If you are thinking about building a pole barn on your own then good planning goes a long way toward saving time and money. I built a barn that is 32′ X 24′ shown in the pictures below.
Through this project I have created three things that I think will help folks take on a project like this with confidence. First, I have a multi-part “How to Build a Pole Barn” series on my YouTube Channel. I cover everything from site prep and layout, setting posts, banding, setting trusses, and sheeting. Soon to be released is a roofing and a wrap up video.
Next, after I completed my barn, I compiled a comprehensive “As-Built” materials list in Excel and PDF formats. The list not only includes the exact amount of lumber used in the project (down to the board), it also includes everything from string, nails, screws, bracing, stakes, adhesive, concrete, and batter boards! I also included the Lowes item number for every item so in the course of a few minutes one can price the project materials in current dollars. For the few items that I did not buy from Lowes (they don’t carry the yellow pine boards used for the banding), I have included the source and price I paid. I also included the cost of the engineered trusses I used. In essence, I have captured a realistic cost for doing a project like this.
The second thing I created was an “As-Built” three dimensional model of the barn in all the ridiculous detail my YouTube viewers have come to expect of me. I used Google’s modeling software called Sketchup. It’s free and it’s pretty awesome for a free 3D modeling software. You can download the free version by clicking here.
The software is easy to use and easy to learn. You can “walk” around the model and look at anything from different perspectives. I also created components for all the major parts of the structure (i.e roof, trusses, perlins, sheeting, girts, etc.). By doing this, you can easily click on any component and hide if from view so you can see different layers of the model. This is a true “As-Built”, dimensionally accurate, and materials comprehensive model. It includes everything from how I made cuts on the OSB sheets to the gable ladder supports, the truss bracing, all the way down to the scab boards I placed in the building. Using the ruler in Sketchup, it’s easy to determine any dimension in the model.
I also created another model where I labeled each board in the building that cross-references to the materials list. Using that information, you can tell exactly where each board in the materials list is used! It’s as close to instructions as you can get.
Now here’s the deal, I have spent the last four months building the barn and creating what I think is the best free “How to Build a Pole Barn” content on YouTube. I have spent the last couple of weeks building these models and materials list. I’m gonna ask for a couple of bucks for the model and materials list(still super cheap). It kinda keeps me motivated, you know. If you just can’t stand to pay a couple of bucks for the detailed list then I will give you a basic lumber list for free! Click below for download instructions and how to give me a small gratuity via PayPal. After that you will get an email with a download link. There will also me a button that will re-direct you back to the site if it doesn’t do it automatically.
As always, thanks for watching my videos and looking at my website!