Pole Barn Houses: The Ultimate Guide to Post Frame Homes

pole barn house

If you want to purchase a new home, you might have stumbled upon the term “pole barn house.” Pole barn houses, also known as post-frame houses, are a popular housing option that has been around for decades. They are known for their open-concept design and affordable construction costs.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on building a pole barn house, including the benefits of post-frame construction, pole barn home companies, building materials, costs, and more.

What is a Pole Barn House?

large metal barn housePole barn houses are a type of post-frame construction that utilizes large posts anchored into the ground to support the structure. These posts are typically made from wood or steel and are spaced several feet apart, depending on the size of the building.

The walls and roof of a pole barn house are attached to the posts, leaving the interior space wide open for customization. Pole barn houses use fewer materials, making them more affordable to build.

Benefits of Pole Barn Houses

  • Energy-efficient: Pole barn houses can be more energy-efficient than traditional homes due to their open design. Natural light and ventilation can be maximized, reducing energy consumption and costs.
  • Fast and effortless construction: Unlike conventional homes, Pole barn houses can be constructed with speed and efficiency. And this translates to a quicker move-in time, allowing you to start relishing your new abode sooner.
  • Customizable interior: The open design of pole barn houses allows for maximum customization. That enables you to craft a dwelling that embodies your dream home and customize it to reflect your style.
  • Affordable construction costs: Due to using fewer materials and the efficient construction process, pole barn houses are often cheaper than traditional homes.
  • Robust and enduring: Pole barn houses are constructed to be sturdy and resilient, making them highly durable and long-lasting. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and are resistant to wind and snow loads.
  • Flexible: Pole barn houses are versatile and serve various purposes, such as residences, garages, shops, and barns.

The main difference between Pole Barn Houses and Traditional Homes

barndominium plans designThe framing method is the main difference between pole barn houses and traditional homes. Barn house plans use fewer materials and require less labor to construct. Traditional homes have load-bearing walls and require more materials and labor. Pole barn houses have an expansive open interior, while conventional homes have defined rooms and spaces.

Building a Pole Barn House

Choosing a Home Site

When selecting a home site for your pole barns, consider the following factors:

  • Zoning and building regulations in your vicinity: It is crucial to confirm that the area you opt for is zoned for residential purposes and adheres to Canadian building codes and regulations established by the local authorities.
  • Accessibility to utilities (e.g., water, electricity, gas): Consider the availability of utilities in the area and how they will be accessed and connected to your home.
  • Soil type and drainage: Ensure that the soil type is suitable for construction and that the site has proper drainage to avoid flooding and water damage.
  • Sun exposure and wind direction: Consider the site’s orientation to maximize natural light and minimize exposure to harsh winds.
  • Topography of the land: Ensure the ground is level and suitable for construction.

Selecting a Pole Barn Home Company

barndominium ontario homesMany pole barn home companies in Canada offer complete package deals for post-frame buildings and pole barn kits. When selecting a company, take into account the following aspects:

  • Reputation and experience: Seek a company with a history of providing superior work quality and fulfilling customer needs.
  • Customer feedback and references: Scrutinize online reviews and request references from past clients to gauge the company’s reputation and competency.
  • Design and customization options: Look for a company that offers a wide range of design and customization options to create a home that meets your needs and preferences.
  • Pricing and payment alternatives: Evaluate the pricing and payment alternatives presented by the company to confirm that they align with your budget and financial standing.
  • Warranty and insurance: Ensure that the company offers a warranty and insurance for their work to protect you in case of any issues or damages.

Building Materials for Pole Barn Houses

steel framed housesThe materials used for barn style homes vary depending on the style and design of the home. Common materials include:

  • Steel posts: Steel home frames provide the foundation and support for the design.
  • Steel siding and roofing: The steel is durable, energy-efficient, and low maintenance.
  • Concrete foundation or slab: The foundation provides a stable base for the posts and structure.
  • Insulation materials: Insulation helps regulate temperature and reduce energy consumption.
  • Windows and doors: Installing top-notch windows and doors can enhance energy efficiency and augment the overall aesthetic value of your pole barn house.
  • Flooring materials: Various materials can be used for flooring, including concrete, wood, and tile.

