M&W Building Supply Co.
(800) 547-1714

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What is a Pole Barn?

            A Pole barn is simply a different style of wood framed building.  Pole barns are very versatile and have a variety of uses.  Pole buildings can be used not only for agricultural buildings but garages, sheds, storage units, arenas, loafing sheds, commercial business and even living spaces in some counties.

Are pole barns really barns?

            Originally the term pole barn was used for livestock buildings and storage of hay or feed.  Those buidings are barns.  Now, pole barn is the term to describe our type of construction which is Post Frame Construction.  They are also called pole buildings. Treated posts go into the ground approximately every 10’-12’ with trusses attached to them. Each section is called a bay instead of standard stud wall construction on top of a poured concrete foundation.  The poles or posts form the building and a treated skirt board is placed on the ground between the posts to form the base of the building.  Girts are nailed between the posts to frame the walls horizontally and purlins are nailed to the trusses to form the roof.  It is the most economical form of construction to cover land.  Post Frame construction, or pole barns, is one of the oldest styles of construction, using less concrete and less wood to create a very sturdy structure at the lowest cost per square foot than any other conventional construction method.

What is the difference between a Post Frame Building and a Pole Barn Building?
Post Frame is the style of construction and Post Frame Buildings and Pole Buildings or Pole Barns are used interchangeable on the West Coast.  Post Frame construction is a term more widely used on the East coast, but is basically the same type of construction.

What does a Pole Barn look like?

            You can see by our website that pole barns can be in every different shape and size.  Pole buildings can have metal roofing, composition roofing or cedar shakes depending on your preference.  Walls can be steel, wood siding or even stucco or Hardi-plank. 

What is a “kit” and a “built” building?

            A “kit” is simply all the material and engineering needed to build a pole building.  We can help you design your building and send you the plans.  When your permit and site are ready, we can send you all the materials needed for you to construct the building  (excluding the concrete).  We have a detailed instruction manual for our customers and also have a video/DVD available for rent.  Many people have constructed our buildings this way and found it is very easy.  All you need is a little experience and the right tools.  A “built” building is just that.  We have several very experienced professional construction crews that travel all over the Northwest to construct only our buildings.  Our crews can generally erect a standard building in three to four days.  Not only does that save you the time of construction, but it provides a warranty for your building’s workmanship.  

What are the main uses of a pole building?

Pole barns can be used for just about anything, from typical barns to horse barns, airplane hangers, stall barns, riding arenas, dairy barns, milking sheds, feed stalls, hay storage, llama barns, loafing sheds, alpaca barns, equipment storage to garages in a residential backyard, commercial workshops and retail stores.  Many auto repair and machine shops use pole buildings.  Small strip malls or industrial business have also been created by using pole buildings.  Other residential uses include, living quarters, guest houses, pump houses, sheds, greenhouses, woodworking shops, artist cottages, and pottery barns.  Commercial uses range from small stores to large warehouses.   

 Do I need a concrete floor?

            Not necessarily.  That would depend on what you plan to do with your building.  It is generally not required for engineering or construction purposes, but you may want to put one in for your convenience since floors are optional in pole buildings. 

Do I need a permit for my building?

            Most counties require permits for any structure; however it may be an Agricultural permit or a residential permit depending on where you live and what you plan to do with the building.  We recommend getting a permit as an insurance policy.  If you ever sell your property a permitted building will always be an asset.

How can I finish the inside of my pole building?

            A pole barn or pole building can be finished inside in a variety of ways.  We can insulate the walls, ceiling and doors for you.  Most people hire electricians to run electricity to their buildings for lights and or heat.  Drop ceilings or sheetrock can be applied to the bottom cord of trusses for a finished ceiling with the proper engineering requirements.  Fire walls and lofts can be added for more finished areas.  Plumbing and bath facilities can be added easily if needed.

Can I live in my Pole Barn?
            With some modifications some counties allow pole barns to be used as living spaces.  Call our office for more details.
1-800-547-1714 or 503-263-9000






We only use the highest quality materials for our buildings, and guarantee customer satisfaction.

Serving the West since 1981. Our current business covers these states: