How to Save Money When Building a Pole Barn

Post frame construction for pole barns or other agricultural and commercial buildings is one of the most cost-effective, durable, and versatile construction method devised to-date. A well-anchored, perfectly erected pole barn provides a lifetime of service at relatively low cost. Moreover, subsequent modifications to your pole barn are far easier than with other types of construction.

Pole barns are highly efficient structures that cover substantial uninterrupted space with relatively few materials and less labor than other construction methods. The key to ensuring a durable and economical structure is careful planning and perfect execution. “Cutting corners” during construction can be costly in the long-term.

Any decision that might compromise the structural integrity of the building requires expert input before making adaptation to the plans. That being said, there are ways to save money and still have the total structural integrity desired.

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Money Saving Ideas for Your Pole Barn Construction

Ideas to lower the costs of a pole barn fall into either of two categories. Some are immediate and provide initial savings from reducing the total costs of materials and labor. Longer term savings include substituting materials that reduce operating expenses or energy usage.

  • Consider ways to save money during the pre-construction period. Shop the most reputable contractors and materials of proven quality. Do sufficient research to ensure you will be making the right value judgments.
  • During the design phase, consider the spacing of the vertical columns. Typical post frame or pole barn construction requires spacing from 6 to 10 feet. Column spacing is a function of load-bearing requirements that are dependent on many factors including potential snowfall, attic loads, and other determinants. The number of trusses required will correspond to the number of columns. If the analysis allows, wider spacing of vertical columns and trusses will save in both materials and labor.
  • Accumulated condensation can cause premature deterioration of an uninsulated building and result in damage to any equipment housed within. Installing a commercial membrane that protects against moisture accumulation will protect these assets from dripping water that causes additional problems.
  • Plan ahead with the aesthetics of the building. Some features cost far more than others. Perhaps changing the shape of the roofline during the planning phase or matching the paint system to your home are simple features that will not add to the cost. Consider making the building more appealing with a weather vane, a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign, or other appropriate artwork that indicates a productive, pleasant barn to any passerby.

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  • Wainscoting the lower sections of the exterior barn walls provides protection from snow, mowing equipment, and flying objects. When the barn receives abuse and becomes dented, you will find it easier to replace a section of wainscoting, rather than an entire wall section.
  • Horizontal sliding barn doors are generally less expensive than garage-type systems. Sliding doors today are engineered for easy opening and closing. The advantage of these doors is that you may open them only as far as you need, thereby retaining heat within.
  • For light, consider installing translucent panels under the eaves rather than additional windows. This combination should provide enough light during the day to perform any general functions.

How to Save Money When Building a Pole Barn
Finally, only if you are skilled enough, consider building the pole barn yourself. If needed, you can still consult an expert or work with your materials supplier to guide your planning. Once all parts are on site, and the vertical columns have been anchored thoroughly for stability, you can arrange the entire envelope to ensure you have all the right parts. After the inspection, the building process becomes a matter of methodically attaching each component.

Don’t rush. Don’t compromise, if you want the building to last. When in doubt, consult with a firm that has a long background of satisfied clients. We’re here to help! Contact us with your questions.