This summer we moved to a new homestead. It had the land, the smaller home, and a garage for storage.
But it did not have a barn. If you have a homestead, you know how important it is to have a barn.
However, we didn’t have a ton of money to invest in building this barn.
So we looked through these pole barn ideas, found one that would work, and figured out how to make it cost efficient, efficient to build, and functional.
How to Build a Pole Barn
Here is how we did it:
What We Wanted in a Pole Barn
I will reiterate some of these statements in step 1 because it is important to know what you want in a pole barn. This is not a small investment, and it should be something that you use regularly.
Not to mention, it will be on your property permanently.
So you want it to be functional and to look like you want it to as well. Here is what we wanted in our pole barn:
1. Cost Effective
The first priority in our pole barn was to make it cost effective. We had just purchased a new homestead, there were lots to be done, and only so much money to go around for each project.
So I needed a barn that would work for our needs but not cost a fortune. Which led us to set a $600 budget. We felt we could build this pole barn for that amount of money and have what we needed too.
2. Efficient Build
The next step was to choose a barn that we could build quickly. As I mentioned, we are on a new homestead. Every day is filled with tons of projects that need to happen in order for our homestead to function as it should.
So we felt with this pole barn design we could build it quickly. Turns out my husband and our boys were able to build it in an afternoon. It took about 4 hours total. That even included a trip to the local hardware store to purchase the roofing material that we realized we had forgotten. (Oops!)
We needed a pole barn that would function. Our pole barn is used to store our tractor, lawn mower, hay, and bee equipment.
But I also use it during the winter to store my lawn furniture as well.
As you can tell, I needed a larger barn to store all of this equipment that we don’t have room to store in our garage.
So when we built this barn it had to be a decent size. Our barn ended up being a 12×32 which is ample amount of room for what we needed.
4. Looks Neat and Clean
My final qualification is that I needed a barn that would last, look good, and also remain tidy. This pole barn should last for years to come since we used pressure treated wood and metal roofing to complete the task.
But it also looks good. It is a simple design that fits right into the appearance of the rest of our homestead. We build anything we can from wood because it is cost effective and wood is easy to work with.
Finally, I needed a barn that would remain tidy in appearance. I learned during our kitchen remodel, that openness usually equates to tidiness because nothing can hide. If you are like me and dislike clutter, then just leave everything out in the open because it forces you to keep everything neat and organized.
Now that you know what we were looking for in our pole barn, you should stop and think about what you need in your pole barn as well.
Also, ask yourself about your carpentry skill level. If you’ve never built a larger project please ask for help from someone who has. The last thing you want to do is take on a larger project and use larger tools than you are not accustomed to and end up hurt.
So please use good judgment before taking on this project. After you’ve considered all of these items, you should be ready to begin your build.
- 8 – 4x4x10ft pressure treated wood
- 4 – 2x6x16ft non-pressure treated wood
- 17 – 2x6x12ft treated wood
- 2 – 2x6x8ft treated wood
- 1 x 3 furring strip divided into 16 pieces
- 16 pieces of 2ft roofing metal that are 12 ft. long
- Roofing screws with rubber gaskets
- Nail gun or hammer and nails
1. Walk off Your Barn Size
Before you start to build your barn, you’ll need to find the perfect location. You need an area large enough to hold your barn.
Also, you’d prefer for it to be flat so it makes it much easier to build and keep things level.
However, you’ll also need your barn in a location that is convenient. You don’t want to have to constantly walk back and forth to get things from the barn if you can help it.
For us, our perfect location was located near our pasture, garden, and right behind our garage. That way the barn would be convenient, but not a front and center sight.
Yet, we had flat land and plenty of room to store our belongings.
So once we located the perfect spot for our barn, we started by using fencing posts to mark off the exact location of the barn. This helps tremendously so you can measure before you start to make sure everything is level, the way you want it, and that you are sure you like the location. It definitely made the job much easier.
Once you have your barn walked off, marked, measured, and you are certain that is where you want it, then you are ready to begin the building process.
