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.








Exterior Porch Options for Your Post Frame Building

Exterior-Porch-Options-for-Your-Post-Frame-BuildingHave you considered an exterior porch for your post frame building? Whether the addition is meant to be functional, decorative, or both, adding a porch to your post frame plan is easy to do. Here are porch options for your post frame building.

Your post frame building can be used for whatever you want. Whether you are building a barn, equestrian center, commercial building, or residence. Just about any exterior feature that you may want can be added to your building. As a highly versatile and practical building solution, post frame structures have minimal limits on exterior cladding or most other architectural elements.

Porches can be included in the design at the time of construction or as an easy remodel to an existing post frame building.

Porch Options for Your Post Frame Building

An exterior porch can serve several purposes. Here are a few ideas for uses:

  • An aesthetically pleasing entryway and access.
  • Overhead protection from the rain and snow for equipment that you must access frequently.
  • Entertainment and relaxation space away from the interior storage area.
  • Exterior screened workshop, office, or maintenance area.
  • Outside product display area for commercial enterprises.

4 Porch Design Solutions

Entry Porch

While size and shape options are virtually limitless, positioning is important. You should position your porch on the front or most visible side of the building. A well-designed porch will break the monotony of the rectangular structure. Additionally, it can provide an aesthetically pleasing impression of the overall architecture.

An entryway porch focuses and invites access into the building. By using creative styling of the roofing and vertical supports, you will also give the building a more appealing appearance.

Inset Porch

An attractive option for porch placement without increasing the building’s footprint can be as an inset. An inset works by using one of the corners of your post frame building and reversing it inward toward the interior of the structure. The ceiling of the porch becomes the upper level inside. Thus use that space above for storage, as an office, or any other purpose.

The vertical post at the corner will remain in place to support the overall building. Thus you can choose a finish option that compliments the aesthetic of the post frame building.

An inset porch is a great option when land space has limits.

Recreation Porch

Often post frame buildings that are used for equestrian or agricultural purposes are situated in locations that have amazing panoramic views. A shaded, screened-in porch is a great solution for year-round activities. You can then add comfortable seating, a wood stove, and other accessories to make it the spot to relax, reflect, and entertain.

Wraparound Porch

Another practical and attractive option is to add a wraparound porch that encircles all or three-fourths of your post frame building. This option is not only aesthetically pleasing but highly functional as well. This style of porch provides a sheltered space at every access point. It can also be an area to stage incoming materials and provide exterior dry storage for equipment.

For equestrian centers, the additional shelter provides a place to saddle or unsaddle horses and also provides a cooling area away from the sun.

Additionally, you can include a sheltered seating area anywhere around the perimeter of your building.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings, located in North Webster, Indiana, has been at the forefront of the post frame building industry for four decades. As an industry innovator, the company has implemented many of the breakthrough technologies and materials that have evolved the business. Post frame construction is no longer just simple pole barns. The construction method has become a practical, economical, and attractive solution for many commercial, civic, equestrian, and agricultural structures.

Check out the Pacemaker website to view some of their past outstanding projects.

For information about adding a porch to complement the functionality and beauty of your post frame building, or for any other application, contact the experts at Pacemaker at + 1(888) 834.4448.