Differences Between Pole Barn Houses and Traditional Homes


It used to be the case that pole barns, built using post-frame construction, were only considered viable as agricultural outbuildings. Thankfully, all that has finally begun to change. Now, there are plenty of high-quality, energy-efficient, and absolutely beautiful Pole Barn Houses in just about every state.

Landowners who are considering constructing homes or cabins are flocking to post-frame construction for a variety of reasons. Those still on the fence might appreciate a direct comparison to traditional, stick-frame homes. That’s just what they’ll find below.

Structural Framing Systems

The primary difference between pole barns and traditional stick-framed houses can be found in their underlying structural framing systems. Post-frame construction utilizes wooden posts buried several feet beneath the frost line as its vertical framing element. Stick-frame structures are built completely above ground and usually require continuous concrete foundations. All the other differences between the two types of structures stem from this underlying discrepancy.

Foundation Systems

Stick-frame houses require continuous foundations and typically feature either basements or crawl spaces. Post-frame construction doesn’t require a full foundation. The lack of foundation can help to cut back on construction costs by as much as 15%.

Design Flexibility

Traditional houses have only small wall cavities between their structural supports since the walls are load-bearing. The walls in a pole barn structure don’t support the roof, so the framing posts can be set at eight-foot intervals, offering far more design flexibility. The inside of a post-framed house can also be as open or as enclosed as the property owner wants, paving the way for creative designs and open spaces.

Site Preparation

Traditional homes require continuously poured foundations, which can only be laid on flat, well-prepared sites. Pole barn structures can be erected almost anywhere since they don’t require continuous, flat foundations. They require less site preparation, which means less money spent preparing the way for a new home.

Energy Efficiency

The fact that post-frame construction only requires support beams every eight feet makes them more energy efficient. The larger wall cavities create fewer thermal breaks and allow contractors to install large amounts of insulation. This factor makes post-framed homes perfect for property owners who live in challenging climates.

Project Timelines

Building a traditional home can take many months or even years. Pole barns go up much faster for several reasons. They require very little site preparation, use fewer components, and often contain some premanufactured parts. The shorter project timeline helps to cut back on labour costs and allows homeowners to start reading their new homes for permanent habitation on a much shorter timeline.

Ease of Exterior Additions

It can be both difficult and costly to construct exterior additions onto existing traditional homes. The large overhangs off posts compared to stud walls makes it much easier to add porches and other accessory structures onto a post-frame house.

Pole Barns Are the Clear Winners

Though some property owners still prefer the traditional appearance of stick-framed homes, budget-conscious landowners should seriously consider post-frame construction. It’s more versatile, more affordable, and produces equally beautiful results.


Comments are closed.