Difference Between Post Frame Building and a Pole Barn


By definition, a pole barn is a type of post frame building. However, today, post frame buildings are used extensively for many other types of construction beyond just barns. Communities, businesses, and homeowners use modern post frame techniques to create fire stations, retail stores, school annexes, churches, and beautiful homes.

Post framing is an alternative framing method that offers significant uninterrupted space within, proven resistance to high winds, durability, flexibility, and economy.

How Post Framing Began

Pole barns were the first post frame buildings. Early in the twentieth century, as farming became more mechanized, farmers would sink substantial posts, sections of utility poles, or even tree trunks into the ground. Then attach metal or wood siding and a roof to create a dry place to store tractors and other equipment.

Over time, news of the simplicity and practicality of these buildings spread. The shortcomings of the more primitive methods were overcome. Now the use of pretreated and pre-formed materials and techniques improve the strength, durability, longevity, and sustainability of these structures.

Post Frame Structures Today

Companies like Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings of N. Webster, Indiana, design, manufacture, and produce post frame components for a wide range of attractive, long-lasting buildings.

Post frame is an approved alternative framing method that reduces construction time and materials. Additionally, providing significant unobstructed space and saving energy. The ability to expand is done more quickly than concrete, brick, or “stick frame” structures.

Unlike the typical metal-sided pole barns of old, modern post frame buildings may be clad in wood, vinyl, and even brick, any material that you may use for any conventional construction. Original pole barns have simple dirt flooring. However, depending on the building’s application, flooring can be a concrete slab or wood frame flooring.

Uses for Modern Post Frame Buildings

Modern post frame structures offer many advantages. You can build them with just about any adornments of conventional buildings. Architects have found that post framing can be used everywhere.

Besides barns and equestrian centers, post frame methods are used for automobile shops, warehouses, light industry, picnic shelters, storage, and even private homes. Some companies build post frame structures to serve as attractive and practical offices with a reception area and desk space. As well as, having a warehouse or storage in the rear.

Homeowners add post frame buildings to store automobiles, boats, campers, or shops.

Advantages of Post Frame Buildings


Post frame structures are suitable for any purpose. Depending on the purpose, modifications to interior space are straight forward and easy.


As your business grows and your needs change, you can easily move the interior walls to accommodate growth. Since only the outer walls are load-bearing, you have the freedom to change the configuration without extensive (and expensive) modifications. This flexibility is a major benefit and in contrast to conventional construction.

If you need to expand the cubic space of your structure, merely build and attach the new addition and connect between the widely spaced vertical posts.


The substantial heat-treated vertical posts are anchored in concrete piers at least four feet below ground level. This anchoring creates a solid base through which high winds are redirected downward. Thus allowing post frame buildings to withstand severe conditions better than most conventional, structures.

The myth that modern post frame structures are somehow less durable than conventional structures has been dispelled. These buildings have successfully survived hurricanes and tornadoes that have occurred in recent years. The configuration of the post frame building creates a diaphragm effect that redirects forces downward instead of breaking apart at ground level.


Building a post frame structure requires far less time and material. Meaning, fewer skilled laborers, and more straightforward site prep. Moreover, the time from design to finish is less than with other framing methods. Therefore, all of this, plus energy efficiency, equates to lower cost.

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker designs and produces components and constructs high-quality and economical post frame buildings throughout the Great Lakes and upper Midwest regions.

For more information, visit the Pacemaker website or phone the Pacemaker professionals at 888-834-4448.

Site Preparation for Post Frame Buildings


Site-Preparation-for-Post-Frame-Buildings-315Post frame structures do not require the same extensive site preparation as conventionally built buildings. It is a more efficient and cost-effective process that can save you money. Here is the overview of site preparation for post-frame buildings.

Plan Ahead for the Site

When choosing the site of your building, it is important to visualize possible future expansion ahead of time. Adding an addition to your post frame building in the future is relatively simple, so leaving space for an extension of a new wing is an important idea both for yourself and for future owners should you ever want to sell the property. Pay attention to the natural slope of the surrounding terrain to ensure water and ease of access do not become a problem later.

Know Your Local Codes

Before doing anything, make sure that what you are envisioning is going to fit within the county guidelines or other local code jurisdiction. Understand the zoning requirements, setbacks, permits, and other requirements to ensure a trouble-free process.

What permits and inspections will be required before and during the preparation and construction? This is critical information to have on hand.

