Tag Archives: DIY pole barns

How Much Will My New Pole Barn Cost?

How Much Will My New Pole Barn Cost?

Reader CLAUDIO in LEWIS writes:

“Hello, I would like to know what would be the cost to build a pole barn building 25’x50′ with loft? Are the interior partitions and insulated walls and floors included? Is the permit application included? Is delivery and construction included in your cost estimate? Thank you.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:

If you are looking for the best bang for your building investment and a slightly different footprint will yet fit your needs, 24′ x 48′ will be a more efficient use of materials. Most often we are providing structural portions of your new pole barn (walls, roof system, siding, roofing, doors, windows, any elevated wood floors and stairs) delivered to your site. We can provide interior partition wall framing as well as fiberglass batt insulation. We do not include your permit application, however your new building investment includes full multi-page 24” x 36” engineer sealed structural blueprints detailing the location and attachment of every piece (as well as suitable for obtaining Building Permits).

Your new building kit is designed for an average physically capable person, who can and will read and follow instructions, to successfully construct your own beautiful building shell (and most of our clients do DIY – saving tens of thousands of dollars). We’ve had clients ranging from septuagenarians to fathers bonding with their teenage daughters erect their own buildings, so chances are – you can as well!

Currently (and for the foreseeable future) there is a nationwide shortage of building erectors. Many high quality erectors are booked out into 2023. We would strongly encourage you to consider erecting your own building shell.

For those without the time or inclination, we have an extensive independent Builder Network covering the contiguous 48 states (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/find-a-builder/). We can assist you in getting erection labor pricing as well as introducing you to potential builders.

A CAUTION in regards to ANY erector: If an erector tells you they can begin quickly it is generally either a big red flag, or you are being price gouged. ALWAYS THOROUGHLY VET ANY CONTRACTOR https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/

We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in your new pole building. Please email your building specifics, site address and best contact number to our Design Studio Manager caleb@hansenpolebuildings.com (866)200-9657 Thank you.

Storage Wars

We don’t have network television access out here in the sticks where I live, so we see little TV except for Netflix.

Our 19 year-old son Brent was out to visit one afternoon and started watch a program originally aired as a reality TV series in 2010 on the A&E Network. I suppose I always knew Americans were hoarders, but Storage Wars gave it an entirely new spin for me.

The premise of Storage Wars is, the contents of storage units with unpaid rent have their contents sold by an auctioneer as a single lot of items in a cash-only auction. Storage Wars follows professional buyers who purchase the contents based only upon a five-minute inspection of what can be seen from the unit door when it is open. The goal of the potential buyers – turn a profit!

storage-units55 years ago there were no self-storage facilities at all in the United States, today there are now 2.3 BILLION square feet of self-storage space in the United States. This equates to over seven square feet of storage for every single person alive in the U.S. today!!

Before 1996 only 6% of the population used storage services, in contrast to 65% of today’s population. Over the past four decades, self-storage has been one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

In the 1980’s my Dad had done a fair amount of research into the post frame industry and felt he had a pretty good grasp as to what it takes to be profitable.

#1 Dirt – the land needs to be affordable, located conveniently and not have overly onerous Planning Department requirements.

#2 Unit mix – having a broad variety of sizes allows customers to move up in size when their belongings expand.

In 1991 I built a self-storage project with three buildings – totaling 20,400 square feet. I couldn’t convince the owner to go with anything other than 10’x20’ units. When he couldn’t pay me, I foreclosed and became an, “I really don’t want to own this, owner”. It was a true challenge only having a single size to offer.

My frequent readers are familiar with the adventures working on Eric’s new storage facility. With a unit mix of three 5’x10’, two 10’x10’, five 10’x15’, five 10’x20’, five 12’x22’ and five 12’x27’ – he has covered all of the most popular size bases.

#3 Don’t overpay for the building, or scrimp trying to cheap out. Here is where pole buildings shine – great value for the investment and for the DIYer, it offers a tremendous money savings. Make your storage building look attractive. Eric’s building has “warm” inviting colors as stone for siding with contrasting dark gray for wainscot, roof and trim. The impression you want to have shine is your storage building is a clean place to store valuable “stuff” where folks are willing to pay for the space.

