Tag Archives: pole barn prices

Your Pole Building Price is Higher

Your Package is a Considerable Amount More!

Money“I like your package a lot but it seems to be a considerable amount more than my other quotes. I have attached the one I received from 84 Lumber. A couple of things are a little different but the bottom line is considerably less. Please let me know what your thoughts are.”

Well, my thoughts are I will apply a similar logic to buying a new car.

I find a Porsche I really like and get the dealer to give me a quote. It has all of the options I really like and might just be the ideal car. I go next to the Chevrolet dealer. They have a car the same size, with the same number of doors and it is a lot less expensive than the Porsche.

Now do I really suppose the Porsche dealer will sell me the car I really want, for the price of the Chevy?

When assisting clients, I often ask for permission to design for them, what I would consider their ideal dream building, based upon the information they have provided. After all, they only get to do this once, it is far better to spend just a little more to get the building they really want for size and features, than to be dissatisfied with the choice, forever.

This particular client was looking for a building which he could climate control – wire, insulate and sheetrock the interior. My quote had the building set up so it was “drywall ready” as well as including Building Wrap, between the wall framing and the sidewall steel.

Here are a few words about climate controlled pole buildings: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/04/climate-controlled/

The “a couple things are a little different”  in the pole building price quote meant the building was not ready for wiring, insulation and drywall. No Building wrap. Even the overhead doors were uninsulated!

My thoughts are if you are not going to insulate your building ever, something like this might work.

Here is an interesting article you may want to read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/05/84-lumber/

There are going to be some items which we just can’t “dummy down” to match the 84 Lumber features:

Our entry doors are going to be commercial grade with steel jambs and are all factory finish painted. These doors are several hundred dollars more than the unpainted wood jamb doors (which are typically only primed) from 84 Lumber.

Their pole building price quote does not state if steel is even fastened with screws (could be nailed on) and we furnish ONLY powder coated screws. (Read more on these here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/01/powder-coated-screws/)

The reflective insulation we provide has a tab on one edge with an adhesive pull strip – no worries about having to tape all of the seams together.

Oh, by the way, our Chevy was not only higher quality, it had a better price!

84 Lumber is $5000 Less

I celebrated my 35th year in the pole building industry in January. I’ve learned a lot and forgotten probably even more in this time. One of the things I have learned is, when quoting any particular post frame building, no one is ever $100 less.

They are always $3000 or $5000 less and it is always for the exact same building.

Dry LumberIf you believe this – I have a heck of a deal on some Florida swampland for you – or Arizona oceanfront property.

Back in the early days of this blog, I wrote about the profit margins of lumber yards: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/09/pole-building-prices-beware-when-you-compare/

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Mark recently quoted a pole building kit package to a builder in Ohio, at just over $20,000 which included four insulated overhead doors (two each 12’x12’ and 9’x7’).

The builder emailed back to Mark:

“Thanks for the estimate.

I can get this same building from 84 Lumber for 13,000.00 plus 2,200.00 for the garage doors. total 15,200.00

Thanks for your time”

Sounds like the $5,000 rule. Since we don’t make $5,000 of profit (or close to it) on a package such as this, I am thinking we should just close down our operations (where we buy at wholesale) and let 84® Lumber do all of the work!

The reality is – there is no way on the planet this is an apples-to-apples comparison.

For those of my loyal readers who are unfamiliar with 84® Lumber, or just enjoy a fascinating story, here is what Forbes magazine had to say about 84® Lumber in a February 9, 2015 article by Dan Alexander: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2015/01/21/daughter-knows-best-inside-the-84-lumber-saga/

Just out of curiosity I looked at the price of the four overhead doors – our price nearly $4200. Probably one of two things – we need to order our overhead doors from 84 Lumber, or maybe there is only one of each door size instead of two!

Now we know more than just a little bit about 84 Lumber’s pole buildings. Back about seven or eight years ago, we were set up in a program with them to provide pole building kit packages for 84® Lumber western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.

