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The Ultimate Pole Barn Guide

Everything you need to know about pole barns from the price of pole barns, the best pole barn materials to use, how they are built, DIY and Kit instructions, permits and regulations, professional installation, maintenance, pole barn financing and more.

Table of Contents

What are Pole Barns? / What is a Pole Barn?

Pole barns, also known as post-frame buildings, are versatile structures commonly used for agricultural, commercial, and residential purposes. These buildings feature a simple yet efficient construction method, with large poles or posts serving as the primary support system. The walls (typically referred to as posts) of pole barns are typically made of pressure treated 6×6, 8×8 or 10×10 posts, spaced on average 10’-12’ on center, while horizontal metal beams and trusses support the roof. Pole barns are renowned for their affordability, thanks to their minimal material and labor requirements. They are often utilized for storing farming equipment, livestock, or as workshops and garages.

Why are they called pole Barns?

The term “pole barn” originates from the building’s distinctive construction style, which relies on sturdy poles or posts set into the ground to support the structure, providing a cost-effective and durable solution for various building needs.

Available Sizes of Pole Barns

Pole barns come in all shapes and sizes, perfect for any of your needs. Whether you’re looking for a small storage space or a large agricultural building, pole barns can be tailored to fit. They can range from small storage spaces, equipment covers and workshops to large structures capable of housing farming equipment, animals and more. With widths starting from 12 feet, generally maxing out at 80 feet width, without any support poles, allowing the building to be free-spanning with no obstructions in the center. Pole barn lengths range from 12 feet and stretch in length to over 300 feet. You can also customize the height of pole barns to accommodate tall machinery, vehicles and equipment or create a spacious inside for projects, retail space or machining. Pole barns can range in height from 10 feet with max sidewall 24 feet on side walls, which, in general, would make the peak in center around 28 on a 4/12 pitch roof. Whatever your building needs, pole barns can match the size you need at an affordable price. (View our list of pole barn sizes)

Designer your Custom Pole Barn

Select the style of Pole Barn you want, and customize the size, color, style and options.

Pole Barn Customization Options

At Keen’s Buildings, we pride ourselves on offering pole barns that can be fully customized to meet your unique needs and preferences. Whether you’re interested in an open or enclosed pole barn design, we’ve got you covered.

Our pole barns feature sturdy post sizes in 6×6 post and 8×8 posts to ensure durability and structural integrity. One enclosed pole barns you can choose from door and window styles and options to enhance functionality and aesthetics. We offer pole barn colors from classic neutral colors to bold blues and reds, you can customize your pole barn to match your personal style or complement existing structures on your property. Plus, we offer options like roof overhangs for added rain protection and visual appeal. With our customizable pole barns, you can create the perfect space for your needs while adding value and functionality to your property.

As a Florida & Georgia builder all Keen’s Buildings pole barns are engineered to, or exceeding, local building codes with capabilities to handle what mother nature throws at it…

Uses of Pole Barns

Pole barns are super versatile buildings that cover an array of uses and property types. Their ability to provide essential storage solutions for farming equipment, machinery, livestock, feed, and nursery supplies as well as providing shelters for livestock and spacious housing facilities for horses and other animals on farms and ranches. Pole barns function as multipurpose spaces, serving as storage facilities, workshops, offices, retail spaces, and warehouses in commercial use. In residential usage pole barns are also utilized as garage spaces, workshops, storage buildings, and even as habitable living spaces such as barndominiums. Their adaptability and affordability make pole barns an optimal choice for facilitating the needs of farmers, businesses, and homeowners alike.

Here is a list of common pole barn uses:

Agricultural Pole Barns

  • Farming equipment and machinery storage
  • Livestock and feed storage
  • Landscaping pole barns
  • Nursery storage
  • Dairy farm barn
  • Livestock shelter
  • Horse Barns
  • Chicken Coop or Henhouse

Commercial Pole Barns

  • Storage Space
  • Workshop
  • Office Space
  • Retail Space
  • Commercial Warehouse
  • Storage Buildings/Units

Industrial Pole Barns

  • Warehousing
  • Machine Shop
  • Plane Hanger

Residential Pole Barns

  • Garage Pole Barns
  • Workshops
  • Homestead
  • Storage Buildings
  • Barndominiums

Pole Barn vs. Traditional Construction “Stick Built”

When embarking on a construction project, the choice between pole barn construction and traditional building construction can significantly impact the outcome. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, particularly concerning cost, speed, durability, and flexibility.

Pole Barn Construction:

Pole barns, known for their simplicity and affordability, the utilize large posts (or poles) for support and offer quick prefab assembly times. They are versatile in sizing, accommodating various needs from storage to agricultural purposes, and allow for flexibility in foundation options. However, while they are cost-effective and fast to build, pole barns may lack the durability of traditional construction methods.

Traditional Construction:

Traditional construction methods, with their sturdy frames and customizable designs, prioritize aesthetics and energy efficiency. Although they may take longer to build and require a higher upfront investment, traditional buildings often offer superior insulation and can be tailored to specific aesthetic and functional requirements.

Comparing Advantages and Disadvantages:

In terms of cost, pole barns often come out ahead due to their reduced material and labor requirements. They also boast quicker construction times, making them ideal for projects with tight timelines. However, traditional construction often times offers greater aesthetics, durability and long-term energy efficiency.

