The Best Materials for a Pole Barn

The Best Materials for a Pole Barn

When you set up a pole barn, you’ve got two objectives: One, create a shelter that covers all of your storage needs, and secondly, to have a structure that lasts through years of use and exposure to the weather.

Yet, while you consider price, realize that going with the cheapest option doesn’t usually yield the greatest longevity. To have a quality shelter that holds up to the wear and tear it will inevitably go through, the materials used are one of the most, if not the most, essential factors:

The Structure

As a general rule, understand that cheaper materials lead to more maintenance and higher heating and cooling costs down the road. Ultimately, you might pay less now, but to keep the structure comfortable and secure later, you’ll be expected to fork over more. Additionally, when you use wood for the structure’s key parts, like trusses and frames, you’ll be dealing with rot far sooner than if you opted for steel.

So, in this regard, many consider it a solid investment to erect a steel structure, which, when made with galvanized components, holds up to repeat weather exposure and can handle insects, UV rays, and moisture buildup. In an ideal scenario, your building is composed of thicker 26-gauge steel, a material that not just withstands weather but holds up to hail.

In addition, consider fortifying your structure with metal wainscoting. Although this is an added upfront expense, think about its long-term value if you’re regularly moving vehicles in and out: The extra metal layer creates a buffer for any tractor, lawnmower, car, or truck and any debris it kicks up. Long term, this piece reduces any dents or damage done to your sidewalls.


If you’re planning to use the pole barn as a horse barn, living area, or home, adding insulation becomes an extra step in the installation process. So, after you’ve got the structure up, think about what will line the walls. Fiberglass, here, is standard. But, for materials with higher R-values, foam and cellulose help keep the heat in.

The Floor

Also depending upon the pole barn’s use, you may want to add a floor as you set up the building. But, which material is ideal for your need?

Concrete: Concrete is the standard for any storage space or workshop, as dirt won’t end up all over your supplies. The material, furthermore, creates an even surface that can handle the wear of heavy tractors, cars, trucks, and other farming and landscaping equipment.

Gravel: In certain cases, concrete might be too powerful. So, if your floor needs to have more give to it, pour a layer of gravel on top, but keep it level and compact for it to be effective. As you make this decision, determine the slope and waterflow around the pole barn. The surrounding area needs to have adequate drainage to prevent water buildup but not enough of a slope that the gravel flows down with it.

Dirt: When might you actually want to keep the natural dirt underneath? Dirt is best for housing animals – concrete, for instance, places too much stress on a horse’s joints – but could easily be dug up, turned to mud, or erode and run downhill if drainage isn’t ideal.

As you create your perfect structure, get CHA Pole Barns involved in your vision. Work with our team to explore all materials, building configurations, and structures suited to your use.

When you are ready contact CHA Pole Barns to talk about your pole barn project.


Click to Read More > Pole Barn Tips & Information

Amos, everything looked great. nice level, flat and smooth… Thank you for helping to make this part of our dream come true.