Building A Pole Barn House? 6 Big Things to Consider

6 Big Things to Consider:

1.) Most banks won’t offer construction loans on post frame pole barn houses

Freddie MacMany lenders refrain from offering traditional mortgages for pole barn homes. For example, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will not offer these loans at all.

The small percentage of entities that do offer mortgages for pole barn houses will typically have much higher requirements, because they’ll be using internal money to finance it.

They’ll likely require a 30% down payment (and oftentimes, more than this).

Why the extra down payment cost?

To put it simply, risk.These structures are difficult to sell on the secondary market.

Banks and other loan lenders want to eventually make their money back (plus interest)on their issued loans. Currently, most lenders would view a traditional construction home loan as a more reliable investment than a pole barn home.

Since traditional home-building has garnered a stable interest for over a century, they predict that enthusiasm will remain substantial throughout the entirety of the loan period. Since home loans are usually long-term investments, lenders want to be certain their potential clientele will be interested in your property when you no longer are.

This all the more reason for you to want to build a traditional construction home, as well.

Aside from the inability to easily acquire funding, there are several other reasons why you might not end up saving money by building with post frame construction.

2. There are no footers in post frames

Without having footers to protect the concrete slab from freezing, there is the potential that the concrete slab can move or heave around the edges in cold weather. In turn, this can shift interior walls, resulting in damage to drywall finishes and trim.

If you do go with post frame construction, you will have to add footers to stay in code compliance of the IRC. This will add that cost back into the total price of the home.

3. Post frames will have larger spans in the roof trusses

This is an issue because they’ll have to be filled in before you can hang the drywall.If you hang drywall “as is,” it will all sag over time, causing structural damage (and a pain in your wallet). Adding this extra framing after the fact will add to the total price tag again.

4. Extra framing between the posts will be needed

As opposed to traditional wall building, you’ll have to build the walls between the posts after you build on the post frames. This is an added cost to the post frame structure that has already been built.

5. Insulation costs are higher

To combat energy bills, your pole barn home will rPole barn homes can be more difficult to heat and cool than traditional homes. This is because the pole barn construction does not provide as much insulation as a traditional home. As a result, pole barn homeowners may see higher energy bills during both the winter and summer months. 

To combat energy bills, your pole barn home will require more insulation on a post frame wall because the walls are thicker than the typical two-by-four construction. Therefore, the cost of insulation will be higher to fill this cavity.

6. Post frame construction is typically not used with basements

The bottom line: If you want a home with a basemenPost frame construction is not very conducive when building on a basement, as the basement walls will be made from poured concrete. Trying to adapt a post frame construction to a basement will end up with higher costs than traditional home building techniques. The bottom line: If you want a home with a basement, post frame construction is not the best choice.

Who Makes Pole Barn Kits?

There are many manufacturers of pole barn kits, and you can find them just about anywhere online, including eBay. While it may be tempting to buy the cheapest kit you can find, it’s important to research the manufacturer before buying. Finding a reputable company is crucial.

Remember: You’re going to live in the home, so you want it to be well-built. You don’t want to cut corners when you’re building your home.

While there are many manufacturers to choose from, some of the most popular (and respected) brands include:

Pioneer Pole Barns

Pioneer Pole Barns is a one-stop-shop for pole barns. The company is a leading builder of post frame structures in NJ, PA, WV, MD, NY and VA.

All of the buildings provided by the company are made to withstand winds of 90 MPH or more.

Pioneer buildings are:

  • Built with 27-gauge steel roofs and 28-gauge steel sidewalls
  • Built with heat-rolled steel backed by a 50-year warranty
  • Made with trusses that have 2″x 6″ top and bottom chords

The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and all quality control inspections of buildings are conducted by PPB.

The great thing about Pioneer is that they provide estimated prices for their buildings. While these are just ballpark estimates, they give you a general idea of how much the structure will cost.

Here are some example sizes and prices of residential buildings:

  • Size: 24′ W X 40′ L X 12’4″ H; Estimated Cost: $21,139
  • Size: 30′ W X 32′ L X 10’5″ H; Estimated Cost: $19,034
  • Size: 16′ W X 24′ L X 8’4″ H; Estimated Cost: $10,953
  • Size: 20′ W X 24′ L X 10’4″ H; Estimated Cost: $13,527

Pioneer offers financing through Wells Fargo and requires a 30% deposit at the time of the contract signing.

Pioneer’s website also allows you view your options for overhead doors and colors.

The primary issue with Pioneer’s pole barns is that you’d have to get creative with your plans. The company doesn’t actually offer any home plans, but you can convert one of the buildings into a home with relative ease.