When it comes to flexibility, both methods have their merits. Pole barns are highly versatile and can adapt to various uses and environments and span in size at a most cost efficient rate. Traditional construction, on the other hand, provides unparalleled customization options, allowing for unique designs and features tailored to individual preferences.

Choosing the Right Solution:

Ultimately, the decision between pole barn and traditional construction depends on your project’s specific needs and priorities. If affordability and speed are paramount, pole barns offer a compelling solution. However, if aesthetics, customization, and energy efficiency are essential, traditional construction may be the better choice.

By carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each method, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your vision and goals for the project. Whether it’s the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of pole barns or the aesthetics and customization of traditional construction, finding the right solution ensures a successful outcome that meets your needs now and in the future.

How long do pole barns last?

The lifespan of a pole barn can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of materials used, the quality of construction and the level of maintenance and care. A well-built and properly maintained pole barn can last for several decades or even longer. Overall, while there is no exact lifespan for a pole barn, investing in quality materials and construction, along with regular maintenance, can you can ensure your pole barn functionality for years to come.

Lifespan of a Pole Barn

With Keen’s Buildings the average life span of a pole barn before any maintenance, outside of the acts of God, should be 40 years.

In coastal lying areas, directly on the coast, a pole barn might have half the lifespan, due to salt spray and intense moisture in the air, vs a pole barn that is placed more inland. However, you should still get a good 25-year life span from the metal components in direct salt spray. Keen’s Buildings uses high quality materials, including galvalume exterior metal and galvanized bolts and fasteners, to help aid in rust prevention. The galvanized materials are a protective coating against Florida harsh weather and coastal conditions.

Pole Barn Prices

Pole barns are a popular, budget-friendly choice for various uses, such as farms, storage spaces, and workshops. Their cost depends on several factors, including size, whether you choose a do-it-yourself kit, or have it professionally installed.

How much are pole barns?

Pole barn prices average from $3,500 to $40,000, with smaller kits starting around $1,900 vs an installed 40×60 pole barn that is enclosed with multiple doors and windows averaging close to $40,000

DIY Kits vs. Installed Pole Barn Pricing

The simplest and cheapest option is an open pole barn kit. For example, a small 12x12x10 open pole barn kit starts at around $1,900. If you want it installed by professionals, the price increases to around $2,400. For those looking for more protection from the weather, enclosed pole barn kits begin at $3,300, with installation raising the price to around $4,000.

As the size of the barn increases, so does the cost. A 20×24 foot open pole barn kit costs roughly $3,328.40, but with installation, the price goes up to about $4,979.60. If you prefer it enclosed, the kit costs $5,957.45, and with installation, you’re looking at $8,208.65.

For a larger 30×36 foot pole barn, an open kit costs $7,064.05, and to have it installed would cost $10,779.25. An enclosed kit for this size would set you back $11,385.97, with installation fees at $16,451.17. The largest common size, 40×60 feet, starts at $12,783.29 for an open kit, with installation costing $21,039.29. If you want this size enclosed, the kit costs $19,278.24, and installation is $30,534.24.

Pole Barn Installation Costs

What Affects the Cost?

The price of building a pole barn can vary depending on the amount of quality of materials used, like size and amount of metal or wood needed, and the location, as labor costs differ across different areas. Other factors include the type of foundation or if a concrete slab is needed as well as extras such as windows, doors, and other finishes.

Overall, pole barns are an affordable option for many purposes.

Pole Barn Installation Costs (Labor)

The labor costs for installation can be broken down in the following. At Keen’s Buildings the price per sq ft to install an open pole barn is $3.44/sq ft, the price per sq ft to install an enclosed pole barn is $4.69/sq ft. So, in the examples above the 30×36 pole barn has a labor cost of $3,715.2 on an open pole barn and $5,065.20 for an enclosed pole barn. Many opt to use a DIY Pole Barn Kit to forgo these labor costs. To get an idea of your labor cost you can use the below pole barn installation cost calculation. NOTE: that on some smaller sizes you might end up renting equipment that doesn’t justify “DIY Savings”. For example, a 12x12x16 open pole barn installation cost is $495, to rent a boom from a local hardware store, could cost more than that alone.

Installation Cost Formula/Calculation

(height x width) x Install Cost (Open or Enclosed) = Installation Cost

Example open pole barn labor cost:
(30×36) x 3.44 = $3,715.20
(1,080 sq ft) x $3.44 labor cost = 3,715.20

Example enclosed pole barn labor cost:
(30×36) x 4.69 = $5,065.20
(1,080 sq ft) x $4.69 labor cost = 5,065.20

How do builders do pole barns so cheaply?

Builders are able to construct pole barns at relatively low costs due to several key factors. First, they often have access to specialized equipment, which allows for more efficient construction with less labor. Additionally, builders frequently purchase materials in large quantities, benefiting from bulk pricing and reducing overall material costs. Another significant factor is prefabrication; many components of pole barns are pre-made in a controlled factory setting, which speeds up the construction process on-site and minimizes waste. This combination of efficient practices and economies of scale enables builders to offer pole barns at competitive prices.

The Best Deals on Pole Barns

Finding the best deals on pole barns involves a bit of research. Checking customer reviews and asking for referrals can also lead to finding builders known for offering good value. Additionally, it’s beneficial to look for suppliers or builders that offer customization options within the same price range, as this can significantly enhance the value of your investment without additional cost. (Many companies advertise a lower initial price and then add more for the basic options, that you get from other builders like Keen’s.) Also don’t fall for the “mark-up to mark-down” companies that have 50% off sales. Keen’s Buildings offer the most competitive rates and quality service, and you can rest assured that you are always getting a good price. Subscribing to newsletters and following preferred builders on social media like our Facebook page can keep you informed about upcoming sales and promotions, ensuring you don’t miss out on any opportunities to reduce costs while still getting the quality and features you need in a pole barn.

