When building a house, the roof is often something that’s a major concern.
The roof of a house can be very heavy. It can be so heavy that if care is not taken, you can end up with a house that will collapse on its occupants, possibly harming them, to avoid building a house that can possibly injure its occupants, several construction techniques have been devised in the construction industry. And of all the techniques that have been devised two of them are the most popular — the lead-bearing wall construction technique (LWCT) and the framed structure construction technique (FSCT).
Giving details about the load-bearing wall construction technique, this is a building technique that involves building a house with very strong walls.
The walls of the house are made so strong that the roof of the house can stay on top without the house collapsing on the occupants. And an example of such a house can be seen below.
In other words, the load-bearing wall technique handles the problem by using walls that can handle the weight of the roof.
However, for the framed structure construction technique, rather than using strong walls to bear the weight of the roof, a frame is used to bear the load of the roof. And an example of what I mean by frame can be seen below.
From the short descriptions and images I’ve just provided, I bet you must now have a rough idea of what is meant by both the load-bearing wall construction technique and the framed structure construction technique.
But where does pole barn come into this picture?
a pole barn home is a home built with the framed structure construction technique. But aside from pole barn homes being homes constructed with the FSCT, they are also homes whose frame structures are built with wood (not steel, iron, etc). So to put directly, a pole barn home is a home that was built with the framed structure construction technique.
And pole barns are also homes where wood was used to create their frames.
There are many pole barn homes across the world.
In other words, when it comes to popularity, there’s no doubt about this type of house being very popular. In fact, in countries like the US and Canada, pole barn homes constitute a huge percentage of the homes in the countries.
It is also worthwhile stating that pole barn homes aren’t restricted to being only bungalows, so don’t be surprised when you come across pole barn homes which are storey buildings. In fact, considering how popular this building technique is, it isn’t impossible your current home is a pole barn home, even though the walls of the home may make it look like it was built using the load-bearing wall construction technique.
Now that you understand what a pole barn home is, I guess it’s time to move on to other things about this type of home. There are so many other things I can tell you about this type of home, and we can start with the legality of pole barn homes.
Legal permit: Are pole barn homes legally permitted?
For anyone who wonders whether pole barn homes are legal to be built, the answer is yes.
Around the world,
Pole barn homes are legal.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re in the US, the UK, Europe, Nigeria, Pakistan, you can build this type of home without facing legal issues. However, one thing you should note is that not just anyone should do the actual building of a pole barn. The actual building of a pole barn should rather be done by someone who really knows what they’re doing.
If you feel you don’t have the understanding of building such a house, it’s better to hire a professional who specializes in the field.
In fact, some countries won’t allow just anyone to do the actual building of a pole barn. So in short, while it’s legally okay to build a pole barn home, the actual construction has to be done by someone who understands it.
Toughness: How do they fare under harsh weather?
Whenever I recommend a pole barn home to people, one of the biggest fears I often sense in their minds has to do with the toughness of pole barns. People, especially those living in areas where extreme weather are often experienced, will often ask me whether a pole barn wouldn’t collapse, when faced with very heavy snow, wind, etc. And the response to this is no. While pole barns are truly houses constructed with wood, never should you make the mistake of thinking they’re fragile structures that will get blown away, under heavy weather conditions.
In fact, without exaggerating, pole barn homes are generally stronger than load-bearing wall homes. I’ll also like to add that there are a countless number of people living in pole barn homes located in places where extreme weather conditions are often experienced.
So in short, even though it’s easy to think a pole barn home is a fragile structure, this is never true, unless the person who built the home doesn’t understand what they’re doing. In other words, if you’re starting to consider a pole barn home, be assured that the toughness of the home is absolutely nothing you have to worry about.
Durability: How long do pole barn homes last?
When it comes to durability, the truth about pole barn homes is still a positive one. When built right, a pole barn home will last for a very long period. In fact, pole barn homes do last just as long as load-bearing wall homes.
I’ve seen a lot of people living in pole barn homes they inherited from their parents, and these homes are still in very good condition.
So when done right, the durability of a pole barn is nothing to worry about.
It’s very important to state and hammer on the fact that if you truly want a home that will last for a very long time, you should never compromise on the building materials you’ll use for its construction.
