Cruising Forums: It’s Just a Pole Barn!

As a voracious reader, and someone who always wants to make sure they have their finger on the “pulse” of the pole building industry, I am always scouring for information and misinformation on the ‘net.

I recently read the post below. I’d like to have you read through it, and then I will give you my take:

“If you want to get the most building for the dollar this is what you need to do.

Forget about “brand names” it isn’t rocket science it’s just a pole barn. If you want fancy it will cost you a premium.

Not Just A Pole Barn

1. Make a sketch of the building you want, define all windows and doors, roof overhangs and roofing and siding materials. Make 8 or 10 copies of your sketch.

2. Take this sketch to all the big box building stores. If you have to drive 50 miles it will be worth it. Have them work up a material package price for you. Taxes and delivery included

3. Take the same sketch to all your local lumber yards for a package price.

4. Call your local independent (up to 100 miles away) pole barn builders, offer them a chance to bid on it also, breaking out the material and labor. Tell them you are sourcing material packages from several places and will buy the material and the labor from the lowest bidders. If you let any of them talk you into some cost saving material or plan revisions, make sure you pass the revised plans back to all your bidders so they have a level playing field. They can often suggest substitutions and or changes that can save you money.

5. Review the bids and award the work to the bidders you feel most comfortable with.”

Here is my spin….

“It isn’t rocket science it’s just a pole barn”, maybe to the poster, however the “rocket science” involved in creating a code conforming pole building takes well upwards of 100 pages single spaced of computer generated calculations. Believing it is “just a barn” and not having a thorough structural design check, leaves one wide open for failure and disappointment.

And “fancy” does not have to come with a huge premium.

How do you know what “building you want”? Is it based upon a guess? What your friend or neighbor built? Going to an experienced professional for assistance is worth paying a premium for. Your building should be designed to accommodate your needs both today and in the future.

The “big box stores” do not have people on staff who are pole barn or pole building experts. The “material package price” they work up for you, is probably not going to build your building for you – plan on having to buy more stuff to complete it, as well as having leftovers you paid for.

And the “local lumber yard”, while they are most probably really nice guys, they also are not going to be experts. In either this case, or with the big boxes, who is going to give you the advice your need, when you get stuck or make an error? Or want to make a change?

I agree entirely with getting material and labor prices divided apart when you talk with independent pole barn builders. Keep in mind, the builder is going to want to sell you on doing things “his” way, which may or may not be the best structural or most efficient solution.

Most certainly, if you change dimensions or features of your proposed new pole building, make certain to give all of the bidders the same opportunity to quote.

Going with lowest price? If you are a true price only shopper, do you buy clothes only at Thrift Stores? Do you drive a Yugo?

There is always a supplier or builder out there who is willing to do the job for a lower price – all it takes is reducing quality and/or service. Have a lower quote?  Let a supplier who you regard as an experienced industry professional review it. You may be surprised to find out all of the things which were left out of the “fabulous” priced quote.

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