Financing Pole Barns

Keen’s Buildings, which offers fast and easy financing options for pole barn construction. With options such as $0 Down Financing and pole barn financing that covers purchases up to $100,000, allows our customers to start their affordable building projects. This kind of financing is particularly helpful for those who need to manage their cash flow or who prefer not to dip into savings. It enables buyers to spread the cost of the pole barn over a period, making large or custom projects financially feasible.

Who Builds Pole Barns

When you’re looking to build a pole barn, it’s important to choose a builder you can trust. Keen’s Buildings has been in business for over 25 years and is the #1 most trusted builder in the southeast United States. If you’re wondering about pole barn builders in your area, a quick online search for “pole barn builders near me”, can find one of our 7 locations, in Florida and Georgia. To ensure you’re choosing a quality builder, look at their online reviews, check out examples of their work. Companies like Keen’s Buildings often have portfolios and customer feedback available, so you can see their quality of work and how satisfied other customers have been.

Licensed and Insured Pole Barn Builders & Contractor’s Liability

When hiring a contractor or pole barn builder, always ensure they are licensed and insured. It’s essential to ask for proof of their liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage upfront. This documentation not only confirms that they meet professional standards but also protects you from potential liabilities in case of accidents or damage during the construction process. A licensed and insured contractor is more likely to provide quality work and handle any issues professionally, giving you peace of mind throughout your project.

Why Choose Keen’s Buildings

Choosing Keen’s Buildings for your pole barn construction offers several benefits. As one of the largest prefab building dealers in the nation known for quality, service, craftsmanship and reliability. Keen’s Buildings provides a wide range of customizable options that cater to your needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a standard storage space or a specialized agricultural facility, Keen’s can tailor a pole barn design to fit your requirements. Competitive pricing, coupled with flexible financing options such as $0 down financing for projects up to $100,000, makes an optimal choice for any budget. Choosing Keen’s Buildings ensures a stress-free construction experience with a focus on quality and customer satisfaction.

Pole Barn Delivery and Installation Process

Understanding the logistics of pole barn delivery and installation is crucial for a smooth construction process. Once you’ve purchased your pole barn, the delivery typically involves transporting prefabricated components directly to your site. The installation process begins with preparing the site, which may include leveling the ground and laying a foundation, depending on the design and size of the barn. Professional installers then assemble the structure, starting with the frame, followed by the roof and side panels. This process can vary in duration based on the complexity and size of the barn but generally takes a few days to a few weeks. Most companies coordinate closely with buyers to schedule delivery and installation at a convenient time, ensuring all necessary equipment and personnel are on-site to complete the project efficiently and correctly. By understanding these steps, buyers can better plan and prepare for the arrival and assembly of their new pole barn.

Licensing & Regulations for Building Pole Barns

What type of license is required for building pole barns?

In Florida and Georgia, the specific licensing requirements for building pole barns can vary based on the scope and size of the project. Here’s a general overview for each state:

Florida Pole Barn Licensing

In Florida, a general contractor’s license is typically required for building pole barns, especially for larger projects or those that include electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issues licenses, and builders must pass a state exam to qualify. For smaller projects or agricultural structures, the requirements may be less stringent, but it’s always best to check with local county or city regulations as they can differ.

Georgia Pole Barn Licensing

In Georgia, the requirements are somewhat similar. A general contractor’s license is needed for any construction work that exceeds $2,500. This license is issued by the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors. As in Florida, the licensing requirements can vary by locality, so it’s crucial to consult local building authorities to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

For both states, it’s advisable to ensure that the contractor you choose is properly licensed and insured to avoid any legal or safety issues during construction.

Local Regulations and Permits for Pole Barn Construction

Do I Need a Pole Barn Permit?

For pole barn construction in Florida and Georgia, navigating local regulations and obtaining the necessary permits is crucial to ensure legal compliance and smooth project execution. Here’s a detailed look at what typically needs to be considered in each state:

Florida Pole Barn Permits & Regulations

In Florida, local building permits are required for pole barn construction to ensure that all structures are up to code and adhere to safety standards. The permitting process generally involves submitting detailed plans and specifications of the project to the local building department. These plans must include information on the construction materials, design, and site layout. Local zoning laws also need to be checked, as they dictate the types of structures allowed and their placement on a property. Additionally, in hurricane-prone areas, buildings must comply with specific wind resistance codes. It’s a good idea to contact the local building department for detailed requirements specific to your locality.

Find Florida Building Permit information by visiting and select your county or city: https://www.stateofflorida.com/cities-by-county/

Georgia Pole Barn Permits & Regulations

Similarly, in Georgia, you will need to secure a building permit from the local county or city authorities before starting construction on a pole barn. The requirements for the building permit might include a site plan, construction details, and proof of property ownership. Georgia also has strict codes regarding the structural integrity of buildings, which include specifications for handling load and resistance to weather conditions. Zoning laws are also an important consideration, as they affect the size and placement of your pole barn. Local environmental regulations may apply, especially if your construction impacts land use or involves significant alterations to the landscape.

