Post frame construction goes back hundreds of years. Hand-crafted and built to last, the columns of some of the oldest structures in the world remain standing today. Talk to anyone with even a modest understanding of pole barns, and they’ll rattle off numerous well-known benefits of the building style. Durability, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and energy-efficiency are the most familiar advantages of these engineered wood-frame systems – featuring large, solid-sawn posts or laminated columns – but the list is far from complete. In this article, we’ll explain some lesser recognized, yet equally important benefits of post frame structures.

Construction Chameleons

Hear the term pole barn and it may conjure up images of horse stables, chicken coops and single-room schoolhouses. What many people don’t realize, however, is that post frame construction can be used to build any structure imaginable! Think you need concrete to construct a church? You don’t. Do you require brick and mortar to build a bank? Nope. For decades, savvy business owners and shrewd builders have been using post frame to erect structures for a variety of uses (in less time with less money) including:

  • Airplane hangars
  • Barns
  • Churches
  • Commercial buildings
  • Community centers
  • Convenience stores
  • Country clubs
  • Financial institutions
  • Fire stations
  • Garages
  • Gas stations
  • Hotels
  • Industrial buildings
  • Libraries
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Medical facilities
  • Museums
  • Recreation plazas
  • Residential homes
  • Restaurants
  • Retail shops
  • Schools
  • Sheds
  • Strip malls
  • Theme park buildings
  • Warehouses

Design Darlings

If you’re surprised by the list of post frame structures above, you’re not alone. One of the best-kept secrets of the construction method is that pole barns can be made to look like any other style of building! And since an array of materials can be used on the façade of post frame buildings, you may not even recognize when you’re standing in one. Brick, wood, stucco…the look of your pole barn is limited only by your imagination:

Siding Options:

  • Architectural foam
  • Board and batten wood siding
  • Brick siding/wainscoting
  • Exterior insulation finish systems
  • Fiber cement siding products
  • Horizontal lap steel siding
  • Horizontal lap vinyl siding
  • Horizontal lap wood siding
  • Stone siding/wainscoting
  • Stucco
  • Vertical steel siding/wainscoting

Of course, achieving your ideal aesthetic isn’t possible without the proper finishing touch. Fortunately, post frame is versatile enough to accommodate a variety of roofing materials. You can also choose the pitch of your pole barn roof, or opt for a low-slope roof deck with a watertight system to complete your construction:

Roofing Options:

• Asphalt shingle
• Canopies
• Clerestory gable
• Corrugated steel
• Dutch gable
• Low-slope
• Mansard hip
• Porches
• Porticos
• Roof overhang
• Slate shingle
• Standing seam
• Tile shingle
• Wood shingle

Newfangled Foundations

Post frame structures are durable because their foundations are so strong. And while the original method of embedding pressure treated posts or laminated columns directly into the soil is best known, it’s not the only reliable approach. Nowadays, pole barns can be bolted onto reinforced concrete piers, slabs, or even traditional masonry or concrete block foundations.

In addition to wood protection products and enhanced treatment techniques developed explicitly for post frame structures, there are also a host of contemporary alternatives to driving posts into the ground:

  • Pre-cast reinforced concrete columns
  • Poured-in-place concrete piers
  • HDPE plastic barrier wood protection systems
  • Blow-molded plastic barrier systems
  • Polyethylene post sleeve and footing forms
  • Asphalt and polyethylene-based barrier wrap protection systems

Ready to build your ideal pole barn? We’re always here to help with the highest quality building materials in half the average lead time. Contact us to learn more.