Tag Archives: pole building budget

Owner Barndominium Builder Construction Loans

Owner-Barndominium Builder Construction Loans

Qualifying for owner-barndominium builder construction loans can be a daunting task. Given 2007-2008’s housing market downturn, owner-builder construction loans are increasingly hard to get but not impossible. An owner-builder is a property owner who serves as general contractor on their own project. A General contractor coordinates everything from budget to hiring subcontractors. Serving as one’s own general coordinator requires work and patience but can provide a huge savings and equity into your property.

Serving as one’s own general contractor requires some research and knowledge. Since most people are not well versed in construction, it would be wise for a future barndominium owner to consult with someone with experience to get an understanding of how a project works from beginning to end. You should look at project size and develop a business plan. This business plan should include a projected budget listing labor and costs, building permits and any additional associated costs.

For further reading on things to complete before going to a barndominium lender: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/06/things-to-complete-before-going-to-a-barndominium-lender/

In addition, a project timeline needs to be developed. This project timeline will forecast the anticipated building schedule. It should also include provisions for delays (they will occur).

Once you have completed a business plan, find a lender who specializes in construction loans. To determine if you are qualified for a construction loan, your lender will need to verify your income, cash reserves, debt–to-income ratio and credit score and know you can provide necessary down payment. Down payment will be up to 30 percent of requested loan amount. Borrowers may use land equity as a substitute for a down payment. These requirements will allow your lender to see if you are able to repay the loan. Lenders are skeptical about providing construction loans to individuals. Providing a business plan for them to review will demonstrate you have researched and understand what is involved in constructing your barndominium.

Upon loan approval, you can begin to assemble your construction team. You need to ensure all subcontractors are reputable and guarantee their work, by proper vetting. Request to see previous projects and ask for references. In addition, check to see if any complaints have been lodged through local building authorities.

How to vet subcontractors: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/vetting-building-contractor/

After your team is assembled, establish frequent site visits and meetings with subcontractors to keep the project on schedule. By doing so, you will be able to adjust schedules should an issue arise causing a delay. Remember this is an investment. If you do not play an active role in your barndominium’s construction, your dream home could become your nightmare.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru’s World

Mike the Pole Barn Guru’s World

Pole Barn Guru BlogWhen I began this blog back in June of 2011, I surmised getting to a total of 100 articles would be a stretch, but yet a worthy goal. Well, I have surprised even myself… welcome to article number 1500! What amazes even me – how many possible topics have yet to be written about.

Today, you get taken to Hansen Pole Buildings’ back room – where we actually have developed an outline for our Building Designers to follow with new clients. I share portions of this for many reasons, amongst them:

#1 In hopes competitors will read it and learn, in doing so everyone wins. Clients get buildings better serving their needs, competition has happier clients and our industry looks even better. I have always believed if all providers of post frame building kit packages played by a similar set of rules: 1. Every building should be designed by a RDP, i.e. Registered Design Professional, engineer or architect, specifically for a specific client at their specific building site. No getting one sealed drawing and using it for multiple clients.  2. We will figure out how to design your post frame building most efficiently, most cost effectively and with a higher level of service

#2 By being better prepared with information we (or any true high quality post frame building supplier) need, you (future new building owner) will have a smoother journey from planning to occupancy

“Delivering the Ultimate Post Frame Experience™” to every Hansen Pole Buildings’ client, every day.

Hansen Pole Buildings has most of our clients first contact us via an internet inquiry. If so, your information has automatically been entered into our database. First thing – I go to your record and see if you have subscribed to our newsletter series.

If you are reading this and are not a Hansen Pole Buildings’ newsletter subscriber, go do so now.  They are totally free and you may unsubscribe any time. A sign up link can be found in footer (bottom) of each page of our website. These newsletters are not designed to sell anyone, anything – they are meant to be entertaining and informative. You can read more about them here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/pole-building-newsletters/.

For competitors – I encourage you to subscribe also, read them, edit them to fit your own business model and make them available to your clients. Informed clients make for happy post frame building owners.

