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Pole barn living quarters come in many forms, from a simple loft to an entire upper living quarters. The most common type comes in the form of a small kitchen, bed, and bath coupled with a living room. These are often found in a dedicated horse barn adjacent to the horse stalls. Some outdoorsmen or -women prefer to construct a pole barn and turn the entire structure into a weekend or hunting season getaway. Other pole barn living quarters combine a finished living space with a garage, create an entire living space in the rafters of the building, or combine the finished quarters and garage as small guest or visitor apartments.
The pole barn offers many advanced innovations as compared to traditional home building. By utilizing the basic tin roof and sides with a modernistic interior design plan, pole barn living quarters can provide the builder with a very comfortable living space while also saving money on the exterior building costs. Originally designed as a way to offer horse groomers room to live while remaining in close proximity to the animals, they soon developed into purpose-built housing with a plethora of uses.
Due, in part, to the relatively light weight of the building supplies, pole barn living quarters became popular as hunting cabins, lodges and retreats. The metal exterior is occasionally replaced by wooden siding or sheets of rough-cut plywood panels, lending a rustic appearance to the new structure. Some styles place the living area over the garage or barn area through the use of special truss systems, engineered to provide the utmost in space and living quarters. Other types of finished living quarters are used as home office space as well as a guest room when planned or unexpected visitors arrive.
The type of living quarters that can be built into any given pole barn are subject to local building codes. Fire walls and ventilation are especially critical when placing the living area in close proximity to a garage or shop. Most areas require the entire lower level of the building to be finished with drywall when the upper rafter area will be used as a pole barn living quarters. Many plans exist to create a pole barn that gives the appearance of a traditionally constructed building while requiring less time, materials, and cost to complete.