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Interested in the pole barn home construction process? I’ll take you through our journey of building a custom pole barn home by ourselves. Don’t miss it!

How to build a pole barn home: A step by step guide and look at the entire process.

I’ve shared a lot of information about our pole barn home over the years. We built this beautiful home ourselves. Most of the labor and all of the general contractor duties were carried out by Mr. Tidbits himself (my husband Kevin). It was an incredible experience in many ways. I think of it as the type of experience I wouldn’t trade, but also wouldn’t want to repeat. Know what I mean?

The outside of a white house with a wrap around porch

I know we’re not the only people who have gone through this process. Building your own home is something that a lot of people consider doing or that they just find interesting. That’s why I shared our reasons for building a pole barn home and how much our pole barn house cost.

Even though I’ve covered several pole barn home topics, I still get lots of questions. Many of them are things like, “How did you build it yourself? What was the building process like? How do you even start something like that?”

Those are excellent questions! I hope to give you a step-by-step look at the pole barn construction process and what type of things to expect from this building project.

An open layout living room and kitchen in a pole barn house

Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to be a one-stop guide to residential pole barn home construction. We aren’t professional home builders. Instead, think of this as a bird’s eye view meant to give you insight about what goes into building a pole barn home.

To watch my YouTube video about building this process, just click on the button below.

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A shot of a European farmhouse living room

What is a Pole Barn Home?

A pole barn home is a house that is built using post frame construction. You might also hear it called a post-frame home. Essentially, pole buildings are built using large poles that are placed along the exterior walls and set in concrete. The weight of the home rests on these poles rather than on the walls.

Pole barn homes and barndominiums are similar because they both use post frame construction. The major difference between the two is that pole barn homes use wooden post frames and barndominiums use steel frames.

You should checkout my latest blog post, Design Ideas for a Pole Barn House if you want to learn more about pole barn homes.

What are the Advantages of a Pole Barn Home?

Pole barn homes offer a great alternative to stick-built homes. The post frame construction uses less concrete than traditional homes, which can save a significant amount of money.

Post frame houses don’t have any load-bearing walls on the interior. That makes them the perfect blank slate for customizing a layout. You can create an open floor plan or throw up interior walls to your heart’s content. It’s a DIY design dream!

Pole Barn Home Construction Process

Here’s a look at the process to build our pole barn home. Of course I won’t be able to detail every single step. That would take far too long, but I tried to hit the highlights for you. You should also know that because we have a detached garage all of these steps were done on both buildings at the same time.

Keep in mind that this was a long process. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is incredibly rewarding work!

Planning Our Pole Barn Home

This whole thing started with a lot of planning. We knew we’d be building a pole barn home so we worked and reworked a floor plan that would fit into our home’s rectangle shape. Our aim was to maximize all our square footage and vertical space.

A 3D model of a pole barn home

Once our floor planning was completed, Mr. Tidbits printed a 3D model of the home. That model was really helpful in letting us envision the scale and proportion of everything.

Next, we took our plans to an architect for drafting and engineering to ensure that we had all the information we needed to construct the home correctly.

A man looks at drafts of a house plan

Excavation and Foundation

Excavation work was next. We flattened the ground and dug large holes that the post frames would sit in.

Large holes are dug in the ground for a pole building foundation

A square concrete pad was poured in the bottom of each hole to act as a footing for the post to sit on.

See the Sonotubes below? Those get filled with concrete to securely anchor the post beams and provide a foundation for the home.

Post frame construction going up on a pole barn home

We also excavated to run the home’s electric and plumbing lines. We don’t have a basement so all the utility lines run underneath the home’s concrete slab. Our engineered home plans were critical in helping us place all these features so that drains and water lines ended up exactly where they needed to be.

Ground is excavated and laid with plumbing and electrical lines

Prepping for a Radiant Heated Floor

We opted to do a radiant floor in our home to make it more energy-efficient. This required some additional prep work.

First, we laid foam sheets to act as an insulation barrier to direct the heat up into our home.

Foam insulation boards are laid out on a home construction site

A plastic water barrier went on top of the foam to keep moisture from seeping up to the floor.

A plastic water proof barrier covers foam insulation boards at a home construction site

After the water barrier we ran lines of radiant heat tubing along the floor to provide even heat distribution. After that, the floor was ready for concrete.

Lines of red tubing for a radiant heated floor are run along the ground at a home construction site

Pouring the Concrete Slab

With the floor prepped, it was time to pour the concrete slab which is the floor of the home. This is an exciting step in the construction progress!

The concrete slab of a home's floor is poured before framing

Framing the House

Next up was framing the house. This is another exciting step when you get to see rooms taking shape.

Our home has 12 foot ceilings so these were some pretty tall walls to frame!

Two men work on framing up a pole barn home

Like I mentioned earlier, post-frame buildings don’t have interior load bearing walls. Because of this they don’t require headers around windows or interior doors, which is why you won’t see any in these pictures.