Next you receive a personal email. When it comes down to it, there exist these four most important points when it comes to making a major investment:

     1)A fair value for money and time invested;

     2) It solves problem(s) or helps to achieve a goal;

     3) Liking and trusting those you are dealing with;

     4) Ability to get delivery within a reasonable time frame.

I encourage potential clients to take advantage of available financing options: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/financing/.

All are also directed to contact their appropriate Planning Department to find out if they are allowed to construct the building they want, where they want it (this step helps to avoid anyone wasting time or having hurt feelings): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/01/planning-department-3/.

Next up – an email about Exposure C for wind. Pretty much universally most post frame building kit package suppliers and post frame builders quote buildings with an Exposure B, although a great many sites should have buildings designed for a more conservative Exposure C.

For more Exposure C reading: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/11/wind_exposure/


We all live in a world of social media. I want you to know about me and I want to know about you. We do business with people we trust and are our friends. I’ve had some individual post frame client relationships for decades, as it should be. I want to be your Facebook friend, in your circles at Google Plus, and a Linkedin connection. If you use Skype it adds yet another method for us to stay in contact.

Lastly and most important, I want you and I to talk. Although you might believe you really know what you want in a new post frame building, I might have some thoughts and ideas you have not yet considered and no one else has suggested. Once I have gathered information from you during a conversation, I will often ask if you mind if I design your building if it was my own building. My mission in this – to come up with a best possible design solution for you, balancing investment and budget.I have saved clients hundreds of thousands of dollars on their new pole buildings by tweaking their initial design, from changing bay spacings to type of doors or windows. Why would I do this? My goal is to design a building which solves the problem. In other words, a building which is functional, is pleasing to the customer, and fits their budget.  

Welcome to the world of Mike the Pole Barn Guru!




Pole Building Climate Control

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: After reading many articles on this blog about insulating a new pole building I have come up with this conclusion. I will run this by the Guru for your opinion. Roof thermal break-: trusses with purlin on 2ft centers, A1V on top of purlins, steel roofing applied over A1V. sidewalls. Wall girts applied to posts at 2 ft centers, Tyvec House wrap around perimeter with steel siding applied over Tyvek. Vented eave and ridge. This should give thermal break to insulate interior of pole building and prevent thermal gain. Do you believe this is the proper path for insulating the interior for climate control? This is a great blog with lots of good information, thanks!

Question from KORN FARMER in BURR OAK, MI

DEAR KORN FARMER: I sincerely appreciate all of your kind words and will try not to let them go to my head! You’ve become one of my favorite readers. I would certainly agree you are on the track for success. You might want to read these articles in regards to your climate control issues:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/04/climate-controlled/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/07/raised-heel-trusses/

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can an all wood pole building be built over a full new basement? MICHELE IN EAST HAMPTON, NY

DEAR MICHELE:  I happen to live on a lake, which is nestled into a mountain valley. For the most part, the parcels of land around the lake tend to be very narrow and very steep (only so much lake frontage exists, therefore the narrow lots). In my case, the lot gains well over 100 feet of elevation from lake to back, over the 250 feet of depth.

 With the lake as my “front” yard, on the back of my lot is a pole building upon which the site had 12 feet of grade change in 40 feet. The solution was to excavate to the lowest point, then construct a foundation on the “high” sides. In my case, we used eight inch insulated Styrofoam blocks, poured with concrete – one wall being 12 feet tall, and the other sides appropriately steeped to match the land contours. Steel brackets engineered to withstand moment (bending) forces were poured into the top of the walls to attach the pole building columns.

 The direct answer to your question is – yes. Whether a full basement, partial basement, or daylight basement (the last being closest to my particular case), pole buildings can be attached to any adequately designed foundation wall. We prefer to use wet set brackets (those embedded in the concrete wall at time of pour) as opposed to dry set brackets (those attached to the concrete wall with bolts) for a sturdier connection, but either one can be used. 

