pole building and pole barn prices per square foot

How Much Does A Pole Barn Cost Per Square Foot?

Whether you’re researching pole barn construction in Michigan or pole buildings in Washington state, you probably just want to know how much a pole barn cost.

When I was researching the cost of my pole barn, all I wanted to know was, “how much is this pole barn going to cost me?”  I mean, isn’t that really the first question on most people’s minds when they’re thinking about building a pole barn?

Lets be honest. No one’s excited about paying a ton of money for their pole building…ever. So we just want to know what the prices per square foot for construction and labor, beginning to end, going to be?

When I was researching pole barn costs for my project, I wanted to know the entire cost…from start to finish.  I didn’t want to know how much a pole barn kit would cost.  I didn’t want to fill out and submit 15 different forms on 15 different websites to get a quote on materials 2000 miles away.

What I really wanted was to jump on Google, type in “How much does a pole barn cost per square foot” and get a real guys answer. Quick and easy, right? Wrong.

I couldn’t find a cut and dry answer. So I made one.  Keep reading to find out about my building and how much I paid…for everything.


how much does a pole barn cost per square foot completed

About The Pole Barn I Built

What I built was a 30’ x 48’ x 10’ pole building with a cement floor, 2 – 10’ x 8’ overhead garage doors and 1 36” x 80” flush man door.  It was built on fairly level land so excavation that needed to be done was fairly light.

I didn’t do any of the excavating and didn’t do any of the prep work.

As of today, there is no electricity and no plumbing in the pole building.  I haven’t put gutters up either.  But I will update this post as I add different things onto the shop. Which means I’ll also be adjusting the overall price of the pole building construction per square foot amount.


Lighting And The LED Shop Lights I Used

HyperSelect LED 5000K Shop Lights

best led lights for pole barn


The LED shop lights I bought and installed were the HyperSelect Utility LED Shop Lights from Hyperikon.  I purchased them off of Amazon.  You can read a through review of these LED lights on my post, The Best LED Shop Lights: Light Up Your Work Space And Save Money.

The cost of these lights aren’t included in the total cost per square foot in this post.  You can learn more about these lights here.

Shop LED Lights On Amazon

What I Paid For My Pole Barn Including Labor

Pole Building Price Per Square Foot. An Itemized List: 

Total Price: $16,720.00 For

  • 30 x 48 x 10 pole building
  • 30 ft clear span trusses
  • 29 gauge metal roofing and siding with a 40 year metal finish warranty
  • Insulated vapor barrier in the roof
  • Flat wall girts
  • 1 – 3 x 6 solid core insulated smooth face fiberglass door with deadbolt and keyed entry
  • 2 – 10 x 8 ruff open framed and trimmed for overhead door
  • Base trim for rodent protection
  • Hole drilling included
  • All posts 6 x 6 and 6 x 8 pressure treated
  • All lumber #2 Doug Fir KD
  • Engineered plans per county specs
  • Materials, Freight and labor to build

Itemized Breakdown Of Additional Expenses:

  • $1,550.00 For: 2 – 10 x 8 Wayne Dalton 2400 series non-insulated overhead doors installed
  • $4,860.00 For: 4 inch concrete floor 3500 PSI with power trowel finish
  • $1,450.00 For:1 .5 inch rock for pole building. 6” compacted to 4”.
  • $350.00 For:  Move in equipment fee
  • $1,500.00 For:  Machine time to remove sod, spread rock and compact pad

Total Pole Barn Price Including Labor: $27,155

How Much Did This Pole Barn Cost Per Square Foot?:

$18.86 per square foot.



how much does a pole barn cost per square foot today

Things To Consider

If you’re just looking at the overall price per square foot for your pole building, the numbers I gave you should give you a pretty good rough estimate.  But there’s a few things you might want to keep in mind when comparing my numbers to yours.  



Prices are going to differentiate based on location.  For reference, I’m located in the Pacific Northwest south of the Portland area.


