The Naked Pole Building

When the construction industry imploded in 2008, pole barn builders and suppliers stripped their pole buildings down to the bare essentials (or, in some cases, to less than the bare essentials). This was done in an effort to make the pole buildings more affordable and to not be underpriced by another provider or builder.

Naked Pole BuildingEven now, as the market is improving, we still see post frame buildings being offered about as bare as a lap dancer. This trend makes it harder for other pole building providers to sell upgraded (and better) products to both builders and self contractors.

Like a Victoria’s Secret catalog, pole builders and pole building providers attract clients with the bare essentials and attractive pricing. While contracts may be signed with builders at attractive pricing, the builder is planning on covering up the pole building with a full wardrobe, including a mink coat. The price for the pole barn may be $10,000, but the builder is planning on it actually selling for $20,000, by the time he gets done with upgrades (as well as costly change orders).

When I was in the residential prefabricated metal plated roof truss industry, one of my clients was a framing contractor who used to brag about his middle name being “Extra”. While he did great work, and was always very reasonably priced, everything not spelled out initially was extra! And what were his customers to do? Once he started building, they were stuck!

Long ago, I learned no matter how low something is priced, there is always someone who is willing to cut quality and/or service to get to yet a lower price. Even scarier yet, is when the competition knowing leaves out portions of the building in order to get to a lower price!

And if you think a supplier would never knowingly leave materials off from a list, I have some ocean front property for sale in Arizona. I see materials lists prepared by lumber yards day after day – almost without exception, they are all missing or short materials.

When doing a quote comparison with another company, I have had to ask the client, “Which two walls do you want the steel on, the walls with the overhead doors, or the walls without?”  They had no idea there was not enough steel for the entire building.  Or that providing roofing material (steel or shingles) was “extra”.

How about code requirements?  Are they clearly listed on the quote, or are they somehow “hidden”, with the company merely claiming they design their buildings “stout”.

Want to do it right the first time, and know what costs truly will be?

Find a supplier who guarantees to provide a complete building package, with features spelled out (including all of the code and loading criteria), for a set price. A complicated list of materials, is nothing more than a list with prices, it is no guarantee of anything ever being able to be constructed.

4 thoughts on “The Naked Pole Building

  1. Mike, I asked for an estimate on an open sided 40×40 pole barn that I would erect myself. The reason I haven’t been responding to your e mails is the quote for $30,000 you sent me. Rediculous! Please remove me from your mailing list.

    1. Clay ~

      Interesting, the request for quote we received from you was for a 20’x40’x20′ tall building, with a 6/12 roof slope, which would be fully enclosed and mounted to a foundation (so we included all of the appropriate engineered mounting brackets). It also had two attached roof only sheds which sloped from 16′ to 10′. Other features included 24″ enclosed vinyl vented soffits on all sides and ends; (2) 4′ wide and (1) 3′ wide commercial steel insulated entry doors with steel jambs; wainscot; a 20’x12′ loft with 4′ wide stairs; vented ridge and a powder coated cupola.

      We’d be happy to quote a 40’x40′ open sided building, if this is what you would like. We do not read minds well – all we can go by is the information you provide.

      In case you missed it on the quote we provided, we do offer a price match guarantee for any comparable complete building package. You will always get the best value for your pole building dollar with Hansen Pole Buildings.

  2. 11 minute response time to Clay – impressive! I guess this is a good example of what happens when the “extras” are included in the front end: An honest proposal to a suspicious public. It’s not a perfect analogy but it reminds me of the recent experience of the Apple darling exec., Ron Johnson, and his adventures with JC Penney. His honest pricing approach ($24, not $23.99) and fewer sales but consistent lower pricing should have been embraced as good, honest business. But buyer psychology is such that people want to “play the game” and he failed miserably. Playing the game is fun and fine with a pair of khakis, but is more dangerous to your health and wallet when we’re talking about pole barns. The big hurdle is dealing with our hard-wired buyer psychology and engage in up-front, honest business. It’s an admirable goal, but it requires at least a conversation… not ignored emails followed by a snarky response. Enjoy the high-road, Mike, and I wish you plenty of company.

    1. Bob ~ Thank you very much for your kind words. While are not always able to respond within 11 minutes, we do aim to get clients quick and accurate responses. And – we answer everything which is not spam.


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