At the time, 84 Lumber was fine if customers ordered one of their dozen or so standard pole building kits, but anything custom had a delay of several weeks or longer for pricing. And if the building needed to have plans sealed by an engineer – they had no way to service the client. The standard plans they did have – relied upon the customer having to excavate out below grade, in order to pour a concrete slab!

And assembly instructions? Nada!

Appearing on the 84 Lumber website (https://84homes.84lumber.com/Pole%20barn%20prices.pdf) today was a “ballpark” price on a 40’x64’x12’ pole building featuring a 15’9” sliding door on an end and a 15’ sliding door on a side. With colored steel roofing and siding $19,952. For sake of convenience, I made both the doors 16’ in width and assumed them to be split (bi-parting) sliding doors. I also included powder coated screws and made the sliding doors all steel frame (instead of the wood components of the 84® Lumber pole building). Our price delivered – $13,868!!

Maybe this one price was a misprint…so I compared the 30’x40’x12’ with a 10’ sliding door on an end. 84® Lumber $11,913, Hansen Pole Buildings $7944.

Even adding 12 inch enclosed overhangs to all four sides, reflective roof insulation and a commercial steel insulated entry door factory finish painted with painted jambs we were still $2000 LESS!!

Oh….and we will include full sized 24” x 36” blue prints specific to exactly what is being built, showing where every piece is installed AND our 500+ page Construction Manual complete with hundreds of color photos!

Am thinking 84® Lumber might want to go back to having us provide their pole building kits!

We’ve asked the builder above to furnish us a copy of the quote from 84® Lumber…..am certain it will be fascinating!! If we get it – I will be sure to follow this blog with “the rest of the story….”

Are Your Pole Buildings Local to Me?

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


DEAR POLE BARN GURU:Lost my house in a wildfire in California about 10 months ago, and looking at different options for re-building. Like what have seen on your website, but that’s a lot of distance between us. Would you know of any company in Southern Calif that builds these?

I am originally from MN and will probably be there end of this month, if get a chance maybe I can stop in and discuss. Thanks. CONTEMPLATING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CONTEMPLATING: Sad to hear of the loss of your home, it has to have been devastating. Pole buildings can be a great alternative for areas which are prone to wildfires, as steel roofing and siding obviously does not burn.

We provide building kit packages in every state in the U.S., shipping from our locations which are closest to each individual site. While our pole buildings are designed for the average building owner to successfully construct their own building, our Building Designers can assist you, should you need to find a builder.

We will hope you have the opportunity to visit our offices.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I see you have the pole building kit prices listed, but I assume you need to add to that price doors and windows? Is the only way to get the cost for doors and windows to complete a custom building quote? I am looking at your 36’x48’x10′, 40’x40’x12′ and 40’x48’12’ but am curious what the additional cost would be to add doors? TRYING IN TACOMA

DEAR TRYING: As the number, size and options selected for doors and windows can cause dramatic changes in costs, the best way to get things narrowed down would be to request a quote at: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/freequote.htm

Very often – the more you purchase, the less expensive per door or window it may be.

Pole Barn Prices

At Half the Price…

Every once in a while there is an exchange with a potential client which I cannot resist sharing. This one is about pole barn prices…at half the price of!

In this particular case, as the request came in at 7:39 a.m., I was afterwards wondering if the inquiry came after a long night of watching QVC!

Single Slope BuildingHere is the background: we were contacted for a pole barn price quote on a 30 foot deep by 24 foot wide pole building with single sloping roof, the low side being 12 foot high. The building was to be for a log truck to be worked on.

After introducing myself to the client, I always make it a point of sending an email them with a questionnaire for their Building Official to complete.

Here is the email from me:

Dear xxxxxx,

There are over 7,000 Building Permit issuing jurisdictions in the United States. While we try our best to keep tabs on changes they make, to be able to know every one of them, instantaneously, would be impossible.

Your requested quote will be processed using our most current available data.

The attached will be very important information to have for the proper design of your new pole building.  Please have it completed and FAX back to me at (866)888-1611, or Email back to PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com.

For more information on Building Codes and criteria please read:”


Now somehow I had the idea the request was fairly non-threatening. Apparently not, as I got this response:

“Our town has no zoning. Your ad said a quote for building, where does that involve how many plans I have.

