How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pole Barn House?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

The available housing options today are more diverse than they’ve ever been. You can stick with a more conventional house if you prefer, but going with something different is an option for many people. If you are interested in unconventional homes yourself, then you should take a longer look at building a pole barn house.

Pole barn houses are becoming increasingly popular among prospective homeowners and it’s easy to understand why. Their appeal to new homeowners is tied in large part to how affordable they are relative to the more traditional options. So, how much will it cost you to build a new pole barn house from scratch?

The total cost of building a pole barn house is $161,500. Constructing the building shell takes up the bulk of the budget at $90,000. Preparing the site for construction will cost $3,100 and installing the major systems will tack on an additional $30,000. Adding basic elements to your pole barn home such as roofing, flooring, entryways, and other finishing touches will cost $38,400.

Going unconventional with regards to your home choice can have some practical benefits. Consider the pole barn home before you proceed with building anything because it could be the most sensible option for you. Learn more about the expenses associated with building a pole barn house by reading the rest of this article.

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What Is a Pole Barn House?

Pole barn houses are growing in number, but many are still not completely familiar with them. Before we detail how much you can expect to spend on building a pole barn house, let’s first define what it is.

You’re probably familiar with traditional barns and you may have been inside one before. For those who may be unaware, the big difference between barns and other common residential structures can be seen in the foundation.

Most of those residential structures are built on top of a sturdy foundation. However, barns do not have a foundation. Instead, numerous poles that are driven into the ground and metal panels serve as the support for the typical barn.

Although it may seem strange to build a structure with no foundation, there are benefits to doing that. Chief among those benefits is reduced cost. Barns are usually pretty affordable.

It’s also worth noting that barns can be built quickly. They are very helpful if farmers need additional storage in a hurry.

Those distinctive benefits that come from building barns also extend to building pole barn houses. Now, you can see why building a pole barn house can be a smart choice.

Cost to Build a Pole Barn House

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$130,000
Mid-Range Estimate$161,500
High-End Estimate$194,000

If you’re building a pole barn house, you’re likely doing it from scratch. Be ready to make a significant investment if that’s the case. On average, building a new pole barn house will cost around $161,500 with the labor expenses accounted for.

Labor rates and material costs can still lower the cost of building that pole barn house in your area. Instead of the new construction costing $161,500, it may be priced closer to $130,000. Conversely, the cost of the project may balloon to around $194,000 based on those same variables.

Constructing a pole barn house is a very involved project. Even if you don’t have to worry about the foundation, there are still numerous elements that must be accounted for.

You will need the expertise of numerous skilled workers throughout this project. Consider hiring a contractor if you need some assistance.

Cost to Prepare Site for Pole Barn House

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$1,400
Mid-Range Estimate$3,100
High-End Estimate$5,000

The first part of building a pole barn house involves clearing the construction site. You can expect the cost of clearing the land to end up right around $3,100.

That cost estimate applies to about an acre of land. Your plot of land could be bigger or smaller than that. If so, knowing more about the cost of land clearing per square foot could be more useful to you.

On average, property owners pay close to $1.70 per square foot to clear their land. Expect to pay a bit more or a bit less than that based on the work you need to get done.

For the most part, site clearing only involves removing trees and other debris from your land. It may also include excavation, but that may only be needed to accommodate the poles. Make sure you communicate your plans to the contractor so you don’t pay for more work than you need.

Cost to Construct the Building Shell for a Pole Barn House

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$60,000
Mid-Range Estimate$90,000
High-End Estimate$120,000

By far, the largest expense you’ll have to pay for when building a pole barn house is the building shell. More than 55 percent of your budget will go toward this part of the project. On average, you’ll have to pay about $90,000 for a standard pole barn house building shell.

The building shell should measure around 40’ x 60’ or else it may prove too small for you and your family. That kind of shell should provide enough room for basic features along with some modern amenities.

Note that the building shell is truly just the backbone of your pole barn house. No finishing elements whatsoever are added to basic building shells.

The main piece you’re getting from the building shell is the frame for your pole barn home. You can add several elements to flesh out that frame and create the kind of home you want. Even the roof is absent from the building shell, but framing is provided for it.

The posts are included when the building shell is constructed. Select a strong material for those poles to ensure your home will end very steady and highly durable.

Cost of Major System Installations

System TypeCost

The process of fleshing out your pole barn house must involve installing major systems. The systems we’re referring to are electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.

You’ll have to pay a good amount of money for those system additions. Let’s break down how much installing each of those systems will cost below.

Electrical System

First off, you need to install an electrical system inside your home. Doing so will cost an average of around $9,000.

Start by hiring an electrician to handle this part of the project. Your contractor may already know an electrician who can take on the installation. Hiring an independent electrician is also an option and they typically charge about $40 to $50 per hour.

You also have to worry about the material costs associated with installing a new electrical system. Items you’ll need include wires, outlets, switches, and a circuit breaker at the very least. Think of what appliances you want in your pole barn house to start with so they can be accommodated properly.

HVAC System

An HVAC system is crucial to keeping your home comfortable. You can get one installed in your pole barn house for around $11,000.

Just like with the electrical system, you can hire a specialist to handle the installation of your HVAC system. HVAC technicians typically charge $40 to $50 per hour. Speak to your contractor and ask if they know someone who will take on the job for a more affordable rate.

Installing the HVAC system involves more than just getting the air conditioner and furnace in position. Since your pole barn house is being built from scratch, the technician will have to install the ductwork too.

Plumbing System

The last major system that must be added to your pole barn house is the plumbing system. Adding a plumbing system to your pole barn house will cost approximately $10,000.

Installing the plumbing system will likely take the most time since it involves arranging the pipes and connecting them properly. Once that’s done, the fixtures will have to be set in place.

