Barn style homes are becoming increasingly popular. They are an ideal option for those who want that rustic country look. Pole barn homes don’t have load-bearing walls, which adds to their unique appeal.
In addition to being cost-effective, they are incredibly versatile and can be customized to have a more modern interior or open multipurpose feel. Here are seven things you should consider when building a barn style home.
1. Site Planning
Site planning is the first step after deciding on the type of barn you want. It involves deciding on the location, layout, and the size of the house. All these decisions are made when drawing the plan. A good plan should take account of drainage, sunlight, and ease of access.
For instance, livestock barns should be angled to make sure air flows throughout the barn. Site planning also determines the size of the barn. If it’s big, you risk encroaching on your neighbor’s property. Other factors, such as the gradient of the land, should also be considered during site planning.
2. The Type of Foundation
Traditional pole barn homes are built without foundations. The poles are placed directly into holes dug in the ground. The depth of the holes depends on the winds, thickness of the wall, weather, and the local building codes. However, a barn built without foundation is susceptible to vertical movement. In other words, the building will sink over time.
Today this problem is overcome by placing concrete disks in each hole. In modern construction, the poles are anchored to a metal bracket attached to a concrete column with holes. Alternatively, the poles can be anchored to precast concrete posts. Concrete foundations eliminate both settling and rotting of the post. However, expect to spend more.
3. Type of post
Post can either solid sawn or laminates. Solid sawn poles are logs cut sawn from a single piece of lumber. Logs are the traditional type of poles that have been used for hundreds of years. On the other hand, Laminates refer to engineered building poles. They are made by bonding layers of wood together to form one post.
Laminates can either be cross-laminated or glue-laminated. The difference between the two is the orientation of the layers of wood. Laminated timber is more durable than solid longs. In addition to the superior structural strength, laminates are rot-resistant. Solid sawn logs are more cost efficient, especially when building a small barn.
4. Roof Pitch
Pitch is a measurement of the slope of a roof. It is calculated from the height of a roof every 12 inches horizontally. Building a higher pitch is more expensive than a lower (flatter) roof. This is mainly because a steep roof requires more trusses and more roofing material. If you live in very windy areas, then a slightly flatter roof is the best option.
Conversely, if you live in snowy or rainy places, then you need a very steep roof to avoid the accumulation of water and snow. Your roof must comply with the roofing standards provided by the American Society Testing Materials (ASM) and the local codes.
5. Wall thickness
Metal sheets are the most common material for the exterior wall of a pole building. They are both durable and visually appealing. Metal sheets come in various sizes and thicknesses. As per the American Iron and Steel Institute, the smaller the gauge, the larger the thickness.
For instance, a 26-gauge metal sheet is thicker than a 30-gauge. The thicker the metal, the higher the cost. If you live in an area with extreme weather, then consider getting a thicker wall metal, meaning a lower gauge. Apart from thickness, you will also have to select a color for your exterior. Choose a metal sheet with a longer rust and fade warranty.
6. Interior Finishing
A house is not finished until the interior is complete. The home should be well-ventilated and adequately insulated. The roof should have a condensation barrier to prevent water damage. You will also have to decide on the type of insulating material to use.
Areas that need insulation are walls, floors, ceilings, and attics. The available options include fiberglass, cotton, cellulose, and denim. For the interior walls, you can opt for drywall, plywood, steel, or a combination depending on your preference.
7. The reputation of Your Contractor
Always do a background check on the company you are trusting to build your home. The National Frame Builders Association (NFBA) recommends choosing a builder that is NFBA-accredited. Find out how long they have been in business and the work they have done.
Testimonials from previous clients should give you an indication of their level of competence. An experienced contractor will obtain all the permits, build to the local codes, and provide warranties. Compare quotes from different companies before deciding.
Seek Help From a professional
Building a home is one of the most significant investments you will make in your life. A mistake at any stage of the construction has financial implications.
You don’t want your pole barn built to standard. Ensure the quote includes everything, including the cost of clearing any debris from the construction site. Leave nothing to chance.