Tag Archives: post frame cost

Labor Costs for a New Barndominium

Labor Costs for a Post Frame Barndominium

In my humble opinion, an average physically capable person who can and will read instructions can successfully erect his or her post frame barndominium. This is a great place to save money (provided time is available) and most people frankly will end up with a better finished home!


Because you care – you have “skin in the game”.

Reader JOHN in NIXX writes:

“We are interested in building a home. It’s crazy but I’m not sure what to call this structure

Long story short we started out investing a pole frame residence. Decided not to go w slab on grade due to our physical condition and walking on concrete. 

I’m thinking we are going to build a 3-4’ stem wall or crawl space w/ 2×6 exterior walls. With trusses 6/12 pitch   Metal roof and 3 sides metal. The front could be red cedar siding.

MoneyWe are building in a remote area and the trades are difficult to come by. I received a recommendation of a person who has been building fence for 20 years. He organized 2  Amish crews that have built 2 large pole barns. They set poles and framed in with 2×6 exterior walls. When we spoke about pricing I was told it would be $4.50 a sq foot. I have framed stick build for a lot  less in the past. A local subdivision in the area is paying $3.50 a foot for stick built houses. My question is how do I determine if that is a fare price. I’m having a difficult time seeing how that price is valid.  What am I missing?  Any input would be appreciated.   The zip code for the new build is 65571. Thanks.”  

Mike the Pole Barn Guru responds:

Nationally framing a standard 2,100 square foot stick frame house will cost $9,030 – $17,220 or $4.30 – $8.20 per square foot for labor. A crew of five should be able to complete work and pass framing inspection within 2 – 3 weeks. Contractors typically will estimate garage area at 15 – 20% lower rate than living space.

If you are hearing $3.50 per square foot for framing labor, it sounds like they either work too cheaply or houses being built are extremely basic. Keep in mind, stick frame labor does not usually include siding or roofing installation and never includes hanging overhead doors.

Most usually a fair market price for post frame shell erection labor is approximately 50% of an engineered post frame building kit price.

With post frame construction, you can have engineered an elevated wood floor supported by building columns, eliminating a huge expense of pouring a concrete footing and stem wall.

Remember – cheap is rarely good, and good is rarely cheap.

Post Frame Homes Proliferate

Post Frame Homes Proliferate

Post frame homes have been a well-kept secret for decades. Well, not only is the bag the cat was in open, but the cat has also leaped out and is running rampantly!

Here at Hansen Pole Buildings, we have noticed a significant surge in requests for quotes, as well as general interest, in residential post frame construction. And, it isn’t just us who are noticing the trend.

Cindy Orschell is the executive director of the Franklin County (Indiana) Area Plan Commission and Building Department. When questioned about what is hot in building she reported, “The trend we are seeing a lot of are pole construction homes”.

There are many possible reasons for the increased interest, one of which is cost.  My brother wrote his thesis on the savings of post frame construction for Habitat for Humanity homes probably 30 years ago, so this is nothing new. It was seven years ago when I penned an article outlining the savings in foundation costs (which have only increased since): https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/.

Virtually any stick frame building floor plan or elevation can be converted to a post frame building. For this reason, Hansen Pole Buildings does not offer choices for post frame homes on our website. See something you like? It can be done.

How much is it going to cost?

Hansen Pole Buildings GuesthouseThe structural system of a post-post frame home, its engineered plans and foundation are all going to prove to be less expensive than stick frame. Everything else is going to be pretty much the same – cabinets, fixtures and floor coverings do not suddenly become less expensive just because they were in a post frame building.

There is one place where you may end up spend a bit more up front than you might have with a stick built home – insulation and energy savings! Post frame buildings have fewer structural members which touch both interior and exterior surfaces, reducing the direct transfer of heat and cold. With deep wall cavities, more insulation can be added to the walls. Trusses with raised heels allow deeper insulation from wall-to-wall: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/raised-heel-trusses/.

Where is the extra upfront investment? Paying for more insulation – which results in savings over the life of your home!

You can do it yourself!

Provided you can and will read the assembly instructions, tens of thousands of dollars can be saved by doing the work yourself. Post frame construction is extremely friendly to those who have the desire and inclination to self build.

Ready to build? We’re here to assist: sales@hansenpolebuildings.com

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!!