The cost for excavation and site prep for my pole building was pretty low in my opinion.  Perhaps not low, but at least fair.  The reason is because the building site was on very flat and level ground. If the site you’re wanting to build your pole building is on a hillside or on requires more excavation, then of course you’ll be expected to pay more for the excavation and site prep.

While I was doing research on how much I was going to have to pay for my pole building, I came across this table from HomeAdvisor.com  I found it to be pretty helpful with fairly accurate ranges for the cost of a pole building.

As you can see, the size of the pole building I built fit right in the middle of the 30×50 on the chart.

Pole Barn Costs by Size(HomeAdvisor.com)
Size Cost Range Typical Use
20×30 $4,000 – $12,000 1 car garage, 2 horse barn
24×36 $5,000 – $15,000 3 car garage, 4 horse barn
30×30 $6,000 – $15,000 medium farm workshop, 5 horse barn
30×40 $8,000 – $20,000 4 car garage, 8 horse barn
30×50 $10,000 – $24,000 farm equipment storage, 10 horse barn
30×60 $12,000 – $25,000 6 car garage, 12 horse barn
40×60 $14,000 – $28,000 medium auto or equipment workshop
40×80 $20,000 – $35,000 150-200 bales of hay, 20 horse barn
50×100 $25,000 – $40,000 15 cow herd and milking equipment
60×80 $25,000 – $40,000 large auto and equipment workshop
60×100 $30,000 – $65,000 Industrial storage or warehouse


No Easy Answers To Be Found

I was looking for something like, “Hey, here’s what I built and here’s what I paid…yeah, for the whole thing.”  Instead, what I found was, “oh, I bought such and such kit on clearance, but I know a guy that hauls rock, and he owed me, so I got that for free, etc, etc.”

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help guys like me.  I don’t have a rock rock guy.  And I bet most of you reading this don’t have rock guys…. At least rock guys that owe you 6 loads of rock.

The most painful part of the process was thinking you’re getting close to an answer of how much does a pole barn cost, when bam, you’re required to submit your info and a customer service representative will get back to you soon.

I don’t know how many of those forms I filled out and didn’t get one reply back.  I even called them up asking for an answer.  Sometimes I would be transferred to some warehouse guy, who happened to be on lunch, and other times they would just take a message


My Plan For Sharing How Much A Pole Barn Cost…My Price.

So here’s my plan with this post now that my pole barn is complete.  I want to list out everything that I received and paid for with this pole building.   I’ll try to itemize as much as I can so you can see how it breaks down.

So if you want to do your own excavating, for example…you can subtract that from the total and get an idea of what you might pay.  I’m also going to throw in some of the best resources for pole barn construction I came across during my time searching.

These include a pole building planner, pole barn design tool and pole barn color planner.  I might even throw in some of the pole barn storage ideas I’ve been tossing around.

But first…let me stop what I’m doing, and put write in big fat bold numbers at the top of this post what my pole barn construction costs per square foot were.  I mean hell, isn’t’ that why I writing this to begin with?

What Exactly Is A Pole Barn?

Without taking up a whole lot of time, let me explain for those of you that may not know, what exactly a pole barn is.  Wiki says a pole barn is “…a farm building with no foundation and with sides consisting of corrugated steel or aluminum panels supported by poles set in the ground typically at eight-foot intervals.”  


how much does a pole barn cost per square foot from start to finish


Great.  Awesome.  But I don’t live on a farm.  So what I built is probably technically considered a pole building.  What’s a pole building?  Wiki says  “…a quickly constructed building in which vertical poles are secured in the ground to serve as both the foundation and framework.”

So, they’re the same thing.  A pole building is a pole barn and a pole barn is a pole building.  I use mine as a garage and a workshop/ woodshop.  I don’t keep animals or farm equipment in mine, so I’ll just call it a pole building.


So that’s what I’ve got for now.  Join all the other readers that subscribe to our email newsletter for updates and more!



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