Pole Barn vs. Stick Build Cost | Which is Best?
The two main options for building your barn are using the pole or the traditional stick build method. The cost of pole barns can range from $1,000 to $30,000, depending on size and features.
The cost of stick barns can vary from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the size and features you choose.
When considering a pole barn, expect to pay between $11-$20 per square foot for your build. The square-foot price above accounts for material and labor costs.
Pole barns are a great alternative to traditional stick-built structures because they can help save money on the project.
These buildings use posts that go into the ground instead of concrete foundations, making them more cost-effective and easy to build than other building types.
In fact, truss spacings in pole barns are often wider than those found in other single-story construction projects, so you have extra support for heavy snow loads!
Pole Barn Cost Breakdown
When thinking about building a pole barn, material costs can be an important factor. On average, you will pay from $6 to $13 per square foot for materials.
When building a pole barn, the most common materials used will be wood, aluminum, roofing, flooring, and potentially concrete.
Labor is also a factor to take into consideration. Labor cost on a pole barn build can range from $5 -$15 per square foot depending on the contractor you choose and what part of the country you live in.
Pole Barn Factors to Consider
Pole barns can be easy to create because they typically come pre-cut. They can come in a kit, which makes it tailored for you and your needs based on standard plans or customizations.
Pole barns have more headroom than a stick-built structure due to their taller ceiling planks and are typically cheaper to buy materials for when compared with regular board and batten construction.
Pole barns can be constructed in as little as three days, whereas a stick build can take several weeks or months to complete depending on the size of the barn.
Since post-frame construction doesn’t require the lengthy framing process of a traditional stick build, it takes much less time and requires fewer materials.
This makes for quick construction, which goes up sooner and with fewer hands needed on site!
The low cost is due mainly to the fact that they are often less labor-intensive and require fewer materials; however, the cost of the pole barn can become expensive when you factor in buying or renting the equipment needed for its construction.
For example, homeowners might have to rent machinery such as a digger derrick with a winch or hire a crane to move sections of the roof.
Additionally, although building codes may not require it, many homeowners find that hiring an engineer to design their pole barn is well worth the money to avoid problems after construction.
The size of your structure is another factor to consider when you’re estimating the cost of your pole barn building. A 600 sq. ft. pole barn may cost you around $10,000.
If you want something more significant like an 1800 sq. ft. pole barn, expect to pay over $30,000.
Ensure to choose a size that fits your needs. With current lumber prices, it is also essential to think about what material makes sense for your barn and what you will be using your barn for.
Stick Barn Information
A stick-built barn will typically run $30 – $50 per square foot. This per square foot cost takes into account both labor and material costs.
Stick-built construction can be assembled from prefabricated pieces on-site and mostly made up of individual lumber to build the floor, walls, and roof truss.
The stick building method is a more traditional technique used to build structures. It can be very sound, but construction takes longer, and it requires experienced builders who are willing to take on the project.
Stick-Build Factors to Consider
You also want to ensure you have a firm grasp on the building process to help ensure your build will be done correctly and not rushed.
A stick-built barn is built on-site, which is one factor that makes this form of construction take longer than other methods.
Although it may take longer, it allows for on-site fixes that may not be able to be done with other types of construction where everything is preassembled at a factory.
Many people choose stick-built barns when they have a complex design or look for something that resembles more of a traditional home.
If you have a vision of your perfect barn, it is wise to consult with a professional and find out what type of construction is best to build your dream.
Stick Barn Cost Breakdown
Material costs for stick barns are similar to pole barns’ material costs. On average, you will pay from $8 to $15 per square foot for materials when building a stick barn.
Although material per square foot cost may be similar, more materials are usually required to create a stick barn.
Another way a stick barn differs from a pole barn is in labor cost. Usually, stick barns require a framer and other specialty workers. This can make the cost of labor increase compared to the pole barn.
Labor costs for a stick barn can range from $8 -$22 per square foot. The main factors for labor costs will be based on the region and complexity of your build.
Pole Barn vs. Stick Build: Factors to consider
As we previously discussed, a pole barn can be built much faster than a stick build. If you have time restraints, a pole build may fit your timeline better.
Though pole barns might be the most convenient option in terms of speed of construction, stick-built barns are still very popular.
There are many steps involved in building a pole barn, and although one person can complete them, it is ideal if at least two people work together on this project.
Stick-builds also typically have less headroom than pole barns due to their ceiling planks that are more closely spaced together.
