Frequently Asked Questions & Glossary

Jump to Glossary

Warranty & Repairs
How can I find out if the warranty on an older building is still valid and what is covered?
What is the warranty on new buildings?
How do I find my rep for repairs?
How do I get small parts for repairs?
Are material-only packages covered by the warranty?

Pricing
Can you give me a ballpark price?
Why can’t I talk to someone from the main office to get a price?
Do you sell floor plans?
It seems like Lester buildings are more expensive. Why?
A storm damaged my Lester building. How do I get an estimate for my insurance rep?

Types of Buildings
Do you build churches?
Do you build houses?

Product Information & Services
What is the smallest, largest, widest and highest building you can build?
What is the widest clear span you can build (without the middle posts)?
What gauge of steel do you use?
What size of lumber do you use?
Do I need a concrete foundation?
Can I use an existing concrete foundation?
Do you pour concrete?
Do you offer general contracting services (electrical, plumbing, interior finishing)?
The Ordering and Building Process
Where can I see Lester buildings in my area?
How long does it take to build the building?
How long does it take from ordering the building to materials arriving on site?
Do you offer material-only packages?
What instructions are available for DIYers?

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers


Q. How can I find out if the warranty on an older building is still valid and what is covered?
A. First, find your Lester Buildings contract to find out the year it was built. Then, contact your local Lester Dealer or Representative. To find your local Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here. The Dealer / Rep will get more information from you and investigate the claim.
 
Q. What is the warranty on new buildings?
A. Lester Buildings Warranty
Owners are expected to regularly maintain the steel on their building. Read and print our suggested maintenance instructions here.

For any warranty questions, please contact your local Dealer / Rep. To find your local Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here.

Q. How do I find my rep for repairs?
A. To find your local Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here.
 
Q. How do I get small parts for repairs?
A. If you are within driving distance of one of our Service Centers, and have the appropriate vehicle and trailer to haul the items needed, you may call 800-826-4439 and ask to speak with a Lester Buildings Associate in the Order Entry Department.
 
If you're unable to pick up parts, order them through your local Dealer / Rep. He or she can combine your order with other order(s) to reduce freight costs. To find your local Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here.
 
Q. Are material-only packages covered by the warranty?
A. Yes. If the building is built per the construction drawings provided by Lester Buildings, it is covered by Lester Buildings Warranty.
 
Q. Can you give me a ballpark price? 
A. Read our blog post: How much does it cost to build a pole barn?

Each Lester Building is a custom building based on the customer’s location and needs. All planning, pricing and construction services are provided by your local Lester Dealer or Lester Representative.
 
Also, every county has its own rating for wind load and snow load that a building must withstand. All Lester Buildings are designed and engineered to meet (or exceed) those ratings. Therefore, the design will vary per county, which, in turn, varies the pricing.
 
Secondly, we meet with our customers at the building site to help determine the best design for a building's purpose. Unlike other post-frame building companies who only offer a few predetermined designs, Lester Buildings' design options are endless. Our local Dealers / Reps are experts in the local building codes, and they know what foundation options are best for the soil in your area. To set up an appointment with a Lester Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here.
 
Q. Why can’t I talk to someone from the main office to get a price?
A. All of our Dealers / Representatives live in the sales territory they cover. They're eager to develop a personal relationship with you and find out what’s important to you as you move forward.
 
Q. Do you sell floor plans?
A. No, we do not sell floor plans. However, some of our floor plans are online in the Project Library.
 
Q. It seems like Lester buildings are more expensive. Why?
A. Lester Buildings are priced comparably to other national post-frame buildings. When a Lester Building price is compared to a local lumberyard’s price, it may seem higher initially. Our motto is “Let’s Plan for Excellence,” and we don't settle for less than the highest quality product and service you deserve.

A few areas in which you’ll see a difference:

  • Lester Buildings are engineered per county wind load and snow load.
  • Lester Buildings are covered by warranty.
  • Lester Buildings are comprised of high quality materials.
  • Lester Buildings employs specialists who each have a vested interest in ensuring your Lester Building is the best that it can be.

 If you are considering other building companies, be sure to ask how about their in-house services and compare for yourself. 
 
Q. A storm damaged my Lester building. How do I get an estimate for my insurance representative?
A. To obtain an accurate replacement cost, please find your Lester Buildings contract and then contact your local Lester Dealer or Representative. He/she will requote the building with up-to-date pricing.
 
To find your local Dealer / Rep, call 800-826-4439 or click here.
 
Q. Do you build churches?
A. Yes, we build churches and other buildings for religious organizations such as storage buildings, gymnasiums and classrooms.  Please go to our Project Library to see examples. 
 
