Tag Archives: pole barn cost

Post Frame Hotels

Post Frame Hotels

Over the years my lovely bride and I have spent many a night in one hotel or another in nearly every state in the continental United States. We’ve been in small ones and large ones, nice ones and ones which were not quite so nice. One thing which I noticed early on is the great majority of the low rise (four stories or less – as hotels require sprinklers) could have been constructed as post frame (pole) buildings.

Having been in the pole barn industry pretty much my entire adult life (and I turn 60 in November, so it has been a long time) I have yet to have had even an inquiry for a post frame hotel.

It turns out my idea, however, is far from a new one. A businessman named Dale McDonnell constructed the Crossroads Inn at the intersections of Highways 18 and 79 in Martin, South Dakota. Originally constructed in about 1990 with 24 rooms, McDonnell based his design off a basic pole barn and received a Design of the Year award for his endeavors. In 1996, McDonnell’s post frame hotel added ten more units. https://crossroads-inn.net/

Why utilize post frame design for a hotel?

Cost – the lower the initial investment, the greater possibility of being able to have reasonable rates and generate a profit. The savings in foundation costs alone can amount to tens of thousands of dollars on a hotel project. Use steel roofing and siding and save even more as compared to other cladding choices.

Speed – time is money. Post frame construction can cut weeks off the time needed to go from breaking ground to being protected from the weather. This reduces the amount of time construction lending needs to be in place, as well as getting weary travelers off the road and settled into comfortable and safe surrounds quicker – generating revenues faster for the owners.

Inexpensive to Operate – the deep insulation wall cavities allow for greater amounts of wall insulation. Combined with raised heel trusses, post frame hotels are easily insulated to levels which reduce the operating costs of heating and cooling.

Low Maintainence – the use of steel roofing and siding provides for a finished product which does not require repainting and will look bright and new for decades.
Part of a hotel chain with pre-existing plans? There is a good chance those plans can quickly be adapted to post frame.

If I was considering entering the hotel business, I would certainly look closely into following the lead of Mr. McDonnell and give post frame an opportunity.

Money-Saving Tips for Building Your Pole Barn

Affordable horse barnThere are two types of pole building owners: those who like to build it themselves, and those who trust expert builders to masterfully construct their dream pole barn. Hansen Pole Buildings guides both types of owners in the careful selection of materials and designs that are the right balance of luxury, utility, and affordability.

But for the sticklers who want to squeeze every last penny out of their pole barn construction, we recommend considering the following money-saving techniques to save on pole building costs.

Buying Long-Lasting, Not Cheap, Materials

It’s tempting to see how low your pole building price can go on your pole barn materials. But don’t forget: the buildings are affordable even when you spring for quality material upgrades.

  • Doors – If you want to pay less (and do less maintenance) in the long-run, choose a door that won’t warp or stick when the weather changes. Buy a frame that won’t wear away too quickly, and purchase hinges that will support the weight of your door for a long time without bending.
  • Steel – Yes, there are differences in steel quality and thickness that can affect the lifespan of your pole building. Hansen Buildings is experienced in sourcing materials and can help determine what gauge of steel your pole barn frame will support.
  • Insulation – Your type of insulation may vary depending on how you use your pole barn. Ask your pole building craftsmen or Hansen Buildings what type of insulation will hold in heat and cool air most effectively, especially if you are living in it or you plan to keep animals in it. You’ll save tons on energy and maintenance if you do.

It may raise your upfront costs of your pole barn to invest in quality materials, but you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have high energy and maintenance bills arriving monthly.

Ensuring Proper Support Spacing

Most building designs will require supports spaced either six or twelve feet apart, but amateur builders may space supports more narrowly, upping your material and labor costs.

If you’re building a pole barn yourself, don’t stray from the recommendations provided on your design. If you’ve hired builders, be sure to check their work against your pole barn plans, and address your concerns about differences in construction as early as possible.

Performing Up-Front Façade Planning

Especially when building for residential needs, customers commonly become concerned about the outer appearance of their pole barns. When trying to achieve the look of a traditional house, clients tend to opt for expensive siding and roofing options that could, instead, be addressed during the design phase of the pole building.

Designers like Hansen Pole Buildings work with novice and veteran customers alike to produce pole buildings that match the function and aesthetic intended by the customer. Ask your pole building craftsmen about clever ways to improve the look and feel of your pole barn exterior without getting burned on pole building price, such as:

  • Changing the roof style of the building – gambrel roofs and double gables make aesthetically interesting buildings from rectangular bases.
  • Installing different door styles – sliding doors and garage doors can add a touch of country or suburb to your pole building quickly and easily.
  • Adding plenty of windows – windows vary the look of large spans of wall and, as a bonus, let in lots of natural light, which expands your already wide pole barn interior.
  • Customizing with a deck or porch – raised or flat, a quality deck is an affordable add-on that will spruce up your exterior without making expensive changes to your pole barn plans.

Selecting Appropriate Insulation

Not only do you want to buy a quality insulation, you’ll want to install it to meet your specific needs as well. Try some of these money-saving insulation solutions to save on pole barn costs:

  • Liner system – a steel liner system is easier to install and less expensive than drywall when considering the installation and painting costs, and is better suited to temperature changes in steel buildings.
  • Condensation control – whether you have insulation or not, condensation control will help keep temperatures level and humidity normalized.

