Of the many options available for farm or other outbuildings, one of the most popular is the pole barn. A pole barn is a farm building that has no foundation and sides consisting of corrugated steel or aluminum panels supported by poles set in the ground, often at eight-foot intervals.
There are a number of advantages to pole barns: they’re affordable, they’re sturdy and lost-lasting, and they can be easily customized to the needs of the farms or property.
Still, you may have questions about what a pole barn is and whether it will meet your needs.
Why Is It Called a “Pole Barn”?
The name goes back to the 1930s during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Farmers lacked capital, so they built outbuildings with the most cost-efficient materials they could find, including recycled telephone poles. First called “telephone pole barns,” they were shortened to simply “pole barns.”
Why Can Pole Barns Be Built Faster?
This is because the building has no foundation. Unlevel ground, gravel or dirt can all be leveled and cleared quickly for pole barn construction. (The site needs to have a slope no greater than six inches from corner to corner.) Because the building is supported by deep-set poles, builders don’t need to prepare a level bed of concrete to start the building. The only concrete required is what’s put into the footers as the poles are set. This allows farms to add buildings in places it might not be possible or practical using other types of building processes.
Why Are Pole Barns More Affordable?
Due to the nature of their design and the lack of a foundation, it’s easier to construct a pole building and takes less time than other buildings. This means you’re paying less for labor than you would if you were adding a building with a foundation.
Can You Insulate It?
Absolutely. If you’re keeping livestock or other temperature-sensitive things in your pole barn, you’ll want it insulated against both heat and cold. The wide spacing between posts in a pole barn frame actually allows for better insulation than other types of buildings due to fewer thermal breaks.
Can You Customize Pole Barns and Add Features?
Pole barns can be configured in a variety of different ways in different sizes, depending on your needs and wishes. They can be one room or many rooms, stalls for a stable, and have storage areas. They can be electrified and fitted with electric doors. (You can see a variety of customized pole barn projects here.)
Do I Need a Permit to Build a Pole Barn?
In most cases, the answer is “yes,” because a pole barn is a permanent structure. Check your local, county and state rules and regulations for specific permitting information.
Who Can I Contact to Build My Pole Barn?
CHA Construction serves customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Contact us today or call 717-687-6673 about your post frame building needs. We strive to make every project smooth and efficient by assisting in the design, the construction schedule and the considerate answering of even the smallest questions. Our goal is to meet and exceed every customer’s dream.