Author Archives: Jack Cripe

About Jack Cripe

Sales Manager and partner at Pacemaker Buildings.

Pros and Cons of Renovating an Old Post Frame Building

Post Frame building being renovated

Your aging post frame barn or storage structure has served you well for decades. But now you need something bigger and perhaps you are looking for a more contemporary look. Do you consider renovating an old post frame building, or do you tear it down and start over?

Renovating an Old Post Frame Building

Condition of the Existing Building

Before making the decision to renovate what you have or demolish and rebuild, a formal inspection by an expert is essential. Over the decades, materials and techniques in post frame construction have been improved. Your existing structure must be sound before you can consider a remodel. A thorough inspection of the vertical members and trusses will determine the viability of continuing with the existing structure.

In some instances, rotting members can be reinforced or replaced, but the cost of saving the structure may not be worth the effort.

If the building is sound and the aging appearance is only cosmetic. Renovating or adding onto the original could be your best choice.

Advantages of Renovating the Existing Structure

If more space is needed, you might consider adding on to the existing structure. One of the best aspects of a post frame building is that adding and connecting additional space is often easier than with a stick-frame or masonry building. This is assuming the adjoining real estate allows you to attach a new section. The widely spaced, weight-bearing posts let you connect the old with the new more easily.

Note that adding to the length of the building is far simpler and more cost-effective than trying to widen your existing post frame building.

When adding onto or reconfiguring your building, you might want to consider new roofing and cladding. Additionally, updated landscaping can create a beautiful and uniform exterior.

Your current structure may be stable and only needs an interior renovation. Post frame buildings are the easiest to reconfigure since there are no load-bearing walls within. Consider your current and new floor plans and redesign to make the most of the existing space.

Don’t forget that you can also add interesting and useful space in the attic or second floor of your building. These areas are ideal for an office, private den or man cave, tack room, or even extra storage.

Alternatively, if you have given up on your old building, remember there is a cost to razing and removing all the parts. While some components of the structure may be reusable, most will likely need to be hauled away.

When Building a New Post Frame Building is Better

If the original structure is showing its age or the effects of severe weather conditions, a certified building inspection is needed. If the expense of an upgrade and renovation of the old building is substantial or prohibitive, it is best to start over with a custom design.

When starting over in the same location as the old building, site prep should be reduced since the ground will already be level.

You can also enjoy the benefits of newer materials and technology. These will make your structure more functional, longer-lasting, energy-efficient, and more attractive. You can also add exterior features like dormers and alcoves, plus specially designed entries. Adding these can make your new post frame building have a more elegant, appealing appearance.

Renovate or Start Over: Ask the Experts

With over forty years as a leader in the post frame construction industry, Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings in Northern Indiana understands the dilemmas that many building owners face. While having a new structure can be exciting, it can also be costly. If renovation is possible, you may realize the same result with a renovated post frame structure.

The professionals at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings in Northern Indiana will be glad to discuss the situation with you. As designers, suppliers, and builders of top-quality post frame buildings, Pacemaker understands every element of the business.

For advice and information and to see examples of many successful post frame projects, visit the Pacemaker website.

Or call 888-834-4448, and one of our professionals will be happy to answer your questions.


How Additional Features Can Impact Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Red and White Post Frame home with dormer

Across the country, architects and designers pay close attention to the effect snowfall can have on a structure’s integrity, specifically the impact of snow load on your post frame building. The snow load or maximum downward force exerted by accumulated snow and ice must be pre-determined when designing any structure. In areas at a higher elevation as well as the North Central, and Upper Great Lakes regions, special care should be taken to design your post frame roof systems to deflect, not attract, snow pile up.

As with conventional construction methods, certain aesthetic features can impede the natural elimination of snow and ice. This is due to angles and traps that allow snow and ice to build up. Excessive snow accumulation that lingers for months will add substantial stress to the roof support structure. Over time, the problem can result in unnecessary permanent damage.

The effects of accumulated snow can become substantial. Each foot of snow that accumulates begins to thaw, and then refreezes can weigh up to 21 pounds per square foot. If that same foot of snow were to convert to solid ice over time, the new ice could weigh up to 57 pounds per square foot. You don’t want that on your roof.

Understanding the Potential Impact of Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Excessive and lingering snow and ice can affect your post frame roof structure significantly. Some of the typical symptoms are:

  • Truss members, headers and rafters bowing or bending from overhead stress
  • The roof showing signs of sagging
  • Interior drywall beginning to crack
  • Doorways, particularly sliding ones, become difficult to open and close

How Some Features Add to Snow Accumulation and Snow Load on Your Post Frame Building

Often roof additions are intended to enhance the aesthetics of the building. Although most people prefer interesting shapes and angles that break the monotony of a standard roof, these can become a problem in the winter.