My bride and I recently took a motorcycle trip to Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. Although it was no surprise there were storage buildings for boats, even we were amazed at row after row of storage buildings for miles on end – both on the U.S. and Canada side of the border.

Next break from watching Storage Wars, get out the pencil and paper and see if the numbers could work for you. Most self-storage properties are free and clear within five to seven years!

DIY Pole Building Piecemealers

Whether a DIYer, or a building contractor, there are two primary methods for acquisition of materials for a pole building kit.

There is the “old fashioned way”….

hand drawn planSomeone roughs out a building plan, generally without the ability to do structural engineering calculations to determine if what is in “the plan” will actually carry the climactic loads or not. This is also referred to as “winging it” or “seat of the pants engineering”. Personally, I wouldn’t feel overly confident about this method, but who am I to say, as I have only been involved in 15,000 or so pole buildings…give or take a few.

From this roughed out “plan” the piecemealer sets out to put together a list of all of the materials needed to assemble the building. This material count may vary, depending upon who is directly involved.

If I am the DIY pole building person, my list is probably going to not have enough pieces on it. Same goes for if I am a builder and am being paid for just my labor, or by the hour.

In the first case, it is lack of knowledge and experience. In the second case, it is making the “package” look as inexpensive as possible.

The next step for the DIY pole building piecemealer is to run around like a decapitated chicken to suppliers of every imaginable piece, trying to get the best deals. This often involves really getting local lumber yards torqued, as the “cherry picking” begins.

Cherry picking usually involves three or more lumber yards – where only the least expensive items are picked from each one.  A smart lumberyard will either increase the price because the entire lot was not purchased, or they will get even by shipping the worst possible product on hand.

Now the piecemealer has not accounted for any time burned so far, and will carry the same mindset forward when making repeated trips to suppliers to pick up materials which were left off the list, or to “save” a few dollars of delivery charge.

BUT….there is the way which guarantees professional plans, quality instructions and all of the pieces needed to assemble…..buying a complete post frame building package from a quality supplier.

Not all “complete” suppliers are the same. If you are presented with a materials list only – don’t walk away – RUN.

A list is only as good as the person who made the list. A smart list maker purposefully leaves things off the list to lower the price. They know this means a trip (or trips) back to pick up the pieces it takes to complete the building. They don’t care about the extra trips, just the extra dollars through the till.  Because once you are in the store – you tend to pick up a few “other things” – and it gets you coming back time after time.

A quality supplier will be able to provide full sized 24” x 36” blueprints which are specific to your building and can be third-party engineer sealed without structural changes having to be made.

I hate to say it – but I know of a supplier who has two “tiers” of buildings – and if you buy the non-engineer sealed plans kit initially – then after purchase decide to have them sealed, oh man – the changes that have to be made.  This would not make me feel comfortable – knowing their buildings (if not sealed) are designed to some “minimum” not in any code book I’ve ever read!

A reputable pole building kit supplier will provide complete instructions of the entire assembly process including diagrams and actual photos.

Their quotes specify they will provide all of the materials necessary, as well as the design Code information (what version of the Code as well as design snow, wind and seismic loads).

There aren’t many who can and will do it right, who are actually looking out for the best interests of all involved. While up front it may appear to cost more, when time, effort, energy and angst get factored in, the quality complete kit package supply route is the only way to go.

It happens all too often – I have a customer defer to another supplier, only to come back later and tell me the horrors of what he/she purchased, thinking they were “saving money”…with the caveat, “I wish I had bought from you.”  Me too.  Call me a softie at heart, but I want every customer to get…what I would want.  A good quality building – at a decent price.

Marketing Basics: DIY Pole Building Kits

The basics of marketing teach us (as suppliers of pole building kit packages) to focus our efforts on those most likely to be a customer. If implemented (which most do) the problem becomes the focus is on direct competitors rather than enlarging the pool of potential clients. Everyone becomes more worried about losing a sale to a competitor, than growing the overall market for the product.