Please just disregard my request. I was looking for prices from you to be able to compare you with others.

Do Not reply !!!”

Well it was too late for me to not reply, as my quote went out by email almost at the exact time I received the cheerful reply above!

But wait, it gets even better….

“Thank you for the quote. However I got one for the same building at half the price. Also I do not need Vermont certified building plans. I live in a no zoning area which means a mansion can be built beside a dump. I value my property and will make this respectful but it is to put vehicles under cover. No heat needed therefore the open front would be just fine. 

Please disregard my request, I prefer to not do business with you.

Again thanks for the quote.”

At this point, impossible for me to let it rest….

“Dear xxxxxx,

Would you mind sharing who would provide the identical building at 1/2 the price? We’d like to buy from them, as we could make a lot more profit than we do now buying everything mill and manufacturer direct.

Thank you”

I seriously did not expect a response, and I do not gamble, but would put money on there NOT being a quote for the same building at half the price. Pole barn prices don’t vary that much…if you are comparing apples to apples.

I’ve been pretty open about sharing what kind of profit margins are in the pole building industry:


To my surprise, I did actually get a response:

“No thank you”

I do have to thank this person however, for not ordering a building from us. There are some marriages which are made in heaven, this one was best left never getting near the altar!

Post Frame Prices: Knowing the Competition

Knowing the Competition Better Than They Know Themselves

Hansen Pole Buildings provides post frame building kit packages. Lots of them and in all 50 states! As such, we have lots of clients provide quotes from our competitors, with the idea we will meet or beat the pricing – of lesser featured or poorer quality buildings.

Besides the obvious features, there are some not so obvious things which clients do not always realize. The better providers and builders of pole buildings, pay good money to belong to associations and organizations which promote quality standards as well as reasonable levels of service. Many of these providers, us included, proudly display the logos of the organizations we belong to.

There are other companies, which display the logos, but are actually not members, nor do they pay dues to the organizations. These businesses are cheaters – pure and simple. They cheat the organizations they fraudulently claim to belong to, the members of the organizations who are honest and pay dues, as well as the consumer – who unwittingly believes no business would possibly do such a thing.

Hansen Buildings BBB RatingThe most prevalent case I see is alleged membership in the Better Business Bureau. On the home page for Hansen Pole Buildings is the BBB logo which says we are an accredited business. Click on this logo and it takes you directly to the BBB website, and gives you a report on our business. If this logo is found on any other website – click on it. If it does nothing, or is a “dead link”, you are probably dealing with a cheat. I would encourage the immediate reporting of any such business to the appropriate Better Business Bureau, as they are most likely fraudulently using the BBB logo.

Question any provider of either post frame building kits, or construction services as to why they are not BBB members. While the BBB is not the “end all”, it is a starting point for determining the legitimacy of a business.

The National Frame Building Association (www.NFBA.org) represents the post frame industry. Every legitimate post frame building kit provider, or contractor should be a member. Just today, I came across a company based in Ohio with the NFBA logo on their website. A call to the NFBA at (800)557-6957 confirmed the company is not an association member, even with the logo proudly displayed!

On the home page for the company in question, is a link to a video leading one to believe the plant shown to be “our” (as in their) manufacturing plant. With “our” lumber under roof, all of the steel coils in “our” warehouse, etc., etc. The problem is – the video is not of this business’ facility!

Their website proudly touts, “By eliminating the middle-man, you save!” however they ARE the middle man – they are reselling someone else’s post frame building and making a profit (nothing wrong with making a legitimate profit).

As a consumer, you can either do due diligence and actually check a company out, or take the risks.

Consider the old adage, “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory”.

A New Pole Building: What is the Price per Square Foot?

What Is The Price Per Square Foot?

If one thinks about this question for very long, they might recognize the absurdity of this question. It would be about as practical as going to buy a new car….and asking the price per pound. Or shopping for a new computer….and asking the price per gigabyte of memory.

New Pole BarnOne of the owners of Hansen Pole Buildings has been asked this question probably a thousand times, if she has been asked once. Her answer…..about three dollars per square foot.

Wow!! That is an amazing price!

