Finding unique houses is something that interests anyone looking for a new home. With farmhouses, barndominiums, and rustic decor trending, we just had to look into pole barn houses too. Because why not?
Pole barn houses are houses that look similar to barns on the outside. But this isn’t what defines them. What defines a pole barn house is the framing technique used in construction, which is anything but typical.
What Is A Pole Barn House?
A pole barn is a barn that uses post-frame construction. Post-frame construction is a way to build structures without interior walls. Instead, they use poles that are driven into the ground or concrete.
So, you have poles supporting the roof and the upper floor, if there is an upper floor. This offers a large, open-concept look that is attractive, breathable, and unique. But just like everyone, it can be perfect for one person and dreadful for another.
But despite their name, they don’t have to be rustic. You can design them any way that you want on the inside. The name simply refers to the way that the frame is built. The interior is all up to you as the homeowner.
What A Pole Barn House Does Not Offer
Now that we’ve gone over what a pole barn house is and what it offers, let’s talk about what it does not offer. If these things are important to you then a pole barn house is not for you. But if they don’t matter, then you may love it.
Just keep in mind while reading them that these are the “cons” to a pole barn house, not the features. There are still a lot of pros that come naturally and are easy to see.
Because they are supported with poles and posts, a pole barn house does not have load-bearing walls. So you won’t be putting up studs and partitions in order to support the roof or upper floors. The poles will do that.
This sounds like a good thing but it can be difficult to work with. Because poles need to be added regularly and they need to be installed properly or else the roof can cave in. Load-bearing walls are easier because there is more room for mistakes.
Because of the type of constitution and lack of load-bearing walls, a basement isn’t ideal for a pole barn house. If you add a basement, by the time you get done, you won’t have a pole barn house anymore.
So if a basement is important to you, it’s best to start with a different type of framing system. Pole barn houses are great for a lot of things but basements are not one of them. Instead, use a detached cellar.
If you want a load for your project then you will have a hard time getting one with a pole barn house. You can try but it won’t be the typical house or construction loan that you would expect, which can be disappointing.
Down payments on loans for pole barn houses are also quite expensive because it’s a different type of loan. We’ll talk more about other prices later because you may have to pay for it all out of pocket.
Although you can add walls to your pole barn house, it sort of defeats the purpose of the airy open-concept design. Adding them for the bathroom and bedroom can work, but too many and it will be counterproductive.
Most pole barn house kits don’t come with footers. So if you want the extra stability then you will need to buy and install your own. This can be such a hassle if you aren’t very experienced in construction.
Footers are recommended for houses that you are going to live in. So it is highly recommended to add them to a pole barn house. Learn how to install footers before you being constructing your new home.
Cost Of A Pole Barn House
Now it’s time to get to the big question that everyone worries about. How much does a pole barn house cost? In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$30 per square foot for your new home.
However, this price is for the kit only. You will pay anywhere from $10,000 – $25,000 for a kit that will give you a house that is 1,200 square feet or 30×40 feet. This is great for a couple or families of 2 or possibly 3.
However, you’ll want something bigger for larger families. Since the kit only covers the cost of the framing, you’ll need to buy a foundation, any walls you want to add, insulation, flooring, and more.
The kit is a good place to start, but you can count on paying double by the time you have finished with your home. However, this is still much cheaper than buying a home outright which is at least $100 per square foot.
However, when building a pole barn house, you will need to pay for labor unless you do it all yourself, which is nearly impossible. Let’s break down the cost of building a pole barn house so you can see how you can save.
Leveling And Clearing The Land – $1,000 to $5,000
It will cost anywhere from $1000 to $5000 for you not survey and prepare the land where you will build the house. It needs to be checked to ensure there isn’t anything underneath that can be damaged as well.
Foreman Or Manager – $5000 to $50,000
A building manager or overseer is a huge cost and the price varies greatly depending on their own pricing. You can take experience and success rate into account most of the time to see if their price is fair.
Siding – $1000 to $10,000
Siding isn’t usually a huge cost but you will have to pay for it. Most kits won’t come with siding and if it does, it probably won’t be siding that you want to use on your house. So take this into account.
Insulation – $700 to $2,000
This is just for insulating your house. The price is quite good for something so important but it is more expensive to insulate a pole barn than standard-framed housed due to the thicker exterior walls.
Learning about types of insulation can help you save here. But it won’t be the biggest way to save as insulation is already cheaper than most of the other things that aren’t included in the pole barn kit.
Wall Coverings $1,000 to $5,000
Covering your walls will cost you a few thousand dollars, depending on the type of walls that you choose. Drywall is the cheapest whereas something like shiplap will cost you a lot more. So choose wisely.
Water And Electric – $5,000 to $15,000
Utilities are very expensive but completely necessary for your home. If you’re lucky, you won’t pay more than $5,000 for this, but most likely, it will be one of your biggest costs in building your pole barn house.
Roofing – $5000 to $10,000
You can choose a cheaper material and pay less than this or choose an expensive one and pay more. But pole barn kits won’t come with roofing because they usually only have the basic framing for your home.
Flooring – $100 to $10,000
You can choose marble floors if you want, but most people who get pole barn houses either stick with the concrete foundation as flooring or install wood floors. Both are good options with concrete being cheaper.
It won’t cost more than a couple of hundred dollars to stain and seal concrete floors. This is by far the cheapest way to do your floors if you have a concrete foundation for your home. So you’re lucky if you like the look.
Foundation – $10,000 to $20,000
The price for this varies but if you hire someone to put in your foundation then you will pay a hefty sum for it. After all, pole barn kits don’t come with a foundation so you have to build your own out of concrete.
Doors and Windows – $2,000 to $10,000
Of course, you can’t predict the cost of this until you know what you want and how many you want. You will pay about $200-500 per window if you install it yourself or more if someone else does it for you.
Most of the time, typical windows are used, but one bow window can make a huge impact on the exterior look of your home. So something like this is always work trying out.
Should I Build A Pole Barn House?
Building a pole barn house can sound exciting. But it’s important to look at the pros and cons of doing so before committing to building one. But this is something you should do when doing anything in life.
The main things to take into consideration on the pro side are the look of the house, the open-concept feel, and the cost of the home. The cons include the fact that you can’t get a loan, you can’t break the rooms up, and there won’t be a basement.
Looking at these things, you can decide which sounds better to you. Going with a traditional home may be your best bet. But if you’re up for it, building a pole barn house may the best thing that you can do!