Pole barn homes are quickly becoming a popular choice in custom homes. Pole barns were discovered to be a great option for housing, just like barndominiums and tiny houses,. Additionally, pole barn houses are unique, unlike all of the cookie-cutter subdivision homes we see everywhere nowadays.
What else makes these homes so special? First, barn homes are generally less expensive to build than a traditional home and even take less time to build. Further, these houses offer a choice of material from which they can be built. For example, they can be constructed in wood or metal or a combination of both. In addition, you can choose to buy a pole barn kit and finish it yourself. Another available option is to hire a builder to do it all for you. Or, you can decide to do a little of both so you can add those personal touches.
It’s good to know all of your options, regardless of the type of barn home you choose to build. Below, is just about everything you would ever need to know about pole barn houses. Make sure to use the table of contents below to navigate this article like a breeze.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Pole Barn Home?
- 2 Types of Pole Barn Houses
- 3 How to Build a Pole Barn Home
- 4 Buying a Pole Barn Home Kit
- 5 Pole Barn and Metal Barn House Plans
- 6 Real Advice from Real Pole Barn Home Owners
- 7 Freaquently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 8 A Final Word on Pole Barn Homes
What is a Pole Barn Home?
The word “pole barn” came about in the 1920s and 1930s when farming became corporate. Farmers needed a bigger space to house larger farm equipment, at that time, but were on tight budgets. As a result, they began repurposing old telephone poles to build their larger barns. Hence, the term came about. If you’d like to learn more about different types and uses of regular pole barns read this 101 guide here.
Today’s pole barn is more than just a place for housing farm animals and tractors, unlike the barns of yesterday. Notably, they are now used as homes, barns with living quarters and businesses with homes combined.
For example, pole barn homes are commonplace in areas like Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Particularly, they are often built on the homestead land. This allows adult children to live nearby and help run the farm. At the same time, these homes are popping up everywhere as an alternative to traditional houses. They are becoming very popular in the state of Texas.
Finally, pole barn houses are perfect for combining storage, barn or business space with a residential home. For instance, you can have your barn shop downstairs and live on the second floor. Or, you can have a garage or workshop below and enjoy a beautiful loft space above.
If you want to learn the difference between a Pole Barn and a Metal Home, we recommend you check out our Pole Barn vs Metal Building Guide.
Types of Pole Barn Houses
These houses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles to suit any taste and lifestyle. And, you can choose from 3 distinct types.
Post and Beam Barn Homes
Post and beam barn homes are a type of construction that utilizes interlocking, heavy wood beams for structural support. Chiefly, the structural beams and posts shift weight to the foundation of the home. As a result, this type of structural foundation negates the necessity for interior walls as a support system for the home. Additionally, the exposed beams become a beautiful visual part of the home’s decor.
Metal Pole Barn Homes
Metal and steel barn homes are constructed using metal frames that are attached to a concrete slab. Additionally, trusses, walls and the roof are constructed from metal as well. Much of the metal parts are prefabricated. As a result, metal barn houses are faster to build, cost less than post and beam construction and are easier to maintain. These type of metal-framed homes have become known as Barndominiums, which we extensively cover in this ultimate barndominium 101 guide – have a look.
The Combination Pole Barn Home
The combination pole barn house is constructed with a combination of materials. To clarify, combination homes are oftentimes built using the post and beam method with wood. Then, the home is finished by using prefabricated metal walls and roofs. In the end, the home can have the simplicity and strength of metal, with the beautiful interior wood exposed beams.
And if you want to learn more about the basics of this topic, we encourage you to check out our Prefab Homes Framing Guide.
How to Build a Pole Barn Home
Once you have decided on a pole building home, the next choice is to decide how you prefer to build your barn home. Luckily, there are 3 ways to build one of these beautiful homes. Each choice has varying price tags. In other words, your cost will vary depending on how much you do on your own.
Using a Pole Barn Home Kit + DIY
Using a pole barn home kit is the first way of building. These kits come with everything you need to erect the shell of your home. From there, you will need to pour the foundation and build the shell of the house. Next, the barn home will need utilities run through the home and connected. Then finally, the interior of your home is finished by adding drywalls, flooring, plumbing, lighting and other features. The best thing – you can even order such home kit on Ebay.
Check out our
Pros and Cons
The pros to using a kit are numerous. For example, using a kit allows you to move at your own pace. In addition, using do-it-yourself skills can save you a great deal of money. The reason being that contractors are very expensive. Using a kit is another plus because most of them come with warranties up to 50 years on the materials. Finally, you can bargain shop for deals on fixtures, flooring, paint and more while doing the finishing work on your house.
Using a kit has some cons that might add up to additional costs and huge headaches. For instance, obtaining building permits and having the home inspected can be problematic. It can take extra time and be costly. Also, doing all of the interior finishing on your own can eat up a lot of time. This is especially true if you are working a full-time job.
Using a Builder
Hiring a builder is another option for building your new pole barn home. Builders are licensed, skilled and can build an entire home from start to finish. Therefore, you must choose a builder based on the type of barn home you want to build. Next, choose your floor plan and finishes as well as any custom touches that you desire. Then, you simply sign the paperwork and the builder gets started on your new home.
