Have you decided it’s time to build a pole barn? Before you get started, make sure you understand all the possibilities and potential challenges of this construction method. There is a lot to consider, from design and materials to choices of doors and windows, not to mention all the variables around cost. We suggest taking a look at these expert tips if you want to ensure that your pole barn building experience, and the finished product, turn out as you hope.

What To Know About A Pole Barn Makeover

If you have opted not to build a pole barn from scratch, but rather to renovate an existing one, tread carefully. Pole barns are built to last for many years, so when they do show signs of wear and tear, it is usually due to extreme weather conditions or long periods of neglect. Here are some things you should know before you get started restoring your pole barn to its former glory.

  • First, consult an expert. The project may seem simple at first, but chances are there are things you may have not considered. A pole barn expert, such as the knowledgeable team at Peak Pole Barns, will be able to give you valuable insights on how best to approach the project as well as what the building needs and does not need.
  • Study the original blueprints. Look at the original blueprints before you get started with any rebuilding or additions. Elements such as weight limitations or roof lines will have a significant bearing on the success of your project.
  • Expect the unexpected. No matter how well prepared you think you are, surprises always present themselves during a building project. You may find rot or structural damage you were not aware of which most likely will increase your costs and change the entire course of the building process. Set aside some extra funds in your budget to cover the challenges you don’t plan for.
  • Anticipate cost fluctuations. The costs of materials can sometimes change in a relatively short time. It is important to be prepared for changing market conditions and costs.

Pole Barn Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid

When building a pole barn, it is quite common to question some of your decisions after the build is completed. You may discover that you actually underestimated the amount of space you needed or that the design does not quite meet your expectations. There are ways of working around some of these problems but it is better to avoid making them in the first place. Here are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid:

  • Choosing the wrong size. Pole barn buyers often finish a build only to find that the structure is the wrong size. The main cause for this is an overemphasis on square footage. Many buyers think in terms of specific measurements and become fixated on those numbers. It is best to add a few extra feet onto your original calculations. You are unlikely to regret having too much space, but there is not much you can do once you have built the barn and it is too small.
  • Finding out that you should have included a deck system. Deck systems are elevated storage areas that enable households to store various items neatly inside their pole barn homes or garages. Consider this option carefully beforehand. If you opt not to build one and then discover that you should have, you may be able to add one depending on the design of the building.
  • Failing to consider the interior. You are going to spend a lot of time inside your pole barn, so you need to make sure you have included all the finishing touches: drywall, insulation, ceilings, steel liner, etc. Don’t leave these out, because adding them later, while technically possible, could be time-consuming and messy as well as costly.
  • Not factoring additional features into the plan. Will your pole barn need a porch, overhead doors, windows, or wainscoting? Don’t wait until after the build to find out. Include them in the plan from the beginning. Some features can be added later, but different features come with varying degrees of difficulty if they need to be factored in later.
Pole Barn Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid - Pole Barn Building Guide: Tips On The Best Pole Barns

Peak Pole Barns have designed countless pole barns to achieve a variety of goals, and they can walk you through the design process to get the closest building to meet your functional and design requirements. 

How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Pole Barn 

Homes, storage spaces, and commercial spaces attract pests. Pole barns are no exception. As a pole barn owner, you should take it as a given that your building will be a target for rodents, insects, and other pests. Keeping these household intruders out involves both structural measures and some other methods that are not related to the building itself. 

For example, to keep rodents out, you should ensure that doors and windows close and seal properly and are kept carefully shut. Rats and mice have a way of sneaking into even the best-sealed homes. They are survival machines, drawn by the aromas of tasty, nourishing foods. Practice careful food storage methods to prevent rodents from catching a whiff of your wares in the first place. When it comes to flies and other insects, keep those doors and windows sealed and maintain a clean and tidy interior. In the summer months, it might be worthwhile setting up some flytraps, especially in your kitchen and food storage areas.  

Tips For Choosing The Best Pole Barn Windows

Windows are an important part of your pole barn structure. Be sure to choose them carefully. Do your research and speak to an expert before deciding which windows to install. To ensure that you get the best windows possible for your pole barn, consider five details:

Choosing The Best Pole Barn Windows - Pole Barn Building Guide: Tips On The Best Pole Barns
  • Window construction: Consider such matters as whether or not your windows should include j-channels, the quality and style of window manufacture (for example, are welded or joined in some other way?), the style of window exterior (bevels or no bevels, choosing a look that fits with your overall structure), window installation processes, coatings that prevent chipping and pitting, and how the windows are built to withstand the weather. If your building will be bombarded by high Colorado winds, you should consider windows that offer better wind resistance. 
  • Color options: When it comes to windows, the options can be limited. Most providers usually offer at least three options: white, tan, or driftwood. White is typically a safe choice, as it goes with anything, but you may want something more interesting – just make sure it suits your building and coordinates well with your overall color scheme.
  • Grid styles and patterns: You may choose to go with simple window designs, or you may prefer something more intricate. Be sure that your choice reflects your building design and function. Grid styles include ⅝” flat, ¾” sculptured, ¾” brass sculptured and 1” sculptured. For grid patterns, you can choose from colonial, prairie, perimeter, diamond, or Victorian.
  • Glass options. Next, what kind of glass do you want? Straightforward, transparent glass is perhaps the most popular, but you may want a bronze tint, gray tint, or frosted glass that helps to preserve your privacy.
  • Window styles: Do you want double-hung, single-hung, casement, or awning-style windows? The options get more complex than that too, with variations on each one of these styles being available.

What You Need to Know Before Building a Pole Barn House

Among all the things you need to think about before getting started on your pole barn build, there are six that are particularly important:

  • Many banks don’t offer loans for pole barns. You will need to have saved up the funds, or source them elsewhere.
  • Don’t forget your footers. Footers prevent the concrete slab that is your floor from freezing and cracking or shifting in cold weather. This could then also affect interior walls, resulting in structural damage. Remember to add the footers if you wish to stay in code and preserve your building.
  • Large spans in roof trusses. Spans in the roof trusses will need to be filled before you can hang drywall.
  • You will probably need extra framing between posts. You’ll have to build the walls between the posts after you build on the post frames. This will increase your costs.
  • Insulation costs are higher. Pole barns take more energy to heat and cool because they often have less insulation. You may see higher energy bills during both winter and summer.

What Type of Pole Barn Door Is Right for Your Pole Barn?

Finally, what type of doors will you include in your pole barn? To help you decide, ask the following questions:

  • What is the building being used for?
  • How often will you be accessing the interior?
  • In which direction is your building facing?
  • Do you get a lot of precipitation – snow in winter, for example?
  • Is wind a concern for you?

On the basis of your answers, you may opt for sliding doors, overhead doors, and more. Again, it is best to consult with experts as you try to find the best doors for your pole barn.

About Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing 

At Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing, our mission is to build a quality structure that our customers are proud to own, one that will add to a property’s value and withstand our extreme Colorado weather. We pride ourselves on good customer service and providing a quality product at a fair price. We are proud to offer quality products and buildings made in the USA. If you are planning a pole barn building project, contact us and ask us about our pole barn designs, materials and services.