Which she qualifies with, “as long as the building covers over an acre, is eight feet tall, galvanized roof and no walls”!!

In the end, a “price per square foot” is nothing more than a price. It tells no one anything about what is or is not included.

Price per square foot ends up being nothing more than smoke and mirrors…far too easy for salespeople to throw out ridiculously low numbers, which tell the consumer nothing.

A building which is a basic box, is certainly going to be far less per square foot, than one which is “fully featured” and may include numerous overhead doors (more if insulated and remote openers are included), entry doors (with huge disparities in price due to quality), windows, overhangs, insulation….getting the hint yet?

The individual’s needs, personal choices and the complexity of the building all impact the bottom line price.

The same goes for the labor to construct. A builder who will give a price per square foot to construct a pole building, without knowing the particulars of the building, is one who should be steered clear of.  He (or she) is a train wreck waiting for an unmarked road crossing.

Shopping for a pole building? Do a favor to everyone, including yourself and avoid asking the question, “What is the Price per Square Foot”?

Instead, figure out your budget, then figure out what you would like to have in the way of a new pole building, making a list of all of the “wanted” features.  Prioritize the features and options so if you need to bring your budget into view,  you can then put a “hold” on one or more features. Which ones to put on the “maybe” list?  Those which can most easily be added at a later date, such as interior finishing, even doors and windows.  If you want overhangs or want to load trusses for a future loft – leave those on the “must have” list, as they are not as easily added at a later time. Then adjust budget/wish list until you have a “match”.

Pole Buildings: Buyers

At Hansen Pole Buildings we get hundreds of inquiries daily for price quotes on pole buildings. Internally, we have a fairly automated system, which allows for our team of Building Designers to receive the input information from those who make inquiries.

This morning, one of the Building Designers requested from me, more quote requests to be done (beyond those of the automated system), and he added, “I want buyers”.

Granted, a few of those who request quotes on buildings are just bored in the middle of the night after watching endless hours of QVC or Home Shopping Network until 3 a.m. Personally, my first reaction after either of those would be to immediately leap to the computer in my apartment and bang out a few requests for quotes on pole buildings. Yeah, right!

Why does someone ask for a quote on a pole building? The great majority have either a need, or a problem, either of which could have a happy solution in a new building.

A certain percentage of inquiries come from people who are trying to create a budget for a future investment in a building. Maybe they are shopping for land, or are waiting on a future event before they are able to build.

Not going to build for more than six months? Any price from anyone today is pretty much totally worthless – lumber and steel markets are so volatile the price in six months could easily vary by 20% or more.

One of my best friends, Mike O., worked with me for years. When he was on the phone with a potential customer, he had no qualms about asking, “If you feel comfortable with me and our company, the quality of our product, we can deliver within your time frame, and the price is right, is there any reason you will not be ordering your new building today?”

Pretty powerful statement, but it does cut right to the chase.

Pole Barn QuoteAs a shopper, quotes can be requested from a myriad of companies online. What are those quotes? Merely a number, which may or may not even be for the building which best solves the needs and resolves the problems.

If the idea of contacting 10, 12, or more providers is to get the lowest price possible – the boat has been missed. There is always someone willing to cut quality and service to give a lower price. Are you happy with wearing second hand shoes purchased at a thrift store? Then the absolute lowest price may prove appealing.  However, most prefer to own things which have lasting quality, especially in a purchase of this size.

Burning hour after hour of time is also not a very efficient way to shop and try to save a few nickels. Each of us has only been given a finite amount of time on this planet – use it wisely.  Get 2 or 3 quotes…but compare them line for line item.  If you don’t understand what to look at to see if you are “comparing apples to apples”, fax or email any competitors’ quotes from other companies to Hansen Buildings.  We will do a comparison for you.  Free. And then you can decide if you want to buy your new pole building at the “thrift shop”…or where quality is a standard in every pole building kit.

