DIY





Do-It-Yourself Pole-Barn Building

Fast, solid, and cost-effective, a pole-barn building can serve as a workshop, storage space, or livestock shelter.

| December 2009/January 2010

If you need to add shelter to your homestead easily and economically, pole barns are right for you. They’re the fastest, most cost-effective way to build permanent, solid shelter to store equipment, house livestock, or function as a garage or workshop facility. You can even use the pole barn approach to build a year-round home. A big part of the attraction is simplicity. There are only four steps involved in pole-barn building, and the first one’s even optional! None of the work requires fancy tools or finely honed skills.

The steps to pole-building success are simple: Create a level base pad (if you want more than just the earth underfoot), set poles vertically into holes in the ground, connect them across the top with beams and braces, then put roof trusses on top. No need for a complicated foundation, either. Even in regions with cold, frost-prone winters, pole barns endure well with nothing more than the simplest connections to the earth. And if this weren’t advantage enough, pole barns also offer the option of using your own logs and rough-cut lumber for many parts of the job. The only thing wrong with pole barns is the name. This building approach is so much more useful than for building barns alone.

If you’ve never constructed anything large before, then a pole building is a good place to start. The information you’ll find in this article will equip you to custom build your own durable pole barn based on universal design and building principles. Most building authorities require simple plans for project approval, though many will accept hand-drawn versions. Agricultural extension services across the continent also offer basic pole building plans for free. You can buy fancier ones online. Either way, success ultimately comes down to the kind of hands-on know-how you’ll find here.

Create a Base

Besides the fact that you’ll need to locate your pole building on flat, well-drained ground, consider adding fill to create a raised base area. This isn’t necessary for all applications, though it provides a more level floor space that’s raised enough to keep water from draining in, even during wet seasons.



There are four reasons crushed rock screenings are my favorite choice for a raised base. Screenings are usually less expensive than other types of aggregate because they’re a byproduct at many quarries. Screenings also are small — typically less than a quarter-inch in diameter, with lots of stone dust mixed in. This makes screenings easy to rake and level accurately. They pack down firmly, too. And screenings don’t ruin the future growing potential of soil forever. When your pole barn needs to come down after its working life is over, scrape off the screenings and use them somewhere else. Unlike larger grades of crushed stone, the leftover screenings that the loader can’t remove will disappear when you till the soil.

Before you order any fill for a base, you’ll need to mark out an area to guide the location and level of material required. Read “Stake Your Ground,” below, for tricks that speed this process and the work of laying out wall post locations later.

www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 7:31:33 PM

I built my own pole barn using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha


www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 7:28:39 PM

I built my own pole barn using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha


www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/4/2018 4:02:19 PM

I built my own barn using the plans at www.EasyWoodwork.org - highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind bogging... there's like 16,000 plans or something like that. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard