The pole barn grew out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when farmers used found items, such as telephone poles and corrugated steel, to construct inexpensive, versatile structures for their farms. The name "pole barn" came from the fact that many of these early barns were literally created from utility poles. Today, pole barns are still in use because of their versatile nature. Here is a look at some ways in which the structure is used.
An open-air barn is one in which trusses have been placed over the poles and then covered with tin, shingles or other forms of sheeting. However, one or more of the walls has been left off of this type of barn. This type of barn is often used to store hay, get farm implements or boats out of the rain, or as a picnic pavilion. In a barn used for feed storage, this might be so that the livestock can get to the feed. Although the majority of these types of barns can be found on farms, open-air pavilions are also used in parks for picnic areas.
Pole Barn Homes
Because of the lower cost of construction, some farmers and ranchers choose to construct a combination of barn and home on their property. A barn door home might have an apartment on the second floor of a two story barn, or be constructed with the front porch secure behind a set of rolling barn doors. In addition to the lower cost of construction, a barn home can allow the owners to stay closer to their livestock, as well as being able to secure the home by simply rolling the barn doors closed. A pole barn also has an open floor plan, which allows more flexibility in constructing the home part of the barn.
A pole barn is also a handy construction plan for building a workshop. A pole barn's flexibility in design means that it can be constructed with an open floor plan, a raised roof and one or more wide doorways. For weekend warriors, mechanics or farm hands in need of space to work on a tractor, a pole barn workshop provides a customizable space for working on projects of any size. Tool benches, workstations and even places to add winches and garage doors mean that a pole barn is a useful plan for constructing a workshop.
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