In both states, it’s essential to consult with the local building authority early in your planning process to ensure all requirements are met. This not only helps in avoiding legal issues but also ensures the safety and durability of your structure. Compliance with local codes and ordinances protects you, your community, and your investment in the long run.

DIY Pole Barns & Pole Barn Kits

Is it cheaper to build a pole barn yourself?

Building a pole barn yourself using a DIY kit can be a cost-effective option compared to hiring contractors to do the job. The savings primarily come from labor costs, which can make up a significant portion of the overall expense in traditional construction. However, the actual cost-effectiveness depends on your skills, the complexity of the barn, and the quality of materials included in the kit.

Advantages of DIY Pole Barns

One of the major advantages of opting for a DIY pole barn is the potential for substantial cost savings. Additionally, these kits often come with pre-designed plans and all the necessary materials pre-measured and cut, which simplifies the building process. This can be particularly appealing for those who have basic construction skills but are not professional builders. DIY projects also offer the satisfaction of building something with your own hands and the flexibility to work at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Disadvantages of DIY Pole Barns

However, there are several disadvantages to consider. Without the expertise of a professional builder, you might face challenges that could affect the structural integrity and functionality of the barn. Misinterpreting construction plans or improperly installing components can lead to issues down the line. Additionally, DIY projects require a significant time commitment and physical effort, which might not be feasible for everyone. You also need to handle all aspects of the project management, including obtaining permits and ensuring that all construction meets local building codes and standards.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with DIY Pole Barn Kits

When embarking on a DIY pole barn project, several common mistakes should be avoided:

  1. Underestimating the Importance of the Foundation: Even if the structure itself is simple, a solid, level foundation is crucial. Poor foundation work can lead to major issues, including structural instability.
  2. Ignoring Local Building Codes: Always ensure that your building plans comply with local codes and regulations. Failure to do so can result in fines and the need to reconstruct parts of your barn.
  3. Skimping on Materials: Using lower-quality materials to save money can cost more in the long run due to repairs and replacements. Make sure to use materials that will withstand local weather conditions and wear over time.
  4. Lack of Proper Tools: DIY kits require you to have the right tools to assemble the barn. Not having the appropriate tools can lead to improper assembly and longer construction times.

DIY pole barn kits offer a rewarding project for those prepared for the challenge, but they require careful planning, a realistic assessment of skills, and an understanding of the commitment involved. Being aware of and prepared to manage these factors is key to a successful DIY pole barn project.

Other Reasons to Do It Yourself with Pole Barn Installation

Opting to install a pole barn yourself can offer several appealing benefits, particularly for those who are handy and enjoy tackling big projects. Below are some key reasons why a DIY approach to pole barn installation might be the right choice for you:

Saving Money on Labor Costs

One of the most significant advantages of doing it yourself is the potential savings on labor costs. Professional construction services can be expensive, often making up a large portion of the total project cost. By taking on the installation yourself, you can reduce the overall expense substantially. This cost-effectiveness is especially appealing if you have the necessary skills to ensure a successful build without the need for professional help.

Controlling the Quality of Construction

When you manage the building process yourself, you have complete control over the quality of construction. This allows you to ensure that every aspect of the barn meets your standards and expectations. You can select the materials personally, guaranteeing their quality and suitability for your specific needs and local climate conditions. Additionally, handling the construction yourself means you can pay close attention to details that might be overlooked by hired contractors who are juggling multiple projects.

Maintaining Privacy During the Building Process

Another benefit of DIY pole barn installation is the ability to maintain privacy on your property during the construction process. Bringing in a construction crew can disrupt your daily routine and invade your personal space. By choosing to build the barn yourself, you keep your property private and avoid the inconvenience of accommodating a crew. This aspect is particularly valuable for those who value their privacy or live in remote areas where bringing in a professional team might be more complicated and intrusive.

DIY pole barn installation isn’t for everyone, as it requires a significant amount of time, physical effort, and a basic to intermediate level of building skills. However, for those who decide to take on this challenge, the rewards can be substantial—not just in terms of cost savings and quality control, but also in the satisfaction of completing a major project with your own hands.

Eliminates Risk of Lawsuits

Hiring an unlicensed contractor can lead to significant legal risks, including the potential for lawsuits if the work is substandard or if an injury occurs on site. Eliminating the risk of such legal complications is straightforward: always verify that your contractor is properly licensed and insured before they begin work. This due diligence ensures that you are hiring a professional who adheres to industry standards and local regulations, thereby protecting both your project and your financial interests.

How to Build a Pole Barn

Building a pole barn can be a rewarding project if you’re prepared and have the right information at hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a pole barn, along with some recommended resources and books to help you along the way.

Quick Step-by-Step Guide on Building Pole Barns

  1. Plan and Design: Begin by determining the size and function of your pole barn. Consider what it will be used for and what size will best suit your needs. Draw up detailed plans or consider purchasing pre-made plans that suit your requirements. NOTE: Keen’s Buildings will provide you with engineered plans and drawings for easy assembly.
  2. Obtain Permits: Check with your local building authority to find out what permits you will need to build your pole barn. This is essential to ensure that your new structure is compliant with local building codes and regulations.
  3. Prepare the Site: Clear and level the site where the barn will be built. Remove any debris, rocks, and vegetation. Ensure the ground is firm and capable of supporting the structure.
  4. Lay Out the Foundation: Mark out where the poles will be placed. Typically, poles are spaced about 10-12 feet apart. Use string lines and stakes to mark the layout accurately.