Pros and Cons
There are many advantages to using a builder to construct your pole barn home. For example, a professional builder is knowledgeable in building permits, codes and utilities. Plus, a builder is licensed, bonded and insured. That means a builder will be responsible for anything that may go wrong during the building process. Finally, your choices of barn home sizes, floor plans and finishes are virtually endless when using a builder. Plus, there will be a builder’s warranty to boot.
The downside of using a builder to build your barn home are few, but can add up to some serious difficulties. Firstly, hiring a builder will cost a great deal more than doing it yourself (unless you make many mistakes), even though these homes are usually less expensive than traditional homes.
Secondly, be careful when choosing a builder as not to end up with subpar work. Because of this risk, ask for referrals from friends, the Better Business Bureau and read up on the company yourself. For this reason, we did review quite a few construction companies to help you decide easier. Finally, you have no control over how quickly the home is built when using a builder and many tend to miss the deadlines, so you have to be prepared for that.
A Combination of Both (Kit & a Builder)
You can use a combination of both DIY and a builder. That way, you get the quality barn home of your dreams and save some money. A good example is to purchase a pole barn house kit, erect the shell yourself, then hire a contractor to finish the rest. Another example would be to have a contractor build your kit for you and adding the utilities. Then, you can do the inside finishing yourself. In essence, you are bound to save a bit of money no matter which combination you choose.
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Buying a Pole Barn Home Kit
When you decide that purchasing a kit is the right option, you need to know where to buy one. One choice is to go online and search for “pole barn home kits for sale”. As a result, you will find home kits for sale on sites like Home Depot, Lowes and Ebay. Also, some builders offer their own custom kits for sale. Another choice for finding these home kits is by joining a social media group of pole barn homeowners and asking for ideas, tips and referrals such as this one!
Kit Manufacturers Worth Mentioning
DC Structures company will pre-manufacture your kit and will work from sketching and planning to shipping it to your land. Their homes look amazing!
- Style: post and beam, timber framing
- Materials: mainly timber
- Construction: available via trusted builders network, not directly
- Shipping: accross US and Canada
Yankee Barn Homes
Yankee Barn Homes is another well-known post and beam home manufacturer that has been in business for over 50 years now. They offer a simple 6 step process from designing to assembling the home shell package that they offer.
- Style: post and beam
- Materials: mainly timber
- Construction: available via trusted builders or directly
- Shipping: accross US and Canada
A Pole Barn Home Kit Usually Includes:
For metal pole barn homes:
- All galvanized steel framing
- Insulated Roof
- Insulated walls
- Door frames and trim
- Garage door frame and trim (if applicable)
- Fasteners, brackets, screws and bolts
- All galvanized, pre-painted trims, channel, ridge caps etc.
- Matching sealing strips
- Steel anchor bolts to attach the frame to the slab.
- Plans and foundation drawings
- Instructions and sometimes videos.
For wood pole barn homes:
- Engineering calculations packet
- All the hardware needed, like: bolts,latches, handles joist and rafter hangers, hinges and tracks
- Prebuilt door and window framing
- Main frame posts and saddles
- Interior walls
- Exposed wood rafters
- Pre-built stud walls, pre cut rafters and wall siding
- Exterior stud walls
- Timber truss package
Keep in mind that kits vary by size, floor plans and finishes. As a result, what’s included in the kit may be different from one home style to the next.
Pole Barn and Metal Barn House Plans
There are a variety of choices when it comes to pole barn house plans when building a custom home. For example, you can choose the style of barn home you like from sleek, streamlined styles to rustic. Coupled with the style, you can choose the size of your barn house. For instance, you can choose anything from a smaller, single-story ranch to a grand, multi-level home with all the bells and whistles. Finally, you can choose floor plans that allow the choice of how many bedrooms and baths are preferred and how you want them laid out.
Popular Sizes of Pole Barn Homes
These homes come in many sizes. However, some basic sizes are more popular than others and serve as a standard size for various interior layouts. The table below represents four common floorplan sizes.
(Width x Depth)
|30′ X 30′||900 sq. ft.||A quaint little barn home is great for a couple just starting out. With 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom, this home can be arranged to include little areas like a breakfast nook or computer space.|
|30′ X 40′||1,200 sq. ft.||A 30′ x 40′ barn home is perfect for a smaller family or could serve as a getaway home. It makes a perfect 2-bedroom, 1 bath home in a single or two-story choice.|
|40′ X 60′||2,400 sq. ft.||This popular size home is spacious enough to be two stories and feature 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.|
|40′ X 100′||4,000 sq. ft.||This large and roomy barn home can be built in one-story or two-stories and can feature 4 or 5 spacious bedrooms with master baths, bonus rooms, and a garage of course.|
Obviously, these are only a few common sizes you can find among these types of homes. There are many more with various layouts and it’s really up to you to decide on the size and dimensions. Read further to find a few pole barn home plans you can purchase today.