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: My ideal metal building size would be 26 x 46. Will this size work so metal and wood will fit without waste or extra labor? If no, what size would work best? BERNIE IN GARDEN CITY

DEAR BERNIE: As lumber comes in multiples of two feet and steel in multiples of three feet – the most economical is going to end up being divisible by six. To get the best total bang for your buck, multiples of 12 feet are the most cost effective in nearly every case – utilizing double trusses aligned with the columns and 2×6 or larger roof purlins on edge.

So what does one truly save by this? Usually a few pennies per square foot.

 In the end, build the largest building you can economically justify and which will fit on your property. I’ve never yet had a client tell me their new building is just too big!

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Pole Building Design

Available Space, Budget and Imagination

I’ve always said these three things – available space, budget and imagination are the only limitations when it comes to pole building design.

Available space – I’ve now been personally involved in around 16,000 pole buildings. Yes, for those who are curious, it is a lot of pole buildings. After 35 years in the industry I am still waiting for the first client to contact me after they construct their pole building and say, “My building is just too big”!

business-storage-buildingIn the mid-1990s I constructed an 80 x 150 x 20’ tall pole building for one of the businesses I owned, Apex Roof Truss. I remember standing in the middle of the floor of this huge empty building, looking around and thinking, “We will never use all of this space”. Not two years later the building was filled to the ceiling and I was wishing I would have constructed a larger building!

Budget – It doesn’t matter if the building was free, if the budget is zero. Realistically create a budget of what can be spent on your new pole building(s). A great planning tool is available for FREE here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pole-barn-planning-guide.htm

And don’t just count available cash in hand. For those with FICO scores of 680 or better, it is possible to borrow (on approved credit) up to $45,000 with monthly payments of not much more than 1% per month of what was borrowed. For information on all available financing programs available through Hansen Pole Buildings go to: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/financing.htm

Imagination – Plenty of it to go around. We’ve had clients do some unique things with their pole building design – over 54,000 square feet under one roof; 44 feet tall; three stories; even 100 foot clear spans! How about a cantilevered deck off a second story? Dormers? Cupolas so large you can entertain 6 friends while looking out through windows 50’ above the ground?

One of the more imaginative uses appeared in an article I wrote recently: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2015/02/loafers/

What the article didn’t show was the inside, so we’ve provided a bar’s eye view with this article!


Pole Barn Price Shoppers

Why True Pole Barn Price Shoppers are Never Satisfied

I’ve learned a few things in my close to 40 years as a business owner or manager. One of the most important is, there is always some other provider who is willing to sacrifice quality and/or service to sell at a lower price.

checklistIf everyone was selling the absolute exact same product, with the absolute exact same service, then price is the only determining factor.

Commodity items would fall into the category above.

Pole buildings are not commodities. With so many differentiation’s in how the buildings are designed, what is provided for plans and instructions, the quality of the materials, the list becomes virtually endless.

The pole barn price shopper most often sacrifices features, to drive the price lower. Here are just a few of the examples (in no particular order):

  • Going “light” on wind and/or snow load requirements where permitting is either lax or non-existent.
  • Cheaping out on doors – the only moving parts on a building, do you seriously want to skimp here? Using wood framed sliding doors, instead of metal frames. Using sliding doors, when overhead doors were obviously the correct design solution. Low quality wood jamb entry doors. Not paying for wind rated overhead and entry doors.
  • Leaving off overhangs. You can’t add overhangs on later. If my choice, due to budget, is doors or overhangs – I am picking overhangs. One can always leave openings and install the doors at a later date when funds are more readily available.
  • No roof insulation. The number one complaint I get from people with existing buildings is they failed to insulate below their steel roofing and it now drips. And drips. And drips.
  • Putting up a building which is smaller than what is needed to provide a solution to the problem.
  • Using recycled utility poles or steel pipe instead of properly pressure preservative treated columns.
  • Connecting wooden components with “sinkers”.
  • Failure to provide adequate means of ventilation.
  • Not, at the least, ordering trusses to support a future ceiling – if one could ever be installed.
  • Using steel roofing with little or no warranty.
  • Skimping on trims for anywhere (most often these are base, top of wall, fascia and overhead door jamb trims) or leaving out form fitted closed cell closure strips.
  • Tearing down, moving and reassembling an existing pole building.

