Are pole barns cheaper than stick-built?

Pole barns and stick-built structures are two popular options for building structures such as barns, garages, and even homes. Both methods have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, but one question that often arises is whether pole barns are cheaper than stick-built structures. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two building methods and determine which one is more cost-effective.

What is a Pole Barn?

A pole barn, also known as a post-frame building, is a type of structure that is constructed using large poles or posts as the main support system. These poles are typically made of wood, but steel and concrete can also be used. The poles are anchored into the ground and connected with trusses to form the roof. The walls of a pole barn are made of metal siding or wood panels, and the interior can be left open or divided into separate rooms.

What is a Stick-Built Structure?

A stick-built structure, also known as a conventional or traditional building, is constructed using a framework of vertical wooden posts, beams, and joists. The walls are typically made of wood or masonry, and the roof is constructed using rafters and trusses. The interior of a stick-built structure can be divided into rooms using walls made of drywall or other materials.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to the cost of construction, there are several factors to consider for both pole barns and stick-built structures.

Materials: The materials used for construction play a significant role in the overall cost of a building. Pole barns typically use less expensive materials such as wood poles, metal siding, and roofing, which can make them more cost-effective than stick-built structures. Stick-built structures, on the other hand, require more materials such as lumber, insulation, drywall, and roofing materials, which can increase the overall cost.

Labor: The labor costs for constructing a pole barn are generally lower than that of a stick-built structure. This is because pole barns are easier and faster to construct, requiring fewer skilled workers and less time to complete. Stick-built structures, on the other hand, require more skilled labor and can take longer to build, resulting in higher labor costs.

Foundation: Pole barns do not require a traditional foundation like stick-built structures. Instead, they use poles that are anchored into the ground. This can save on the cost of excavation and pouring a concrete foundation, making pole barns a more affordable option.

Customization: Stick-built structures offer more customization options than pole barns. With stick-built structures, you can choose from a variety of materials, finishes, and architectural styles. This level of customization can significantly increase the cost of construction. Pole barns, on the other hand, have limited customization options, which can make them a more cost-effective choice.

Maintenance: In terms of maintenance costs, pole barns are generally cheaper than stick-built structures. The materials used in pole barns, such as metal siding and roofing, require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan compared to wood used in stick-built structures. This can result in significant cost savings over time.

Permits and Codes: Building codes and permit requirements can vary depending on the location and type of structure being built. In some areas, pole barns may be exempt from certain building codes and permit requirements, making them a more affordable option. However, it is essential to check with your local authorities to ensure that you are following all necessary regulations.


In conclusion, pole barns are generally cheaper than stick-built structures. They require fewer materials, less labor, and have lower maintenance costs. However, stick-built structures offer more customization options and may be required to meet certain building codes and permit requirements, which can increase the overall cost. Ultimately, the cost of construction will depend on your specific needs and budget. It is essential to carefully consider all factors before deciding on the best building method for your project.

Are pole barns cheaper than stick-built?

Was this helpful?

0 / 0