Enjoy More Possibilities With a Residential Pole Barn Home

A residential pole barn home is the ideal alternative to a conventional stick-built house when you want to combine a living space with a multi-use toy shed, workshop, or extra-large garage for boats, RVs, and more. The unique type of building allows for:

  • Greater floor plan flexibility
  • More expansive interiors
  • Easier construction of extra-high walls

Shop House vs. Pole Barn Home: Is There a Difference?

“Shop house” may roll off the tongue easier than “pole barn home,” but they are basically the same thing. Throughout this page, we’ll generally use the term “pole barn home,” but you can think of a shop house and a pole barn home as one and the same.

Types of Pole Barn Homes

Pole barn homes can be designed and built for a variety of uses—like a year-round dwelling, a guest house, or a weekend getaway home. 

On top of that, pole barn homes open up the possibility for incorporating your hobbies and interests into a single structure. One common option is a shouse, also known as a shop house, which combines a workshop and/or large personal storage area with a living space.

More specialized options include equestrian facilities combining a riding arena, stall barn, and a personal residence.

Check out our gallery to see various types of pole barn homes.

Interiors of Pole Barn Homes

Unlike conventional stick-frame houses, pole barn homes are built with post-frame construction, which doesn’t require load-bearing interior walls. That can create amazing options for your interiors in addition to exterior decks, patios, and porch areas. 

Pictures say it best. Take a look at our gallery of pole barn home interiors.

Free Pole Barn Home Plans

What’s your vision for your pole barn home? A great place to start is with our free residential pole barn home plans. These are a great example of how pole barn homes can work for a range of needs—and budgets. 

To download these plans and choose from our other layouts, visit our Residential Plans page.

The Benefits of a Pole Barn Home vs. a Conventional Home

There are lots of reasons to consider a pole barn home over a conventionally built stick-frame house. If you recognize your needs—or wants—in the following, a pole barn home could be right for you.

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Consolidated structures

Construction costs go down with a single building, and so can your taxes. By combining structures, you can potentially reduce taxable square footage.

Faster construction time

Pole barn home construction involves fewer overall building components than a conventional house. On top of that, the majority of components used in a pole barn home will be prefabricated, arriving at the project site ready to put into place. These factors can shorten the construction time significantly.

 

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Better foundation options

There are several options for pole barn home foundations, but we’ll focus on the one type that is unique to pole barn homes: post in ground. Posts, either treated wood or concrete, are sunk 4 to 6 feet deep into the ground. A concrete slab is then poured around them. That slab will be at a fraction of the cost of a continuous foundation—which is generally required for stick-frame construction.

More adaptability to site/soil conditions

Post-frame systems in pole barns can be designed to accommodate varying soil wall pressures, either from within or from the exterior of the building wall. This can be accomplished without the extensive excavation costs and expensive concrete foundation system needed for stud walls in stick-frames.

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A more flexible, unobstructed layout

Don’t let load-bearing interior walls limit your dream home! A pole barn home’s clear-span trusses—and resulting wide open spaces—broaden the possibilities for what you can do with the interior.

Extra-high walls and extra-large window openings

Thanks to the larger structural members in a post-frame building, you can construct higher walls much more easily than with stick-built structures. And the columns used in pole barn homes can have on-center spacing of 8 or more feet, a fact that makes extra-large window openings much easier—and less expensive—to construct.

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Easier additions down the road

Being able to expand your space cost-effectively creates further longevity for your building. Options like large overhangs and even major additions are easier to construct off of the posts of a pole barn home rather than the stud walls of a stick-frame building.

Superior durability

The post-frame construction method for pole barn homes uses larger components in its structures. And the larger the component, the longer the lifespan.

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Vaulted ceilings

High ceilings are a more cost-effective option in a pole barn home. They create spaciousness and can transform your pole barn home’s interior into an experience.

More insulation, fewer thermal breaks

A post-frame building will typically have columns placed 8 to 10 feet apart, instead of the conventional 1 ½ to 2 feet with stick-frame stud wall systems. That reduced obstruction in the walls means more room for insulation and less chance for cold to travel through the wall.

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Auto storage and display

Your pole barn home can work great for parking and storing a variety of cars, and you can make it spacious enough for a driving lane.

Spacious toy shed

Say goodbye to squeezing vehicles in and enjoy a super-spacious toy shed or shop garage.

Suburban Residential Home

 

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Understanding Pole Barn Costs

Financing a pole barn home may not be exactly like financing a conventional home. That’s largely because most lenders are much more familiar with financing conventionally built houses.

