Last Updated on May 9, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Pole barns provide an extremely versatile, durable, and cost-effective enclosed structure ideal for agricultural storage, garages, workshops, and many other practical uses. Their simple design centered around wooden poles or engineered metal poles supporting trusses allows large clear span interiors uninterrupted by support beams.

But what is the true typical baseline cost in today’s market to have one of these uniquely useful buildings professionally constructed?

This guide examines cost factors, typical price ranges, DIY versus hiring a builder pros and cons, material and labor cost breakdowns, budget-friendly tips, and available financing options to illuminate the pole barn investment.

How Much Does a Pole Barn Cost?

On average, you can expect to spend between $15 to $45 per square foot to have a basic pole barn designed and built from the ground up when utilizing local construction firms.

Overall costs can range substantially based on factors like intended barn size, materials used, foundation needs, level of interior customization, and more. But in general, total project pricing spans from as low as $8,000 for a modest 20×20 structure up to $50,000+ for expansive 50×100 foot buildings for commercial enterprises or small businesses.

The HomeGuide website provides insights into the cost of building a pole barn in the US. The cost of a pole barn typically ranges from $15 to $40 per square foot to build. For example, a 30′ x 40′ pole barn can cost between $18,000 to $48,000. The article also mentions that pole barn garage prices range from $3,800 to $4,800.

The cost of finishing a complete pole barn house is estimated to be between $120,000 to $300,000 for a finished, 2,400-square-foot home with posts spaced 8 to 12 feet apart and anchored in the ground. Additionally, the cost to build a barndominium is around $150,000 to $315,000 for a finished, 2,000-square-foot steel-frame building with thick columns spaced 12 to 20 feet apart and mounted to a concrete foundation.

New Holland Supply’s blog post explores the average pole barn costs and dimensions. The prices for pole barn kits from New Holland Supply range from $6,629 for a 20′ x 24′ x 10′ pole barn to $26,759 for a 40′ x 60′ x 12′ pole barn.

These prices include features like painted metal roof and sides, overhangs, garage doors, entry doors, and windows. The article also provides a breakdown of the cost percentages for different aspects of building a pole barn, such as the building shell, kit assembly, site prep, utilities, interior finishing, and permits.

Extreme Pole Buildings offers a complete guide to pole barn prices, sizes, uses, and more. The prices for large pole barns start at around $50,000, with variations depending on the size of the pole building and the special features added to it.

For example, a 50′ x 80′ x 12′ pole barn can cost between $53,000 to $55,000, while an 80′ x 120′ x 16′ pole barn can cost between $115,000 to $120,000. The article emphasizes that the price of a pole barn will vary significantly based on the size of the building and the additional features included.

To appreciate cost differences based on common configurations and materials:

Basic Prefab Metal Pole Barns Shells

  • 20×20 small barn ($7,000 – $12,000+)
  • 30×40 medium barn ($15,000 – $24,000)
  • 40×60 large barn ($22,000 – $40,000+)
  • 50×100 commercial barn ($40,000 – $70,000+)

Wood or Hybrid Post-Frame Pole Barns

  • 20×20 small barn ($12,000 – $18,000+)
  • 30×40 medium barn ($22,000 – $32,000+)
  • 40×60 large barn ($32,000 – $50,000+)
  • 50×100 commercial barn ($50,000 – $100,000+)

Labor rates, foundation choices, and interior finish levels lead to wide cost ranges. Budget-friendly options exist.

Factors Influencing Pole Barn Costs

Because pole barns exhibit vast design flexibility compared to traditional enclosed structures, there exist many cost variables buyers should factor during planning:

Overall Size and Dimensions – Larger total square footage costs more in materials but less per square foot. A 30×40 runs around $20,000 while a massive 50×100 commercial barn can exceed $100,000.

Structural Material Type – Wooden pole frames are affordable but require more maintenance versus steel lasts decades. Metal is priciest upfront however.

Intended Purpose – Basic agricultural storage has different design needs than a workshop or commercial retail use. Customer-facing buildings demand more finishing.

Roof Style and Pitch – Basic sloped roofs are budget-friendly. Vaulted or Complex rooflines add cost and reduce interior space.

Foundation Type – Concrete slab preferred for workshops and garages while pier or gravel sufficies for basic storage to save costs.

Level of Interior Customization – Insulation, drywall, plumbing, electrical, and luxury fixtures inflate prices but may be warranted based on function.

DIY Build or Hiring a Professional – DIY saves on labor but requires skills and rental equipment. Help is better for large builds.

Location and Delivery Logistics – Remote rural sites add shipping expenses and crew travel fees.

DIY Pole Barn vs Hiring a Professional

Typical DIY Pole Barn Cost Considerations:

  • Prefab steel pole barn shell kit only: $4,000 – $20,000
  • Purchased building materials for interior work: $5,000 – $15,000
  • Rental equipment fees: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Value of personal time invested: Hundreds of hours
  • Total Project Cost: $15,000 – $40,000+ depending on size

Professional Turnkey Pole Barn Construction Cost:

  • All materials, kit, and concrete/site work: $15,000 – $45,000+
  • Complete construction labor: $15,000 – $55,000+
  • Total Project Cost: $30,000 – $100,000+ depending on customization

Once factoring in rental fees, material delivery, learning curve, and the value of personal time invested, hiring a contractor often proves more cost-effective at medium to large barn sizes. Carefully price both options.