Attractive and stylish post frame buildings enhance the curb appeal of our property. However, here are two examples of aesthetic features that can become problematic following significant snowfalls:

  • Dormers: Windowed dormers add an interesting profile to the exterior and allow additional lighting to the interior. However, they can block wind and gravity’s ability to enable the snow to fall from a pitched roof. Over time, after trapping considerable snow and ice, both the roof and the dormers can become damaged.
  • Radical Changes in Roof Pitch: Sometimes, designers feature changes in roof pitch at various places along the roofline. These are sometimes an attempt to make the structure more visually appealing. In other instances, the rationale to alter roof pitch might be to accommodate an interior use of the building – where a higher or differently angled roof is needed.

When building with a variable roof pitch, you need to know that you could be creating crevices that become excellent snow collectors. On buildings situated in snow-prone areas, the snow may remain through the season and keep getting heavier and denser with each snowfall.

Energy-Related Accessories

While optimizing the energy usage in your post frame building is an admirable goal, be sure that your quest for efficiency does not cost you more in repairs.

For example:

  • Solar Panels: Roof-mounted solar panels can foster additional snow accumulation on your roof. More importantly, your design must also account for the added weight of the panels themselves. Before adding solar panels to an existing structure, consult a design engineer. They will calculate the potential load of the panels and any snow accumulation.
  • Appliances: If your HVAC unit is best situated on the roof of your post frame building, your design should ensure that the roof can handle the added load of the equipment as well as the maximum projected snowfall. As with the solar panels, if you are thinking of adding heating and cooling to the roof of an existing building, make sure an expert has made the necessary calculations before installing.

Understanding these common design and style choices along with their effects during snowfall will help your new post frame roof last you for years to come.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

If you are considering building a new post frame building in the Upper Midwest or Great Lakes regions, contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings in North Webster, Indiana. The professionals at Pacemaker have decades of experience supplying and building high-quality post frame buildings for multiple purposes.

With significant exposure to and experience with heavy snowfall situations, the engineering team at Pacemaker can design your post frame building to withstand all levels of snow and other load challenges.

For more information, visit the Pacemaker website, or call the Pacemaker post frame experts at +1-888-834-4448.

How to Choose the Best Flooring Options for Your Post Frame Building


Flooring options for a modern post frame building depend on how you plan to use your building. Post frame building purposes have now evolved beyond the simple pole barn. Now post frame structures are commonly used for fire stations, auto dealerships, retail outlets, warehouses, schools, and churches. Let’s look into how to choose the best flooring options for your post frame building.

For any purpose, you must anticipate your needs and accommodate all the ways in which you will use the building. If heavy equipment and vehicles are moving in and out of the building, you must ensure the flooring option is able to sustain the stress of massive weight.

Pre-Prep for post frame building flooring options

Post frame floors of any kind will last much longer if the footprint is level, compact, and allows for proper drainage. In many instances, a gravel base and supplemental subflooring material may be required. Local building codes may also dictate the minimum thickness and other attributes for your post frame flooring.

Options for Flooring


Concrete flooring is the most popular option for any post frame buildings that are not being used for housing animals. This material is best for machinery and vehicles. Concrete is easy to clean and also reduces the accumulation of dust and moisture. Long-lasting, concrete is perfect for workshops, garages, and structures where people will congregate. Incorporating insulation in the concrete flooring system can also improve the comfort level of the building.


Since asphalt often less expensive than concrete, many building owners opt to use this material for vehicle and equipment storage. However, since this material is softer, it tends to break down sooner. This can leave large gaps and crevices that can sprout weeds unless adequately patched. Asphalt requires maintenance and may not be adequate for heavier machinery. Consider the weight of your vehicle and how often you will be moving them.

Also, remember that newly spread asphalt has a strong odor that may remain during the early months following application. Proper ventilation is advised when choosing this flooring option.


Natural or cultured stone is available in many sizes, shapes, types, and weights. Make sure the stone you select can sustain the usage and weight you might expect before you commit.

Stone flooring types can be marble, limestone, travertine, or more. Stone is an attractive option for residences and buildings where people will be congregating. This type of flooring can also help to keep the structure cooler in the summer months.


Gravel is relatively clean and will prevent any erosion issues from developing within the building. Over time, the material will become compacted, so it does require some maintenance. You’ll need to supplement regularly to maintain the floor level at the original height and to keep dust from appearing.


If aesthetics are not a primary concern, dirt represents the least expensive and softest flooring material. For horses and other livestock, dirt is a natural option and is most comfortable for them. Be aware that the soil and moisture within the building can shift to make footing unstable. So you may choose to regrade the surface periodically. Or you could easily upgrade to another material if you begin to use the building for other uses.

Be aware that during rainy periods, your dirt floor will become muddy in places, particularly near the entrances.

Livestock Matting

Dirt flooring alone will quickly become rutted and uneven with heavy livestock traffic. Mats made from rubber or aggregate materials create a comfortable surface and keep stalls and tack areas from eroding. These can be applied to specific areas of your horse barn or other buildings.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker has been at the forefront of post frame construction development for over three decades. As a designer, supplier, and builder of high-quality materials and construction, Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings, located in North Webster, Indiana, has far-reaching experience with each type of post frame application and process.

You may visit Pacemaker’s Gallery to view many of the company’s past accomplishments in post frame innovation.

To learn more about your flooring options for your post frame building, contact the professionals at Pacemaker at 1-888-834-4448.