I am getting worn down and depressed just making this much of a list! And there are even more things which could be added. If you find yourself looking at this list and thinking you might seriously consider doing one or more of these things to trim your pole barn price – you are fooling no one but yourself. Eventually they will come back to haunt you, maybe sooner than expected.

The goal at Hansen Pole Buildings, as it should be with every other pole building kit package supplier or builder, should be to (as much as possible) keep the client from making crucial mistakes which they will regret at a later date.

As I have told more than one person, years from now when I am on my countrywide tour of people I have helped with buildings I want to pull up in your driveway and be heartily welcomed to share a cold, tall one….not chased off with a shotgun for not having done my job right.

Dear Guru: Can I Purchase Just Pole Barn Plans?

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 or Saturday 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: Can I purchase pole barn plans from your company without purchasing the building? NEEDY IN NEOSHO

DEAR NEEDY: Technically, we do not sell pole barn plans only – however, you could order a pole building from us, paying 25% down to acquire the plans, and then never go further. As our materials are so affordable, it actually would not make much sense to not have them provided by us. Plus, we use some higher quality materials which have been tested to provide added strength, which are not available to the general public, other than with the investment in one of our pole building kit packages.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We recently received your quote on our new pole building. The price was close to budget, but a little high. We’d like to know how the price would change if we reduced the wind rating. HOPING IN HUNTERS

DEAR HUNTERS: The design wind speed for your building is the lowest which is possible anywhere in the country under the 2012 International Building Code (IBC). If your building site is protected from the wind in all four directions, then Exposure B could be used, rather than the more severe Exposure C. For more information on Wind Exposure please read: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/03/wind-exposure-confusion/

There are probably other ways to get the cost “down” without sacrificing designing a building to code. We often have folks purchase a building the width they desire, but scale down the length a bit, and then add onto that building a year or two down the road.   We have a gal who boards horses who has added onto the length of her horse barn three times.  As her business grows, her barn grows with it!  This is easily done and spreads the “budget” out over time. Don’t skip on features – sacrifice “for now” those things you can “do without” and then add them on later on. Overhangs should be done at time of building, but windows and even additional doors can be added in at a later date. Get your “box” figured out, and then add to it as you can afford.

Not All Pole Building Customers are Good Customers

Most people shopping for a new pole building kit package are great people. There are, however, some who are a bit more challenging. In the event you fit into one or more of the following, I am going to make a helpful suggestion at the end of this article.

Do you buy only on price?

Every once in a while I will hear from a client how our price was so much better than all of the competitors. If so, it was purely by chance.

People who focus only on price, will never understand why a Hansen Pole Building is a better value. Therefore, they will never appreciate the benefits.

Does it take a committee to make a decision?

pole building conferenceThe ability to arrive at a decision, is measured by the square of those involved in making the decision. When it takes a committee to arrive at a decision, there is something amiss and it is most likely is nobody has enough backbone to make a decision.

Are you concerned about specific little issues which don’t play a key role in the big picture?

An excellent post frame building is one which meets the design solution (it accomplishes the goals of its intended use) and is structurally sound. Getting off track and spending a lot of time on minutia which really make no difference, is not good for anyone.

The size, spacing, grade, etc., of individual building components does not matter, as long as they are will carry the intended loads.  We are the design professionals – please let us do our job. After over 15,000 buildings, we feel we deserve that consideration.

Are you unable to state what you want, even after significant discussions?

If you can’t state the benefits you ultimately want in your new building, it is unlikely you will be satisfied with what is purchased from anyone.

Are you going to spend more time talking about what the competition offers, rather what we are offering?

With many years of experience and comparing our product to others, we know the Hansen Pole Building kit package offers the greatest possible value for the investment. If shopping, the competition should be forced to upgrade to our features and benefits, rather than us being asked to down grade to match a lesser offering from someone else.

