Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

Pole barn vs. regular construction

damunk's picture

I'm here in Hudson Valley/So. NY state and wondering how people run with pole barns vs. conventional construction.  Any strong feelings one way or another?  Building (garage) is 26' x 26' with half story above, 9/12 gable roof with wall dormer over front and shed roof dormer out back.  Haven't decided about post down at center and load bearing ridge vs. collar ties and whatnot.  Kids will use second floor for ping pong, etc.

Pole barn (post #207715, reply #1 of 4)

Since I grew up in the midwest, pole barns are everywhere. Two issues you will see with pole barns.

1. They will not stand up well to high winds.

2. What do you do once the  poles rot off?

My dad has a pole barn that (post #207715, reply #3 of 4)

My dad has a pole barn that is 20 years old and my grandpa has several that are over 50 years old.  I come from a farm family and went to school with plenty of other kids from farm families.  Never once have I seen or heard of poles rotted through; and I've not seen one topple over unless there was a tornado or winds high enough that similar damage was sustained by nearby homes.  Not saying it's never happened; but your post makes it sound like someone putting up a pole barn should just expect it to fall apart one day.

Post frame on piers (post #207715, reply #2 of 4)

I built a building much like you describe on piers. It's post frame but the posts bear on concrete piers with spread footings. I think it's a good compromise:

Cost and useage (post #207715, reply #4 of 4)

You are decribing two different uses for the structure.  The lower level garage would be well severed by pole barn construction.  No climate control is fine for parking cars.  The rec. room on the second level, however, calls for both a conditioned space which is not easily accomplished with a pole barns basic construction.

I have a 30x42' shop that from the outside looks like a pole barn, but is in fact a 2x6 framed building.  It is a fully insulated and conditioned structure that is finished inside.  It sets on a full concrete footing and block fondation wall with a concrete slab floor.  cost was about $16K in 2001.  The outside is sided with light guage steel as is the roof.  With the plumbing I need to maintain above an freezing interior temperature all winter and can raise it to a more comfortable working range when I'm working in there.  With a high efficencey LP gas furnace my typical winter is about $200.

The problem with a typical pole barn construction is heating and/or cooling it without breaking the bank.  The insulation package that generally used is wide rolled fg witha vinyl facing that goes on before the roof and the siding. The vinyl side goes in and the steel is applied over it with the adea being that the vinyl is also the interior vp and the fg can breath to keep moisture from accumulating in it.  Typical R values are only about  R-3 to 5 if you are lucky. Not a good choice for a conditioned space in your climate. However the cost of the structure is less than half that of a same size frame building.

You need to ask yourself a lot of questions about how much useage the building will really get and how much cost you are willing to incure to meet that useage.