Tag Archives: price per square foot

Adding a Pool, Gambrel for Processing, and Square Footage

This week Mike the Pole Barn Guru discusses reader questions about the practicality of adding a pool to an existing pole barn, if the trusses in a gambrel might hold the load of a deer while processing, and what square footage might give the best “bang for the bunk?”

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am considering buying a house with an uninsulated pole barn. Would it make sense to add a pool and insulation to an existing structure. The floor is mostly asphalt and has sliding doors larger than a double garage door. The structure is approximately 40ft by 80ft and 20 ft high. Does this project make sense and how much might it cost to insulate the pole barn?
Thank you, CHRIS

DEAR CHRIS: I can’t see this as being a practical design solution. You would need to replace sliding doors with either an insulated overhead door or do away with large door entirely. Trying to climate control a space this large (as well as insulating to get there) will prove costly. Here are some other considerations https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/08/post-frame-indoor-swimming-pool-considerations/. Me- if I was going to have an indoor swimming pool, I would design a new building to best fit pool and its requirements.


Gambrel BarnDEAR POLE BARN GURU: Good morning, quick question for you, I am going to be building a 28x32x10 pole barn and looking to have a gambrel for hanging a deer from for processing. Probably not smart to attach it to the trusses, what would you recommend?
I will add I don’t need anything too heavy duty seeing it is for my own personal use and not commercial grade. CRAIG in CHAGRIN FALLS

DEAR CRAIG: An adult buck will top out at roughly 160 pounds. Chances are ordering trusses rated for a 10 psf (pounds per square foot) bottom chord dead load will more than cover weight of any ceiling or attic bonus room floor as well as your deer. Happy hunting!


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hello sir, quick question. Is there a certain “depth” that has the best bang for bunk as far as square feet? For example, 40×100 vs 50×80 to achieve the same 4000 sq ft. or “cost shoots up dramatically after xx depth.” Thanks! MIKE in NEW PORT RICHEY

DEAR MIKE: As you get closer to perfectly square, your building becomes more efficient in materials use, as well as stronger against wind forces. Consider your two example choices – 40 x 100 has 280 lineal feet of walls 50 x 80 has 260. Besides siding, less exterior wall also means less insulation and less area for thermal heat loss/gain. For post frame your most cost efficient multiples are typically 12′ (e.g. 36′ x 108′ or 120′; 48′ x 84′). Ultimately we are talking about cents per square foot, not dollars – so make your building shell fit with how your rooms best layout inside, rather than trying to fit rooms into a preordained box.



Spray Foam, Siding Strength, and What is DIY?

Today, the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about closed cell spray foam, which building would be stronger if one was wrapped in steel siding and the other with wood, and what aspects of a DIY project are “do it yourself”?

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Thanks for taking the time to respond… hope this finds you doing well… I’m planning on using closed cell foam… so if I’m using closed cell I don’t have to use house wrap? I’m new to all this… so any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated… RICKY in INDIANA

DEAR RICKY: Closed cell spray foam is best applied directly to wall and/or roof steel. Please read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/04/spray-foam-insulation-3/


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hey bud I wanted to pick your brain for a second. If a person built 2 steel truss pole barns the exact same… the only difference, one would be wrapped in metal, and the other would be wrapped in wood siding… which one would be stronger? The one with wood siding would be using 1×8 hemlock boards if that makes any difference. Thanks. RICKY in KINGSPORT

DEAR RICKY: It would depend upon spacing of wall girts and how each was fastened, as well as number of openings in walls. Done correctly, steel siding would be a stiffer end result.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have seen some discussion on “price per sq. ft. to build” a barndominium you said DIY was about $85 I believe correct? When you say DIY, are you referring to like self contracting the house or self contracting and actually doing plumbing, electrical, flooring, shower install labor, etc.? LANCE in YOUNGSVILLE

DEAR LANCE: Fully engineered post frame, modest tastes, totally DIY, move in ready, budget roughly $70-80 per sft of floor space for living areas, $35 for all others. Does not include land, site prep, utilities, permits.

If you hire everything turnkey then take above numbers x2 to 3 (depends upon market). Acting as your own General Contractor and subbing everything out will put you roughly halfway between.

You will want to read #4 here before going down a “turnkey” road: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2021/02/a-shortlist-for-smooth-barndominium-sailing/



Price Per Square, Scissor Truss Spacing, and Column Spacing.

