Perma Columns

Started by ktgambill, April 15, 2024, 05:32:33 PM

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I have the Big Enchilada plans as well as the 1.5 story cottage plans. Plans are to build the 1.5 story and a couple of other small buildings on 7.5 acres.  I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with Perma Columns.  They are pre cast concrete piers with 10,000 psi concrete + 60,000 psi rebar and a powder coated pre set 1/4 inch steel bracket.  Standard length is 60".  They are typically used in post frame construction (pole barns, etc.). I am exploring using them in place of a PT post foundation or a Sonotube type poured pier. The idea is to attach a short 6x6 post to the Perma Column bracket just above grade and then run the beam on top of the post.  They have flanges at the bottom for uplift protection and typically sit on a concrete "cookie".  Can level them up by cutting the 6x6 post. They run about $200 a piece.


I have read about these before. I think they are engineered so that the joint between concrete and pt post is strong enough to satisfy the bracing requirements of pole buildings?

I think it is a good solution if you are building a pole structure. The PT wood available at most lumber yards will rot away under ground contact, whereas the concrete pier is a permanent solution.

The main thing is to make sure you understand pole bracing as there's no prescriptive method to follow as far as I know.

It will also change how the house walls are framed substantially - headers, insulation, water and air proofing, electrical, finishes. A potential cost to consider with a pole building is that you end up essentially framing it twice for a finished space. You'll probably still need a slab, and will need to excavate interior ground for a good base for it as well as plumbing.

Just me, but when I think my way through alternative building methods I often reason my way back to traditional methods due to cost, ease of construction, ability to follow established methods, and materials availability.