Pole Barns

The name“pole barn” originated from the Economic Downturn in the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Era of the 1930s. Farmers had to turn to the most cost-efficient materials (recycled telephone poles) they could find to construct new buildings. These “telephone pole barns” simplified to “pole barns,” marked a new era of American pole barns.

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How a Pole Barn Works?

First, consider how a pole barn is constructed. In this method, wooden poles are buried in the ground and then used as columns for the roof. The walls are traditionally made of wood, or perhaps tin, and are either screwed or nailed into the poles. The advantage of pole barns is that they are inexpensive and you can add on many additional features, such as steel framing and insulation. The disadvantage is they have poles buried in the ground. Meaning, that over time these poles will shift and eventually decay which requires frequent maintenance and repairs.
Pole barns are not considered a permanent structure and you may experience problems with building codes in some areas. Furthermore, barn house insurance is known to be expensive, as these buildings are simply not as solid as the competition.


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Pole Barn or Steel Barn Frame?

The key feature of pole buildings is that they’re designed with posts as a framing member, which are buried a few feet into the ground. These serve as a key to the foundation of the entire barn, which is far less expensive and time-consuming to prepare compared to other types of construction. Pole barns are a type of post-frame construction – a technique used for centuries to quickly construct sturdy, reliable structures. Post-frame construction is a highly engineered solution that combines efficiency and adaptability.

A steel frame barn’s construction style is steel columns anchored to a concrete foundation. This makes construction easier and more durable than the pole barn method. A steel frame barn is also weather-resistant, to both inclement weather and minor weather-related damage, such as mold, cracking and rotting. A steel frame barn is also fire resistant, does not require maintenance or repainting, and is made from hygienic material that does not support soil rotting.

Pole Barn Vs Steel Frame Construction Cost

Pole barns may be cheaper, though the average steel frame barn is listed at prices 60% less than traditional construction. Be aware, if you can save some money on a pole barn option, remember that you may be required to spend additional money on maintenance costs, longer construction times, and more investment if you want to expand the barn later on. A steel frame barn offers savings physically as well as economically. A steel frame barn also saves you energy costs, insurance costs (steel frame barns usually cost 40% less) and may come with a generous warranty, lasting a few decades.

Lastly, let’s not forget to consider the welfare of your animal. Barns are usually not recommended for livestock because there is a risk of poisonous and unsanitary conditions thanks to the style of construction. Since you are building the barn for the horse, an animal that is either personally priceless or professionally expensive, choose only the safest option: barn steel.

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