Pole barn homes are much different than Post and beam barns. The only similarity between a pole barn and a post and beam barn is that they both have upright posts that support the frame of the barn.
Pole barns have chemically treated poles that are sunk into the ground and extend up to the top of the wall, they are then nailed together using some type of header usually a 2x12. Then conventional trusses are placed on the 2x12 headers and are spaced 24-48 inches apart.
Pole barns are designed to be as cheap as possible to pass building codes for a barn or garage. They are certainly not built to last and are not designed to be converted into a house. They cannot be connected to a basement, or to many other types of foundations.
A post and beam barn. They are designed for beauty and longevity. They have rough cut full dimension posts and beams that are fastened together with heavy duty steel plates.
Post and beam barns can be placed on any foundation. Including, wood basements, poured wall basements, cement block, concrete piers, and concrete slabs. I have even seen a 150 year old barn that had a large rock under each post and that was all that was holding that old barn up!
Post and beam barns have some distinct advantages over conventional construction as well. Your barn dwelling can be built on concrete piers and the basic barn shell can be built without having to worry about doing a barn to house conversion right away. Then as you are ready you can begin installing windows, plumbing, wiring, fixtures, and insulation as time and your budget allows.
Another advantage is, timber frame barns don’t have any load bearing walls. The whole frame is supported by the posts and timbers. This gives you many options in the floor plan and layout of your barn cottage. You can have a very open floor plan, with dramatic cathedral ceilings, and large windows that look out on your land.
You truly have the freedom to dream and dream big with a post and beam barn villa of your very own!
Have questions about converting a Barn Kit into a Barn Home? Check out our Barn Home FAQ.