NOTE: WE STRESS THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR DIY POLE BARN INSTALLATION. Make your pole barn starts off square, which is vital for the overall stability and appearance of the finished structure. Accurate string line placement helps prevent complications during construction and ensures your pole barn is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Follow these steps to run the string line:

  1. Set Reference Points: Begin by identifying the corners of your pole barn. Place a stake at each corner where poles will be installed.
  2. Run the String Line: Attach a string line to one of the corner stakes at the height where the poles will intersect. Stretch the string tightly to the next corner stake and tie it off. Repeat this for all four corners, ensuring the string is taut and secure.
  3. Check for Square: To verify that the layout is square, measure the diagonals from corner to corner. Both diagonal measurements should be equal. If they are not, adjust the stakes slightly until the diagonals match. This step is crucial because it ensures that your building will be properly aligned.
  4. Mark Intermediate Poles: Once the corners are squared, measure and mark along the string line every 12 feet (or as required by your design) to indicate where intermediate poles should be placed. Place a small stake or mark these spots with spray paint.
  5. Double Check Measurements: Before digging any holes for the poles, double-check all measurements between stakes and along each string line. Consistency is key to ensuring a level, structurally sound barn.

By stressing the importance of getting the foundation layout right and ensuring everything is squared and measured correctly, you set the stage for a smoother construction process.

  1. Dig Holes and Set Poles: Dig holes for the poles at the marked spots, making them about 1/3 as deep as the height of the pole. Set the poles in the holes and use concrete to secure them. Ensure they are vertical with a level.
    Additionally, make sure your posts have rebar running through the bottom of them, when set in concrete to prevent uplift, especially in areas where high winds can occur.
  2. Attach Girts and Trusses: Once the poles are set, attach horizontal girts to the outside of the poles with nails or screws. Then, place roof trusses on top of the poles, spaced according to your design plans.
  3. Install Roofing and Siding: Attach the roofing material to the trusses and secure it. Then, apply the siding material to the exterior of the girts. Make sure all materials are properly secured and weatherproofed.
  4. Add Doors and Windows: Install any doors and windows according to your plans. Ensure they are properly framed and sealed to keep out the elements.
  5. Finish Interior as Needed: Depending on its intended use, finish the interior of your pole barn with insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, and any interior walls or storage solutions.

Pole Barn DIY Tips:

Use Pressure Treated Lumber: Pressure Treated Lumber is a must for any posts that are exposed to the elements, this includes any open pole barns, lean-to options, or other posts/lumber that is not protected from the weather. For DIYers building a pole barn, investing in pressure-treated lumber for any exposed or ground-contact parts of the structure ensures your barn will stand strong and require less upkeep, giving you peace of mind and saving money in the long term.

Check Lumber for Warping or Curvature: Before purchasing or installing lumber for your pole barn, it’s crucial to inspect each piece for any signs of warping or curvature, especially in structural components like 6×6 and 8×8 posts. Warped or curved lumber can significantly undermine the durability of your structure and may lead to issues that worsen over time. This is particularly important with pressure-treated lumber, which can continue to warp as it dries. Always choose straight, sturdy pieces to ensure the strength and longevity of your pole barn. Taking this step seriously can save you from future repairs and maintain the integrity of your building.

If you are new to DIY and building pole barns, garages or other structures, here are a few additional resources.

  1. Building a Shed” by Joseph Truini – Although focused on sheds, this book offers excellent advice on basic construction techniques that can be applied to larger structures like pole barns.
  2. “Pole Building Construction” by Monte Burch – This book provides detailed instructions and can help novice builders understand the complete process of constructing pole buildings.
  3. “The Complete Guide to Building Classic Barns, Fences, Storage Sheds, Animal Pens, Outbuildings, Greenhouses, Farm Equipment, & Tools: A Step-by-Step Guide” by Atlantic Publishing Group Inc. – This comprehensive guide covers a wide range of outdoor structures and includes techniques and tips that are applicable to pole barns.

These resources can provide valuable guidance and detailed information to help you successfully plan, design, and build your pole barn. Whether you’re a novice or have some experience, they can be instrumental in helping you complete your project efficiently and safely.

Equipment & Tools Needed for DIY Pole Barn Kits

Building a DIY pole barn requires a variety of tools to ensure the project proceeds smoothly and safely. Here’s a rundown of essential tools you’ll need, some of which can be rented from local construction rental shops or hardware stores if you don’t own them:

Essential Tools for Assembling DIY Pole Barn Kits

  1. Auger: An auger is crucial for drilling or digging post holes where the poles of the barn will be anchored. This tool makes it easier to create deep, consistent holes quickly, which is essential for the stability of the structure.
  2. Tractor with a Boom: A tractor equipped with a boom is used to set and erect heavy trusses and other large components. This equipment is particularly useful for larger pole barns, where manually lifting and placing trusses isn’t feasible due to their weight.
  3. Screw Guns and Drills: These power tools are indispensable for driving screws and drilling holes in metal and wood. They help secure the building’s components quickly and efficiently.
  4. Ratcheting Straps: To ensure the structure is perfectly square and aligned during assembly, ratcheting straps can be used. These are essential for adjusting and holding parts in place until they can be permanently secured.
  5. Metal Trimming Shears: When working with metal siding or roofing, metal trimming shears are necessary to cut pieces to the correct size and shape. This tool allows for precise cuts, ensuring a proper fit and finish.
  6. Safety Gear: Building a pole barn involves handling heavy, sometimes sharp materials. It’s crucial to wear a good pair of gloves to protect your hands from metal edges. Protective eyewear should also be worn to shield your eyes from flying debris, especially when cutting metal or wood. Other safety gear might include hard hats and hearing protection, depending on the environment and the machinery being used.

