How to Build a Pole Barn

Pole barns have been around for centuries, mainly finding use for storing grain and livestock. Solid construction is required to protect against ice, snow, wind and rain. They are often used because of the low cost and ease of repair. When researching the design of your pole barn, you’ll find a variety of wooden and metal pole barn designs. Pick the one you like. Before getting started, you should find a design that suits your needs and keep it with you for reference.

Required Tools

  • Lumber for the frame
  • Plywood or steel sheets (for the outside walls and roof)
  • Sledgehammer
  • Shovel
  • Poles
  • Hammer and nails


  1. The first thing that we need to do is come up with a plan. Lay the poles out every 10 feet. Remember, the type of materials used will affect the size of the pole barn. Wood poles can be placed further apart than metal poles. The size of the barn can be as big as you want, but the maximum distance of the poles has to be 10 feet.
  2. Next, you need to excavate. Dig into the soil where you are going to place the poles. Each hole should be 18 inches deep. If the soil is generally wet most of the year, you’ll need to dig until the soil is dry.
  3. When the digging is done, place the poles inside the holes. Mix a batch of concrete and pour into the holes. Secure the poles so they stand level. Take your time with this procedure, you may have a lot of poles to do, but it’s harder to adjust when the concrete is dry.
  4. You will need to frame the building after this is done. Now that the poles have been put up, you will need to have the walls framed. Lay out the plywood or steel sheets meant for the wall and nail together the ideal shape you need. It’s best to follow the design you are going by, for the most stable layout of the walls.
  5. Next will come the trusses. Lay the wood out in the design of the trusses. There are many different types of trusses; they determine the shape of the roof. When the trusses are built, you’ll need to hoist them up and attach them according to the design you acquired.
  6. When the trussing is done, it’s time to lay the roof. If you decided to use a metal roof, lay the sheets out from the bottom to the top of the roof. The same goes for plywood. When the roof is done, you can shingle it (if it’s wood) or paint it.


  • Don’t dig a basement into a pole barn, it will decrease stability.
  • You can save money by using old and recycled poles.
  • Use suitable insulation for the barn to give warmth to livestock, if any.
  • Be sure to wear protective gear when working.

Further Reading on How to Build a Pole Barn

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