Pole Barn Construction Cost Components

A general cost allocation estimate across the major components:

  • Site Preparation and Concrete Work – 30% of the total budget
  • Pole Barn Materials/Kit – 25% of the total budget
  • Roofing, Siding, and Exterior Finishing – 15% of the total budget
  • Windows, Doors, and Hardware – 10% of the total budget
  • Interior Electrical, Lighting, and Custom Finishes – 10% of the total budget
  • Labor and Equipment – 10% of the total budget

Of course, the actual costs for materials and labor will vary based on specific project requirements, local rates, and builder pricing. Be sure to obtain an itemized quote outlining the detailed cost breakdown.

You might also like our articles about the cost to build a duplex, a steel building, or a guest house.

Aspects to Research

When purchasing a pre-engineered pole barn kit for DIY assembly or hiring out, carefully evaluate:

  • Sizing options for the desired square footage based on purpose. Realistically measure intended storage needs.
  • Construction material quality in terms of gauges and treatment. Higher gauges last decades.
  • Structural frame construction of either wood, metal, or desirable hybrid blends. Wood requires far more maintenance long-term.
  • Roof pitch and style options based on snow load engineering needs for your region. Avoid overbuilding.
  • Number, size, placement and options for doors such as insulation, windows. Measure equipment access.
  • Available optional features like garage door openers, cupolas, skylights, ventilation packages that may be beneficial.
  • Completeness of included drawings, instructions, templates, anchors, and necessary hardware to facilitate DIY assembly or hiring out. User-friendliness for your skill level.

Seeking reputable pre-engineered kits tailored for local building codes, weather, and personal needs ensures the most cost-effective and successful pole barn project.

Additional Pole Barn Project Costs

Be aware of the following possible extra expenses beyond basic kit and construction costs:

  • Building permit fees – Usually $500 to $1,500+ depending on county/city codes for your area and proposed barn size
  • Grading, excavation, site preparation – Around $2,000 to $8,000 for basic land clearing and leveling work prior to concrete pouring
  • Concrete foundation – Approximately $5,000 to $15,000+ for a complete slab with thickened footer, required for vehicle storage
  • Enhanced insulation package – Around $1,500 to $5,000 depending on climate insulation needs and energy efficiency preferences
  • Deluxe electrical wiring and fixtures – From $3,000 to $8,000+ for extensive interior lighting, plugs, switches as desired
  • Luxury doors, windows, finishes – Around $3,000 to $10,000 for upgraded building materials only as needed
  • Increased freight delivery fees – For remote rural sites with challenging access add $500 to $5,000+ for additional trucking

While impossible to avoid altogether, carefully selecting options that provide long-term utility within a realistic budget helps control avoidable excess costs that can quickly inflate budgets.

Tips to Pole Barn Project Costs

Pole Barn TypesSome recommended money-saving tactics include:

  • Opt for a basic rectangular or gently sloped roofline barn design. Avoid complex rooflines and unnecessary architectural flair.
  • Limit expensive options like dormers, cupolas, and excessive skylights to keep the functional focus.
  • For basic storage, use pier or gravel foundations instead of pouring concrete which can save tens of thousands of dollars when suitable for intended use.
  • Install only minimal necessary electrical basics yourself later. Focus fiscal resources on sound structure upfront.
  • Purchase all building materials in bulk direct from suppliers to avoid retail markups. Shop around.
  • Have your barn delivered and built during the builders’ slower winter off-season for better pricing.
  • Assist with prep and simple construction tasks to control labor fees, if physical ability allows.

Financing and Loan Options

Financing possibilities to fund pole barn projects include:

  • Bank construction loans offering fixed rates and terms from 1-5 years. Approvals based on property value.
  • Rural microloans through USDA approved lenders offering competitive rates and flexible credit requirements for farmers.
  • Agricultural grants and tax breaks for eligible growers installing compliant farm storage through NRCS programs.
  • Personal installment loans allowing fixed monthly payments. Credit score dictates interest rate risk.
  • Credit cards providing convenient access to funds but with higher variable interest rates. Use prudently.
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) utilize available dwelling equity at variable interest.

Research lenders to find the optimal financing match for your needs, project scale, and qualifications. Combining methods may help reduce risk.

Final Words

Constructing a pole barn provides landowners, farmers, or small business owners with durable enclosed space that can serve endless functions at very reasonable per square foot pricing compared to other building methods, provided the project allows flexibility to build essentials upfront while enabling upgrades over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest size pole barn to build?

For the most affordable options, pole barn dimensions in the 20×20 to 30×40 foot range offer adequate space for small-scale needs while keeping total project costs contained at $15,000 to $25,000. Buildings under 30×40′ can often be constructed reasonably using pre-engineered kits assembled by the buyer if DIY competent. Larger buildings see pricing efficiencies from professional contracting.

How do you calculate the cost of a pole barn?

Accurate pole barn cost estimates account for square footage dimensions, construction materials quality, foundation requirements, any desired luxury custom features, current local labor rates, pricing from prefab kit companies, any electrical or insulation needs, and the extent of any required site preparation work.

Always get a detailed written quote outlining all these itemized specification and pricing factors from contractors.

How much concrete do I need for a pole barn?

A good rule of thumb is to estimate needing approximately 1 cubic yard of 3000 psi concrete per 5 linear feet of footer length. So a 30’x40′ pole barn would need roughly 30ft x 40ft / 5 feet = 240 cubic yards of concrete just for foundation work.

Always have 5-10% extra to be safe and account for unavoidable waste and overages. Proper foundation design prevents future structure issues.

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