You should also never compromise on the service of the entity (individual, company, etc) who will carry out the construction for you — use the service of only a very qualified entity.
Cost: How much does it cost to build a pole barn house? You ask!
The exact amount it will cost you, to build your pole barn, is a thing I can’t tell you because the cost will be influenced by some things only you can tell. The exact amount it will cost you will also depend on so many things.
For instance, the size of the home, the material you’ll use as the walls of your home, the place you’re building in, etc will all greatly influence the cost. However, one thing I can tell you is that you can expect the cost of building a pole barn to be significantly less. For instance, there are some projects I’ve supervised where a pole barn cost about 30 percent of what a “load-bearing wall equivalent” will cost. There are also some projects I’ve supervised where the cost of the pole barn is about 80 percent of the cost of a load-bearing wall equivalent. So in short, even though I can’t really tell you how much your dream pole barn will cost, one thing I can tell you is that it should be significantly less expensive.
It is further worthwhile stating that the construction of a pole barn is a thing you can do yourself (if you’re willing to invest the time); so if you can also do this, you can further save yourself the money you’ll ordinarily pay to a builder.
What about steel frame homes?
I understand some of you may have also come across the term steel frame homes. And for the sake of those who haven’t come across the term, let me quickly explain what a steel frame home is, before answering the question on how pole barn homes compare to steel frame homes.
At the beginning of this content,
I described a pole barn as a home built with the framed structure construction technique. I also describe this type of home as a house where wood is used for the construction of its frame. Well, a steel frame is similar to that, with the major difference being that while the frame of a pole barn is built with wood, the frame of a steel frame house is built with steel.
So back to the how pole barn homes compare to steel frame homes when you intend building structures with a very high clear span, steel frame homes become more preferable than pole barns.
There are some other situations where a steel frame building will be preferable, especially when it comes to very big structures.
But generally, if all you intend building is a home for you and your family, or a gym, etc, a pole barn should be ideal. However, if you’re still unsure, consider meeting an expert on this.
So far I’ve discussed what a pole barn home is, and I’ve also provided information on related things you may also like to know about. However, I’m yet to really discuss how pole barn homes compare to load-bearing wall homes, and I feel I should start the pros of pole barn homes.
Pole barn homes pros
Cheaper to build
As I’ve made known earlier on, pole barn homes can be much cheaper than load-bearing wall homes. In fact, this is one of the major reasons why this type of home is so popular. The cost of building a load-bearing wall home can build you 2, 3, or even 4 pole bans of the same plan. Thanks to this cheapness, it’s possible for people to build more impressive homes, compared to what they’ll have built, had it been they’d use the same budget for a load-bearing wall home.
Much shorter building time
The amount of time it takes to build a pole barn is another impressive thing about this type of home. While a load-bearing wall home will take months to be built, a pole barn home based on the same plan should take just weeks. In fact, I have people who have built pole barns in a matter of days.
Higher clear span
In building construction, there is something we call a clear span. This term simply means the horizontal distance between supporting pillars, columns, or walls of a building. The images below should assist you in understanding what I mean.
When you need a building with a very wide clear span, building a pole barn can be exceeding preferable to a load-bearing wall home. And the reason for this is that when it comes to buildings with very high clear spans, the cost skyrockets, compared to what you’ll have to spend on an equivalent pole barn. In other words, if you intend to build things like garages, gyms, livestock pens, warehouses, etc, you’ll even better appreciate a pole barn structure.
Pole barn homes cons
Fire outbreak can be more devastating
While pole barn homes are impressive in almost every aspect, they have their flaws.
And one of their biggest flaws is that the consequence of a fire outbreak can be extremely devastating. If a fire starts in a pole barn home, it doesn’t take so much time before the fire brings down the home completely.
The skeleton of a pole barn home is made up of wood, so not only will the fire greatly affect the strength of the structure, the wood is also combustible, so the fire is going to burn even faster. A load-bearing wall home can also be wrecked in a fire, but it generally takes much longer before a fire outbreak wreaks havoc of the same magnitude on a load-bearing wall building.
If you plan to build a home anytime soon, I’ll confidently recommend a pole barn home. However, before going ahead with a pole barn home understand how devastating a fire outbreak can be for a pole barn home.