Cost Comparison Based On Average Size
|Size||Avg. Costs Sq. FT||Average Cost|
|600 sq. ft.||$11-$20||$6,600 - $12,000|
|1000 sq. ft.||$11-$20||$11,000 - $20,000|
|1500 sq. ft||$11-$20||$16,500 - $30,000|
|Size||Avg. Costs Sq. FT||Average Cost|
|600 sq. ft.||$30 - $50||$18,000 - $30,000|
|1000 sq. ft.||$30 - $50||$30,000 - $50,000|
|1500 sq. ft||$30 - $50||$45,000 - $75,000|
When building a barn, it is crucial to remember that you should pay less per square foot the larger the barn is. The square-foot cost can vary depending on the complexity of your build, but it is typical to have lower per square foot costs the larger structure you want to build.
Pole Barn Advantages
There are times when the pole barns are a better option than their traditional counterpart.
Regardless of cost, you should consult different builders and get quotes from them before starting on either type of project.
If you are looking to build one, be sure to keep in mind that pole barns can be made pretty much anywhere.
Pole barns don’t require a concrete foundation, and most of them are designed to rest freely on gravel or packed earth.
This means that it can be much easier than stick-built construction to find places to build a pole structure without the need for much grading.
Also, a pole barn is much easier to add to than a stick-built barn, as more support beams can be added to increase a pole barn’s height by up to 4 or 5 feet above what it was initially constructed.
Pole barns are also easier to construct in colder climates, where frost can cause the ground to expand and contract with each season.
In these regions, building on footings is tricky, but with a pole barn, this process is almost foolproof.
Stick Barn Advantages
A stick-built barn is better at keeping the heat in the building, which is beneficial in cold climates, but the downside is, that it prevents heat from escaping during the summer in hotter regions.
For this reason, it’s crucial to have a stick-built barn very well ventilated.
A stick barn may be a better choice if you are looking to match your house or want it to look more modern. They typically have more design options due to the style of construction, which is different from pole buildings that use metal beams and trusses for support.
Depending on what buyers plan to use the barn for, a concrete foundation can be necessary. Many people have decided to build barns that extend their houses by including bathrooms and kitchens.
Stick-built can accommodate many home features such as bathrooms or kitchenettes.
Can You Build Your Own Barn?
It’s easier than ever to build a barn yourself!
There are many kits available to construct your own barn if you think of doing this instead of hiring a contractor. Kits can start as low as $5000 for a do-it-yourself. Many times these kits require specific tools, so make sure you factor that into your build costs.
There are many factors to consider before choosing to build your barn, as many things can go wrong when doing it alone.
For starters, many kits on the market are not always helpful; there have been many complaints about the lack of quality of materials included in these kits.
It is also possible that the directions may be incorrect or unclear, and this could cause problems while constructing your building.
The quality of materials used in these kits is also sometimes inferior; a lack of quality products could end up causing you more problems down the road.
If you’re not experienced with this kind of work, it would be best to avoid do-it-yourself kits because they may cost you even more in the long run.
However, if you have experience with this kind of work, do-it-yourself kits may be an excellent way to go because they can save you money over hiring a construction company.
Which Option is Best For You?
Many people looking for lower prices on their buildings turn towards pole builds instead of stick-built barns.
There is more labor and time used to construct a stick-built barn than to make a pole-built barn. More work means that stick builds are often more expensive than purchasing the materials for a pole barn.
The time and labor required to complete a stick build results in an increased cost of money spent on materials and workers.
People who want a building quickly, without spending too much money on it, often find themselves turning toward pole barns for their construction.
Pole barns have lower prices because it is relatively easier to build a pole shed than stick-built construction. This makes them more appealing in terms of both time and cost.
If your concern is more about the style and looks of your barn rather than the cost, a more appealing option would be a stick build that you could have made to match your home.
A pole barn vs. stick build is a difficult decision to make, but these are some clear advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before making your choice.
Pole barns are a faster and typically cheaper option than stick builds. They also have straight layouts, which can better make storage spaces or garages.
However, if you want an ornamental layout that reflects the style of traditional homes, then a stick build will make more sense for you because pole barns don’t offer as much design choice when it comes to aesthetics.
You should consider all three factors; budget (pole vs. stick), use (home extension or storage) & geographical location (cold vs. warm climate).
All these play essential roles in what type will suit your needs best.