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Pole Barn Garages: What You Need to Know

Are you evaluating your options for building a garage? Here is the key information you need to know about pole barn garages.

Metal Pole Barn Garage

What Is a Pole Barn Garage?

When someone says they want a pole barn garage, they are probably talking about one of two types of buildings:

  1. A post-frame building, made out of large wood posts (“poles”) typically spaced 8 feet apart and buried at least 4 feet into the ground
  2. A prefabricated steel frame building

Both types of buildings typically use steel sheeting for the roof and sides of the buildings. Both can be used as garages. The main difference is that one has a wood post frame and the other has a frame of steel tube frame.

While a steel frame building isn’t technically a true pole barn, many people call it a “metal pole barn” because the steel tubes are metal poles.

How Much Does a Pole Barn Garage Cost?

To answer this question, I got two quotes.

The first quote was provided by DIY Bole Barn’s Price Calculator. I selected a 24’ x 24’ wood pole barn with 10’ sides in North Carolina. To keep things simple, I didn’t add any garage doors or windows, so those would be extra. The total quote I got was $12,205.85 plus at least $3,970.77 to have it built. Altogether that is a little more than $16,000 before selecting any doors and options.

For the second quote I used my own Metal Garage Cost Calculator. I selected a 24’ x 25’ steel frame garage with 10’ side in North Carolina. Again, I didn’t add any garage doors or extra options, so those would be extra. The total quote, including tax and free installation, was $6,821.24. That is less than half the cost of the wood pole frame garage.

Neither estimate includes the cost of a foundation. Wood pole barns and steel frame buildings can be installed directly on the ground, but if you plan to use the pole barn or steel frame building as a garage, it is usually best to add a concrete slab to park your cars on.

Are Pole Barns Cheaper Than Stick-Built Garages?

Usually. Pole barn garages can be built faster than a stick-built garage, so the cost of labor is usually less. If you choose to go without a concrete slab in your pole barn garage you will also save money. A continuous concrete foundation is required for a stick-built garage, so there is no option to go without it if you opt for a stick-built garage.

What Is Better: A Pole Barn or a Stick Built Garage?

Each type of garage has its own pros and cons. Besides the cost of construction, there are several things to consider. Because the posts of a pole barn garage are buried into the ground, the posts can rot prematurely if they are not adequately protected from the moist ground. A pole barn will also be a little more difficult to insulate and wire, since the poles are much farther apart than the studs of a framed garage. Pole barns tend to be more ideal for very large structures. Metal garages have several advantages over all types of wood garages.

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