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers reader questions about our “best guess at price per square…” for a Hansen Building Kit, spacing for scissor trusses, and if there is a national code for post spacing in a barndominium.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is your best guess at price per square foot range materials and labor to build a Hanson Pole Building these days? STEVE in MAPLE PLAIN

DEAR STEVE: All Hansen Pole Buildings kits are 100% custom designed to best meet wants and needs of our clients, as such – we do not price per square foot, but rather by actual dimensions and features, taking into account climactic conditions at each individual building site (snow load, design wind speed and wind exposure). While most of our clients are doing DIY, largely due to a lack of quality building erectors, fair market value for labor is typically roughly 50% of what your building kit investment is (not including any concrete).


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I’m hoping you can give me some advice. A pole building 30 wide with scissor trusses pitched at 10/12 out 5/12 inside closed cell insulation finished on the inside with 1″x8″ pine run horizontal ….will spacing the trusses on 4′ centers be alright? The building is in central Iowa zip code 51537.

Thank You so much!! JOHN in HARLAN

DEAR JOHN: These trusses may or may not be adequate for your needs, depending upon loads and spacing they were designed for.

The engineer who sealed your building plans is responsible (by Code) to review your truss drawings to ensure they comply with his or her design specifications as outlined on their plans. They also are to create a permanent bracing plan to satisfy all needed truss and building needs. This bracing plan must be shown on these same plans.

A caution, steeply sloped trusses impart a large horizontal wind load and building sidewall columns must be appropriately analyzed to insure structural adequacy. Columns specific to a 4/12 roof slope, may not be strong enough to carry these added loads. Again, your engineer can (and should) confirm.


DEAR POLE BAR NGURU: Hi, Barndominiums, is there a national code about how far apart the poles should be? 10 ‘ or 8′? Here in Kentucky, I’m under the impression that the poles have to be 8’ apart. Am I correct? Regards DAN in MURRAY

DEAR DAN: You would be incorrect. Poles (actually columns) are inanimate objects and can be spaced at whatever distance their size and grade is capable of supporting using sound engineering practice. Our engineers recently designed a building for one of our clients with columns every 18′ and many years ago, I did one with columns spaced 24 feet on center. In most instances (depending upon climactic loads and door/window locations) columns every 12 feet are most economical.


Price Per Square Foot, Proper Post Treatment, and XPS

This week the Pole Barn Guru answers questions about the price per square foot for a hangar, the proper post treatment for in ground use, and use of XPS insulation between steel and wall posts.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What is the approximate price per square foot for a 62 x 130 t hangar? KENNETH in PUEBLO WEST

DEAR KENNETH: Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building. Your question is rather like asking what is an approximate price for a new car – what type of car?

A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer has been attempting to reach out to you to get more specifics on what you have in mind in order to get even a close price range for you.

Will this be a T hangar https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/airplane-t-hangar/ or a nested T? https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/nested-t-hangar/

What opening widths and heights will you require? Hangar doors can impact building height (and price) greatly. Sliding doors are a less expensive design solution than bi-fold or one-piece hydraulic doors, however present their own unique challenges.


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I have built post frame buildings on and off for 43 years. What is the industry doing to correct the problem of the post rotting off at ground line on post frame buildings? I have attempted to repair buildings in this condition that are settling into the ground. MATT in CLAREMORE

DEAR MATT: In my humble opinion, this could be resolved by having clear markings on Pressure Preservative Treated wood to not leave any doubt as to what proper use is. I have stomped my feet on this very issue for years: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/building-code-3/.

Over my 40 year post frame building career I have yet to see a documented case of a properly pressure preservative treated column rotting off.


DEAR POLE BAN GURU: Good Afternoon .

I have been exploring building a post frame home. Is using a combination of XPS and the external sheathing (~2.0 to 2.5″) and bat insulation in the bays (~R19-R26) possible. These two articles seem to me that the dew point would move inside the XPS during the MN winters and make the wall assembly much more durable. Do you think this might be correct? If so, would Post Frame construction easily adapt to this type of assembly?




DEAR TIM: Designed right, post frame homes are wonderful. My lovely bride and I live in an 8000 square foot post frame shouse (shop/house) not too far distant from you (we are roughly 200 miles due West).

Post frame buildings work structurally very similar to why jet airlines hold together – their ‘skin’ is holding everything together. With post frame, wind loads are transferred from building to ground through this steel roofing and siding skin.

When non-structural insulation boards (XPS) are inserted between framing and steel siding, screws holding steel would have to be exceedingly long. Screw shanks through XPS sheathing would deform (bend) under extreme wind events, causing a reduction in abilities to properly transmit loads. This could contribute to premature building system failure.

An easier solution would be to use two inches of closed cell spray foam insulation between wall girts on steel siding interior surface. This would accomplish a similar end result, without a compromise in building strength.


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”.