Remember to carefully consider your insulation material options as well. Fiberglass is the standard and tends to be more affordable, but foam insulation may last longer despite its relative expense. Cellulose will help you insulate if you have an attic; it can be blown into attic spaces to prevent air flow from the interior of the building.

Work with Your Pole Building Experts

Above all, the best way to save money on your pole building is to set your expectations correctly with your pole building designers and builders. Quality experts and construction specialists will help you maximize the potential of your building without compromising on pole building prices. Do your research, find companies you can trust, and monitor the construction of your building to keep your pole building cost as low as possible.

Scissor Trusses Economy

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com


I recently built myself a pole-barn home in NY that used the traditional flat girt style with columns 8′ OC and a double 2×10 truss header and trusses 4’OC.

The overall result has been great as we have achieved net-zero energy with our all electric utilities and solar PV array.

I’m thinking of getting into the home building business and want to use the post-frame technology to deliver the most affordable and highly-engineered product.

After reading your site, I’m totally sold on the double truss system and 12′ OC truss spacing. However, using flat girts on either side of the posts gives us an extra 3″ of insulation and also reduces thermal bridging in the assembly for the spaces between the posts (essential for getting the heat loss down for the building).

Is there any way to combine the two methods? For example, i was thinking of using intermittent single studs between the columns that are anchored to the floor to support the flat girts in between the posts.

Or are there any creative solutions that you have used in the past or can think of? Here are a few photos of my project for reference. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.


DEAR KNOWING: Thank you for visiting our website, we hope you will continue to avail yourself of the free information available within it.

Post frame (pole building) construction will certainly be more affordable than any other permanent type of construction, and it does afford the ability to create some deep insulation cavities.

The challenge of flat girts on the outside of the columns is they (in most cases) will deflect more than what is allowed by the Codes. Read more about flat wall girt deflection here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/03/girts/

Here is an idea which might meet with all of your needs…..between the wall columns, install either bookshelf style girts (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/commercial-girts-what-are-they/) or construct a vertical stud wall with the thickness of the wall matched to the size of the wall columns. With bookshelf style girts, make the girts the next size larger than the columns, and leave 1-1/2″ sticking outside of the column faces. In the stud wall scenario, place 2×4 “flat” girts on the face of the studs, across the columns, at 24 inches on center. Regardless of the route, use a high quality building wrap to cover the girts prior to application of either sheathing or siding.

I’d recommend the use of BIBs insulation: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/bibs/

On the inside – Use reflective insulation with adhesive pull strips as your vapor barrier, then apply drywall.

Good Luck and let me know how you come out – I appreciate the photos!

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Greetings, are the “typical” roofs -as in your monitor style project 04-0328, considered “walkable” for once in a while fixes? Not planning on making it a habit –just good to know ADVENTURING IN ARIZONA

DEAR ADVENTURING: I’ve been asked this question more than a few times over the years, and have always wondered why it is anyone would actually want or need to be walking around on their roof. With steel roofing, unless it is installed improperly in the beginning, there should never be a “fix” to be made.

Shingled roofs are an entirely different story – as shingles are very susceptible to damage, especially from hail. For more reading on hail damage:


The answer to your posed question is – yes, the roofs can be walked on. Because steel roofing can be slippery, if you feel the desire to walk on the roof, please use care to step only where there is a screw – the head of the screw will give a traction point to help you stay on the roof. And be sure to use shoes with good soles on them.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Scissor trusses, or raised lower cord and false economy?

Some claim that the increased cost of the truss is offset by the reduction in side wall height. CHAFING IN CHAFFEE

DEAR CHAFING: For just a moment let’s assume the scissor trusses add no extra cost. A tall door is placed in the center of an endwall (after all – the concept of scissor trusses is most often to be able to get a taller door, into an eave height the door should not fit in). The door is opened and the VTT (very tall thing) is driven into the building. The then driver decides the VTT would be ideally parked off to one side, rather than right in the center of the building, where it cannot be easily gotten around.

A loud WHAP is heard, right before the roof caves in on top of the VTT, because the VTT has run into the bottom chord of the scissor trusses – which are lower closer to the sidewalls of the building.

In nearly every case I can imagine, it will be less expensive to have a taller sidewall and complete unobstructed use of the inside of the building, than to go with scissor trusses.

There are some cases where scissor trusses make sense – and none of them have anything to do with economy.

Planning upon finishing the ceiling and like the look of a vaulted ceiling? Scissor trusses make sense.

Your Planning Department has a restriction upon eave height (but not overall height) – scissor trusses again make sense.

The verdict – false economy.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Per square foot cost of steel pole with 6″ concrete floor and pitch roof with 14′ door. BONKERS IN BAY CITY

DEAR BONKERS: As the boss used to say, $3 a square foot, but you need to cover at least an acre. Have an 8’ eave with no walls, lots of interior columns and an uninsulated galvanized roof.

Pole buildings, just like any other form of construction, become more cost effective as the “footprint” of the building increases. Want to lower the cost per square foot? Enclose more square feet. Or reduce the eave height. Or go narrower and longer rather than wide but shorter. Or don’t put on any doors. Or take off the overhangs, wainscot or other features. Or….get the picture?

The quickest and best way to get an exact price on any pole building is to put in a request for a quote at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/freequote.htm

And if you get a quote, don’t compare a 40’ wide by 24’ deep to someone else’s 60 x 80 by only using “per square feet” as your measure. Get a comparison of “apples to apples” – that’s the only way you will know exactly what you are paying for.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru