Pole barns have become a popular choice for many people because they offer a great value on both materials and labor costs. However, the costs to build one can vary greatly and leave you wondering what your actual budget should be. This is especially important if you’re trying to decide whether to do some of the work yourself or contract out.
On average , the labor cost to build a pole barn is $7,000. The typical barn is 1000 SQFT and the average labor cost is $7 per square foot. The labor cost ranges between $5 and $10 per square foot. However, this number can go up or down depending on features and the costs to hire various professionals. The biggest factor in determining the labor costs of a pole barn is the size.
- How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pole Barn?
- How Much is the Labor Cost for a Pole Barn?
- Cost Breakdown for Building a Pole Barn
- Pole Barn Finishing Costs
- Pole Barn Kits
- Building a Pole Barn Yourself
- What is a Pole Barn?
- Why Build a Pole Barn?
- The Bottom Line
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pole Barn?
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to build a pole barn is around $25,000. While that may sound like a large number, it’s significantly less than the average cost to build a standard barn, which is $50,000.
The price to build a pole barn fluctuates depending on the cost of materials, the design, and your intended use of the space. For example, the cost to build a pole barn for residential use versus storing farm equipment will be different due to the upgrades and features.
Average Costs by Use
|Type of Pole Barn||Average Cost|
|Pole Barn Home||$38,500|
Average Pole Barn Costs
|Average Range||$15,000 - $35,000|
Remember, the average price per square foot usually goes down as the size of the building goes up. So, while the overall cost is higher for a larger pole barn, the cost per square foot is typically a little less. This helps the total for a large structure remain reasonably priced.
Average Pole Barn Costs Per Square Foot
|Square Footage||Price Per Square Foot (Min)||Price Per Square Foot (Max)|
|1,200 - 2,500||$35||$50|
|2,501 - 4,000||$30||$40|
|4,001 - 8,000||$20||$30|
How Much is the Labor Cost for a Pole Barn?
The labor cost, specifically, can range anywhere between $5 per square foot to $15 per square foot for standard installation and construction costs. However, this amount can increase for hourly professionals to do work to add features to the building.
The types of materials and how complex the work is can also impact the labor costs. If you’re budgeting for your project, you should also consider if extra time is needed to address problems or re-build certain components, which may increase your price.
Pole Barn Average Labor Cost
|Pole Barn Size||Average Labor Cost per Square Foot|
|Small pole barn, simple||$5|
|Mid-range builds||Mid-range builds|
|Large or complex builds||$15|
If you’re building a pole barn that will have electricity, added insulation, HVAC, or plumbing, you’ll need to account for higher labor costs to hire professionals that are typically paid by the hour. You may find a general contractor who will quote a flat rate, but there are often additional fees for adding specialized labor.
Average General Contractor Costs
|Low Total Cost||$250|
|Average Total Cost||$4,000|
|High Total Cost||$58,000|
In addition to the per-square-foot cost of labor and materials, it’s also important to think about technicians that charge hourly rates for their services. The labor costs for these professionals can vary significantly based on the size and scope of the project.
For example, running wiring for a simple light switch in a garage-sized pole barn would cost much less than a large workshop that has lighting, outlets, wiring for HVAC, internet access or phone lines, and so on.
Average Cost for Specialized Labor
|Technician Type||Average Rate per Hour|
|Window & door installer||$22.37|
Cost Breakdown for Building a Pole Barn
Let’s look at the different factors that impact the cost of building a pole barn and what you should consider when budgeting your project. Keep in mind that the cost of materials can fluctuate dramatically, so you should always take that into consideration when calculating your costs.
Labor costs can also vary depending on the type of skill needed to complete the work. For example, a finished barn requiring extensive electrical work or HVAC will have higher contractor fees than a simple barn without these upgrades.
Pole Barn Cost by Size
The cost of building a pole barn primarily depends on the size of the structure. This will determine how much material is needed and how long the project will take to complete. On average, you should expect to pay between $15-$30 per square foot to construct a pole barn.
Average Pole Barn Cost by Size
To determine the size of a barn that you need, you should consider what you will use the space for. According to HomeGuide, 1,200 square feet of barn space will house about 100 bales of hay and around 8 horse stalls (or, one stall per 144 square feet).
The price per square foot can increase with additional customizations, adding anywhere from an additional $10 to $30 per square foot to the total cost.
Pole Barn Size and Cost by Use
|Use||Size||Square Footage||Average Cost|
|Single garage, single horse barn||16x16||256||$4k - $8k|
|2-car garage, 2-horse barn||20x20||400||$4.5k - $12k|
|2-horse barn, 30 bales of hay||20x30||600||$5k - $15k|
|3-car garage, 4 horse barn||30x30||900||$7k - $20k|
|8 horse stalls, small retail space||30x40||1,200||$10k - $25k|
|4-car garage, 10 horse stable||30x50||1,500||$12k - $30k|
|6-car garage, 12 horse barn||30x60||1,800||$15k - $35k|
|10 horse stalls||40x40||1,600||$13k - $32k|
|Industrial workshop||40x40||2,400||$20k - $40k|
You may need to have some work done to prepare the site where you’re going to build your pole barn. The costs of preparing the land can vary based on factors such as:
- Amount of vegetation
- Type of fill
- Building pad size
- Excavation costs
The costs for preparing to build can also depend on your planned use of the pole barn. For example, certain considerations should be made for a site that will be used for livestock versus a home or commercial entity.
