Residential Tips from Post-Frame Builders
Joe Kormanik, K-Construction Inc. and Justin Sobaski, Eastern Iowa Building Inc., have each finished several post-frame homes in the past five years. They offer some first-hand insight for builders looking to enter the market.
The Importance of Engineering
Justin Sobaski: “When someone is building a residential building that they’re going to be living in or using it as a weekend home, it’s super important those buildings are engineered by a licensed structural engineer. We always have our buildings engineered to a higher wind load and a higher snow load. We feel it’s essential. It’s one thing if it’s a storage shed in your backyard, it’s another if they are relying on that structure [to protect them] in severe weather. It’s very important to have it engineered correctly and stronger than a typical build.”
Don’t scrimp on insulation
Joe Kormanik: “I would highly recommend house wrap on everything. Spend a little extra money on better insulation.”
Part of the reason why deals with sound-proofing the metal, he noted. “People perceive that a house with a metal roof is going to be noisy,” he said, “but in reality the insulation is below that so you don’t really hear it like you think you would, something you want to call your client’s attention to.”
Avoid Complicated Roofs
Joe Kormanik: “If the roofline is all cut up, I wouldn’t go post frame unless you go with a more expensive roof system panel wise, because sometimes you get into trim applications that are not as good as on your simple gable-style roof … if you have a big complicated roof you may be better off to move the [customer] towards shingles.”
Consider Your Roofing Options
Joe Kormanik: “We offer a straight metal panel with exposed screw fasteners (color coated to match the metal), and we also offer a concealed fastener standing seam roof, which looks really good on residential. We do offer shingles, but most of the time they’d rather have metal due to maintenance and hail resistance. Metal panels hold up better.”
Customizing Doesn’t Have to be Expensive
Justin Sobaski said porches and dormers are common additions on his post-frame residential projects. “Most of the residential project will do metal siding, and will incorporate some type of design to dress it up a little bit. Most all the homes have dormers or a porch and large windows,” he said.
Customers like lots of bells and whistles but soon discover that each one comes with a cost and the price advantage of post frame begins to diminish. To help keep the price more realistic, Joe Kormanik suggests thin veneer or wainscotting to offset the plain metal. “If you can incorporate a little bit of cedar on the house, it looks rustic,” he said. “We do quite a few porches on our houses and if you can put a little cedar on there it gives it a woodsy look, but still it’s maintenance free. We’re all about making it simple but also making it their home. Those little tidbits make a huge difference.”
Colors can vary by region. In Iowa, Sobaski is getting more action from blacks and grays. “Black is a popular roof color right now,” he said.
In Kansas, Kormanik said red and a gray are most popular. “We’re also seeing antique brown and clay,” he said.