These tools not only make the job easier but also ensure that your pole barn is constructed safely and stands up to the demands of its intended use. Before starting your project, gather all necessary tools and familiarize yourself with their operation, especially if you’re renting equipment that you’re not accustomed to using. This preparation will help streamline the building process and reduce the risk of delays or accidents.


Tips for organizing and managing tools during construction. Organizing and managing tools during construction is key to maintaining efficiency and safety on site. To start, set up a designated workspace or tool station where all tools can be stored when not in use. This prevents tools from being misplaced and makes it easier to find what you need quickly. Use toolboxes, pegboards, or portable tool carts to keep smaller tools organized and within reach. For larger equipment, consider using clearly labeled storage areas. It’s also beneficial to keep a checklist of all tools and equipment you’ll need for the project, checking them off as they’re used and returned. This practice helps in tracking tools throughout the construction process, ensuring nothing is lost or left behind. Additionally, clean and maintain your tools at the end of each day—this not only extends their life but also keeps them ready for the next day’s work. By taking these steps, you can streamline your workflow and minimize the stress of searching for tools, allowing you to focus more on the building task at hand.

Additional Pole Barn Design Options

Pole barns offer a range of design options beyond length, with and height, that can be tailored to meet specific needs, whether for agricultural use, storage, or even as a residential space. The versatility in their design allows for customization in terms of size, roofing, and additional features such as lean-tos or enclosed versus open structures. Here’s a closer look at some of the design possibilities:

Lean-To Options

Adding a lean-to to a pole barn is a popular design option for those needing extra covered space without the cost of constructing an entirely separate building. Pole barn lean-tos can generally be free-span up to 24 feet, without any additional support. Lean-tos can be fully enclosed or left open, depending on the intended use, such as for additional storage, as a workshop area, or even for sheltering animals. This feature effectively maximizes the usable space of a pole barn.

Enclosed vs. Open Barns

Choosing between an enclosed and an open pole barn largely depends on the intended use of the barn. Enclosed pole barns offer protection from the elements, making them ideal for storing sensitive equipment, vehicles, or as workshop spaces. They can also be insulated and fitted with heating and cooling systems for added comfort and protection. On the other hand, open pole barns are perfect for quick and easy access to stored items and are often used for housing livestock, where ventilation is crucial.

Pole Barn Roofing

Generally there are two types of metal roofs and siding that customers use when building an enclosed or open pole barn a 26 gauge or a 29 gauge panel what is this exactly mean 26 gauge is a thicker metal which is generally the go to used and the standard practice in commercial is 26 gauge buildings it’s also a standard in the pole barn industry the benefits of 26 gauge is it strength and durability for example in traumatic weather the 26 gauge will offer extra strength to your building from wind /hail damage rocks from mowers debris limbs etc. and also help hide the screw dimples that get that you get normally when using a thinner sheet metal. 26 gauge is 018 of an inch or 0.45mm 29 gauge is 0136 of an inch or 0.34 mm thickness. There’s a minimal cost difference but a huge upside 26 gauge, the only downside of the 26-gauge metal is thicker than a 29-gauge it is a little harder for the buildings to disperse heat on an enclosed pole barn. What a lot of common people may refer to as the building breathing.

Roof Pitch

The roof slope, or pitch, of a pole barn can greatly influence its appearance and functionality. The standard roof pitch in the southeast is 3/12 or 4/12, it is more common further north to have a standard roof pitch of 6/12 up to 10/12. A steeper roof pitch sheds snow and water more efficiently, which is particularly beneficial in regions with heavy snowfall or rainfall. This can help prevent water damage and structural decay over time. Conversely, a shallower roof is typically less expensive to construct and may be sufficient in areas with mild weather conditions.

R Panel vs AG Panel metal ribbing

Most people go with what they call an “R Panel” because of the strength of its rib profile. R Panel features ribs that are 1 ¼” high while AG Panel’s ribs are only ¾” high.

Other Customization and Additional Features

Beyond the basic structure, pole barns can be customized with a variety of features such as windows, different types of doors, and even porches.

Materials Used in Pole Barn Construction

Pole barns are versatile structures often used for agricultural, industrial, or storage purposes, and they’re built using a variety of durable materials. Here’s a quick overview of the primary materials commonly used in pole barn construction:


Wood is the foundational material for most pole barns, used primarily for the poles/posts and framing. Pressure-treated lumber is preferred because it’s treated with chemicals that help it resist rot, decay, and bugs like termites. This makes it a durable choice for foundational posts and any part of your barn that touches the ground or faces the elements.

While pressure-treated wood costs more upfront than untreated wood, its durability means it won’t need to be replaced or repaired as often, making it a cost-effective option in the long run. It’s also lower maintenance, saving you time and effort over the years.

On the other hand, non-pressure treated wood is more vulnerable to damage from moisture and pests. It can decay or become infested, compromising your barn’s structure and safety. If you use non-treated wood, be prepared for more maintenance, like regular sealing to protect against moisture, and keep an eye out for signs of decay or insect damage.

