The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to

Lisa's Pole Barn House


The pole barn house makes a great small home, guest house, cabin or cottage. It’s simple shape makes it easy to build! It’s 1,085 square feet and features:

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1 bath
  • storage/sleeping loft
  • modern design
  • shed roof
  • high ceilings
  • radiant in floor heat
  • pole building construction
  • passive solar
  • abundant windows
  • some universal design principles

10136377_f520Holes 1-2′ in diameter were dug 4′ in the ground below the frost line. 1′ of cement was poured in the bottom of the holes and posts were placed on top of the cement. The holes were then back-filled. The cement pads distribute the weight from the load on the post.

Here are some attributes of the pole barn house lot:

  • no lot clearing was needed
  • built on open part of land
  • minimal leveling (excavation) needed
  • driveway was installed and leveled for $1,000
  • shade in the south provides for natural cooling in the summer

TIP: If you’re looking for land, look for land with the following attributes:

  • minimal excavation needed
  • good drainage
  • proper sun exposure or shelter
  • land that perks for a regular septic system (specialized system can be triple the cost!)

TIP: This is important … if you grasp this, it can make the difference between living in your home or the “artful” living in your home.

Best piece of advice I’ve ever heard regarding home placement is from my friend Lou. She said:

“I’ll never understand why people feel they have to place the front of their house towards the road. I placed my house so that when I sit inside I get the best and most beautiful views looking out. It doesn’t matter what people think when they drive by your house or when they walk up to your house. What matters is how YOU feel when you’re in it.”

12168624_f520ALL of the doors and windows for the pole barn house were purchased for a TOTAL of $1,519! They were builder restock and salvaged. Pole building construction allowed for the easy placement of doors and windows.

TIP: Always make sure doors and windows are in excellent condition before buying.

TIP: Best piece of advice I’ve ever heard regarding reclaimed doors and windows (that are in excellent condition) is from designer Eric Hughes:

“Don’t worry if you find windows and doors that don’t match in color or size. If you find a good deal pick them up because I can always use them somewhere in your house. It may mean that each wall will have a different color but if designed right, people will never know or will think it’s supposed to be that way.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I love living in a pole barn house and I hope you found something inspiring here. I’ll leave you with this — benefits of pole construction:

  • minimal impact on land
  • easily passes code
  • appraises as stick-built home
  • ease of construction
  • able to get roof on early!

You can purchase plans for Lisa’s pole barn house at….

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9 Responses to Lisa's Pole Barn House

  1. Peter says:

    Nice looking house! I wonder how the posts are protected against rot, termites and other nasty stuff. Wooden posts resting on concrete pads in a four foot deep hole would last about a year, unless they were treated. Cedar posts, maybe rather longer. In the old days, we would immerse fence post ends in an oil barrel full of creosote and leave them for a few days to soak it up. They would last for decades. This is no longer allowed, I think, as creosote is a carcinogen.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I did my undergroung job on cement post at least one foot off ground. . Same advantages as pole barn. Check your local code if basement post is permitted

  3. Anonymous says:

    Peter, thank you for your kind words! The posts are treated and were purchased from a regular lumber yard.

  4. B. Walters says:

    We have pressure treated 4×4’s. For pole barn homes Oregon has a lot of rain, and that had to be considered. We had gravel put in around the bottom of our poles. The guys at Oregon Premier Pole Buildings have their engineers check everything. Very thorough. I agree going pole house cut our wait time by a lot, approval was faster than I expected!

  5. polo says:

    I like the pole barn house. Do you have any other designs to look at. The link for purchase is dead link. Would like to know more about designs.

    • Evan Kahn says:

      Sorry but I cannot find anything for the pole barn house, the link you mentioned is dead and I cannot locate any more info on it.

  6. Regarding Peter’s question: They makes sleeves which can further protect posts from decay!:

    How much did Lisa’s pole barn house cost to build (finished) per square foot? Thanks!

  7. As a home inspector, I’ve inspected several pole barn homes. They are just as structurally sound as a conventional built home. Maybe more so considering the load bearing framing is in the ground vs on top of a concrete slab! I’ve been so impressed with these buildings that I’ve decided my next home will be a pole barn design! Many people are worried about the post rotting. But it’s really a non issue. First of all, the post are treated. Then they rest on a concrete pad at the bottom of the hole. Next they have a sleeve around them running up above the slab (after it is poured). The new thinking on post installation is to use gravel around the post instead of concrete. Concrete can trap water and with a freeze/thaw cycle, that water can destroy the concrete over time. With gravel, the water drains away from the post.

  8. Bart Frank says:

    I agree with your friend Lou and designer Eric, it doesn’t matter how you like the design of your house, the important thing is your comfortable and happy living in it. Mismatched items looks great with a little imagination or design technique. By the way your house looks great!

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