Feb 15 2021 / Buyer's Guide ,

How To Build A Pole Barn Home In The Tri-State & Sioux City Area: A Buyer’s Guide

Considering a pole barn home? It’s one thing to see something promising in Architectural Digest or on Pinterest. At Koskovich and Murphy, experience has taught us that it’s something else altogether to bring it from the screen, the page, or a blueprint out into the real world. If you’re curious how that works, we’re about to give you a look at the process from the ground up.

What is a Pole Barn Home?

Perhaps you haven’t given a pole barn—what’s also known as a post-frame building—a second thought, and you’re just comparing options as you design your dream home. What makes these buildings different?

Beginning To Plan

Reduced to the essentials, every home has two jobs. The first, and most important, is to protect you from the elements. The second is finding a way to transfer the considerable weight of all the things protecting you (walls, a roof, flooring, and all the things that make a house your home) to the foundation.

Foundation of The Home

There are more advantages to this than you may realize. The structural simplicity makes customization in the design phase easier and far more flexible. The building phase is faster and more efficient.

Not only that, but the finished product is extremely durable. Unlike a stick-built home, where interior walls are responsible for much of the load borne, post-frame construction combines a system of trusses with columns. This allows for wider stretches of open, uninterrupted space inside; outside, it means better insulation because there are fewer thermal breaks, which in turn means greater weatherproofing and energy efficiency.

The Post-Frame Homebuilding Process

But what if you’ve already considered the benefits of a pole barn home and you’re just wondering what comes next?

1. Budget

Your first step is figuring out your budget. Much of what follows will flow from here, including your choice of the home site, your future home’s square footage, finishing options, and furnishings. It’s also a good idea to “pad” your budget; a reputable builder will give you a written quote before work starts, but we’ve often found that changes can come up throughout construction, from additional rooms to tweaks to layout and structure. Making sure you’ve accounted for these gives you an added degree of flexibility or a bit of money left over if you simply stick to your existing plans.

2. Choosing Your Design/Engineering

Once you know what you can afford and where your home will be located, the real fun starts. This is where we begin the design of your home. One of the biggest advantages of a post-frame building is the tremendous degree of flexibility it gives you.

Pole Barn Homes in Traditional Styles

Architecturally, post-frame construction is an excellent fit for a wide variety of traditional home types. Ranches, farmhouses, and even homes with a touch of Craftsman style or mid-century modern are all possible.


A barndominium or “barndo” used to be a living space built over a barn, garage, or other large structure. Some still take that form (it’s useful if you want guest housing over an outbuilding), but others just take advantage of the wide-open spaces and the ability to use plenty of windows for natural light and amazing views.

Custom Post Frame Homes

We’ve found that many of our clients want something a bit outside the box. Custom post-frame construction is adaptable inside and out, so if your imagination can dream it up, our builders can make it a reality. Remember that we also provide other structures and outbuildings, too, including carports, workshops, and storage sheds.

3. Finding Your Contractors

Even a so-called “kit home” or prefab structure won’t erect itself. If you choose to tackle the build yourself, you’re still likely to need some specialized help, including plumbers, electricians, HVAC professionals, roofers, and painters. That can add expense rapidly, and cause headaches if you’re not used to managing a construction project. Because Koskovich & Murphy is a general contractor, we assume responsibility for all phases in the process, delivering a turnkey structure that’s move-in ready from the moment we hand over the keys.

4. Foundation

Older pole barns used poles for support. These days, cross-laminated timber and treated lumber form the structure. Now, as then, the “poles” have an advantage: they can be placed on nearly any kind of terrain. So you certainly can build on a concrete slab, or over a traditional basement. But unlike a traditional home, you don’t have to. From grass to gravel or stone, whatever’s on the site can remain more or less as it is, which means less site preparation and lower cost, but without sacrificing one whit of the advantages — including resistance to vertical loads and lateral stress, energy conservation, and frost protection — afforded by this building style.

5. Building Permits and Property Regulations

Earlier, we discussed the value of having a general contractor help with project management and construction. But our remit doesn’t end there. What homeowners quickly realize with any kind of construction is that there are permits required for nearly everything and a maze of regulations that have to be navigated. Getting it wrong results in time and money lost, so having someone in your corner who will get it right the first time is invaluable.

Call Now for a Free Estimate for Your Dream Post Frame Home!

Whether you’re weighing options, or if you’ve got your dream home planned right down to the area rugs and throw pillows, request a free quote from Koskovich and Murphy today. We’re here to help you through the entire process, from design to estimate to the day you finally take your keys and start moving your belongings into their places.