Metal Siding

Metal siding is the most popular choice for pole barns due to its durability and low maintenance. It withstands harsh weather conditions and is resistant to pests and fire. Metal siding comes in a variety of colors for a curb appeal and style that matches your usage.

Galvalume Roofing

For roofing, Galvalume, a coated steel material, is commonly used. It combines the strength of steel with the corrosion resistance of aluminum and zinc, offering a long-lasting roofing solution that performs well under extreme weather conditions. For longevity, Galvalume, which is a silver will last the longest and will also be the coolest for its reflective properties of any metal. No matter how good the quality, we caution you against darker colors Reds, Browns, Blacks will fade a lot quicker than your whites and light creams, because they draw in heat that breaks down the coating on the paneling. Sometimes depending on the area your neighbors might not like the Galvalume’s reflective tendencies as it looks like a mirror as you’re looking across the field which can be commonly referred to as an eyesore so keep this in mind especially if you’re in the HOA area. Keep your neighbors happy up for a color that blends in more with environment around you always when installing an open or enclosed pole barn always run your metal vertical not horizontal disallows your roof to drain properly and will keep the leaves, snow, etc. from piling and building up on your roof which could cause rusting and staining problems down the road. Make condensation for these types of problems if your building is underneath trees having issues with stains as well.


Concrete is often used for the flooring and foundation of pole barns. It provides a sturdy, level base that can support heavy loads and resist moisture from the ground. Concrete floors are easy to clean and maintain, making them ideal for workshops, garages, or any space that may encounter spills or heavy equipment use.

These materials make pole barns a practical, robust, and versatile choice for various applications, ensuring longevity and ease of maintenance. Whether you’re planning a simple storage space or a more elaborate setup, selecting the right materials is key to building a pole barn that meets your needs effectively.

Pole Barn Foundation Options

When planning to build a pole barn, choosing the right type of foundation is critical for the structure’s durability and functionality. The foundation not only supports the weight of the building but also helps protect against moisture and structural shifting. The most common foundation types for pole barns are concrete slabs and post holes. Each has its advantages and specific use cases:

Concrete Slab Foundation

A concrete slab foundation involves pouring a thick layer of concrete directly on the ground, which then hardens to form a solid, flat base. This type of foundation is particularly popular for pole barns that will be used for workshops, garages, or any purpose that requires a stable and level floor. Concrete slabs provide excellent support for heavy equipment and vehicles. They also prevent issues related to dampness and pests, which can be a concern with dirt or gravel floors. Additionally, a slab foundation can contribute to the overall thermal mass of the building, helping to regulate temperature fluctuations.

Post Hole Foundation

The post hole foundation, also known as the post-in-ground or pier foundation, is the traditional method for constructing pole barns. It involves digging holes to a specified depth below the frost line and setting the poles (which act as the primary support for the structure) directly into the ground. These poles are typically secured with concrete to provide stability and prevent shifting. The standard average hole is 4-5 feet deep, depending on regulation requirements, and a general circumference of 2 feet in diameter. This type of foundation is less expensive than pouring a full concrete slab and is sufficient for many agricultural applications, such as barns and sheds. The post hole foundation allows for easier construction on uneven terrain and has minimal impact on the landscape.

Additionally, the posts should have rebar running through the bottom of the pole when set in concrete to prevent uplift, especially in areas where high winds can occur. NOTE: This is important step to not forget if you are doing a DIY pole barn kit.

Choosing the Right Foundation

The choice between a concrete slab and post hole foundation depends largely on the intended use of the pole barn, the budget, and the local climate conditions. Concrete slabs offer a more permanent and robust solution that’s suitable for heavy-use environments, while post holes are more cost-effective and adaptable, ideal for less intensive uses and easier to construct in diverse terrain types.

Both foundation types, when constructed properly, provide reliable support for pole barns, ensuring they withstand environmental stresses and serve their purpose effectively. It’s important to consider both your immediate needs and long-term plans for the building when selecting your foundation type.

Insulating Pole Barns

Insulating pole barns is a crucial step in enhancing their functionality and efficiency, especially if they are to be used for more than just storage or shelter. Proper insulation helps maintain a stable internal temperature, reduces energy costs, and increases the comfort level within the structure. Here’s an overview of the importance of insulation in pole barns, along with different materials and methods suitable for insulating these versatile buildings.

Importance of Insulation in Pole Barns

Insulation plays a vital role in controlling the internal temperature of pole barns throughout the year. In colder climates, insulation helps keep heat inside the building, reducing the need for heating and protecting contents from freezing temperatures. Conversely, in warmer climates, it helps keep the barn cool by reflecting heat and reducing the burden on any cooling systems. This temperature regulation is not only essential for comfort but also for energy efficiency, helping to significantly cut down on heating and cooling costs.

Different Insulation Materials Suitable for Pole Barns

  1. Fiberglass Batt Insulation: This is one of the most common forms of insulation used in residential and commercial buildings, including pole barns. It’s installed between the framing members and is known for its excellent thermal resistance. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making it a popular choice for DIY projects.
  2. Spray Foam Insulation: Spray foam offers superior insulation and air sealing compared to fiberglass batts. It expands to fill every nook and cranny, creating a tight thermal envelope that significantly reduces air leakage. While more expensive, spray foam can improve the structure’s overall energy efficiency and is particularly effective in extremely cold or hot climates.
  3. Rigid Foam Board: Rigid foam insulation boards can be used on the walls and roof of pole barns. They provide high R-values and excellent moisture resistance. These boards can be cut to fit various spaces and are often used in conjunction with other types of insulation for enhanced thermal protection.
  4. Reflective Insulation or Radiant Barriers: Especially useful in hot climates, reflective insulation works by reflecting radiant heat away from the structure, helping to keep it cool. This type of insulation is often used in the roofs of pole barns to prevent heat gain from the sun.