Site Preparation for your Post Frame Building

Step 1: Make It Level

Since grading the site to create a level surface is essential, it is important to cut out the organic material and provide a compactable fill material to build the ground up for construction and allow proper drainage now and in the future.

Step 2: Clear Away Everything

Your first objective is to clear the site beneath and around your future building by removing all sod and vegetation to about five feet beyond the edges of the future building. Save any topsoil you pick up in the process to use later.

Step 3: Grading Level

If the surface is highly variable and inconsistent, a professional grader should be able to do the job correctly. A 3”-5” slope will typically accommodate drainage at the perimeter, prevent water from entering, and still allow for easy access.

Step 4: Plan for Perimeter Drainage

Graded the site to level then slope downward from the perimeter of the future building. The building pad should be about 3”-4” above the surrounding grade. Additionally,  slope downward at an angle of up to 5%. The sloping will ensure that rainwater does not accumulate around the base of the building. Thus safely channeling away from the building. Often it is necessary to run a perimeter tile to move water away from the building site and direct it towards the retention area on-site.

Step 5: Apply Granular Stone Material

If you are planning a concrete floor, lay about 4” of compacted granular material to facilitate subsoil drainage and support the concrete flooring. When ready, pour the concrete after the initial building framing is completed as this will allow you to use the exterior building skirt board as your concrete form. Generally, the finished floor height should be 3-6” above the surrounding ground level.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings is a leading producer, designer, and builder of post frame structures. Great solutions for agriculture, businesses, schools, civic buildings, warehouses, and residential. With Pacemaker quality materials and planning, you may be assured of a top quality, durable, and economical building.

Located in Northern Indiana, the professionals at Pacemaker serve individuals and businesses throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

Visit the Pacemaker website to view some of the remarkable Pacemaker projects.

If you have questions, phone the experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at 888.834.4448.

Pole Barn Farm Shop Layout Ideas


Post frame buildings, also known as pole barns, are one of the most useful buildings on a farm. And generally the most versatile. Commonly designed for housing large animals and equipment, pole barns are also ideal for storing feed, tools, tack, and other necessities.

Another typical application within a modern post frame building is the addition of a farm shop. Whether the entire building is to become a workshop for your vehicles and equipment repair, or part of the building is to be partitioned off to become a shop. Therefore many options are possible.

For those who need the room to make or repair items for use on the farm, having a well-equipped and orderly shop can be well worth the investment in space and cost.

Include a Pole Barn Farm Shop in Your Building

Creating a shop within your existing post frame agricultural building for keeping tools and working on equipment or woodworking projects is not difficult. The interiors of any post frame structure are not obstructed nor limited by interior beams or load-bearing walls.

The openness makes selecting a location to partition for a shop an easy decision. Your plan should be to locate space that does not limit other uses of the building while creating a sufficiently sized, well-lighted area to work and store supplies and tools efficiently.

If you are starting from scratch, you should plan a specific area of the building for working on equipment. Also, carve out ample space for storing spare parts, fuel, lubricants, tools, air and oil filters, and anything else you may routinely need. Having enough space to keep everything orderly allows you to:

  • take advantage of volume purchases
  • keep everything in its place
  • not lose tools and parts because of over-crowded conditions

To accommodate large vehicles, you may include an oversized overhead or sliding door. If you wish to store items upstairs, an upper floor may be added, and a stairway added.

And, for convenience, adding a bathroom is a great consideration.

Money and time saved by these advantages plus the efficiency of being able to perform your service efficiently will eventually pay off any additional expense of creating a barn shop and storage in your post frame structure.

Create a Dedicated Post Frame Shop Building

For those dedicated to creating their own “garage” workshop, post frame buildings are perfect and economical. Easy and quick to build, using fewer materials and less labor. These buildings can be designed to replicate the appearance of the main home or other buildings. Owners can purpose-design their post frame structure to fit their needs. Thus precisely creating the right amount of space, customized configuration, and the appropriate door size for the intended purpose.

Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

Custom-designed and built post frame farm and home workshops are popular options for those who repair and service equipment themselves. In many instances, these shops serve as wood or metal workshops to restore or create new items for the home or farm.

Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings has been serving the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region with design, materials, and support for high-quality post frame buildings for four decades.

Visit the Pacemaker website to see their Gallery of the remarkable and versatile buildings that they have created.

If you are looking for detailed information regarding post frame barns, garages, sheds, and outbuildings for workshops or other purposes, contact the experts at Pacemaker. They will be happy to discuss your project.

Phone Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings at 1-888-834-4448.