Tag Archives: post frame buildings

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.

How to Qualify for a Mortgage for a Post Frame Barn


Qualifying for a mortgage for a post frame barn, equestrian center, or other agricultural building is not so different than for any other building. However, because the completed cost and operating expenses of a post frame barn are often less than with commercial or steel buildings, qualifying may be simpler.

In fact, some lenders specialize in financing post frame or post-and-beam agricultural and commercial buildings and even post frame residences.

Quality Construction Merits Financing

With today’s techniques and materials, modern post frame structures can meet FNMA approval and fixed rate requirements if they are to be, even partially, designated as a residence.

But future owners of post frame barns used strictly for agriculture can have an easier avenue today to secure full financing. The key is to shop around for a bank that specializes in this type of financing.

We recommend these financial companies:

  • The First National Bank of Monterey

    1049 Lakeshore Drive
    Culver, IN 46511

  • First Farmers Bank & Trust

    123 N Jefferson Street
    Converse, IN 46919

  • 1st Source Bank

    PO Box 1602
    South Bend, IN 46634

Many banks across the country understand the value that a practical and long-lasting post frame barn brings to an active farming business.

Check out your options before you proceed.

HELOC Borrowing Option

Always a practical option for a homeowner with sufficient equity in their residence, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) may allow you to borrow the necessary amount to construct the post frame barn by using your home equity as security.

The potential benefits of a HELOC are:

  • Typically, a lower interest rate for a longer period
  • Interest is often tax deductible, same as your home mortgage
  • Secured loans are easier to obtain
  • Risk is low since the value of your property or business will increase by at least the amount of the loan
  • Once a HELOC is opened, you may borrow against it again in the future as you pay down the existing balance

Paying Cash

Saving and paying cash is always an acceptable option for paying for a new post frame barn. You might tap your savings or sell some unneeded assets, and the benefit is that you will not have recurring payments. As a result, 100% of the building belongs to you or your business from the outset.


Financial Benefits of a Well-Designed Post Frame Barn

Whether you choose a loan or pay cash, post frame construction is often the least-cost way to proceed for several reasons:

  • Lower Cost. Cost-per-cubic-foot is often less than other construction methods due to efficient use of materials and labor, lower energy usage, shorter time to completion, and frequently less site preparation.
  • Right-Sizing and Expandability. Post frame buildings can be built for present and near-future needs, keeping in mind that expansion is a simple process. Because the vertical supports are widely spaced, adding to your original building is easier with post frame buildings.
  • Lower Energy Costs. Due to the wide spacing of the vertical posts, the sides and ceilings of post beam buildings are more uniformly insulated.


Contact Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings

For questions about the design or recommendations regarding the financing of a new post frame barn, contact the experts at Pacemaker Post Frame Buildings. Located in Northern Indiana and serving Northern Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and Northwest Ohio.  Pacemaker designs, manufactures, builds, and consults for post frame structures.

Common uses for Post Frame Buildings:

  • Agricultural
  • Equestrian
  • Commercial
  • Municipal
  • Residential

For over four decades, the Pacemaker professionals have helped forward the technology and applications of modern, durable, and attractive post frame buildings.

Visit the Pacemaker website to see examples of their many extraordinary projects.

Or, phone the Pacemaker professionals with any questions at 888.834.4448.