However, as pole barn homes become more common, more and more lenders understand the nuances—and benefits—of pole barn homes. As a result, they’re now more open to financing them.

What can you do? For starters, seek out the right kind of lender. Wick encourages you to contact the financing organizations listed here.

To calculate the costs of a pole barn home, you’ll need to consider a number of factors, including the following:

Think through your pole barn home’s actual uses. Will it be a year-round dwelling? A simple guest house? Maybe a weekend getaway home?

Could you benefit from combining separate structures the way a shop house does, which connects a workshop or storage shed with a house or living area? If so, how much square footage will it require?

The various guidelines you need to follow—and restrictions you need to honor—can play a significant role in your initial construction costs, as well as ongoing expenses.

It’s also important to remember that, legally speaking, you can’t necessarily build anything you want. However, with a good plan and a knowledgeable building partner, you can usually get what you want.

The physical location of your pole barn home can impact utilities, landscaping, aesthetic choices, and more—all of which will affect overall costs.

And don’t forget about access. Will your pole barn home be on an existing residential plot with access already in place? If not, that means additional costs for grading in a driveway.

A pole barn home is a living space just like any type of house. Prices will obviously vary based on what features you choose.

Prioritize your wants. For example: Top-of-the-line kitchen? Multiple bathrooms? Extensive workshop and/or storage space? Porch overhangs?

Designing—and building—a pole barn home is no small undertaking, and everyone has different timelines, capabilities, and budgets. If you’re thinking about having a pole barn home, just understand that you don’t have to go it alone.

If you’d rather work with an expert, be sure to click on the Find Your Builder link, and we’ll align you with a pole barn home builder in your area.

Start with a qualified, well-experienced pole barn home builder. With over 65 years of building experience, Wick constructs buildings using smart, proven techniques to help ensure customers enjoy a safe, energy-efficient, and long-lasting pole barn home.

More than that, we use materials of exceptional quality and give you options to create a pole barn home that meets both your functional and aesthetic needs.

 

We only use machine-graded or machine-evaluated lumber for all structural components. This allows us to understand the strength of each load-bearing element in the home as we design the building.

Wick pole barn homes include full-hard exterior steel, with 80,000 PSI hardness or better. This results in less dents. Our steel is also G-90 galvanized for better corrosion protection, and our paint is warrantied not to chip or crack for 40 years. (See more on paint options below.) Want a different finish on the exterior such as stone wainscot or a full wall? We can do that too.

Wick carries a variety of durable, highly energy-efficient windows and doors. These products include a cutting-edge glass coating system for energy efficiency and come in vinyl and aluminum clad frame options.

Better weatherization for your pole barn home means less chance for moisture, rot, mold, and structural failure. Wick uses Kimberly-Clark BLOCK-IT® House Wrap patented construction technology that creates a breathable barrier as it prevents water penetration. You get premium protection that’s also affordable.

 

Expanding your color selections gives you a better chance to find just the right color for you. To our long list of popular colors, Wick recently added Copper, Modern Red, Gray Wood, and Matte Textured Black.

Pole Barn Home Builder Locations

Wick provides pole barn home building services in:

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Colorado                              Illinois
Indiana                                 Iowa
Kansas                                 Kentucky
Michigan                              Minnesota
Missouri                               Nebraska
North Dakota                      Ohio
Oklahoma                            South Dakota
Wisconsin                            Wyoming

 

Frequently Asked Questions

A pole barn home is a single-family residential structure built with post-frame construction. Builders use highly engineered, prefabricated laminated wooden posts or columns, trusses, and other components that arrive on site ready to assemble. Although no continuous foundation is required, a pole barn can be built on frost walls, a concrete slab, or a basement.

Yes. A pole barn home does not require a continuous foundation, such as a basement. However, it’s definitely possible to have a basement under a pole barn home if you want.

You have just as many options for the interior of a pole barn home as you would with a conventional home. In fact, because of the way a pole barn home is constructed, you have more flexibility for how you design your floor plan.

Pole barn home builders typically specialize in what’s called post-frame construction. Wick Buildings was founded in 1954 and is one of the nation’s largest producers of post-frame buildings, including pole barn homes to fit a range of uses and budgets.

A number of factors can potentially make a pole barn home less expensive than a conventional house. These can include faster construction time, reduced excavation costs, and less site preparation. However, it’s always wise to price out your entire project before making cost assumptions.

Through our own builders, as well as our network of builder partners, Wick Buildings constructs pole barn homes within a 16-state area. Find a builder near you!.