Q. Do you build houses?
A. Yes, however, check your local building code requirements. Many people are interested in workshops/living quarters combinations or cabins/retreats. Please consult with your local Lester Dealer / Rep to find out what possibilities are available in your area. Please go to our Project Library to see examples of residences we’ve built. 
 
Q. What is the smallest, largest, widest and highest building you can build?
A. The dimensions listed below are for standard designs. However, they can be exceeded for custom designs.
Minimum Width:              12’
Minimum Length:            20’
Minimum Height:             7’ (We can build roof systems as low as 1', to be placed on concrete blocks.)
 
Maximum Width:             120’ (We can build wider, depending on other aspects of the building. See your dealer / rep.)
Maximum Length:           Endless
Maximum Height:            24’
 
Q. What is the widest clear span you can build (without middle posts)?
A. 120’
 
Q. What gauge of steel do you use?
A. 29 gauge steel is used on most Lester Buildings. If a stronger panel is desired, we also offer 26 gauge steel.
 
Q. What lumber size do you use?
A. The lumber species, grade and size are specified by our engineered design systems – along with the bay spacings and attachment methods.
 
Q. Do I need a concrete foundation?
A. No, a concrete foundation is not required for all of our building foundation systems. One of our foundations features columns that are set in the ground, which gives the option of pouring a concrete floor after the building is up.
 
Q. Can I use an existing concrete foundation?
A. Possibly. Your local Lester Dealer / Representative will visit the building site to determine if the foundation can be reused.
 
Q. Do you pour concrete?
A. Some of our local, experienced construction teams do offer such services. Please ask your local Dealer / Rep.
 
Q. Do you offer general contracting services (electrical, plumbing, interior finishing)?
A. Some of our local, experienced construction teams do offer general contracting services. Please ask your local Dealer / Rep.
 
Q. What finishes do you offer (shingles, siding)?
A. Our options are endless!
 
Q. Where can I see Lester buildings in my area?
A. Use the "Mapping" feature in our Project Library.
 
Q. How long does it take to build the building?
A. Depending on weather and the complexity of the building, the building construction process ranges from a few days to a few months.
 
Q. How long does it take from ordering the building to materials arriving on site?
A. 10 days to 10 weeks, depending on demand and building complexity. 
 
Q. Do you offer material-only packages?
A. Yes.
 
Q. What instructions are available for DIYers?
A. A complete set of construction drawings and a “Where-Used List” is sent with the building materials.


Glossary


Anchor Blocks
Blocks that are factory nailed and glued to the side of the column. The anchor blocks engage the soil directly and prevent column withdrawal


Bay / Bay Spacing
One of the intervals of spaces into which a building plan is divided by columns, piers, or division walls.
 
Bottom Chord
The main member of a truss running along its lower side between supports and usually carrying combined tension and bending.
 
Bracing
Temporary or permanent ways to support part of a structure.


Casement Window
Pre-hung window with outward crank out open/close function.
 
Casing
The trimming around a door or window, either outside or inside, or the finished lumber around a column or beam.
 
Caulk
To seal and make waterproof cracks and joints, especially around window and exterior door frames.
 
Ceiling Height
The clearance between the bottom chord of the roof truss and the top of the floor line.
 
Chalk
Chalk is a breakdown of paint resin, which leaves a chalk-like powder.
 
Clear Height
The clearance between the bottom chord of the roof truss and top of finished floor. Finished floor is assumed to be 4 inches above bottom of splash plank for buildings with embedded columns.
 
Clear Span
Horizontal distance between interior edges of supports.
 
Column
A main member used in a vertical position on a building to transfer loads from main roof beams, trusses, or rafters to the foundation.
 
Concrete Collar
Additional concrete poured around the column when wind upload is a concern to help anchor the column in the ground.
 
Continuous Girt System
Wall girts butted up against each other to form one continuous girt.
 
Cookie
Pre-cast concrete footing, used as a foundation support.
 
Crossbuck
A design element on doors that adds strength and visual appeal.
 
Cupola
Small structure installed onto a roof to add style and usually provides ventilation.


Dead Load
The weight of the building system construction consisting of members such as framing and covering, plus all collateral loads.
 
Design Loads
The loads expressly specified that the building system is designed to safely resist.
 
Diagonal Brace
Wind load bracing running diagonally between supportive framing members.
 
Diaphragm Action
The sheathing and secondary framing of the building’s walls and roof form large planar elements that can efficiently transfer large lateral loads long distances through ‘diaphragm action’. Diaphragm action enables the roof to transfer horizontal building loads to any perpendicular walls. The walls take the load to grade where it is dissipated into the foundation/soil system.
 
Dormer
A projecting structure built out from a sloping roof. Usually includes one or more windows.
 
Downspouts
A conduit used to carry water from the gutter of a building.
 
