How Do I Choose the Best Wood Pole Barn?

Dan Cavallari

A wood pole barn is a structure that consists of a roof mounted to poles set into the ground. This structure may or may not feature enclosed walls, and the floor is usually made of dirt, though some may feature a concrete floor instead. Choosing the best wood pole barn starts with determining what you will be using the structure for. If you will be storing heavy machinery, for example, a concrete floor will undoubtedly be necessary, but if the barn will be used for storing hay or other raw materials, a dirt floor is usually sufficient. Walls may be necessary in this case, however.

The typical pole barn is suitable for livestock.
The typical pole barn is suitable for livestock.

Start by determining what size of wood pole barn you need, as well as whether you will need walls and a concrete floor. These factors will be determined by what you will store inside the barn. Heavy equipment and other vehicles will usually require a concrete floor, and in some cases, walls may be necessary to protect the machinery from the elements or even theft. If you will be storing raw materials such as hay or sand in the shed, walls and a concrete floor may not be necessary. Walls are usually not structural elements, which means they will not support the weight of the wood pole barn, so you will only need the walls if you intend to protect the items being stored inside.

A wood pole barn does not necessarily need to be made exclusively from wood. Aluminum and steel can also be used in conjunction with the wood poles to cut down on overall costs and to add inexpensive protection for the items being stored inside. Determine ahead of time which materials will be best for your purposes as well as your budget. Try to choose materials based on strength, cost, and the amount of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the barn in good shape for years to come.

These barns do not necessarily have to be exceptionally large structures. Some wood pole barn designs are quite small and are meant only to accommodate parking for a car or truck, while others can be exceptionally large and hold many vehicles, materials, livestock, and more. The best size will be determined by what will be stored inside. The features included with the design will also vary according to what will be stored inside; if livestock will live in the barn, for example, it is likely that walls and individual stalls will be necessary.

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Discussion Comments


@rundocuri- While dirt floors seem to work just fine with pole barns that are made of metal, I prefer concrete flooring for wood pole barns. I agree with your point, because the moisture in dirt can cause the wood to warp. This is especially true in wet climates or during the rainy season.

In addition, dirt floors often attract insects that can damage wood pole barns. To make these structures as nice and durable as possible, it is best to spend the extra money to construct concrete flooring.


Does anyone have experience with wood pole barns with dirt floors? It doesn't sound like this type of floor would be good for the wood, because it could likely hold moisture that could cause damage.

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