Pole Building Prices: When the Apple is a Rock


Baseball in the grass

In September of 2011, one of the Hansen Pole Buildings Designers – Steve, quoted a proposed pole building to be built in Oakland County, Michigan. To be used to cover four indoor baseball batting cages, the building quoted was to be 50 feet wide, 80 feet long with a 20 foot sidewall. Among its features was a full hipped roof (in lay person’s terms, it slopes in all four directions) and vinyl siding. The pole building would include two eight foot wide by 10 foot tall insulated overhead doors, a three foot wide commercial steel insulated entry door, a vented polycarbonate ridge cap as well as a 10 foot x 30 foot second floor with stairs.

How much is it?

Designed to withstand a C wind exposure, the delivered price in 2011 was $33,218.

The client calls today, pretty well prepared to order his “baseball” pole building, until he realizes our price is for a kit package, as opposed to the other prices he has been getting, which include labor and are about $36,000 and up.

Is it what he really NEEDS?

Time to get down to serious talking…..what is the real solution to the problems at hand (also known as, what are the other people quoting)?

While the 50’x80’ part seems to work, the height only needs to be 16’. Big difference right there, as the calculations for the strength of the columns needed to support a building involve the square of the height. 20 squared being 400, 16 squared is 256 – the 20’ tall building has 156% of the wind load on the columns, compared to the 16’ tall!

Looks nice…but necessary?

Full hip roof lines, while they may be esthetically pleasing, get to be fairly pricey when it comes to a 50 foot clearspan…..it turns out a gabled roof will more than meet the needs.

The vinyl siding – same issue as the full hip roof.

With a few other adjustments, the pole building (even with today’s sky high lumber prices) is just over $21,000!!!

Oh, the Exposure C for wind (a site open to the wind in one or more directions)? While I am not a gambling man, there is a pretty fair chance everyone else quoted Exposure B (a site protected from the wind in all directions). At the 90 mph (miles per hour) design wind speed, the Exposure C building has to withstand a wind force nearly 50% greater than Exposure B.

Show me an apple…not a rock

The bottom line….shopping for a pole building and really want to compare apples and apples? Email any other quotes to us; we will compare them item for item and feature for feature – for free.

If there is indeed a better buy, on an identical or better building, we’ll let you know.  It has never happened yet.

Lumber Prices to Hit All-Time Highs?

Lumber prices are expected to soar in 2013 before hitting all-time highs the following year, according to a report by the Vancouver consulting group International Wood Markets.

LumberWood Markets president Russ Taylor said the dynamics have been in place since 2008 for a so-called “supercycle” which will push lumber prices into the stratosphere. The only missing element, he said, has been a recovery in U.S. housing starts.

“We are already seeing some of this happening already. We are seeing the highest prices in six years right now – the middle of December, which is usually when you see the lowest prices of the year. The supply chain is very tight.”

The Wood Markets report covers the years 2013 to 2017, a period during which U.S. housing starts are expected to double. At the same time, North American timber supplies are expected to be constrained by issues like the mountain pine beetle in British Columbia and harvesting cutbacks in Quebec, leading to a supply-side crunch. Further, the distribution chain in the U.S. has been reduced by half because of the recent recession. Many of the companies which survived are on credit watch, Taylor said, and are unable to buy enough lumber to rebuild their inventories.

Those North American factors are playing out in a global wood products market where China is taking a stronger role. China now accounts for 25 to 30 per cent of lumber shipments from the British Columbia Interior, a market which didn’t exist the last time the U.S. housing market was strong.

Lumber prices have already jumped significantly in 2012. The composite lumber price – the price used to set the rate for the softwood export tax – is now hovering around $360 a thousand board feet, up $100 from the beginning of the year. Taylor expects a 10% increase in 2013, and a further 10% jump in 2014, which would mean a record $440 per thousand board feet of lumber.

Further, the U.S. softwood tax on Canadian lumber drops to zero above $355, which means, beginning in January, British Columbia companies will be paying no tax, an added bonus.

What does this mean to the average consumer who is looking to build a new pole building? With the cost of lumber being roughly one-half of the cost of the entire building, a 10% annual increase in lumber costs, could well impact the bottom line by five percent.  If you are considering building “now” or within the next 5 years, the best answer is:  ASAP!