Drip Cap
A molding which directs water away from a structure to prevent seepage under the exterior facing material. Applied mainly over window and exterior door frames.
 
Dutch Door
A walk door in which the top and bottom halves open and close independently. Often used to confine animals while allowing in sunlight and air.


Eave
The exterior part of the building where the roof connects to the wall.
 
Eave Height
Nominal vertical dimension measured from top of finished floor to the intersection of the roof and side wall planes.
 
Eave Light
Translucent panels located below the eave line to allow natural light to enter the building.


Fascia
A wood member used for the outer face of a box cornice where it is nailed to the ends of the rafter and lookouts.
 
Finger Jointed Columns
Two columns (posts) are cut on one end into a herringbone pattern. Those ends are joined together by glue and pressure to create a very strong bond. The result looks like interlocked fingers, hence “finger joint." 
 
Flashing
Sheet metal (or other materials) placed in corners and other joints to prevent water from entering the building.
 
Flying Gable Roof
An extension of the roof at the peak of the building. Often chosen to add design or protection against weather elements.
 
Footings
Foundations that are embedded into the ground.


G60…G90….
See galvanized coating.
 
Gable
The triangular portion of the endwall from the level of the eave to the ridge of the roof.
 
Galvannealed Steel
Lester Building’s Signature horse stall products have been galvannealed. This process starts with immersing the steel in molten zinc (galvanizing), then heating the coated steel (annealing) to create a zinc-iron alloy. Two benefits of galvannealing are better spot welding adhesion and better paint adhesion. 
 
Galvanized Coating
Lester Buildings’ Uni-Rib™ steel panel is dipped in molten zinc to prevent rusting.
 
Gambrel
A symmetrical roof with a lower steeper slope (8/12) and an upper flatter slope (4/12) on each side.
 
Gauge
A measurement of the thickness of steel.
 
Girt
A horizontal structural member that is attached to sidewall or endwall columns and supports the building sheathing.
 
Glu-Lam (Glue Laminated Lumber)
Formed by gluing together stress rated lumber laminates. The lumber can be joined end-to-end via finger joints to form long members. The lumber can be face-joined or edge-joined to form large cross sections, using waterproof adhesive. Glue laminated timber is the only engineered lumber that can be formed into curved shapes (arches) and other complex shapes.
 
Gusset
See plate.
 
Gutter (rain gutter)
Metal trough attached to the edge of a roof to collect and conduct water from rain and melting snow.


Header
Horizontal structural member that supports the load over an opening, such as a window or door. Also called a lintel.
 
Headroom
The amount of space from the top of an overhead door opening and the interior ceiling / truss.
 
Hip Roof / Hipped Porch
A roof which is formed by sloping planes from all four sides.


Jamb
The vertical framing members located at the sides of an opening.
 
Joist
One of a series of parallel framing members used to support floor and ceiling loads, and supported in turn by larger beams, girders, or bearing walls.


Laminated
The result of gluing two pieces of wood together.
 
Lean-To
A structure having only one slope and depending upon another structure for partial support.
 
Lined Building
The interior walls are sheathed with Uni-Rib steel (liner).
 
Live Load
The load superimposed by the use and occupancy of the building not including the wind load, earthquake load or dead load.
 
Louver
An opening provided with fixed or movable, slanted fins to allow flow of air.
 
LSL (Laminated Strand Lumber)
An engineered wood product formed by processing relatively small, low grade logs into flakes. These flakes are then coated with waterproof adhesive and glued together using pressure and steam. This forms a large billet that is cut to the desired cross section. Billet is limited to thickness of approximately 5.5 inches and must remain dry.
 
LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber)
An engineered wood product formed by layering wood veneers with waterproof adhesives to form large blocks or billets. The billets are cured in a heated press. The laminations used to form LVL give it a layered cross section similar to plywood.  However, unlike plywood, the grain of all LVL plies run in the same direction. 


Machine Stress Rated (MSR)
Lumber graded by the process of running it through an electronic machine which determines its stiffness value (E). The allowable stresses are then determined from this value.
 
Mansard Roof
A type of curb roof in which the pitch of the upper portion of a sloping side is slight and that of the lower portion steep.


Nominal
An approximate dimension usually used to describe the approximate size of an item.


On Center
A method of indicating the spacing of framing members by stating the measurement from the center of one member to the center of the succeeding one.
 
Open Ridge
Framed and flashed openings at the roof's ridge. Functions as a chimney for natural ventilation.
 
Operator
Overhead door (garage door) remote control opener.
 
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Panels of compressed strand-like particles arranged in layers (usually three to five) oriented at right angles to one another.
 
Overhang
The extension of the top chord of a truss beyond the bearing support.
 
Overhead Door
A door that opens into a building via an L-shaped track.


