Pole Barn Kits | Pricing | DIY | Contractors | Plans | Accessories | Garages (2022)

Post-frame construction can seem like a difficult task, especially if you have seen how professional and well-polished they can look upon completion. But there are certain approaches and steps you can take to keep the costs low and the quality high! This article will lay out a series of points to consider when embarking upon pole barn construction.

Please note that there are a wide variety of options with pole constructions. Pole barns can service small shed needs, multi vehicle garage applications, agricultural needs, and even business or residential dwellings. Let’s begin with some clarity on the definition of this type of building.

What makes a Pole Barn distinct from other construction types?

Several terms represent the same thing: pole barn, pole buildings and post-frame construction. The focal point is the use of posts, often laminated, as the base of the system.

In the earliest form, builders would drive large, round posts into the ground and then attach trusses to them. This created an extremely stable base for building and withstanding the elements.

Over time, engineers found better efficiency in square poles, often in the 6x6 inch range. Once they began laminating the posts, and the trusses, and even notching out insets for girts, the concept really grew to become more popular and preferable in many situations.

“Post-frame” is the most often used term among builders and engineers. It is now far more than driving posts in the ground and connecting them. The entire process, from the beams to the cross members to the trusses and roofing are all pre-engineered off site, so the builders on site will not have to do any measuring or cutting.

Early decisions need to be made to help your project go smoothly.

Because of the vast options, determining narrow pathways early on can help you stay within a budget and limit conflicts and difficulties later in the project. Start by determining the type of post you want to use. Most material providers can help with this once you have explained the application: for a home, a shed, agricultural usage, or a business.

Even in those large categories there are vast options. Spend some time online looking at visuals that match your thinking. If you search, for instance, “pole barn for multi car garages,” you can begin to narrow down the pole type and design.

Be mindful of the codes in your county and region. There may be limits on what you can build based on zoning laws or even HOA rules. Getting guidelines for what is legally possible on your site can certainly help you narrow down your design process.

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Consider dimension desires relative to the actual site and application. Sometimes people say they want a 30x40, but there is simply no room in the place where they want it. Check out the dimensions between trees or other buildings, making sure there is ample space around the area for workers to do what needs to be done. Usually 10 feet of space around the perimeter is a good rule for that. Also, consider what you will be placing in the building. If it is a mower or vehicle or boat, make sure door dimensions are large enough for what you have.

Consider future expansion. Pole structures are great for adding on to at a later date. Position the building where you could modify or add to it later, if you need to go smaller at first.

Consider the buildings around your new pole barn. As mentioned above, make sure there is room and even room for expansion. Also consider the style and roof pitch and color schemes of other structures to make sure your new building fits the region well.

A Checklist for Successful Pole Building Construction

The following list can help you maximize your success and minimize your headaches and costs! These tips and strategies have helped many others and they will also speed up the entire process from design to completion.

1. Use applicable design and engineering tools and assessments early on.

Far too many people rush to the buy and build steps without determining what is best in their environment for their needs. Some rush to grab the cheaper materials and regret it. Factors, like weather in the area and weight upon the structure make a huge difference.

Look at factors like heat, snow, and wind. Consider the type of soil you have and what that might mean in terms of how deeply the poles need to be buried. These factors can affect how the laminated pieces are fitted together, as well as their size.

Note that how the pieces are put together can be more important than the material itself. You can have heavy duty beams, but if the girts aren’t fit together properly the system will fail.

This is where the proper engineering comes in. What is the relationship between the beams and girts and purlins and trusses? How are they affixed together? And what is it about the elements on my build site that necessitate certain decisions.

It is often wise to choose a company that has engineers on staff. They can prefabricate everything for your needs and have it ready to assemble once it gets to your location.

2. Choose the proper material for the project.

Most people are driven, at least in part, by cost. This can lead to a fundamental mistake: jumping at cheaper materials thinking it won’t matter. In the pole construction industry, this can mean unlaminated wood over laminated, smaller sizes when larger sizes are needed, or thinner materials around the structure, like doors and roofing.

