You don't have to live in pioneer times or join an Amish community to build your own barn. Today you can buy a pole barn kit to construct any kind of outbuilding from a storage barn to an indoor horse ring. Pole barn kit makers even offer kits that use the same simple building principles and basic materials to construct a rustic home. Before you buy, explore the possibilities.
Decide what you want to use your pole barn for. Usage will determine size and features, and those will impact cost. Be sure to factor in site conditions and local planning requirements. Check out the many permutations of pole barn plans available by cruising a site like The Backroad Home if you need inspiration (see Resources).
Determine whether you want a traditional wooden post pole barn kit or one that has been adapted to use steel posts. Steel pole barns like those that come in kits from APM Buildings are more expensive, but they may be more durable in the long run.
Choose from standard sizes and features, like those offered in the wooden pole barn kits from DIY Pole Barn Kits & Supplies, or go with a custom-designed pole barn kit from ABCO. Obviously, you'll pay more for custom designs, but you will get the pole barn of your dreams.
Deal with pole barn kit providers who offer varying degrees of service. If you're using a skilled carpenter or have great DIY skills yourself, simply have the kit delivered and build your own pole barn from the ground up. Many manufacturers offer additional levels of service, from setting the poles and trusses to complete site preparation, construction and electrification. Compare prices among several pole barn kit sellers for additional services you may need.
Finish off your pole barn kit with an additional flourish like a cupola, lightning rod or weathervane.
Look for pole barn kit providers who offer free delivery. That's a lot of timber or metal to pay shipping on, and most reputable dealers include shipping to their delivery areas in the cost of the kit.
Wooden pole barns may not be considered permanent structures in some areas and may not require residential planning permission, so check zoning restrictions before you buy. As with any purchase, you get what you pay for. Be wary of cheap pole barn kits, which may use untreated, substandard or even salvaged materials. Reputable dealers will be happy to provide you with proof that their timber and other materials come from first-rate suppliers.