Adding Trusses and a Roof

Adding the roof trusses was our next step. Our trusses rest on the main poles that support the house. We also have 2×6’s that run horizontally from truss to truss to support the weight of the roof.

Roof trusses sit on top of a framed pole barn home during construction

OSB or plywood sheets cover the roof. We also trimmed out the eaves in preparation for roofing.

A pole barn building during framing and roof construction work

Building a Pole Barn Home Porch

We chose to do a full length porch along the side of our house. The porch has it’s own roof line to add dimension to the exterior. I sure do love that porch!

A long porch on a pole barn home is in the framing stages

Installing House Wrap

The framing of the house was wrapped with Tyvek house wrap to act as a moisture barrier.

A framed pole barn house is covered in house wrap during the building process

HVAC System

Our HVAC system, including the furnace, was installed in our ceiling. We did this to save space in our floor plan.

Changing the furnace filters up there isn’t the easiest thing, but it’s nice and quiet!

An hvac system is installed in the roof of a pole barn home

Running Electrical Wires

Wiring the house for electricity was another major step forward in the construction process.

An electric breaker panel in a house under construction

Insulating our Pole Barn Home

For the walls of our house we did a cellulose insulation.

The ceiling has spray foam insulation that was applied to the ceiling of the attic which allows us to get around in the attic area and access everything that we need to.

The interior wall of a house under construction with new insulation

Sheet Rock

You can generally save a lot of money on labor costs by doing construction work yourself, but in our experience, dry wall or sheet rock has been an exception. We’ve found hiring that job out to be less expensive and to save tons of time. It’s definitely worth getting a quote to see if the same thing is true in your area.

A look down a hallway that has been recently sheet rocked during construction

Framing and Installing Exterior Doors

I fell in love with this white oak double dutch door. It took a while to receive the door since it was a custom order, but I’m happy we waited for it!

All of the doors in our house took a while to arrive and be installed. We chose to use very tall doors to match our tall ceilings. That meant saving up money and waiting on supply delays, but that’s all part of the process.

A large double front door sits at a home construction site

Tin Roofing and Siding

We wanted to use tin roofing and siding for it’s durability. The board and batten pattern of the siding helped create the “homie” look that we were going for.

If you’ve never considered tin siding, this is your sign to check it out! We love ours and it should last forever without any problems. We got our siding from a company called Teton Steel.

A man works to frame up a garage door

Finishing the First Interior Spaces

Mr. Tidbits finished all the interior work on the laundry room before we got to any other areas. That’s probably not the space we would normally choose to finish first, but we had a sponsored project with a deadline. You gotta do what you gotta do!

Built in shelving in a laundry room is under construction

Above you can see the built in for the washer and dryer as well as cubbies for extra laundry room storage. What you can’t see is the generator and lights that are lighting up this room since we had to finish it before the electrical work was all done. Good times!

After the laundry room it was onto the split bathroom because we had to have a working toilet to move in.

An unfinished bathroom with a tiled bathtub and tiles floor

Painting, Flooring and Kitchen Progress

Painting the home came next, followed by flooring in the main living area. Bedroom flooring would come much later.

We also started to install appliances, cupboards and temporary countertops to tide us over until we could make our diy butcher block countertops.

Those temporary countertops ended up being plywood covered with contact paper. Make sure you look for a glimpse of those beauties in the YouTube video!

An unfinished kitchen with sheet rock and unfinished cabinets is under construction

Moving in to Our Unfinished Pole Barn Home

At this point our family was exhausted from renting a house, moving into a camper and then bouncing around between air bnb’s while we built our home. We were desperate to move in whether our home was finished or not, and that’s what we did.

An unfinished home with tables, storage and totes and a computer at a desk

Once we were given the green light we moved into the middle of our construction zone and made due. We used what we had to get by and ran our home even with the chaos surrounding us.

4 More Years of Interior Finish Work

Although we were in our home at this point the work was far from over. We spent the next 4 years finishing one space at a time as circumstances allowed. In the meantime, we lived in various stages of an unfinished house.

A fireplace mantel leans against an unfinished wall in a pole barn home
An unfinished living room is filled with supplies for home projects

The very last interior space to be complete was the butler’s pantry. It was the cherry on top of this long construction process.

Today, we’re finally able to see the finished pole barn home that we planned years go. I can hardly believe how far we’ve come! It’s been a true labor of love and it has taught us so much. The pole barn home construction process wasn’t easy, but it was worth it!

An interior shot of a pole barn house

Learn More About Our Pole Barn Home

And that’s our pole barn home construction process in a nutshell. Thanks for joining me to look back through that experience! I hope it will help you if you’re planning to build the home of your dreams or even if you’re just curious about building a pole barn home.

If you want to see more about this pole barn home, take a look at my many home tours or some of the following projects. Thanks for being here today!

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