In all honesty, when we do not get a sale – it is far more likely to be because the prospective building owner did one of the following: (a) spent his money on something else, (b) decided upon a different construction solution, or (c) did absolutely nothing at all. Many times a potential client will decide to hire a contractor to provide the materials and construct the building – the new building owner does not believe they have the skills necessary to construct their own building.

Personally, I am in and out of “big box” building material stores all of the time. I see thousands upon thousands of people who are taking on D.I.Y. (do it yourself) projects – many of which involve a fair degree of complexity – electrical, plumbing, etc.

It is my feeling some people become intimidated by the thought of constructing their own pole building because of its size, more than anything else.

erector setThink of a post frame building kit as being the larger version of the popular children’s erector set. Certainly the pieces are larger, but everything goes together one piece at a time, in a step-by-step manner.

Having been providing pole building kits now for 33 years, I’ve seen wide variety of different people take on construction of pole buildings themselves. A 66 year-old retiree, who spent all one summer constructing a 14,000 square foot riding arena and stall barn for his wife.  He did everything by himself other than hiring a crane to lift the trusses and having help with getting the steel panels up on the roof. A couple approaching their 80’s, who built their own shop. A father and his 14 year-old daughter, who put up a building as a bonding experience.

Frankly, the average building owner is going to have a far better result, in nearly every case, as opposed to hiring the work done.


Because when you do the work yourself, you care.

Do It Yourself Pole Buildings: The Ikea Effect

Thanks to Hansen Pole Buildings Designer Bob, for his inspiration on this post!

Have you ever spent a couple of hours working on a craft project — or a presentation for work — and then fallen in love with the accomplishment? Do the colors picked for the PowerPoint background pop so beautifully you just have to sit back and admire your own genius?

If so, get in line: You’re the latest person to fall victim to the Ikea Effect.

Furniture AssemblyThe name for this psychological phenomenon derives from the love millions of Americans display toward their self-assembled furniture (or, dare we say it, their badly self-assembled furniture) from the do-it-yourself store with the Scandinavian name.

“Imagine that, you know, you built a table,” said Daniel Mochon, a Tulane University marketing professor, who has studied the phenomenon. “Maybe it came out a little bit crooked. Probably your wife or your neighbor would see it for what it is, you know? A shoddy piece of workmanship. But to you that table might seem really great, because you’re the one who created it. It’s the fruit of your labor. And that is really the idea behind the Ikea Effect.”

Most of us intuitively believe the things we labor at are the things we love. Mochon and his colleagues, Michael Norton at the Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely at Duke University, have turned this concept on its head. What if, they asked, it isn’t love which leads to labor, but labor which leads to love?

In a series of experiments, they have demonstrated people attach greater value to things they built than if the very same product was built by someone else. And in new experiments published recently, they’ve discovered why it happens: Building your own stuff boosts your feelings of pride and competence, and also signals to others you are competent.

Having been involved with thousands of clients who have constructed their own pole buildings, over the past three plus decades, I’ve seen the results of those who have self-assembled.  It’s astounding.

Given specific plans and good directions, these do-it-yourselfers generally end up with a far better finished building than they ever could have paid to have constructed.  And to be honest, most of these folks are lucky to have used a hammer a time or two in their lifetime before they constructed their own pole buildings.

The why, is simple….people care about their own buildings. They don’t race through the construction process trying to cut corners to save money or ignore important details.  They read directions, study the plans and if they have a question….they ASK before making a huge mistake.  OK, usually they ask.  But even if they make a “boo-boo” they are quick to humbly admit it and ask for guidance in correcting it.

From advanced geriatrics, many older couples…hubby and wife teams… to dads building with their teenage daughters as a bonding experience, I’ve been able to witness a plethora of different combinations of age, as well as prior skill sets. When it comes to constructing a pole building package, the adage is true more often than not.

If you want it done right, do it yourself.

Building KitPrice

Know more about our pricing.

Pole Barn Guru Blog

The industry’s most comprehensive post frame blog.

Ask The Guru

This guru will grant you the answer to one pole barn question!

Pole Building Learning Center

To help guide you in the design of your new pole building.

Photo Gallery

Look at our collection of building photos for creative ideas!

Paint Your Building

Lets pick out some colors!