Building a pole barn has become a much easier task today. With tons of available ready-to-use plans and blueprints, a handy homeowner can build not only a pole barn of two or even six horse stalls, but also add convenient sheds for tractors, feed storage or shelters. The plans can be used to build other kinds of pole buildings, including workshops, storage barns or garages. Simplicity, cost-cutting and durability are the main reasons why people still use poles, the oldest construction technique, to create simple buildings.
Poles have been used for centuries to raise huts and shelters all over the world. Poles rooted in earth forming a frame for the covering material, be it animal skin, wood or metal, provided enough warmth and protection, and could be built very quickly from whatever material was available. To build pole barns, people still use this technique, which hasn’t changed much over the years. The materials have changed though, and today pole barns are covered with aluminum, steel and other durable lightweight materials, with insulation and sometimes wooden or brick facades.
Pole barns are becoming more and more popular because they allow the building of reliable shelter for animals or storage without money-consuming earth excavation, concrete foundations and general site disruption.
The cheapest way to start building a pole barn is with a pole foundation. Pole foundation is actually a pole that doubles as a framing member. Posts or poles are inserted deep into ground so they can bear a lot of pressure, sometimes as deep as 10ft. But that’s almost all digging for the foundation that a pole barn builder can expect. The pressure is distributed evenly around the pole, and the construction becomes very stable and durable. The builder can dig the holes himself or using a power auger. The poles are secured by a small amount of concrete poured into the holes, saving money and labor, as full concrete foundations can be somewhat expensive.
The pole foundation gives the construction a lot of flexibility. A pole barn with pole foundation can be raised virtually anywhere, even in places where a traditional concrete foundation is not possible, for example, on a steep hillside or wooded area. Thanks to the pole foundation, a pole barn can be built very quickly without expensive ground excavation. Even coastal, earthquake and mountain areas are suitable for building pole barns and sheds. This way, pole barns leave the best land for raising crops, preserving the natural environment and are generally more environmentally friendly with their minimal construction techniques.
Another advantage to pole barns is that you don’t have to make them visually perfect and “manicured”. You can use cheap galvanized steel for the roof and wood sidings, making the whole project very affordable. The only thing that is not worth skimping on, according to experienced builders, are storm clips. These are a valuable investment considering storms and hurricanes are hitting more and more often. Trusses also need to be of good quality as these parts of pole building construction will carry significant weight.
Pole barns and other pole buildings will cost somewhere in the area of $3,000 and upwards, depending on the size and materials available in your particular area. With simple instructions and plans, these buildings can be raised in no time, even if you don’t have strong building experience.
Kathryn Whittaker has an interest in Living and Pole Barns, for more FREE information and articles please visit Pole Barns Resources
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