(Video) How To Set Posts To Build A Pole Barn Yourself DIY

While it may look fine at the beginning, the elements and time can quickly lead to maintenance, repairs, and regret that could have been easily avoided. Again, this is most evident with doors and windows that won’t insulate or stay square, roofing material that can’t bear up under the elements, or poles that just aren’t adequate to the needs. Invest now and you won’t have to pay later.

3. Enjoy the options afforded to you when it comes to the foundation.

The most obvious difference between pole construction and traditional stick frame construction is the foundation. Pole barns have beams driven into the ground that serve as the support for the entire structure. Typical residential homes require a concrete base over the whole floor surface of the building, and the untreated lumber is affixed on top of that.

Since you do not have to pour a concrete continual base, you will save money immediately. But also, you can do a variety of other things. Firstly, you have more options in terms of sites, as the entire surface does not have to be perfectly level. Secondly, you can create whatever base you want, from concrete to laminated wood to gravel or even dirt.

As to the financial savings at time of construction, upwards of 15% of the cost of a stick-frame building is tied up in the concrete material and labor. You can either avoid that or put it off until later. This is another great option: do it later. You can easily add the flooring after the build. Again, the flooring can be laminated wood, asphalt, concrete, or a hybrid of these elements.

Keep in mind, proper bracing of your structure is crucial. From the beams to wooden pieces to the foundation, protect them against wind and the other elements and connect them well when you can. Affix the foundation to the structure to reinforce both if possible.

4. Plan to maximize the spacing of the columns.

A terrific advantage of pole buildings over stick frames is the spacing of the beams. They are typically eight feet apart but can be extended to twelve feet or beyond. This means less cost in wood, as well as a chance to put in much, much more insulation. Furthermore, fewer trusses are needed for the roof, as they are numbered according to the beams.

Getting the proper engineering assessment is important. Some builders may place beams 6 to 8 feet part when they could have been spaced further. This mistake would add to your costs. In the name of stability, overkill can lead to overcharging. On the other hand, spacing the beams and trusses too far apart can lead to exposure to the power of the wind and other elements and compromise the structure.

5. Invest in proper insulation to manage the interior climate.

If your project needs interior climate control, insulation choices are crucial. In addition to better controlling heat gain or loss, this will directly affect monthly utility costs. Also, insulation can better protect items on the inside from the elements and often lead to a healthier environment for patrons who might live or work in the building.

Some time spent on researching the “R-Value” needed for your purposes is wise. This is the rating of the properties inside the insulation, be it fiberglass or spray in. The higher that value the better the insulation. The width between the side walls gives you much more space for insulation, but other decisions also must be made. For instance, how thick do you need it to be? Common insulation can range from an inch to six inches in depth. Be sure and weigh the cost and value benefits of the type of insulation used.

6. Be sure not to overlook ventilation.

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Think of your post-framed building as more than a structure. Think of it like an enclosed system that is pieced together to create and sustain a healthy and appropriate environment. The way air flows through that system is a crucial step and is often overlooked. If there is not proper ventilation, the humidity can max out and cause many problems. You might end up running humidifiers full time to preserve the contents within. And this is more than a human air quality problem. It can affect the conditions for animals and goods within.

Usually more ventilation is needed if people or animals are going to regularly be enclosed with the doors and windows shut, especially where climate control is planned. Animals, in particular, need to breathe and eat and sweat and make waste, so airflow is also about the smell inside the building. In other applications, dangerous chemicals might be enclosed for long periods of time. Even things like fertilizer need to be properly vented for everyone’s protection.

You may only need mechanical vents placed in the building. In some cases, a powered unit may be required. But do your research and get engineering advice to get this right the first time.

7. Windows and doors are important building decisions.

As much as people are concerned with integrity in the framing and roofing, often too little mind is given to the doors and windows. Looks are important to people and choosing items that match the building and look good is important. But openings in your structure also are prime locations for heat gain or loss. Doors and windows are wear items, as they are moved and used often. Thickness, framing, insulation, durability, all of these are important with these wear items.