Mueller Buildings

Image Courtesy of Mueller Buildings
Image Courtesy of Mueller Buildings

Mueller, Inc. has been in business for more than eight decades. The company started out as Mueller Sheet Metal Company with its headquarters in Ballinger, Texas. At the time, the company provided water cisterns to ranchers and farmers. Over the years, Mueller expanded its offerings to include other building-related sheet metal products.

Burly Corporation purchased the company in 1984, and Mueller experienced rapid growth.

Mueller’s headquarters is still in Ballinger, but the company now also services the entire Central and Southwest United States. They have 33 locations in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The great thing about Mueller is that they actually offer pole barn homes as part of their Homestead Series.

All of the company’s buildings are bolt-together structures. This means that holes are punched into the metal, and bolts are used to build the framework. The bolt-together method makes it easy to construct the building.

The Homestead Series comes in three sizes and a wide range of colors. Here’s a closer look at the available home kits:

Homestead 1500 – Price: $25,995

  • 26-gauge White roof; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Bolt together steel frame
  • Framed openings for windows and exterior doors (doors and windows not included)
  • Erection drawings and anchor bolt plans
  • 26-gauge colored walls; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Extra options, including: insulation, designer colors, gutters, etc.

Homestead 1800 – Price: $29,995

  • 26-gauge White roof; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Bolt together steel frame
  • Framed openings for windows and exterior doors (doors and windows not included)
  • Erection drawings and anchor bolt plans
  • 26-gauge colored walls; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Extra options, including: insulation, designer colors, gutters, etc.

Homestead 2400 – Price: $36,995

  • 26-gauge White roof; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Bolt together steel frame
  • Framed openings for windows and exterior doors (doors and windows not included)
  • Erection drawings and anchor bolt plans
  • 26-gauge colored walls; 30-year limited paint warranty
  • Extra options, including: insulation, designer colors, gutters, etc.

Mueller can help connect you with lenders for your new pole barn home, and the company makes the ordering process as simple as possible.

Ordering a Mueller Building

Once you have a building in mind and you’re ready to order, Mueller will send you a purchase agreement. A 25% deposit will be required at this time. The final payment will be due at the delivery of the building.

Mueller accepts checks, cash and credit cards.

Engineering the Building

Mueller will ask about the details of your project, including where the structure will be located, what you will use it for, and other important details. This information will help ensure that the building is designed to withstand the elements.

The company takes into consideration four loads:

  • Dead: The weight of the structure itself.
  • Live: Temporary forces applied to the building, like workers’ tools, rain falling and debris.
  • Snow: Measured in pounds per square foot.
  • Wind: Measured in miles per hour. Buyers must supply the correct wind load for their area. Wind load can range anywhere from 80 MPH to over 140 MPH, depending on the location.

Erecting and Delivering the Building

You will be in charge of finding a qualified erector in your area. Mueller recommends scheduling the construction of the building several weeks in advance, so work can get started as soon as the building is delivered.

Next, the building will be delivered and constructed by the professionals you hired. It is the buyer’s responsibility to verify all of the materials received upon delivery.

Mueller is pretty transparent about their pricing, and they also have a free quote page. Buyers can also request a catalog right from the website.

Morton Buildings

Morton has been in business for more than 100 years. They offer high quality material and one of the best warranties in the industry.

  • 50-year warranty on snow load, treated columns, decay and concrete columns.
  • 20-year warranty against red rust.
  • 35-year warranty on paint against peeling, flaking, color change and chalking.
  • 5-year warranty on wind load, roof leaks and AlumaSteel sliding doors.
  • 1-year warranty on workmanship and materials.

Another advantage to choosing Morton is that they take care of everything.

  • They design the home
  • They build the home
  • They construct the home
  • They warranty the home

As part of their Project Delivery System, Morton constantly evaluates the budget against the project scope to make sure that everything is on the right track.

Like Mueller, Morton offers a series of Home and Cabin plans that look just like conventional homes. Their buildings have open floorplans, which allow for maximum flexibility when designing your home.

The company also offers some extra perks, like:

  • Energy Performer insulation packages
  • Hi-Rib steel for roofing and siding (virtually maintenance-free)

Morton makes it easy to get started with your home. Here’s how the process works (in a nutshell):

  • Secure your financing
  • Find a site for your home
  • Choose a level of construction involvement
  • Prepare your plans and project costs
  • Get the final approval from the bank
  • Review the plans
  • Sign the contracts
  • Start construction

The company offers custom financing programs for residential buildings, including homes. Farmers can lease buildings through the company, so a wide range of financing options are available.

