Eight Nifty Tricks to Save Money When Building a Pole Barn

April 9, 2015

Eight Nifty Tricks to Save Money When Building a Pole Barn

Do you need more space for storage or your new tractor? If so, it may be time for building a new pole barn or garage. But how do you tackle this project without draining your wallet? Here are eight money-saving tricks to bear in mind when building a pole barn.

If you are a shop owner looking for a new storefront, or a horse lover wanting to build your dream barn, a post-frame building is a great option. This type of construction is versatile, and a wonderful way to ensure all of your needs are met. However, constructing a post-frame building is also a great investment. To help you avoid a huge financial blow, here are eight ways to save money when building a pole barn.

1. Spacing of your columns

Builders typically space columns anywhere between six and 12 feet. The wider your column spacing, the less costly your structure is going to be because each column and accompanying truss costs you money.

But some builders may lack the engineering knowledge to design the columns, trusses and the rest of the structure to the load requirements needed for your building. They’ll place columns every eight feet.  And guess who ends up footing the bill?

Reduce the number of columns, and you’ll also need less trusses.

2. Choose durable materials

Saving money up front by purchasing less expensive materials isn’t always good in the long run. Ideally, you want to use materials that will last as long as your building does to avoid renovation costs.

For example, purchasing an inexpensive, low-quality door may end up costing more if you have to replace it within 10 to 15 years if the frame disintegrates, door warps or hinges bend.

This is a rule of thumb for nearly every purchase you make for your building— from windows and doors to steel and insulation materials.  Cheap materials up front will always lead to higher maintenance, replacement and heating/cooling costs in the long run.

3. Install wainscot

This is a significantly overlooked but important piece to any post-frame building.  Wainscot is a 3.5 foot steel panel placed at the bottom of the building.  It is usually a different color but can also be the same color as the rest of the wall.

Wainscot is a great money-saver in the long run

While it will cost you a small amount up front, your wainscot will act as a buffer if you accidentally bump into the wall of your pole barn with a lawnmower, tractor or truck.

Another common problem is your mower may kick up stones or sticks, shooting them at your building and scratching or denting the panel.

If an accident happens, instead of replacing the entire length of the sidewall, you would only have to replace the 3.5 foot section of steel — your wainscot.

4. Choose building aesthetics wisely

Talk to your builder about ways to dress up your building without adding much cost. For example, consider a double gable to get a more residential look instead of shelling out for expensive siding or roof materials.

Double gables are a cost-effective way to dress up a pole barn

5. Install a sliding door

They’re less costly than overhead garage doors or hydraulic doors for equipment access doors that you don’t use frequently.

And today’s slide doors, even large ones, are much easier to open and close than your Dad’s old slide door due to improvements in tracks, trolleys, materials and construction techniques.

6. Use DripStop for condensation control

To prevent condensation from forming or dripping on high-end equipment, purchase DripStop.

It’s not an insulation, yet it effectively controls condensation in non-insulated buildings. It works well for mini warehouses, animal confinement or any cold-storage building in which you wish to deter moisture from dripping on your stuff.

DripStop can potentially save you thousands of dollars in comparison to using ceiling insulation. Read more about it here.

7. Choose an interior liner system over a drywall finish

A good tip for many buildings; adding a steel flushwall liner system interior to your building can be much less expensive than finishing your building with drywall.

You’ll get a durable interior without all the hassle of hanging and finishing drywall.

8. Weigh your options on soundproofing materials

Some people will install a sound-absorbing ceiling material, but that isn’t always the most cost-effective option to reduce noise.

A perforated steel liner with insulation behind it can be a better way to reduce noise, especially in commercial and shop environments.

Communicate with your builder about your budget and needs before plunging in. Post-frame buildings are quite versatile, and your builder may be aware of a nifty feature or money-saving tactic you may have overlooked in your research.

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