If your building has large doors, garage doors, or sliding doors, quality of the material matters. Better engineering can make them lighter and easier to manage without compromising longevity. Think about how often you will be opening the doors and who will be doing so. Also, consider what will be going in the building. Sometimes people purchase massive doors when smaller ones would work just as well and save on costs.

8. Condensation needs some early attention.

Moisture within the structure is almost always a bad thing. When humidity and heat reach the dew point, liquid can begin to accumulate on metal surfaces, usually near or including the roof. This can affect the climate in the room but also create actual drops of water that fall to the building’s interior. A usual solution is insulation on the underside of the metal roofing. This can be difficult and expensive, though it may be the best option.

There are other, less expensive options. A sponge like, adhesive film can be placed on the underside of the roofing. This will absorb all the moisture until it falls again below the dew point and evaporates. This can easily be applied on site and has exceptional longevity. Understand, products like DripStop are not an insulation, just a moisture barrier.

The difference here probably will come down to application. For product and animal containment, moisture control may be adequate. If it is a living quarter for people, then more substantive insulation will likely be appropriate.

9. Weigh options related to sound restriction and proofing

Some applications are sound sensitive. Perhaps it is a living quarter, and you need to keep exterior sounds low. Or maybe there is a machine running on the inside and you don’t want it heard down the street. Certain sound absorbing products can be affixed to the ceiling.

Combinations of insulation and steel can be used to line the walls and contain sound. There are often less expensive means to getting the desired effect. Talk to your engineering and construction team about your needs as early in the project as possible.

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10. Invest in low-cost interior wall protection.

Board paneling is a great way to protect your structure on the inside. Sometimes called shaker paneling or wainscotting, these thin and somewhat decorative boards protect the metal walls and beams from wear and tear. This can be especially useful if there will be farm equipment, or other abrasive materials and machines inside of the unit. Vehicles and mowing equipment can kick up debris as well.

If damage occurs, only small sections of wood would need to be replaced, as opposed to larger, more expensive pieces of sheet metal or whatever interior paneling is used. These products typical show dents and wear better than metal. Example: wainscoting in kitchens. Dining room chairs hit the wall often, but the paneling doesn’t show it like the drywall would.

11. Consider some aesthetic improvements that won’t break the bank.

The same construction can have different grades and additions that affect the look. Everything from window overhangs to border caps around the edge of the roofing. Certain trims can also improve the look at low cost. Be sure and ask the builder about touches that can be added to alter the look if that’s something you are interested in doing.

12. Explore multiple interior paneling options.

We’ve talked a little about wood panels along the lower portion of the walls. But you also have a variety of options for the entirely of the interior wall. There is full wooden paneling, sheet metal paneling, or traditional drywall. Unless the building is insulated and air quality controlled like a residence, drywall may not be the best option.

Plastic panels can hold up much better under less formal systems. Even plywood can create a nice look for rural application. Keep in mind the impact of water if you have animals or wash vehicles. Just note that there are probably better solutions than drywall to fit your needs.

13. Contact a professional early in the process.

You may be able to complete this project on your own, but starting with a pole building professional is an important early step. Firstly, you will want a well-engineered kit so that you won’t have any issues. Consulting with and ordering from a pole-frame construction specialist is important. They can also advise you pertaining to many of the things we discussed above.

From time to time you may need maintenance or repair. Perhaps a storm damages the roof, or the air flow in the building is not right. Enlisting a pole building specialist to advise or even come and make repairs can save you a lot of trouble, time, and money in the long run.

Should you do it yourself or hire a builder?

This article is intended to cover the basic elements that must be addressed at every step of the process, from site preparation to material selection to construction and climate control. There are other pieces to the puzzle, but these suffice to help you decide if this is something you want to do on your own, or if you’d like a builder to complete the work for you.

(Video) How to Build a Pole Barn Pt 8 - Cost, Materials, and Closing Thoughts

Major considerations are budget, quality needs, and time frame. Keep in mind a professional design and install team can get you from idea to occupancy much faster and often with warranties and guarantees. Be sure and decide how much work you want to take on and what your own time is worth. And remember, even if this is a DYI project, initiate contact with a reliable company to help with purchasing and maintenance. If you’d like help at any stage, we’d love a chance to connect you with a trained service professional specific to the pole barn field.