Given the number of tasks involved in installing a new plumbing system, many homeowners opt to bring in additional plumbers. On average, plumbers charge $95 per hour. Hiring extra plumbers will be expensive, but it may be necessary to speed up the completion of your pole barn house.

Cost to Finish Your Pole Barn House

Addition to Pole Barn HouseCost

Your pole barn house remains incomplete even after you add the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. To turn it into a comfortable place of residence, you have to add more essential elements.

We’re going to detail those other important elements in this section of the article. Take note of them so you have a better idea of how much you’ll have to spend. The estimates provided below also include the related labor expenses.

Roofing for Your Pole Barn House

Topping off your pole barn house with a new roof will be necessary. Installing new roofing is a major expense. It will cost you about $14,500 on average.

One downside to building a pole barn house is that your roofing options are limited. Aluminum and steel roofs are, by far, the most common options used and it’s assumed that you will choose one of them. Metal roofs are prized for being durable and energy-efficient, but they are prone to denting.

Style options for metal roofs are not that plentiful. You may be forced into a certain style because of that.

Going with a different material for your new roof is still an option. However, you will have to pay extra for that.

Flooring for Your Pole Barn House

Installing flooring inside your pole barn house is also an option. That will cost you right around $3,000.

Adding flooring to that kind of home can be tricky since there is no foundation present. Line your floor with typical tiles and they may not be spread out evenly.

Your best option if you want flooring inside your pole barn house is to pour some concrete. Pouring a concrete floor is easier because that can be leveled out by the workers.

Concrete flooring can also keep your pole barn house clean. It will be easier for you to tidy up at home with the concrete floor in there.

Siding for Your Pole Barn House

Next up, let’s discuss the matter of adding siding to your pole barn house. Expect to pay close to $10,000 if you want new siding.

Unlike roofing or flooring, you have a few more options when it comes to siding. Many of the same siding options you can use for conventional homes remain usable for pole barn houses. Wood is probably the most common option, but you’re not stuck with that.

You can use the siding to change the appearance of your new home. If you’re not especially fond of how pole barn homes look, the siding can help change that.

Drywall for Your Pole Barn House

Lining your pole barn home with drywall will cost you approximately $1,900. The drywall you’re adding can pair well with your siding.

Depending on where you live, the drywall may be regarded as a must-have addition. It will keep your home better insulated so extreme weather will be easier to endure.

The drywall can also serve as another layer of protection inside your home. Drywall will be especially effective against potential fires.

Drywall can also be used to separate the different rooms inside your pole barn house. Since pole barn houses have more open interiors, it will be helpful to have those drywall partitions in place.

Doors for Your Pole Barn House

It’s now time to add some doors to your pole barn house. The addition of a single door can already cost you $1,300 so make sure you select one that you’ll like long-term.

Doors added to pole barn homes are not completely similar to the ones installed on conventional houses. You’re not using a standard front door in this case. What you need instead is a garage door.

Garage doors pair better with the large frames of pole barn houses. Using a standard door can make the proportions of your new look off.

Some homeowners may even appreciate the usage of garage doors. Attach an electric opener to your door and it will be able to open and shut at the press of a button.

Windows for Your Pole Barn House

New windows for pole barn houses usually cost around $5,000. If that number seems high, that’s because it assumes that you are getting more than one window installed.

So, what kind of windows pair well with pole barn houses? Opting for standard-sized windows is possible and many homeowners do prefer that.

Those smaller windows are great for altering the appearance of a pole barn house. You can use them to turn the façade of your pole barn house into one that more closely resembles a traditional home. There are no limitations on which windows you can install so choose the style you like.

For those interested in maximizing the available space in a pole garage house, installing super-sized windows is also an option. Those larger windows are great for letting more air and natural light in. They are great to have if you want to keep your energy costs down.

Painting Your Pole Barn House

The building shell of your pole barn house could sustain damage faster if it isn’t painted over. You can protect your new home better using paint for about $1,200.

Although the type of paint you choose can change the cost slightly, that’s not the factor that matters most for pricing. The biggest cost factor for painting is the surface that will be coated.

Painting over metal is relatively cheap, especially if we’re talking about the siding. Adding a new coat of paint to wooden surfaces is a bit more expensive. That can be a big deal whether you’re using siding or not.

Applying new paint gets even more expensive if you want to change the appearance of your drywall. Keep that in mind as you’re deciding whether or not to install drywall in the first place.

Insulation for Your Pole Barn House

Finally, insulating your pole barn house will cost you about $1,500. Given how pole barn houses are designed, installing insulation usually comes highly recommended.

Blown-in insulation is the standard for pole barn homes. You can hire a specialist to take on that job.

The blown-in insulation can be added to your ceiling, walls, and even your floor if you’re getting that added. Some siding options also come with insulation already included. Choosing those types of siding can help you reduce your spending on insulation considerably.

Don’t skimp on the insulation if you’re living in a pole barn house. With no insulation added, your new home could become very uncomfortable to stay in.

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Related Questions

How Much Does a Pole Barn Kit Cost?

Building from scratch is not the only way you can end up with a pole barn house. There are also pole barn kits that you can purchase if you want to live in that kind of home.Just know that you’re not saving that much money by choosing a pole barn kit. A new pole barn kit still costs around $100,000.

How Much Does a Pole Barn Garage Cost?

You can also build a pole barn garage in addition to your pole barn house. A small pole barn garage that’s suitable for one car usually costs around $8,000. Larger pole barn garages that can house up to three cars are priced closer to $10,000.

How Much Will You Have to Pay for a Pole Barn House Building Permit?

Permits are required for building pole barn houses. Typically, building permits for that specific kind of structure cost right around $500.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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