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What is a Pole Barn?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
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A pole barn is simply a barn that is constructed with support poles that serve as the underlying support structure for the outer walls and roof. In most cases, the poles are beams of wood, rather than metal, which may be what normally comes to mind with the term pole. In addition to the pole barn, the pole shed is also common. These storage sheds can be found both in rural areas and urban settings.

The pole barn has some features that are common to nearly all models. First, the poles are nearly all wood. Second, the shell of the barn is usually metal. Together, the two materials work to produce a structure that is suitable for both livestock and additional storage.

In some cases, a concrete foundation will be added to the barn. However, there are many pole barns that have a simple dirt floor as well. The advantage to the dirt floor is mainly one of cost. The main disadvantage is it can more easily become susceptible to unwanted animals and insects, though these usually find their way into barns with concrete floors as well.

Many people, especially those who farm or who are good with their hands, may attempt to build a pole barn all by themselves, with the help of friends and family. This may be a relatively simple task, especially when compared to other types of structures. Plans are readily available from a number of different sources and some will even help the builder by delivering supplies and materials or arranging for their delivery.

The advantages of the pole barn are its ability to be constructed quickly and its cost. Most of these barns will cost between $6,000 US Dollars (USD) and $12,000 USD, mainly depending on the size of the structure and whether it will include a concrete floor. In many cases, they can even be constructed over a weekend, with help from a few others.

Despite this, the pole barn also has some disadvantages as well. They tend to be very susceptible to high winds more so than other types of barns. While no barn may fare well against a strong tornado, even heavier straight-line winds can cause a fair amount of damage. This may be a consideration in especially windy locations.

The buildings are suited to a variety of purposes. A pole barn may be used as housing for livestock, or for storage of hay and other feed. They can be used as garages, machine sheds or even airplane hangars in some cases. Most of these barns have sliding doors for easy access to move larger animals and equipment in and out, as well as doors meant for human use.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon110387 — On Sep 11, 2010

Pole barns are not susceptible to high winds. A little more research is in order.

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