Morton has several plants throughout the country, including:

  • Morton, IL (shipping and fabrication)
  • Garden City, AL (shipping)
  • Kenton, OH (shipping)
  • Winfield, KS (shipping)
  • Gettysburg, PA (shipping)
  • Spencer, IA (shipping)

The company has offices in most states.

The only complaint (and it’s not a major one) is that you can’t easily view pricing online. Morton pole barn prices vary, so you’ll need to contact the company. You can’t view floor plans either, as buildings are mostly custom designs.


How Much Does a Residential Pole Building Project Cost?

Pole houses are much cheaper to build than conventional homes. They typically cost about $15-25 per square foot to build, compared to $75-100 per square foot for a traditional home.

The construction process is also much faster. A traditional home design can take 6-8 months to build, while the entire process for a pole barn home can be completed in just 2-3 weeks.

How much do they cost?

Like any home, the cost will depend on a lot of different factors. However, barn home kits are cheaper than building a custom home on your land. You still get the same level of control over the building design with barn home plans.

The pole barn construction method is less complicated and typically much faster than your standard home. That’s not to say it’s a DIY project; you will need to hire a contractor or builder to handle the construction process for you.

The kits come with all the building materials you need to build your pole barn house: barn house plans, all building materials, hardware, and pre-built components like barn doors and roof cupolas.


How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pole Barn Home?

Image Courtesy of DC Builders
Image Courtesy of DC Builders

One of the main advantages to building a pole barn home is the cost savings. Pole barns are significantly cheaper to build than other construction methods. Why? Because the building requires fewer materials. The supporting poles are typically placed 10′ to 12′ apart.

It’s not always easy to estimate the cost of a stick-built or modular home, but pole barn homes are much easier to estimate. There’s no foundation to worry about, and the materials are easy to price.

Pole barn plans and prices are readily available, so you know exactly how much you’re going to spend on the structure. The only real variable costs are customizations and site prep.

Kits can be purchased with all of the materials needed to build the structure. These start at $5,000-$10,000 for a smaller structure, and $8,000-$30,000 for larger kits.

Many manufacturers have a pole barn cost estimator to give you a general idea of how much the structure will cost.

Factoring in Your Budget

But what about the extra costs of site prep and finishes? Because these costs are variable, it’s important to set a budget and make sure that your kit accounts for a certain percentage of that budget.

Experts recommend allotting one-third to one-quarter of the final budget on the kit. For example, if you had a $200,000 budget, you should look for a kit that costs between $50,000 and $66,000.

Popular Sizes

Pole barn homes come in a wide range of sizes, but some of the most popular sizes include:

  • 30×40
  • 40×60
  • 20×35
  • 50×50

What to Consider in Post-Frame Construction Plans?

When you’re planning your new pole barn home, there are a few things to consider.

First, you need to decide on the size and shape of your house

How much square footage do you need? Do you need more storage space? Do you want a traditional rectangular shape, or something more unique?

Next, you need to decide on the roof style

A sloped roof is the most popular choice, but you can also choose a gambrel or hip roof.

You need to select your finish materials

Most pole barn homes are finished with metal siding and roofing, but you can also choose wood or vinyl.

You need to decide on your pole barn house plans

Most pole barn homes have an open floor plan, which makes them more spacious and inviting. Also what extra storage space is needed.

You need to choose a building design that suits your taste

Pole barn homes come in a variety of styles, so you’re sure to find one that you love. Do you want a pole barn house with an attached garage with living space? Or an office with a smaller living space connected to it? It’s up to you.

You need to make sure that your plans meet all local building code requirements and regulations

Post-frame houses need to account for all building codes, snow loads and wind speeds, energy efficiency, venting, and more so make sure to consult with your builder before you start planning.

Lastly, you need to find a builder who can help you bring your plans to life

Once you’ve decided on these basics, you can begin to create detailed farm house kits plans for your pole barn home. Talk to your local builder or building department for more information. It also helps to check out some floor planning websites or books to get some ideas.

A pole barn home is a great choice for those who want a spacious and affordable home. With a little research, you can find the perfect barnhouse kit plan for your needs and start building your dream home today.


The pole barn house construction process is more simplified and much faster than building your standard home. Yet you will still need to hire a contractor or builder to handle the construction process for you – and that’s why Sherman Builders is here to assist you. Sherman Builders post-frame homes go up much faster than a traditional homes. Steel roofing and siding is also faster to apply than conventional home exteriors.


Sherman Builders is our home builder and real estate development division. Post-frame construction is affordable, functional, customizable and appealing option for building beautiful homes. In addition to the traditional home design, some people have cabins with attached storage or work shops with a smaller living space connected to them. It’s your custom design, however you want it!