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Thread: Building with Utility poles

  1. #1

    Exclamation Building with Utility poles

    Hey everyone. We are buying a farm and turning the old barn/shop into our house. The beams are made from old utility poles. I have no info on where they were sourced and if they are the creosote ones or not. We won't have the money for a couple years to replace them so for the time being I was thinking of covering them with aluminum paint and then a plastic barrier then insulation, then building a wall. The beams will be completely covered. Any advice on if this should be okay? If not what can I do to cover these and feel safe. Please dont tell me it's a bad idea or dont do it. Looking for help. It's what we have to work with so would like to feel safe for the 2 years I'm stuck them. I was also thinking spray foam would maybe work but could get expensive. Thanks.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    Instead of sealing up the poles, I'd be far more inclined to box them in and allow ventilation of the chase. There'd be a two fold advantage. First, allowing airflow will prevent any possibility of your sealing job not being completely effective. Second, it prevents any possibility of moisture building up and beginning the possibility of rotting out. Just insulate around the interior faces of the boxed in portion, with 2+ inches of polyiso board. Place vents to the exterior at the bottom and top of the chase.

    I wouldn't hesitate to live in a home done this way, even if the poles are creosote infused.

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    Rod Reidnauer
    Class of Apr. 9-10, 2005
    Thinking outside the vinyl sided box

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