Pole Building Quotes: I Didn’t Fall of the Turnip Truck Yesterday

Those of you, who have gotten pole building quotes from Hansen Pole Buildings, have recognized while our prices are not always they lowest, they are very competitive. We like to believe we always offer the best possible building value, every time.  And my words of caution when folks say we are “not the lowest” are, “you get what you pay for…”

I recently prepared a quote for a potential client in Arkansas. Very straight forward building – 36 feet in width, 60 feet in length, with a 16 foot eave height. The building is to have a 16’ wide by 14’ tall overhead door and two 4 foot wide entry doors.

The client wrote back (after receipt of our quote): (Note: grammar and spellings not corrected from original email from client):

mike, a couple of questions
are the trusses pre build

what is the pole spacing and truss spacing on this building

the ones i have priced are  4 ft centers on poles and trusses
3 inch insulation roof and side
2*6 on 2 ft centers for attaching side and roof sheets
all lumber treated
i dont think that is what you have priced here but want to be sure
and your price is higher than the others i have. freight may be the factor
all the ones i have quotes from are local buuilders”

I’ve requested the client scan and Email to me the pole building quotes from the local builders. I am more than a little skeptical of the claims due to three things…

One – I have not seen a single company of any kind in the U.S. place columns every four feet. It would be costly beyond the realm of reality, and there would be no practical reason for it. I do know one company from Canada which does place columns every four feet – they basically dig a trench to place their posts.

Two – 2×6 on two foot centers for attaching side and roof sheets. Now in our case, we use 2×6 for wall girts and roof purlins, as they are normally spanning 12 feet. The claim of posts and trusses every four feet does not add up with the claim of the 2×6 girts and purlins.  This is total overkill for strength if you are only spanning two feet…it just doesn’t make structural sense.

Three – all lumber treated. The only time I have ever provided all treated lumber for a pole building, was in Hawaii. There would be no practical reason for all treated lumber in Arkansas, not to mention it is generally about twice as expensive as non-pressure treated.

As nicely as I can say “sorry, I don’t believe this for a minute…” I would really like to see in writing what the other quotes actually have on them.  If the client does follow through with my request to send the competing pole building quotes look for a follow up in an upcoming blog!

Pole Building Prices: There is Always Someone Who Will Do It for Less!

There is Always Someone Who Will Do It for Less!

Over the past few days, one of the Building Designers for Hansen Buildings has been negotiating with a client on the design and materials for a building 80’ x 250’ x 20’ interior clear. This is a project with a price tag approaching $150,000 – however the client was being penny wise and pound foolish in trying to cut corners, sacrifice quality and save a few bucks.

Finally, the client has “seen the light” and realized we actually DO know what we are talking about.

He had a quote from a competitor, whose basic building was less expensive for the “exact same building” however was more expensive on all of the options – such as doors. The client suggested we match the competitor’s basic building price, and then add back in the options at our price! Nice try.

The competing building was a pole building, therein the direct comparisons pretty much ended. They were proposing placing the sidewall columns every 5’ (so they would be smaller in size and less costly), which ultimately would cause the building owner to dig two 250’ long trenches to place the columns in! Besides the tremendous cost to excavate, twice as many columns would take twice the time to place, and the cost of concrete would become astronomical!

The other design came with limited or no plans, no instructions, 2×4 wall girts and roof purlins (vs. our 2×6 and 2×8 girts and purlins). In this particular location, the ability to withstand high winds and an open “C” wind exposure is critical. The other proposal, did not even mention design loads.

At the end of the day – there is always another provider who will happily provide a lesser quality building, at a lower price. I found, on the internet, a pole builder who proudly proclaimed, “We use only #3 lumber, none of that #4 stuff!” Bet he has great prices. For those who are not familiar with lumber grades, #3 is very low grade material.  Reputable buildings are built from what is called “#2 and better” lumber.  In order to have an engineered building, you have to use #2 and better.  And yes, Hansen Buildings only uses higher grade lumber required for engineered buildings….in every pole building we design.

When you order your new Hansen Building through me, and if 30 days after your investment, you find a verifiable (documented) price on a complete building package with identical or better features than ours – we will match their price

And send you a check for the difference!