrete with steel reinforcing
  • Includes integrated steel brackets for connecting to above-grade, laminated wood columns
  • Built-in steel uplift anchors
  • Exceeds industry standards for long-term structural integrity

In addition to adding value to your building, concrete posts are environmentally friendly.

Do You Have Columns That Need To Be Repaired?

As one of the top post frame builders in the Midwest, it’s our job to get you thinking about your column options, whether they are rotted, or you’re looking to replace them for longevity. Then, it's up to you to decide the right balance between strength and cost. 

To read more about the other components that affect the building lifecycle, download our FREE Structural Integrity in Post Frame Construction guidebook. In the end, you’ll have a better understanding of how the materials used to repair your columns will affect the overall longevity of your building.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

Do you have more questions about post frame construction that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you’re ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our Customer Engagement Team will help you determine the next steps of your project.