Pole barns got their name during The Great Depression when people began using old telephone poles to construct their barns. As it turned out, the pole method was not only a money saver, but it was also less labor-intensive and just as sturdy as the traditional timber frame method. Pole barns are still used for agriculture and farming, but they’ve been gaining popularity as additional space and even permanent housing. These structures are particularly popular among millennials, who always want to combine affordability, functionality, and sustainability.
Pole barns and the more elaborate “Barndominiums” fulfill all these requirements. A pole barn may be used as office space, a home gym, a recreation area, an in-law suite, a garage, or storage. The possibilities are endless. If you’re considering erecting a pole barn on your property, we have some tips to help you get started.
1. Clarify the Purpose of the Pole Barn
The first step in designing a pole barn is to decide what purpose it will serve. Will it be a professional work-from-home space, storage, extra living space, or an oversized garage? Knowing your vision for the space will help a contractor assist you in deciding on things like the size, layout, materials, and features.
2. Decide on Size
According to Love Home Designs, pole barns vary significantly in size, but the average is typically 20 x 30 feet. The size of your barn should be based on a realistic goal of what you’re using it for, the size of your property, what’s allowed by the town, and your ability to upkeep the barn.
Before you begin to build, ensure you choose the best area in which to place the structure. Consider the soil quality, drainage, the amount of natural sunlight, and availability of shade. This can help offset energy costs and prevent flooding.
4. Pinpoint Design Elements
There are many design choices when it comes to pole barns. They can be styled to look like anything from traditional antique barns to mobile homes. You’ll also need to consider doors, siding, and windows.
If you’re in storm-prone areas, consider hurricane windows. According to Forbes, hurricane windows are made to withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour. Consider partitioning the barn if you’re using it as a multi-purpose space.
5. Choose Materials
When choosing materials for the pole barn, you want affordable but durable as well. Basic materials will include timber, steel, concrete, and insulation. It’s essential to consider the climate and weather activity, as well as the purpose of the barn.
For example, you may not need the same type of insulation in Florida as in Vermont. Investing in quality materials upfront can also help lower maintenance requirements and repairs down the road. For instance, investing in a metal roof made from copper or zinc assures people that the roof will last over 100 years in many cases. A shingled roof made of aluminum or steel can last up to 50 years. Metal roofs offer excellent protection in harsh climates.
6. Add Amenities and Personalize
Once the construction planning is finished, it’s time to add the finishing touches and creature comforts. Consider installing a Smart thermostat for climate control. Add some energy-efficient lighting that meets the needs of the space. Contact an electrician and plumber to help install any wiring or water pipes the barn may need. Finally, choose a color scheme, interior design element, and furnishings.
A pole barn can be a valuable addition to any property. It’s an incredibly effective space for millennials who often work from home and live with extended family members. Whatever your pole barn will be used for, remember that planning is vital.
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