Building a pole barn is an ambitious task, no matter what its purpose may be. There is engineering, codes and design to mull over, plus ensuring the structure meets all your needs. To make the process less daunting, contact us to help you build your pole barn dream.

Itching for a new backyard garage, a new horse barn, or a new storefront for your business? Look no further than constructing a versatile pole barn, also known as a post-frame building with Rushlow & Sons Construction.

Here are a few tips:

1. Codes. Building codes vary depending on the city or state you live in, as well as the type of structure you plan to build. For instance, a building used to house your retail business will have different codes to meet than a simple garage in your backyard.

2. Weather & Site Conditions. Assessing the wind loads, snow loads and soil conditions of your building will dictate which building materials you use and how they are engineered to fit together.

3. Engineering. Anyone can use strong trusses or columns to construct their building. But construction is about more than the materials you use, it’s about how you put the pieces together. For instance, your strong truss needs to be properly connected to a strong column. And that strong column needs to be properly embedded into the ground, or attached to the building’s foundation.

4. Consistency. When you build a suburban building, it is usually constructed within proximity to other buildings, such as your home. It is common for people to match their new building’s aesthetic to surrounding buildings. This will impact the size and decorative details of your building.

5. Windows and doors. Suburban buildings are used as a living space more often than other types of post-frame buildings. Select windows and doors for access and ventilation. Insulate them properly to prevent heat from escaping during the winter months, and to keep heat out during the summer. No one wants to do maintenance on a four-wheeler in a freezer or an oven!

6. Ventilation. Talk to your builder about effective ways to ventilate your building, especially if you need to adequately dispel vehicle exhaust or vapors from paint or varnish.

7. Electricity. Even if you are constructing a garage for storage space alone, you will need electricity for things like a garage door opener. Then you’re covered if you want to hook up a TV or refrigerator in your garage/workshop/“man cave.”

8. Layout. When designing a commercial building, consider traffic patterns and access for people and supplies. Be sure that doors and material movement areas will be wide enough to accommodate your traffic. For example, if you insert a door that is four-feet wide, you’ll avoid scraping your door and trims when using a hand cart to move your stock to your retail shelves.

9. Site Planning. When deciding where to put the building on your site, consider looking ahead for future expansion. Businesses often grow, and rather than having to move or take down a building to build a bigger one, think about leaving space around your building. Maybe you’ll need more office space in the future, and since post-frame buildings are easy to add on to, you’ll have the room to do it.

10. Horses. How many horses do you plan to keep in your barn? The number will determine the plan for your building — from how many stalls, and how much extra space you need, to whether you want a tack room to store bridles, saddles and grooming supplies.

11. Ventilation. Animal confinement spaces can build up an excess of moisture, which in turn, can lead to smelly odors and other problems. Animals’ lungs are larger than human lungs, and omit a lot of moisture. When combined with animal sweat and waste, a barn can develop poor indoor air quality. How do you keep the stink at bay? Ventilation. Whether it is passive or powered, make sure you have enough to keep air fresh.

12. Food storage. Designating a storage space for food with easy access to the feeding areas is essential.

13. Dimensions. Think ahead! Will you be purchasing a larger combine in the near future? Your new space should not only accommodate what you have, but also future purchases. From combines to sprayers, new agricultural equipment gets larger every year.

14. Purpose. Are you storing tractors, chemicals or crops? These specifics will influence your building’s design. For instance, will your barn have an office or workshop attached? This could mean parts of your building need to be lined and insulated.

Establish all of these possibilities upfront, and consult your builder to determine what makes the most sense for your needs.