How To Build A Pole Barn House Step By Step

Constructing a new pole barn house will provide owners with a strong country style home and a way to save money. Building a home in this style can cost about half the cost of a more traditional home. A pole barn home can also be very spacious, have multi-purpose uses, and be beautiful, too.


  • Blueprints
  • Contractor
  • Lumber
  • Materials for New Home
  1. Make the initial preparations. Lay the basic plumbing and electrical connections. Put the foundation framing in place and set the main supporting poles in position with footers below the frost line to reduce cracking. Prepare the reinforcing bars that will be used to add strength to the slab foundation.
  2. Pour the slab. Pole barns are built totally different than standard homes in that the supporting poles (or beams) are in place before the concrete slab is poured. They become part of the foundation rather than being attached to it, making it one rigid unit.
  3. Add the framing. Finish framing out your pole barn house by attaching the framing to the poles. Screws may be more desirable than nails for additional strength. From this point on, the framing is similar to that of a standard home, with the difference that it is attached to the poles instead of to the concrete foundation.
  4. Add the roof and siding. Once the roofing and siding are in place, it will largely finish the outside of the pole barn house. Simply add the windows and doors and the outside is done – unless you need to paint.
  5. Build the interior walls. Adding the interior walls at this point will enable you to see it develop quickly. The interior walls can be put anywhere because none of them is a load-bearing wall. The limitation is that some walls will need to match up with the plumbing and electrical connections already built in.
  6. Finish the home according to your plans. Put in the desired flooring, the cabinetry, the kitchen, the bathroom fixtures, fireplace and all other more permanent fixtures. Stain, paint, or wallpaper as desired. Once this is completed, and the new pole barn home inspected, it will be ready for you to move in with your furniture.

1) Secure Pole Barn Financing

First, you must consider how you’re going to pay for your post frame building. Some customers set money aside, while others need to explore their pole barn financing options.

2) Acquire Land to Build On

Next, you’ll need to purchase land to build your pole barn home (if you don’t already own a plot). As mentioned above, the location can affect your post frame project. 

For instance, do you want to live within city limits or out in the country? Depending on the location, you may have to obtain building permits from the city hall rather than a county office. They also dictate if you can build a barndominium in that area. 

Some cities require more paperwork and enforce more regulations (e.g., inspections and setbacks) than counties. Not to mention, permits can be costly. We’ll cover permitting information in the following section.

Once you’ve acquired land, you must identify the exact location of your pole barn home. It would be best if you considered the following factors when picking a spot:

  • Site Preparation: The work done to your land before post frame construction. This step addresses complications (if any) upfront. You can hire an excavator or tackle it on your own.
  • Utilities: Includes electric, gas, sewage, and water. Mapping them out prevents utility strikes that may cause harm to you or contractors.
  • Site Access: The flow of building materials, equipment, and people to your shome. Construction crews need ample space to do their job right and on time.
  • Excavation: A level site with minimal obstacles (e.g., trees). The less excavation needed, the more money you’ll save on site prep and construction costs. If your site is uneven or hilltop, you’ll need to fill (add) or cut (remove) until the ground is flat.

3) Obtain the Necessary Permits

Before you can start site preparation and post frame construction, you need to obtain the necessary permits. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” permit. It boils down to the building use and – you guessed it – location.

Again, a building permit within city limits may have a different set of rules than the countryside. However, all pole barn permits have the following components in common:

  • Setback: The minimum distance between a post frame building and the property line.
  • EasementThe legal right for another owner to cross or have limited access to one’s property.
  • Building Height & Lot Coverage Restrictions: Limits how high you can build and what percentage of your lot can be covered by structures.

It’s crucial that you understand these components and how they affect your post frame project.

Be prepared to apply for multiple licenses. For example, you’ll need different ones for putting in a driveway, hooking up to utilities, and building during certain times of the year.

Furthermore, you should be ready to submit the following documents with your permit application:

  • Blueprint
  • Site plan
  • Plat survey
  • The legal description of the property

If approved, a fee for the permits will be charged. You’ll most likely pay with cash or a check as some government offices don’t accept credit cards.

When the permits are issued, work on your pole barn home can begin. They must be visible on the job site and readily available should the building inspector pay a visit. He/she may analyze construction methods and building materials, verifying that everything is up to code.

Most local governments require inspections at various stages in the construction process, such as:

4) Create an Interior Floor Plan

Despite what you may see on social media or company websites, most pole barn builders specialize in the building shell only. The purpose of these interior shots is to showcase the versatility that post frame construction offers.

Granted, it’s nice to see how past customers designed their space and gather ideas for your shome. Just keep in mind that a large portion of the interior work was subcontracted.

With that being said, you’ll need to hire an architect to create the interior layout. Or you can do it yourself (DIY) if you have a knack for floor planning. 

5) Assemble Your Construction Team

Since the pole barn builder is responsible for the building shell, you’ll need to hire a general contractor (GC) for the other design aspects.

Some customers prefer to handle this process on their own. Those with the background and passion find this experience to be enjoyable and rewarding. Not to mention how much money you can save by doing it yourself (8 to 24% depending on building size and project scope).

Meanwhile, those without the knowledge are surprised by how time-consuming it is to manage a construction project. Sometimes it’s easier to pay a little extra and leave it to the professionals.

For instance, you’ll have to coordinate and pay for the following jobs:

  • Site preparation
  • Installing a driveway, culvert, and septic tank
  • Frame the interior walls
  • Running electrical wires and plumbing pipes
  • Hanging insulation and drywall
  • Finish other interior details

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