Average Costs for Site Preparation by Usage Type
|Usage Type||Average (Minimum) Cost||Average (Maximum) Cost|
Design Costs and Permitting
The type of pole barn that you build will be dependent on what you’re going to use it for. Once you know this information, you can plan or select the frame design that best fits your needs. You’ll need this information (including the design specs) to obtain permits to start construction.
Permit costs vary by local jurisdiction, but they also usually increase or decrease based on the square footage of the structure and its usage type. It’s a good idea to contact your local or state office to get accurate pricing and information about permits.
If you’re building a very small pole barn, you may not need a permit. Many states do not require a permit for structures under 200 square feet. Also, there may be some agricultural exemptions available, depending on what you’re using the barn for, so it’s definitely worth a phone call.
However, for planning purposes, you should plan on spending anywhere between $500 – $1,500 for a permit to build your pole barn.
Average Permit Costs for Pole Barn
|Usage Type||Average Cost Range|
|Agricultural||$0 - $2,000|
|Residential||$50 - $1,000|
|Commercial||$1,000 - $100,000|
|Equine||$50 - $3,000|
Pole Barn Finishing Costs
The finishes, details, and upgrades that you include in your pole barn design and build will impact the bottom line cost. More complex projects may require your builder to subcontract work out to other professionals, increasing your labor costs for the project.
Pole Barn Flooring
Depending on the use, there are many options for flooring your pole barn. For animals and livestock, you can leave the floor unfinished as an inexpensive option. Many people use concrete for pole barn floors, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
Doors and Windows
Unless your pole barn is just a frame, you will probably want to add doors and windows to the structure. There are many designs and options to choose from, but you should plan to spend at least $500 per window.
Standard doors start around a few hundred dollars and go up to $2,000. The cost will go up if you add an automatic roll-up door (garage door style) or if you add multiple doors. Depending on what you’re using the building for, you may need several entrances and different size openings for your doors.
Paint and Exterior Finish
Most people want to paint the exterior of their pole barn so that it’s visually appealing or so it matches the theme of whatever the barn is being used for. The cost for exterior painting depends on how much paint is needed, the amount of labor, and the condition of the building.
Since your pole barn will be new, it shouldn’t require much pre-treatment or repairs, which should help reduce the cost slightly. The labor cost for a painter is around $60 – $100 per hour, and an average painter can cover approximately 175 square feet per hour. However, you should remember that this cost does not include paint and other materials.
Average Labor Costs for Painting a Pole Barn
|Pole Barn Size||Square Footage||Average Labor Cost|
|16x16||256||$85 - $150|
|20x20||400||$135 - $230|
|20x30||600||$200 - $350|
|30x40||900||$300 - $515|
|30x50||1500||$515 - $875|
|30x60||1,800||$615 - $1100|
Pole Barn Kits
An alternative to building a pole barn from scratch is using a pole barn kit. These kits can cost as little as a couple of thousand dollars, up to over $100,000 for very large residential or commercial structures.
A pole barn kit typically includes all the framing and sheeting, as well as some exterior trim details. Kits are nice because they will normally include a pretty good warranty, the plans that you need for permits, and anchor bolt drawings.
When you purchase a pole barn kit, you can also pay for professional installation by the manufacturer’s contractors. If you want to do it yourself, you would save about 50% of the total cost.
Average Costs for Pole Barn Kit
|Size||Dimensions (feet)||Average Cost Range|
|Small||24x24x8 - 46x48x10||$2,400 - $10,700|
|Medium||36x36x12 - 40x80x14||$7,000 - $21,000|
|Large||40x60x16 - 60x120x16||$14,400 - $51,000|
Building a Pole Barn Yourself
Even if you’re an experienced DIY kind of person, you’ll still incur some labor costs associated with building a pole barn on your own. The overall cost may be lower for building it yourself, but remember that the time and materials cost can increase the value of hiring a builder or using a kit.
Here are some of the costs you should expect for building a pole barn yourself:
- Materials – $5 – $15 per square foot
- Foundation – $5 – $10 per square foot
- Labor – $5 – $10 per square foot
- Insulation – $1 – $3 per square foot
What is a Pole Barn?
Pole barns are structures of various sizes that are built using a series of vertical supports, or poles. These can be around the outside of the barn, in the center supporting the roof, or in a combination of the two locations.
These buildings also use a form of horizontal supports known as girts.
The inside of pole barns can be anywhere from quite simple to very complicated, depending on the overall purpose. These details matter, because they factor into the overall labor costs of building one of these barns.
Why Build a Pole Barn?
There are many reasons why you might want to build a pole barn on your property. Whether you need additional storage space for vehicles or want the barn to serve as a home for your horses, these buildings can handle it.
In addition, pole barns come in a number of different sizes. You can have one custom-made to your exact specifications or choose to use a kit. Once you’ve determined what type of pole barn you want on your property, you’ll better be able to figure out what your labor costs will be.
The Bottom Line
The labor costs are not the biggest expense when building a pole barn, but they are a significant consideration. The average pole barn will cost between $15,000 and $35,000 to build, but there will be many different factors that will impact the overall cost.
There are many other things to consider besides just the total cost. You should also think about whether you will contract the work or do it yourself if it’s better to use a kit or build from scratch, and what kind of upgrades and additional features you need for your project. You may be interested in the cost to erect a metal building.