Do Pole barns need planning permission? ›

Full planning permission is required when your barn does not meet the requirements set out in Class Q of permitted development rights. In this scenario, you will have to submit a full planning application to your local council to seek consent to convert your barn.

Is it easy to build a pole barn? ›

A pole barn is a simple building that's supported by poles in the ground and anchored by concrete. It can be built just about anywhere, with much of the work done by yourself. Pole barn construction is considered one of the most economical and simplest ways to build with materials that are relatively cheap.

What is included in a pole barn kit? ›

All pole barn kits start as premium-grade lumber, sturdy code-compliant wood trusses, and high-quality metal roofing and siding. All come with everything from precast concrete footers (concrete mix for larger buildings) and fasteners to roof, wall, and door trims for a complete building kit.

What is the most cost effective pole barn size? ›

Any pole building with 12 foot post spacing is going to be the most efficient to build. At the same time, the width of a building affects the price because of the trusses. This means that a building that is about 20 X 36 is going to be the most cost-effective size.

What size barn can you build without planning permission? ›

Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

Can I put a barn on my land? ›

Current planning permission rules for agricultural land

The agricultural land must not be less than 5 hectares in area. You cannot erect, build or alter any building classed as a dwelling. The building must be solely for the purpose of agriculture. It cannot be the first agricultural construction on the unit.

Should pole barn posts be set in concrete? ›

Also, be aware that simply setting posts in concrete will not prevent rot. The wood won't be in contact with the ground, but moisture is absorbed by the concrete and pulled up into the wood. Over time, rotting will occur.

Which is cheaper pole barn or stick built? ›

Building a pole barn can cost significantly less than constructing a stick-built structure. The foundation usually makes up over 15 percent of the cost of constructing a single-story building. A pole barn uses posts buried in the ground to support the weight of the walls and the roof.

Is it cheaper to buy a pole barn kit or build it yourself? ›

Pole barn kits are undoubtedly the more inexpensive option compared to custom-built barns. This is because you only have to pay for materials and not the labor. However, while a custom pole barn may be more expensive up front, they will save you much more money down the road.

Is it cheaper to build a barn or buy a kit? ›

The Perks of Building A Shed

If you've been wondering is it cheaper to build your own shed, you'll discover that yes, it is less expensive to build your own shed than to purchase a pre-built shed. That is at least if you have all the tools required to build the shed.

How much is a 30x30 pole barn kit? ›

30×30 Pole Barn Prices

Expect to pay between $6,000 and $12,000 for a basic kit, not including shipping or any other additional costs.

Which direction should a barn face? ›

Which Direction Should My Shed Face? - YouTube

How tall should a pole barn be? ›

Height. Design your pole barn at a height minimum of 8 feet. This will typically accommodate a variety of uses, from livestock shelter or barn to equipment storage. If you order a kit or hire a construction company to build your barn, you will find that 10 to 12 foot wall heights are typical.

Which is cheaper pole building or steel building? ›

Higher Value. Customizable metal buildings are generally less expensive to build than a wooden pole barn, but that doesn't mean they are of lesser value. A stronger foundation, higher quality materials, and less required maintenance over the life of the metal building will save you money on all fronts.

What farm buildings are exempt from planning permission? ›

Detached single storey agricultural buildings under 300 square metres are generally exempt from the building regulations.

What size agricultural building can I build without planning permission? ›

it is less than 465 square metres in size. built more than 25 metres from a motorway or other classified road. must not be specifically a dwelling. livestock buildings must be over 400 metres from any residence other than your own.

What is the maximum size shed without planning permission UK? ›

How big can I build a shed without planning permission? In order to build a shed that doesn't require a planning permission application, the shed itself must adhere to the following rules: The shed must occupy less than 50% of the total area occupied by your property. The total floor area of the shed doesn't exceed ...

What can you put on agricultural land without planning permission? ›

If your farm is 5 hectares or more, you have the right to erect, extend or alter a building. The types of permitted development include temporary uses of land, agricultural buildings below a certain size, forestry buildings, caravan sites and related buildings in some circumstances.


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