2. Plant the Posts
A pole barn is exactly what it sounds like. It is a barn that is held up by a few poles. It has a roof on it and can have walls surrounding it if you desire.
Personally, I prefer my pole barn to be open so it keeps it from becoming cluttered. It is harder for things to get cluttered when you can constantly see what is going on.
However, if you are planning on keeping items in there that you really don’t want to see, or if you are planning on turning it into a shelter for your animals, then you’ll want to add walls to it.
So we started the process by creating our poles. We used the 8-4×4’s and placed them into the ground. You’ll need one at each corner, and then a few in the middle to keep everything stable.
You’ll place them in the ground either by using post hole diggers, an auger, or using a shovel to dig a hole. If your hole is loose, then you’ll need to use concrete to hold the posts in the ground. We used an auger so the post fits in the hole pretty perfectly and snug.
When this job is complete, you are ready to move on.
3. Create the Base of the Roof
In this step, you’ll need to decide how high you want the roof. We purchased the materials with the purpose of not having to cut anything because it would make the job go so much faster.
So we planned our roof to be very high. If you want a tall pole barn, then you’ll do this too. If you’d like it a little shorter, then you’ll want to start this step a little lower.
Once you’ve decided how high you’d like your roof to be, then you’ll place the 2x6x16’s at whatever height you decided on. You will need to place 2 of them in the front and 2 of them in the back. You will then use the 2x6x8’s to scab the pieces of wood together.
Now that this is complete, you are ready for the next step.
4. Time for the Rafters
In this step, you are designing the support for the roof. You’ll need your 2x6x12’s. You place them across the stringers about 2 feet apart.
So as you do this, you’ll know you are on the right track because at this point in the process you should have 4 poles sticking out of the ground.
Then you’ll basically have a large wooden rectangle at the top of the posts.
After you complete this step, you’ll have your smaller pieces of wood connecting each side of the wooden rectangle.
Once you’ve got all of this in place, it is time to pull out the 16 pieces of the furring strip. You’ll want to lay them perpendicular to the rafters. The whole point of this step is to give you something to actually screw the roofing to.
So once you’ve completed this, then you are ready to move on to the final step of building your pole barn.
5. Finish with the Roof Sheeting
The last step is probably one of the easiest, but my least favorite. I love metal roofing because it looks good, is inexpensive, and pretty easy to complete a project with.
But I don’t like it because it is sharp. Please use lots of caution when working with metal roofing, especially when you are placing it over your head. This stuff is sharp, and you do not want to cut your hands, arms, or even worse, your neck.
Remember to keep safety first. Pay close attention to what you are doing the entire time you are working with this roofing material, and try to wear gloves.
Now that the safety alert is out there, let’s finish this project. You’ll need to carefully lift the metal up through the rafters.
Then you’ll lay it flat on the rafters. Using an impact or screwdriver, you will use the roofing screws with the rubber gaskets to screw the metal roofing in place.
Remember to screw it to the rafters and furring strips to ensure it stays in place.
Then you’ll pull up the next piece and overlap it with your last piece.
Finally, you’ll continue this process with overlapping the metal roofing and screwing them into place. When this is complete, you will have a beautiful pole barn.
Well, you now know how to build your very own pole barn on a smaller budget that should last for years to come and be functional too. Just to reiterate, we were able to complete this 12×32 pole barn in about 4 hours on a budget of around $600. We may have gone a little over after you include tax.
Also, we did not hit any deals anywhere. We went to our local hardware store to purchase all of our materials, and I don’t think we were able to purchase any items on sale.
However, we did get a discount on our roofing materials because they were dented. Since no one will be examining your roof, don’t be afraid to buy some materials that are a little dinged.
Hopefully, you can save money that way as well.
But the great thing about the design of this pole barn is you can add to it any way you wish. As mentioned before, you can add walls to it, add stalls for animals, and even add a loft if you so desire.
Now, I’d like to know, what do you look for in a barn? Have you ever built a barn? What was your budget and time frame? How did it go? Do you have any tips for those that may be new to this type of building project?
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