Feb 28 2021 / Buyer's Guide ,

Cost To Build A Pole Barn in the Tri-State: A Buyer’s Guide

When you’re looking to design and build a pole barn in the Tri-State, the question of money looms large. But how do you even begin to price out a project, whether it’s as simple as a storage shed or as complex as a post frame home? You can begin by benefiting from our experience. As a post-frame building contractor in the Tri-State area, Koskovich and Murphy knows our way around each phase of the building process, beginning with your budget.

What Determines the Cost of a Pole Barn?

Figuring out what to budget involves understanding the many costs involved. It helps to look at your project through the eyes of a contractor first.


If you don’t already have a property selected, this is your first consideration. You may want, or need, a location that’s close to schools, shopping, and neighbors; a commercial pole barn requires commercial zoning, but the considerations for a horse stable or a pole barn home are different (especially if the idea of solitude appeals to you more). Some degree of site preparation is also usually involved, and even though the foundation requirements are different for a pole barn than for other structures, you may still need to grade the property for drainage, and necessities like a driveway or patio.

Preliminary Costs

Next, you’ll need to design your building. The services of an architect will help in this regard, especially for custom post-frame buildings. But your concerns don’t end there. Every municipality has its zoning and code requirements, in addition to requiring permits and inspections at various stages of construction. Don’t overlook this, since a structure that isn’t properly permitted and inspected can cause problems later from your town or city, your insurance company, and others.

Materials Costs

Next, there are the costs for the raw materials required to build your home, as well as the labor—builders, plumbers, electricians, and other contractors—who pull it all together. If you’re concerned with staying on budget, talk to your contractor; some corners are safer to cut (like cabinets that can be replaced later, or different grades of flooring) than others (inexpensive roofing will cost you longer-term than what you’d save in the short term, for instance).

Finishing Touches

Koskovich and Murphy delivers buildings in turnkey condition. That is to say, the day you receive your keys, your structure is move-in ready. But there are certain things you may want to finish off your design before then, which means choosing a wide number of fixtures (plumbing and electrical alike), your windows, doors, masonry, HVAC, and even the kinds of lighting and landscaping you want inside and out.

Cost of Financing a Pole Barn

One more consideration is finance costs. Most of us don’t have enough cash on hand for a major building project, which leaves us looking for a mortgage, home equity loan, or another financing to ensure the project is done on time and budget. Different financing options will be available based on the area, type of construction, and credit. Compare your options carefully, since APR costs, points, and other factors can make a loan one of the higher costs of new construction.

Cost Comparisons: How Post Frame Buildings Stack Up

A pole barn is just one construction method among many to consider when you’re building anything from a new home to a garage or retail space. So how does this type of construction compare to the rest?

Post Frame Vs. Stick Built

What makes a pole frame building more cost-effective? To begin with, it can be built on nearly any kind of surface with only minimal site preparation. You can opt for a traditional foundation, but you don’t have to… and with the foundation accounting for up to 20% of the average home cost, that can be a significant saving on its own. But the design simplicity of a pole barn versus a stick-built structure, other costs like framing, materials, and labor are lower, too.

Post-Frame Vs. Steel Frame

Steel frame buildings are similar to pole barns in several respects. Where they differ is in the posts themselves, since one uses cross-laminated timber, while the other is using structural steel of varying sizes and weights. Needless to say, the use of metal adds a cost premium, even though it’s still considerably less than a stick-built structure.

Post-Frame Vs. Modular

Prefabricated, or modular, homes are also popular. Your home arrives in pieces, much like oversized Lego, and is assembled on-site rather than being built from scratch. This is a quicker approach than stick-built, which tends to cut labor costs; these homes can start at about half the cost per square foot, though it’s still more expensive than post-frame construction.

Post-Frame Vs. Pole Barn Kit

Of course, not everyone’s approaching us for a riding arena or a new home in the Tri-State area. Just as often, people need a bit of extra shelter or storage, be it for cars, farm equipment, livestock, or a bit of supplemental workshop space. We know you can easily go to the local big-box home store for a kit or pre-assembled shed, but a smaller pole barn-type structure can be more cost-effective here as well—especially since you can customize the design to be more useful, and less cookie-cutter.

Custom Buildings Equals Custom Building Quotes

If you’ve read this far, you’ve seen a trend emerge: we’ve had much more to say about trends and rules of thumb than we have about exact dollar figures. There’s a reason for this: every project we approach is different in some way (or many ways) than the others we’ve tackled. For this reason, each project starts with a design consultation, followed by a custom written quote. If you accept it, then—and only then—we get to work bringing your vision to life. If you have questions about our company, our methods, or your project, reach out to Koskovich and Murphy today!