What is a Pole Barn?

If you require some additional storage structure on your property, you have likely heard about the pole barn building option. Before you make important decisions, it is critical to address the question, “what is a pole barn, anyway?” Learn the essential facts here about putting up the structure—chances are, you may realize it is the perfect solution for the structure type you require.

What is a Pole Barn?

The traditional pole barn is a post-frame construction option that has been around for centuries. This method provides a fast way of putting up reliable, sturdy structures. As a highly engineered solution, post-frame construction combines adaptability and efficiency.

A pole building uses posts, buried a couple of feet into the ground, as the framing member. The posts are the foundation of the entire structure, which is far less time-consuming and expensive to prepare than other construction options.

The term “pole barns” has been in use since the 1930s. The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression disrupted the economy so much that farmers had to develop a technique to transform the most-cost efficient materials (recycled telephone poles) into new structures. Telephone pole barns were eventually shortened to “pole barns,” ushering the era of American pole barns.

Benefits of a Pole Barn?

An easier foundation. 

A difficult yet critical part of putting up a new building is the foundation. Establishing one might be expensive while it requires a significant amount of preparation time. Fortunately, you can put up pole barns without investing as much in foundation work.

You can construct a pole barn on dirt, gravel, or unleveled ground. Since deep-set poles support the new structure, you don’t even need to create a level concrete bed to start construction. All you require is concrete in each foot to set the poles.

This lack of a strict concrete foundation requirement means you can build the pole barn anywhere. Your homestead might have a section that is not suitable for covering in concrete or perfectly level.

They are less expensive to construct. 

You require less wood to complete your construction compared to traditional buildings. Fewer materials mean your overall costs are also lower. Plus, the lack of a foundation significantly reduces your costs. 

They require less labor. 

Contractors or DIYers like pole barn construction because of their design. Putting up a pole barn yourself saves you precious work hours while getting a new hobby shop or garage much sooner. If you prefer using a team of professionals, you save on labor costs thanks to the reduced construction time. (Before you consider building on your own, we encourage you to check out our article, “Can I Build My Own Pole Barn Garage.”)

They offer better insulation. 

Whether you are putting up a man’s cave or barn for your animals, proper insulation is critical. Wide spacing between the pole barn posts offers better insulation because of few thermal breaks. The design of your pole barn also provides better ventilation, so you enjoy a comfortable environment with better air quality. 

So, what is a pole barn? It just may be your next home, business, workshop, garage, or barn.

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