Steel Buildings

Steel Buildings

Basics of Buying Pole Barns

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Need more storage or work space on your farm? A pole barn is the answer. Equally suited to rural areas and urban locations alike, pole barns provide a low-cost alternative to traditional construction. Easy to erect, you can install a pole barn in no time through pre-formed metal supports and framing components that are manufactured in the factory then shipped directly to your site for assembly.

Similar to any other traditional barn, pole barns are constructed with support poles that serve as the underlying support structure. Bracing both the walls and the roof, post-frame construction typically uses wood posts for support beams rather than metal. This highly cost-effective, energy-efficient design serves as the foundation of a structure that typically lasts for 20 to 30 years or more.

But buying a pole barn isn't as simple as picking the first dealer you find on Google. There are a number of considerations to plan out in advance, as well as some advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of. So here's a quick checklist addressing some common questions to get you started on the right path.

What will you use your pole barn for?

Often used to store equipment, supplies, a boat, ATV, RV, or other "toys," these affordable structures keep your stuff indoors and out of the elements. Determining the exact purpose of your new pole barn will help you plan the size and what extras to purchase. Each item you store will have its own size requirements and an ideal internal environment to prevent spoiling, rust, or other forms of corrosion.

So be specific. If you're using your pole barn for storage, do you need to store vehicles, equipment and tools, fertilizer, or produce? If it's for livestock - what animals, how many, and for how long?

Who's going to lay the foundation?

Though some pole barns can be erected with a simple dirt floor, you'll typically want a flat concrete slab in place to support your structure and ensure a certain level of interior climate control.

Depending on who you buy from, you'll most likely have to hire a separate contractor to handle the pouring of the concrete foundation. Though some steel building suppliers may offer to pour your slab as part of their installation process, that level of service is becoming a rarity. Far more common are those dealers who partner with preferred contractors. If you have a general contractor you're familiar with, it's worth having them price out the job so you can compare the costs.

Where will you erect the building?

Your available space will impact the size of the pole barn you can buy - a factor that will directly affect your final cost. So evaluate your options carefully and avoid steep grades or heavily-wooded areas, as these will not only impact the size of the building you can accommodate but also increase the difficulties associated with pouring the slab and erecting the structure.

Also, depending on your geographic location, your area will dictate the snow and wind codes the barn will have to withstand. These are critical when soliciting accurate bids for a reliable pole barn. It's worth noting that pole barns tend to be susceptible to high winds more so than traditional construction - one of their few but biggest disadvantages. And while few structures can stand up to the devastation of a tornado, even heavy straight-line winds can cause a fair amount of damage to a pole barn - something to keep in mind if you live in a windy location.

What are the advantages of a pole barn?

Its extensive range of potential uses and extreme cost-effectiveness are two of the pole barn's lasting and greatest advantages. Most cost between $6,000 and $12,000 depending on the size of the structure itself and whether or not you opt for a concrete floor. Easy to put up, they're often built over a single weekend, and can be raised by a single individual or even faster with help from a few others.

In addition, a pole barn's minimalist design requires far less in terms of raw materials to build. In doing so, it provides another avenue for cost savings while delivering an environmentally-sustainable form of construction, most of which can easily be recycled when it comes time to make way for new construction.

Who are you buying from?

The steel building market, which includes pole barns and other metal buildings like arenas, garages, and hangars, is serviced by several different types of dealers. You may work directly with building manufacturers or with resellers. Some general contractors may even sell steel buildings as a sideline to their primary construction business, also offering the building services to install it for you.

When selecting a dealer, no single approach is the best. Just be sure to compare several options. Using BuyerZone's free request for steel building price quotes, you can get in touch with up to six different steel building suppliers. Talk to each of them and describe your needs, including your intended application, installation needs, and location. With that in hand, you'll be able to compare detailed price quotes to get the right pole barn at the right price.

Or, read more about features to look for in steel pole buildings.

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