This extensive guide will answer the question of how to choose a pole barn size.

Understanding Your Needs and Purpose

The best pole barn size is the one that fulfills all your requirements. That’s why clarifying your needs is the first step in determining the appropriate size for your post frame structure. Knowing exactly what the purpose, features, and future considerations for the pole barn are will steer your decision-making process.

One of the greatest advantages of pole barns is their flexibility. They can be designed to accommodate myriad needs and alternatives in order to suit your specific requirements. So, if you need a barn for your livestock, select a design that features stalls, feed rooms, and hay storage spaces. On the other hand, if your pole barn is for residential purposes, design one that includes living areas, bathrooms, and a kitchen.

Assessing Available Space and Zoning Regulations

The next consideration on how to choose a pole barn size has the potential to burst your bubble. Working with the space you have available and complying with zoning restrictions may restrict your grand ideas. However, the experience and expertise of the team at Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing will help you maximize the square footage and navigate the red tape.

Zoning is a municipal practice that divides regions into distinct residential, commercial, and industrial districts, commonly referred to as zones. Each zone is subject to a set of intricate regulations stipulating permissible and prohibited construction activities. These regulations may encompass:

  • Permissible types of structures.
  • The positioning of utility lines.
  • Size and height parameters for buildings.
  • Limits on the number of rooms within a given structure.
  • Preservation of specific features in locales with historical or cultural significance.

Part of your permit application is a site plan. This detailed drawing of your property helps you visualize the dimensions of your barn, especially in relation to existing structures and the distance from your property lines.

Choosing The Most Cost-Effective Pole Barn Size

While you want to get the most bang for your buck, there isn’t one most cost-effective pole barn size. It all depends on what your priorities are. For example, a large barn used for general storage will have a lower dollar per square foot rate than a post frame building finished for use as a residence. Pole barn size and cost ratios do not increase much per extra square foot when compared to the fixed costs.

Use Minimum recommended size (in feet)
Single, double, triple garage 12×20, 20×20, and 30×20 respectively
Horse barn 12×12 per horse stall plus aisles
Indoor riding arena 80×200 and 100×200 for dressage and jumping respectively
Pole barn houses, or barndominiums 75×50, 100×80, and 60×40

Factors Influencing Future Expansion

When looking into how to choose a pole barn size, the rule of thumb is to go bigger! “I wish I’d made it larger” is a constant refrain we hear from otherwise happy customers.

Luckily, a structurally sound post frame barn can be added onto. But there are some caveats to doing so, mostly to do with maintaining the integrity of the current barn.

  • Get your hands on the original plans and have a professional examine the impact your extension will have on the overall load bearing capacity of the existing structure. Integral pole barn components like the trusses, columns, and their connections may need to be reinforced to accommodate the additional weight.
  • Similarly, the roof’s wind and snow load patterns may be altered during expansion.
  • Expanding the size of your post frame barn may impact the natural light as well as the heating and cooling costs.
  • The topography of your site influences the drainage and condensation patterns.
  • Matching existing colors and finishes.

While none of the above will prevent you from enlarging your barn size, these factors may require extra (and often costly) workarounds.

Navigating Common Size Mistakes and Pitfalls

With over thirty years in the business, we at Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing have encountered our fair share of pole barn mistakes. The silver lining is that we have amassed plenty of experience that will help you navigate these pitfalls.

As we mentioned earlier, top of the list is not going for the biggest size you can.

Because a width of more than 80’ requires more expensive trusses, the length of your pole barn offers more leeway unless its length requires additional structural support.

Avoid going too high, as anything over 16’ needs extra load and wind fortification.

Trust Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing when contemplating how to choose your pole barn size. Contact our team of experienced designers to work with you and develop a design that meets your specifications.