PostFrame Manager Concepts

This section deals with PostFrame Manager concepts and underlying assumptions.

What Types of Buildings Does This Software Create?

This software is optimized for Agricultural and light industrial use. For example, there's a lot of siding layout options designed with steel panel material in mind. Interior finishing refers to "liner," which is often metal, not wallboard. This is washable. You can hose it down. This implies animals or equipment sheds, not dental offices.

Here's a short list of features that underscore this optimization:

We also offer other products, including Post Frame technology optimized for non-Agricultural use. The Commercial version of this software assumes this. There aren't Gambrel roofs or Lean-To wings; these are replaced by Hip rooflines and open beam ceilings, 2 story structures, and so on. Oh, and interiors are assumed to be wallboard.

We also offer products for Stud Framing, SIP, and Metal Buildings.

Grade and Elevation

Grade is the lower extreme of the calculation of elevation, an arbitrary zero point from which all other measurements are based. Grade is not necessarily referring strictly to the ground level. For example if you bolt posts or columns to a slab, the slab surface where the bolting takes place is considered Grade, even if the slab extends say 4" above the ground level.

Elevation is the position of the bottom of the bottom chord above the marker we use as grade. It is not necessarily CEILING elevation, either, in that if you have an elevation of 8' and you put in a ceiling the thickness of the ceiling material will play a role. e.g. if you are using wallboard and desire a perfect 8' ceiling height, your elevation setting would be 8 ft. 1/2 in. which accounts for the wallboard thickness. (The wallboard would attach to the bottom of the truss bottom chord reducing actual ceiling height by 1/2 inch.)

These concepts remain fixed in this software. You may refer to grade strictly as the ground level regardless of slab height or where the posts are bolted, which is fine. But we refer to these terms as shown. Why? Because we have to have consistency. When we talk about grade or elevation in the Help or in the menu system, you can rely on the fact that these terms have a distinct meaning in this product. They don't mean other things at other times, and they do not mean different things to different people.

In selling this product for a while now it's apparent that some builders refer to elevation as one measurement while others refer to the same term -- elevation -- as being something else altogether. Same thing with grade. What we are doing here is using these terms to mean specific things and only those things.


In this software, a WING is a complete structure. You cannot bypass the functionality of a wing to create a porch. The commercial post frame version of this software includes the ability to place eyebrow trusses, canopies, and porches.

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