Notes On Wing Menu Choices


The tree menu system is reasonably self-explanatory for many, if not most items, at least when accompanied by a graphic, so this section discusses those items that relate more to concepts. We hope to discuss these such that the intent is clear.

Post Spacing Methods

There are a number of algorithms to choose from. Some of these are the result of historical intertia in the industry rather than having a proven engineering advantage. The reason for dealing with spacing methods is never what you do with a building that is a multiple of spacing size, but how to handle those that aren't. Say you have 8' post spacings resulting in 5 equially sized 8' bays on a 40' building. But if you have a 43' building, what do you do with the extra 3'? The Post Spacing Method tells the software how you prefer to deal with that extra bay space.

"Historical inertia" comes into play here. In many cases since there hasn't been much in the way of reliable tools to date, builders will calculate labor etc. on a per bay basis and push the remainder bay to one end of the wall. The thinking here isn't driven by structure or engineering, but by a lack of tools prior to now.

The interesting thing is that changing the post spacing method on various buildings can and will change the price. The software doesn't estimate labor etc based on the bay count times a cost per bay figure, so any advantage to pushing a smaller to one end is generally nullified. In fact, in most cases where we have actually been able to test live buildings, the software's default of Make All Spaces Even tends to yield the least expensive design. How do we know this? Simple. Our design lab looks at every live building we receive for testing, answering questions, or reporting of results that weren't expected. They run the building through a special version of the software, one that iterates through a barrage of selections.

The Post Spacing Methods selection is something you may want to look into as an experimental option to try yourself. Since this software only takes seconds to get you a price, you can easily try various options to see what happens. It's the reason software like this is so powerful. Not just because it can mimic what you did last year, but because it can let you do things next year that are better. Three Random Buildings test.

Lumber Length Selections

The object of any setting that defines lumber lengths is not to micromanage every possible detail by limiting the lumber the software will use. Rather, the object is to define lumber you can't get. If you absolutely can't get a great price on say 14' No.2 SYP although other lengths are available and priced well, then by all means, remove the 14' option from the selections that deal with No.2 SYP lumber (e.g. purlins, girts, etc.)

There have been some people who insist on setting lumber lengths for a given building to the multiples of their idealized bay spacing, e.g. 12' and 18' for 6' bays or 8' and 16' for 8' bays, etc. On the face of things this works, obviously. But add a handful of openings and/or create a building that isn't an ideal multiple of bay space, and the results may not work as well as hoped. We always suggest that you test your assumptions with the Three Random Buildings test.

Wall Manipulation -- GRT Files

It's possible to have a partially open wall with this product, which seems to be common in many agricultural buildings. It's also possible that an outer wall may have a construction that is different from other outer walls or in some other way unique; i.e. done for a specific purpose. Horse or milking barns might have such walls.

Normally wall lumber is laid in the standard fashion; that is, splash/skirting at the bottom, girts for attachment of siding materials, and truss carrying girders at the top edge. Usually the girts in particular are spaced equally (e.g. 24" center to center.)

When building any wall that isn't "vanilla" we can manipulate the lumber via a GRT file, which is a listing of placement of lumber positions and sizes. Here is specific help to show you how to use this file.

Endwall Checks (Endwall Post Control)

Some builders have their endwall posts extend to the roofline. This appears to be common in situations where structural gable trusses aren't used. There are two ways to do this. The first check is Extend to Roofline which says to merely extend the post. The Use Extension Posts check is used to define having the endwall post come up to the standard Truss BC height and then extending this with a new inline post up to the roofline. You can look at this as being akin to stacking posts end to end.

Post/Truss Connections

When trusses are required to be attached to posts, there are 3 primary methods supported by this software:

  1. The truss is bolted to one side of the post.
  2. The post is "notched" to carry the truss in the center.
  3. The truss is bolted to the side of each post in an alternating pattern.
If trusses aren't attached to posts, they are assumed to be attched to the truss carriers (or girders.)

Long/Short Lumber Placement

This option is used to control "staggering" of joints for lumber on successive runs such as purlins. For example a building with 8' spacing would start the first run with an 8' piece of lumber, followed by a 16' piece of lumber. The next run would reverse the scheme such that the 16' is followed by the 8' piece. This continues such that odd numbered runs use a different starting length than the even numbered runs.

Opening Framing Notes

One feature in the software is called Ignore Small Openings. The idea is that application of framing, siding and insulation ignores walk doors and most windows so that less time is spent framing things. The opening is then cut out later. This is an effort to save money on labor, generally by the builders who approximate labor costs by bay sizing. If you are using the labor package functions in the software, you probably won't need this.

Doors can be vertically framed with posts or lumber. If lumber is used, the framing may extend to either the elevation height OR the door height plus room for a header.

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