Pitch
The inches, or fraction thereof, of vertical rise in 12 inches of horizontal run for inclined members. Usually expressed as 4/12, 8/12, etc.
 
Plate
A horizontal structural member placed on a wall or supported on columns, studs, or corbels to carry the trusses of a roof or to carry the rafters directly.
 
Ply
Used to denote the number of pieces attached to each other  (2-Ply, 3-Ply, Multi-Ply).
 
Porch
An extension of the roof that is supported by columns.
 
Post-Frame Construction
Features “posts” as vertical support columns that are embedded into the ground or mounted on top of a concrete slab. The posts are made of laminated columns and are attached to wall girts and roof purlins to create the building frame.
 
Powder Coat Paint
A painting process in which a solvent in not needed. Fine powder is applied electrostatically and then heated to create a durable finish.
 
Prefabricated
To manufacture (a building or section of a building) in advance, especially in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled.
 
PSL (Parallel Strand Lumber)
An engineered wood product formed by cutting wood veneers into long strips or strands and then adhering them together using waterproof adhesives, heat, and pressure to form a large block or billet.  The stranding of the wood veneer enables the removal of most imperfections.
 
Purlin
See Roof Purlins.
 
Purlin/Girt Pocket
Galvanized saddle pocket used to fasten girts and purlins.


Raised Ridge
An elevated ridge cap above an open ridge ventilation system to reduce weather penetration. Often used with an air deflector.
 
Ridge Cap
A transition of the roofing materials along the ridge of a roof. Sometimes called ridge roll or ridge flashing.
 
Ridgevent
Openings cut along the ridgeline to allow air to escape the building. Often a Continuous Ridge Vent is used, running the entire length of the ridge.
 
Riding Arena Guard
A barrier, usually made of plywood, placed around the bottom perimeter of a horse riding arena to guide the horse away from the wall and protect the rider from hitting the wall.
 
Rolling Window
(Gliding) Pre-hung window with horizontal sliding open-close function.
 
Roof Hatch
22 inch x28 inch white sliding door mounted in the roof to function as a grain port in flat storage grain buildings.
 
Roof Pitch
See Pitch.
 
Roof Purlins
Secondary roof members that span between primary truss or rafter framing to which the sheathing is attached.
 
Roofing
The materials applied to the structural parts of a roof to make it waterproof.
 
Rough Opening (R.O.)
The opening formed by the framing members.


Saddle Hangers
A piece of metal that connects purlins to trusses. The hanger straddles the truss, hence the saddle name.
 
Sill
The lowest member of the frame of a structure, usually horizontal, resting on the foundation and supporting the uprights of the frame. Also the lowest member of a window or outside door frame.
 
Signed and Sealed Drawings
Certified drawings designed and stamped with the seal of a registered professional engineer in the particular state of job destination.
 
Sliding Door
A single or double leaf door which opens horizontally by means of sliding on an overhead trolley and track system.
 
Slope (Pitch)
The inches of vertical rise in 12 inches of horizontal run for inclined members (generally expressed as 3/12, 4/12, 6/12, etc.
 
Snow Load
A gravity load resulting from the accumulation of snow and ice.
 
Soffit
A material which covers the underside of an overhang.
 
Solar Open Front
Lester building with 3/12 roof slope one side and 4 foot eave overhang on open side. Slope on 4 foot overhang has solar filon in place of metal.
 
Splash Plank
2x6 or 2x8 treated board used to separate the building from the outside grade. This board forms the lowest girt in the sidewall.
 
Standing Seam Roof
Comprised of steel panels that overlap each other at a bent (standing) edge.


Tensile Strength
The measurement of how much stress a steel panel can take before deforming. Measured in psi (pounds-force per square inch).
 
Truss
Roof framing composed of triangle shapes.


Uni-Rib™ Steel Panel
Roof and wall paneling.


Vapor Barrier
A vapor resistant material used to resist the passage of water vapor into or through structural elements (floors, walls, ceilings). A vapor barrier must have a perm rating less than 1.0.
 
Vented Overhang
A roof extension that “overhangs” the wall, and allows air to enter under the eave.


Wainscot
A lower wall finish, usually 3 feet to 4 feet high.
 
Walk Door (Entry Door / Man Door)
A door that is used primarily for human passage. Typically 36 inches  x 80 inches.
 
Weatherstrip
Narrow strips of metal, vinyl plastic or other material, installed at doors or windows, to retard the passage of air, water, moisture, or dust around the door or window sash.
 
Weathervane
Sits atop a roof cupola and moves to show wind direction.
 
Wind Load
The load caused by the wind from any horizontal direction for which building components must be designed.
 
Wind Uplift
The upward force of pressure on a building that is caused when the air pressure inside the building is greater than the air pressure above the roof.