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Post Frame Building Frequently Asked Questions

A post frame farm building, garage, and acreage building with the text "Answering your questions about post frame buildings."

Remuda Building has spent years serving the post frame building needs of rural property owners throughout Alberta. Over this time, we’ve encountered several commonly asked questions about the functionality, durability, construction timelines, and many other aspects of post frame construction. If you’re in the early stages of planning an additional building on your property, chances are you have many of the same questions.

1. What is a post frame building?

Post frame construction is a unique building method that replaces the poured concrete foundation found in traditional construction with large, vertical wooden columns or posts inserted directly into the ground. The columns act as the main frame, and foundation of the building. Post frame buildings are a practical and versatile option for many building types, including farm storage buildings, commercial storage buildings, acreage shops and garages, riding arenas, barns, and even rural homes.

2. What are the advantages of post frame construction?

The unique methods and design used in post frame construction leads to some distinct differences and advantages over conventional building methods. 

  • Lower construction costs: post frame construction is 30% less expensive than building with steel, due to differences in material costs and difficulty of labour. 
  • Solid construction: solid posts or laminated columns transfer loads to the ground, to a concrete pier, or to a masonry foundation beneath each post. 
  • Faster construction: buildings can be completed up to 50% faster, because large posts and interlocking frames use less structural material than other methods. 
  • Energy efficiency: posts are spaced farther apart than studs would be, and post frame buildings feature thicker walls than alternatives. The larger wall cavity for insulation lowers heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. 
  • Build year-round: Post frame buildings begin with posts in the ground, so you don’t have to wait for the ideal weather to pour a concrete foundation. 
  • Practical and versatile: post frame is an attractive and economical option for low-rise residential, agricultural, equestrian, and commercial projects. 

3. How long does it take to build a post frame building?

Although the design and size of a post frame building can alter the build time, a typical building can be completed in a couple weeks. However, larger, more intricate buildings that are loaded with customization can take slightly longer. Regardless, post frame construction is generally much quicker than alternative construction methods.

4. Can post frame buildings be customized to my needs?

Post frame buildings are not only versatile across many different use cases, they can be customized to fully meet your functional and aesthetic needs. Regardless of your planned use, our collaborative design process will ensure your building works for you. 

5. What is the cost of building post frame structures compared to other types of construction?

Post frame construction is a budget-friendly option for many kinds of buildings. Compared to steel buildings, post frame buildings can be as much as 30% less expensive while maintaining the structural strength required to serve you for years. Steel structures require expensive building materials, and are more difficult to construct.

6. Can post frame buildings be expanded or modified in the future to accommodate my needs?

Expansion and modification of existing post frame structures is a viable option should you require more space in the future. The process of expanding a building is generally as simple as adding more posts to increase the size of your building.

7. What is the process for obtaining a permit for a post frame building?

You will require two things when moving to the construction stage of your building project – a development permit, and a building permit. 

A development permit allows for a specific type of development to proceed provided it is in accordance with all zoning and development bylaws in your county. To obtain a development permit, be prepared to provide information related to the property use, building height, and distance from property lines, among other things. 

On the other hand, a building permit allows construction to commence while obeying all requirements of the Alberta Building Code.

Building codes and regulations can differ greatly between County’s. Prior to finalizing the design of your storage building, be sure to confirm that it complies with the specifications put forth by your County.

8. What is the lifespan of a post frame building? How long can I expect my building to last?

The lifespan of a post frame storage building can vary. However, by selecting quality building components, the right post system and providing appropriate care and maintenance you can rest assured that your post frame building will serve your needs for a lifetime.

9. How do I choose the right location for my post frame building?

The perfect building location is determined by several factors including functionality, building codes, proximity to utilities, and sufficient space to fit the building. An experienced, quality builder should be willing to come to your property to provide guidance on which location is best for your building.

10. How do I choose the right size post frame building for my needs?

For post frame storage buildings, you should consider the tallest and widest stored items, such as farm equipment or vehicles to determine the minimum height and clear span of your building. From there, add on space for any additional functionality you require. 

For other buildings, such as hobby shops or workshops, consider all equipment, tools, furniture, and other items that you will require inside to ensure you still have plenty of room to work comfortably.

Do you still have unanswered questions? Contact us today and one of our building consultants will be in touch to help get them answered.