Pole Barn Home
Pole Barn House
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to build and live in a pole barn house? I did; and in order to manifest this curiosity, I salvaged building materials--doors and windows--over the course of a year and designed and built a house around the materials. This resulted in a 1,085 SF pole building that makes a great small home, cottage, cabin, or guest house. Its simple shape makes it easy to build!
Pole Building Benefits
Features include: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, storage / sleeping loft, modern style, shed roof, high ceilings, abundant windows, solar passive design, plenty of natural light, radiant in floor heat, stained concrete floor, and some universal design attributes.
I researched several natural and alternative build methods--cob, strawbale, rammed earth, underground houses--before deciding to go with pole construction. I decided to go with pole building for the following reasons:
- minimal impact on land
- easily passes code
- appraises as stick built home
- ease of construction; and
- able to get the roof on early!
Pole Building Foundation
For the foundation, holes 1- 2' in diameter were dug 4' in the ground below the frost line. Then 1' of cement was poured in the bottom of the holes and posts were placed on top of the cement. The holes were then back filled. The cement pads distribute the weight from the load on the post. The posts were treated 6X6's and spacing varied from 6 - 10' apart.
Pole Barn House Land
Getting a build project off on the right foot starts with getting the right lot, or knowing how to best work with your lot. In this case, here are some of the lot attributes:
- no lot clearing was needed as built in the open part of the land
- minimal leveling (excavation) needed
- shade from the wooded part of the lot in the south provides for natural cooling in the summer (this build project is built in the north; you would want to do the opposite if building in the south)
If you are looking for land here are some things that might be helpful to look for as you seek a lot to build on:
- minimal excavation needed
- good drainage
- proper sun exposure or shelter (depending on if you are building in the north or south)
- land that perks for a regular septic system as a specialized system can be triple the cost!
Doors and Windows
All of the doors and windows were purchased salvaged and builder restock. This was a substantial savings as all of the doors and windows were purchased for a total of $1,519 (at some stores that is the minimal cost of ONE French door)! Pole building allowed for easy placement of doors and windows. Here are some places to look for salvaged, reclaimed, and builder restock doors and windows:
- classified ads
- builder restock stores
- Habitat for Humanity
- garage sales
- let friends and family know that you are in the market for quality used doors and windows (they may have some or know of someone who does)
* Always make sure doors and windows are in excellent working condition before buying!
The best piece of advice I received regarding reclaimed doors and windows (that are in excellent condition) is from a designer named, Eric, he said,
"Don't worry if you find windows and doors that don't match in color or size. If you find a good deal pick them up because you can always use them somewhere in your house. It may mean that each wall will have a different color but if designed right people will never know--or will think it is supposed to be that way."
Pole Barn House Exterior and Interior Materials
The main materials of the pole barn house are wood, metal, and concrete. The exterior is plywood siding, metal roof, galvanized metal skirt board, and wood trim. The interior is stained concrete floors, sliding barn style doors with galvanized metal hardware, wood kitchen cabinets, and a walk in shower with concrete base, tile, and glass block wall.
Pole Barn House Universal Design Features Incorporated
- stairless entry
- 36" wide door openings
- ample bedroom egress via French doors
- 5' turn radius in kitchen
Would you live in a barn house?
The pole barn house study plan is available for purchase here ...
- Pole Barn House Study Plan Barn House Pole Barn Modern
This study plan is for a 1,085 SF structure that makes a great small home, cottage, cabin, or guesthouse! Features: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, sleeping loft, modern style, high ceilings, solar passive design, plenty of natural light, radiant in floor heat,
© 2011 Lisa