A pole barn is a type of structure that features a roof suspended on poles that create the perimeter. This type of structure may or may not feature walls, as they are sometimes not necessary and are usually not weight-bearing. Choosing the best pole barn roof starts with an analysis of what the barn will be used for, where it is located, and what kind of weather it is likely to withstand on a regular basis. You may also want to consider the aesthetics of the pole barn roof before you begin construction.
Think about how many levels the structure will have before choosing a pole barn roof. If the barn will have two or more levels, a gambrel roof may be the best choice because it offers extra head room in the highest level of the structure. This type of pole barn roof is a bit more expensive to construct, and it is also more difficult to build than other styles, but if storage space is a concern, it is perhaps the best option. The steeper pitch of the roof will be effective at shedding rain water and snow as well.
Simpler designs can also be chosen to maximize space on the upper level. A hipped roof, for example, is both easier to build and less expensive than a gambrel pole barn roof, but it will not offer as much storage space in the upper level as the gambrel roof will. If cost and time savings are important to you, this may be a very good option for your pole barn.
If you want something even simpler and less expensive, a shed-style roof may be the answer. This type of pole barn roof will slant in one direction; the front of the barn is usually set higher than the rear, which means water and snow will drain off the back of the structure. This design can limit the amount of usable space within the structure, however.
The best compromise for small or medium pole barns is the gabled roof. This design features two sloped sides of equal pitch, and it is a useful and easily constructed roof type that sheds snow and water quite easily. It is also the best option for adequate ventilation, and storage space on upper levels will be maximized; it will offer more storage space than a hipped roof but less than a gambrel roof.