Is It Cheaper to Build a Pole Barn Yourself?

simple pole barn plans

Many property owners consider building a pole barn for extra space but often wonder if doing it themselves is cheaper.

Pole barn costs typically range from $7,000 to $120,000, with an average of $27,000. However, prices can be as low as $3,800 or $300,000, depending on size and design.

This article will compare the costs of DIY construction versus hiring professionals.

We’ll examine factors like materials, labor, permits, and potential challenges of building it yourself.

By the end, you’ll understand whether tackling this project is the most cost-effective option for your needs.

Is It Cheaper to DIY a Pole Barn?

Building a pole barn yourself can be cheaper if you have construction know-how. The main savings come from cutting out labor costs, which usually run between $5 and $10 per square foot. This can add up to a big chunk of the total price.

For those with some building skills, basic modular pole barn kits offer a budget-friendly option.

These kits start at about $10,000 and include the needed materials. They’re designed for simpler assembly, making DIY more doable.

However, keep in mind that cheaper doesn’t always mean better. The choice to build it yourself depends on your skills, time, and the complexity of the barn you want.

Cost Breakdown for Building a Pole Barn


Building a pole barn requires various materials. Expect to spend between $6 and $10 per square foot on wood, aluminum siding, concrete for the foundation, and roofing materials.

The total cost depends on the size of your barn and the quality of materials you choose.


If you decide to hire professionals, labor costs typically range from $5 to $10 per square foot. This includes tasks like site preparation, construction, and finishing work. Doing these yourself can save you a good amount on labor costs.

Additional Costs

Don’t forget about extra expenses that can add up:

  1. Permits: These usually cost between $425 and $2,300, depending on your location.
  2. Land clearing: If your site isn’t ready for building, you might spend $500 to $5,600 per acre to clear it.
  3. Site leveling: Ensuring a flat surface for your barn can cost $1,200 to $4,300.

Whether you build the barn yourself or hire professionals, these additional costs apply, so factor them into your budget.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Building a Pole Barn

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Building a Pole Barn

DIY Advantages

Building a pole barn yourself can offer several benefits:

  1. You can save money on labor costs.
  2. You have full control over the project timeline.
  3. There’s a sense of personal satisfaction in completing the project.
  4. You can customize the barn to your exact needs.

DIY Disadvantages

However, taking on this project yourself isn’t without challenges:

  1. It would be best if you had a good level of construction knowledge.
  2. The project can be very time-consuming.
  3. Mistakes could lead to extra costs and delays.

Hiring a Professional

Opting for a professional builder has its own set of pros:

  1. They ensure quality work that meets local building codes.
  2. The project is likely to be finished faster.
  3. There’s less risk of costly errors.

While hiring a pro means higher upfront costs, it might be worth it for complex projects or if you lack construction experience. Weigh these factors carefully to decide which option fits your situation and budget best.

Cost-Saving Tips for DIY Pole Barns

If you’re set on building your pole barn yourself, here are some ways to keep costs down:

  1. Use a prefab kit: These kits come with most of the materials you need and can be more affordable than buying everything separately. They also make assembly easier, potentially saving you time and reducing mistakes.
  2. Stick to the basics: Build only the size you truly need. A smaller barn means lower material costs and less work. You can always expand later if needed.
  3. Focus on essentials: If you don’t need plumbing or electricity immediately, leave them out for now. Adding these features later might cost more, but it can help keep initial costs low.
  4. Plan wisely: If you have other outdoor projects in mind, try doing them simultaneously with your pole barn construction. This can help you save on equipment rentals and bulk material purchases.


Building a pole barn can be cheaper due to labor cost savings. It offers more control and personal satisfaction. However, weigh these benefits against the time investment, required skills, and potential for costly mistakes.

Careful planning is crucial. Consider all factors: materials, permits, site preparation, and your capabilities. While upfront savings are tempting, errors could lead to higher long-term costs.

If you’re unsure about any construction aspect, seek professional advice. It’s better to spend on expert input than risk your structure’s safety and stability.

Whether DIY is cheaper depends on your situation, skills, and needs. Thoroughly assess these factors before deciding. Remember, the goal is a safe, functional pole barn that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

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