The helpful suggestion?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above, we are probably not going to be a “fit” for you.

We’d like to recommend you to another provider –  where you will burn an inordinate amount of time and energy. This gives us more time to devote to those who are truly great pole building customers!

Pole Building Price: It’s $8000 Less!

Saturday night….nearly 9 p.m.

I know what you are thinking, it is after beer:30 and if anything I should be out listening to my step-son Adam’s band Skyline from Fargo (yes….a blatant plug for his band) play.

Nope – we’re working! And the office phone rings. Now I am not certain who is playing with the least amount of cards in their deck – me for answering the phone, or the builder who is calling expecting the phone to be answered.

The builder needs a pole building price, delivered in Ohio. 32 foot wide, 36 feet long with 14 foot walls. He says he needs to have Owens Corning Duration Storm Cloud Laminate architectural shingles and vinyl siding – both over 15/32” thick CDX plywood.  Keep in mind plywood is about 2-1/2 times the cost of 7/16” oriented strand board and they both serve the same function.  The only difference is…cost. Other features included two each 12’ x 12’ commercial steel overhead doors, commercial steel insulated entry doors with steel jambs and two 3’ x 3’ dual glazed vinyl single hung windows. As well, the building had 12” enclosed overhangs on all sides and the ceiling framed to support 5/8” drywall.

All-in-all, I felt like the price I gave him of $15,846 was very competitive, given what he was looking for. So, I Email it over to him and at 9:24 I get this response back:

“that is 8000.00 more than any price in town i really cant believe you sent that over .guru”

To which I respond right away with – “send me your other quotes”. I do free quote comparisons for clients who tell me our pole building price is “more” and feel I do a pretty fair analysis. Why?  Because I do want to be sure our pricing is “more than fair.”  But $8000 difference?  C’mon.  Nothing back but silence….

After three decades in the pole building industry, I’ve learned no competitor is ever 20 or 50 or even 100 dollars less; it is always….”you are thousands of dollars more”. Or at least this is what clients try to tell me.  Weird thing – no one ever produces those “thousands of dollars less” quotes, so I can compare apples to apples.  If clients do produce a quote, it’s with the bottom line pole building price scribbled out, which tells me….

This is how much I do believe in our buildings being the best possible value, every time:

“When you order your new Hansen Building through me, and 30 days from 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!”

Just out of curiosity, I went back and took every option out of this building, to create a fully enclosed box covered with steel. Sure enough – it was $8000 less!!

The Truth About Setting A Pole Building Budget

Shhhh….somebody might hear you.

We want to know what your budget is for your new pole building. You know, how much do you have set aside for the building (or are planning to borrow to pay for it)? This dollar amount should be cash on hand (which you are willing to invest into your new pole barn) plus the amount you can borrow.

But….you may be thinking, “If I tell you how much I have to spend, you will overcharge me”!

Wrong – the goal is to be able to see to it you get the most possible value in your new building, for every dollar spent.

Plan Your Budget With our Building Planning Guide

With the knowledge of your pole building budget, the problems you want your building to solve for you, and goals your new pole barn will help you reach, your Building Designer can best work with you. Numerous factors can be adjusted to save you dollars, or to get you a larger, or more featured garage, shop or riding arena.

Working from a given set of features, the greater the “footprint” of your building, the lower in cost per square foot it will be. My premise has always been, to construct the largest building I can afford, and possibly fit onto the available space. At my own home, I have a very narrow lot, which is 14 degrees out of square. By building the building to follow the 5’ setbacks required from the lot lines, I was able to construct a three story tall shop!

Is your dream pole building a little over budget? If so, some features can be installed at a later date. Overhead door openings can be left, with the doors to be installed at a later date, when more funds become available. Concrete floors and driveways can easily be poured after the building has been constructed, making for a large savings in cash, which can be allocated towards the original pole building shell.

In my bride’s words of wisdom, “To get the most value for your building dollar, put the four corners as far apart as possible!”