Foundation and Framing Options

concrete slab foundationThere are several foundation and framing options for pole barn houses. These include:

  • Concrete slab: A concrete slab provides a stable and durable foundation for the posts and structure.
  • Treated wood or steel posts embedded in the ground: The posts are anchored into the ground and support the structure.
  • Perimeter foundation with load-bearing walls: A perimeter foundation with load-bearing walls provides additional support and stability for the structure.
  • Hybrid framing with a combination of posts and load-bearing walls: A hybrid framing method combines the strength of posts with the stability of load-bearing walls.

Pole Barn House Construction Costs

barndominium costsThe cost of building a pole barn house varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Size and style of the home: Larger homes and more complex designs will cost more to build.
  • Materials used for construction: High-quality materials will cost more than low-quality materials.
  • Customization options and design services: Customization and design services may add to the construction cost.
  • Location and accessibility to utilities: The location of the home and accessibility to utilities can affect the cost of construction.
  • Labor and installation expenses: The labor and installation costs will fluctuate based on the size and intricacy of your pole barn house.

In addition to post-frame structure costs, there are other associated costs to consider, including:

  • Building permits and inspections: Building permits and inspections are required for all construction projects and can add to the construction cost.
  • Plumbing and electrical installation: The expenses associated with installing plumbing and electricity will depend on the size and intricacy of your pole barn house.
  • Interior finishes and fixtures: Interior finishes and fixtures can add to the construction cost.
  • Landscaping and site preparation: Landscaping and site preparation costs will vary depending on the size and condition of the site.
  • The added cost for cold weather construction: Cold weather construction may require additional materials and labor, which can increase the construction cost.

While pole barn houses are generally more affordable than traditional construction, there are additional costs to consider. These may include:

  • Upgrades and customizations: Upgrades and customizations can add to the construction cost.
  • Additional living quarters or space: Additional living quarters or space will add to the construction cost.
  • Increased insulation and energy-efficient features: Increased insulation and energy-efficient features may add to the construction cost but can result in long-term savings.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Maintenance and repairs will be required over the lifetime of the home and should be factored into the cost of ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the average square foot cost of a pole barn house?

The cost of a pole barn house varies depending on several factors, including the size and style of the home, materials used for construction, location, and labor costs. The average price per square foot for a pole barn house ranges from $25 to $30, making it a more affordable option than traditional homes, which can cost upwards of $100 per square foot.

2. How long does it take to build a pole barn house?

The construction timeline for a pole barn house depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the home, weather conditions, and labor availability. On average, a pole barn house can be built in three to six months, which is faster than traditional homes, which can take up to a year or more to build.

3. Can a pole barn house be used as a traditional home?

Yes, pole barn houses can be used as traditional homes. The open design of pole barn houses allow for maximum customization and can be designed to include all the necessary features and amenities of a conventional home, including bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living spaces.

4. How do pole barn houses compare to traditional homes regarding energy efficiency?

Pole barn houses can be more energy-efficient than traditional homes due to their open design, which allows for maximum natural light and ventilation. Additionally, high-quality insulation and energy-efficient features, such as low-E windows and Energy Star appliances, can be added to improve energy efficiency further.


barndominium awningPole barn houses, or post-frame houses, are popular and affordable housing options for Canadians. They offer several benefits, including energy efficiency, quick and easy construction, customizable interior design, and versatility.

When choosing a pole barn home company, it is essential to consider reputation, experience, customer reviews, design options, pricing and payment options, warranty, and insurance. The cost of building a pole barn house varies depending on several factors, including the size and style of the home, materials used for construction, location, and labor costs. While pole barn houses are generally more affordable than traditional homes, additional charges include upgrades, additional living quarters or space, insulation and energy-efficient features, and maintenance and repairs.