There are quite a few details to take into consideration when building a pole barn with living quarters. Unlike pole barns used for storage or livestock, a pole barn with living quarters must meet a higher standard of unique qualifications to deem it safe and comfortable for the people who will call it home.
Whether you’re going to build a pole barn with living quarters from the ground up, or you’re planning to flip an existing barn and outfit it with upgraded rooms as a barndominium, paying attention to a few key details will save you tons of time and money in the process.
Avoid some of the most common mistakes and get on the right track by planning your pole barn build from start to finish, ahead of time. Take a look at a few of these ideas to help the planning process start in the right direction.
What to Plan for When Building a Pole Barn with Living Quarters
To successfully remodel or build a pole barn with living quarters, it’s important to pinpoint the essentials that will set this structure apart from others used for basic storage, workshops, or livestock.
A pole barn with living quarters will need to have fully functioning plumbing and electricity to be deemed inhabitable. These two factors may influence your decision of where to place the pole barn on a property. In other words, the further away from other building structures or the sewer access, the more money you’ll need to set aside to run electricity and plumbing to the pole barn.
In addition, insulation becomes so much more important when building a pole barn with living quarters than it does for a simple storage shed. Proper insulation will contribute to better energy efficiency, which can make the pole barn that much more sustainable and cost effective. Ventilation will also play a role in the energy efficiency and overall comfort of the pole barn. These are just a few of the extra considerations to remember when you build a pole barn with living quarters.
Building a Pole Barn from the Ground Up
When you build a pole barn with living quarters from the ground up, you have much more control over the entire design process, meaning it’s easier to accomplish the project with more precision and efficiency.
With that said, never overlook the importance of perfecting blueprints. Layout, leveling, settling the terrain, and foundation control will be key for ground-up pole barn projects. Never build on unstable terrain, and don’t rush the process. It’s better to take your time and ensure each step of the foundation and framing process is done correctly, than to rush through these steps in order to get the project done faster.
Renovating an Existing Barn Into a Barndominium
When you’re building a barndominium with living quarters using an already existing frame, confirming structural integrity is key. Don’t be afraid to investigate areas that look questionable, like buckling drywall or cracked seams where walls meet. It’s much better to pull back layers and confirm that the pole barn is structurally sound than it is to cross your fingers and move forward for a shorter renovation period.
If natural wood beams were used for the original barn framing or exterior siding, do a deep dive to check for hidden signs of existing damage, like wood rot, cracked joists, or termite tunneling. In some cases, these issues can be fixed with additional structural reinforcement. However, it may be a smarter solution to tear these elements out and replace them with more durable materials, like steel.
Build a Longer-Lasting Pole Barn with Living Quarters
To build a longer-lasting pole barn with living quarters, do your homework to find out if more durable materials are available than the standards. For example, many people make the mistake of using raw timber rather than treated timber in areas near the ground where moisture may cause issues.
Exterior siding is another area that can be greatly improved by choosing smarter building materials. Livable pole barns and barndominiums are commonly built with natural wood siding, however, choosing a wood-look alternative with greater durability can extend the lifespan of the structure and offer greater protection from the elements. TruLog makes steel siding products that capture the beautiful look of authentic wood, so you can build a pole barn that’s aesthetically pleasing and longer-lasting. Plus, their wood-look siding made from steel is purposefully built to be maintenance-free.
Smart swaps like these can greatly enhance the value of your livable pole barn and ensure that it is strong, sturdy, and attractive for many years to come! Contact TruLog today to explore all the low-maintenance siding options that can beautify your new or renovated pole barn with living quarters.