Insulation Methods for Pole Barns

Direct Application: Insulation materials like spray foam can be applied directly to the interior walls and roof of the pole barn, forming an unbroken insulation layer.

Retrofitting: For existing pole barns, adding insulation can involve installing batts between framing members or attaching rigid foam boards to interior walls.

Combination Solutions: Often, a combination of insulation types is used to achieve optimal energy efficiency. For example, spray foam might be used to seal gaps and provide a moisture barrier, while fiberglass batts add additional thermal resistance.

When planning insulation for a pole barn, it’s important to consider factors such as climate, the barn’s usage, and budget. Properly insulating your pole barn not only makes it more energy-efficient but can also increase the lifespan of the building by protecting against moisture and temperature-related damage.

Maintenance of Pole Barns

Tips for maintaining and prolonging the lifespan of pole barns, including regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs.

Keeping your pole barn in great shape is key to extending its life and ensuring it continues to serve its purpose effectively. Here are some straightforward maintenance tips that any barn owner can follow:

Regular Check-ups

It’s a good idea to regularly check your pole barn for any signs of trouble. Pay special attention to the roof, walls, and foundation for any damage such as leaks, rust, or structural issues. After severe weather like storms or heavy winds, a quick inspection can help catch problems early before they get worse.

Keep It Clean

Maintaining a clean pole barn is more than just about looks—it helps prevent damage. Inside, remove any debris or dust that accumulates, which can also reduce fire hazards. Outside, wash the walls and roof from time to time to get rid of dirt and grime that can hold moisture against the barn and cause decay or rust.

Pest Control

Like most buildings, pests can do serious damage to a pole barn, especially if it’s largely made of wood. Regularly look for signs of termites, ants, or rodents. Seal any small gaps or holes to keep them out. It might be a good idea to get a professional pest control service to treat the area around your barn if pests are a frequent problem.

Roof Care

Since the roof is heavily exposed to the elements, it needs particular attention. Check that all roofing materials are secure and intact, and replace any that are damaged. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear to prevent water from pooling and causing leaks or foundation issues.

Fix Damages Quickly

If you spot any damage during your inspections, fix it as soon as possible. Small repairs like sealing a leak or securing a loose fitting can prevent bigger, more expensive problems later on. For larger repairs, consider hiring professionals who specialize in the type of construction your pole barn uses.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your pole barn functional and attractive for a long time. Regular upkeep not only helps to prolong the structure’s lifespan but also protects your investment.

Environmental Considerations

The environmental impact of pole barn construction, like any type of construction, affects the environment, but there are effective ways to lessen this impact and make the process more sustainable. These approaches involve using energy wisely, and planning for efficiency over the long term, like a lower height if not needed. By thinking carefully about how energy is consumed, and how to make the building last work better, it’s possible to create a pole barn that’s not only functional but also environmentally friendly.

Pole Barn Safety

Ensuring safety during the construction and usage of pole barns is crucial to prevent injuries and ensure the longevity of the structure. Here are some essential tips for maintaining safety standards throughout the building process and during everyday use:

Safety During Construction

  1. Proper Handling of Materials: Always use appropriate lifting techniques and equipment when handling heavy materials like timber and metal siding. Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges and splinters, and ensure that all materials are securely fastened during transport and installation to prevent accidents.
  2. Adherence to Building Codes: Following local building codes isn’t just a legal requirement—it’s a safety essential. These codes are designed to ensure that structures are stable, durable, and capable of withstanding local environmental conditions. Make sure your pole barn design complies with these codes to prevent structural failures.
  3. Use of Protective Gear: During construction, always wear protective gear including hard hats, safety goggles, and sturdy boots. This equipment protects against common hazards such as falling objects, flying debris, and injuries from tools.
  4. Safe Tool Operation: Ensure all tools and machinery are in good working condition and that all operators are properly trained in their use. Regular maintenance checks on power tools, electrical equipment, and lifting machinery are vital to prevent malfunctions that could lead to accidents.

Pole Barn Safety During Regular Usage

  1. Regular Maintenance Checks: Regularly inspect your pole barn for signs of wear and tear, particularly in structural elements and roofing. Addressing issues such as rust, rot, or loose components early can prevent accidents and extend the life of your barn.
  2. Fire Safety: Implement fire safety measures, especially if you’re storing flammable materials or using the barn for activities that could generate sparks or heat. Install smoke detectors, keep fire extinguishers readily accessible, and ensure there are clear and unobstructed exits.
  3. Proper Storage Practices: Organize the interior of your pole barn to prevent accidents. Heavy items should be stored low to the ground to minimize the risk of these items falling. Avoid cluttering walkways and ensure that all stored materials are stable and secure.
  4. Emergency Preparedness: Have a plan in place for emergencies, including fires, structural failures, or weather-related incidents. Ensure that all users of the barn are aware of this plan and know how to act in case of an emergency.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can help ensure that the construction and usage of your pole barn are as safe as possible, protecting both the people who build and use the barn and the equipment or livestock housed within it.

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