Floor Plans for Pole Barn Homes
Floor plans for barn homes are the way you can customize your living space. If you are using a builder, they can design your floor plan from scratch. With this in mind, you can decide how big you want the master suite, where you want the kids’ rooms and more. Some folks just aren’t as creative. Therefore, that may not be the right choice for those pole barn home buyers. There are thousands of floor plans out there that you can choose from for that reason. Below you will find examples created by professional architects who wanted to bring something new to the table of barndominiums.
44′ x 35′ / 776 HEATED SQ. FT. / 1 BED, 1 BATH
Small two-story barndominium with 3 car garage/workshop area on the first floor.
56′ x 64′ / 2810 HEATED SQ. FT. / 3 BED, 2 BATH
Very elegant and minimalist looking barn home with 3 car garage.
56′ x 64′ / 2810 HEATED SQ. FT. / 3 BED, 2 BATH
Epic barndominium designed to accommodate a metal frame or it could be customized to 2×6 conventional timber framing.
Where to Find Pole Barn House Floor Plans?
It’s helpful to know where you can find floor plans for pole barn houses for those who can’t envision and create a floor plan. One way to find them is by buying a kit, as they come with a choice of layouts. There are many floorplan sellers out there, but the ones we recommend are Architectural Designs. They have been in the business for many years and their quality control is top notch!
Real Advice from Real Pole Barn Home Owners
One of the best sources of information these homes is from someone who has been-there-done-that. That includes real advice from real pole barn home owners, builders and people who love this style of housing. Indeed, you can find social media groups like our Barndominium Living Facebook group filled with home ideas from pole barn and barndominium home owners, pictures and other useful information. Another fantastic source of information is our Facebook page and Pinterest page with hundreds of inspirational ideas you can browse on the go.
Freaquently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does a pole barn home cost? Are these homes cheaper?
The cost of building this type of home will vary greatly depending on where you live and the options chosen. However, many barn homes are less expensive than traditionally built homes. This is because there is the option of using a kit and, metal barn homes use materials that are less expensive. In any event, the price of a barn home starts at around $35,000 (a very basic and small one) and goes up from there up to even millions of dollars. What we have seen so far in the industry, is a typical 2,400 sq. ft. barn home could cost around $300,000 to $400,000 on average. Additionally, you can find preowned, barn houses for sale through online real estate sites and save even more money as these tend to cost less and you’d save a lot of time and energy.
Can a Pole Barn Home Have a Basement?
Yes of course, although it’s not the most popular option. The engineering solutions might differ depending on whether you build a timber or metal frame barn home, but most probably both frames would be anchored in the foundation. The easier option construction-wise is to have a partial basement and still have the slab foundation, although you’d lose some space. Make sure to use a trusted builder who has experience in building barndominiums on basement foundations and various types of ground.
Who Builds Pole Barn Homes Near Me?
It’s easy to find someone who builds barn homes near you, depending on where you live. To illustrate this point, simply do a search online and include your state to find a builder near you. Additionally, here are some trusted barn home builders who offer services and kits all across the United States. But if you’re in for a quick look around, below you will find three popular builders in North America.
Morton Buildings provides a great selection of metal residential and pole barn houses all across United States. They are one of the best-known contractors in the field. If you’d like to learn more about them, read our detailed article on Morton Buildings with real customer reviews.
Keystone Construction offers both kits and pole barn home construction services for Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois. More so, they take pride in building custom barn homes as well as barns that are businesses with finished home spaces.
Lester Buildings services are available from the Eastern Seaboard to the Rocky Mountains and as far south as a line running from Oklahoma eastward through Tennessee and North Carolina. They build stunning pole barn homes as well as spaces where you can live, work and play. In addition, Lester Buildings offers financing for your barn home. Read our in-depth review about this contractor here.
Of course, these are just a few nationwide providers and there are many more. If you want to explore more contractors who can build your home from start to finish – have a look at the top 10 metal building home contractors here. If you are looking for a pre-manufactured kit make sure to visit our list of top prefab barn home kit providers in North America.
Are Pole Barn Homes Safe?
These homes are safe for a number of reasons. First, pole buildings are made to stand for a long time and fare well through rough weather. For example, they bare snow weight well, withstand storm and hurricane winds and stand strong in earthquakes when built with that specification. Secondly, metal barn homes are safe because they don’t burn like traditional homes or wood barn homes. Be that as it may, they can still withstand fire damage. That includes buckling and warping, during a fire. Finally, metal barn homes are safer because they don’t rot nor do they attract insects that can eat away a home’s structure.
Can You Insure a Pole Barn Home?
Yes, you can insure a pole barn home. However, you may have to search for the right company to insure your new home. For instance, look for smaller, home-town insurance agencies and farm insurers. Another aspect to consider is if you are insuring a barn home with a business space. Oftentimes, you will need separate coverage for the business area and the residential area of your home.
A Final Word on Pole Barn Homes
These homes are a more affordable alternative to stick-built homes. And, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to customizing a pole barn house. Furthermore, these homes give you the option of living where you work, making life easier and more convenient.