Understanding building terms – the Pole Barn.

by | Jul 8, 2013 | Construction and Maintenance


The construction world is full of terms and names that date back to past building techniques. Constructing a frame on which to hang the walls and support the roof is a fairly obvious way to build a structure that will keep weather effects outside. During the 1930’s there was a big surge in demand for farm barns throughout North America, by using the basic tree trunks that had been cut and sawn to length for use as telegraph posts, the basic frame for a new barn could be quickly assembled. Barns would be constructed from poles positioned vertically for the uprights (which provide main support for the roof) with horizontal poles placed at intervals up the vertical on which to hang the walls – hence the term “Pole Barns”. The durability of such barns can be seen in the numbers still standing and in use around the countryside.


The concept of building a frame of vertical support columns crossed with horizontal support beams (trusses) is still valid and this basic structure based on the pole barns of old is still widely used. Wooden poles remain popular but, more advanced manufacturing techniques have replaced the rough hewn tree trunks of yesterday. Other changes include greater use of metal for both columns and beams. Today, a more correct term might be “Post Frame Pole Buildings” and companies like Pole Barns Kansas specialize in their design and construction.

Typically, today’s pole is no longer circular (like a tree trunk), it is more likely to be square or rectangular in shape and produced from a pressure treated timber or metal (usually steel) for extra strength. In this way, the building designer can have more flexibility in producing a better appearance to the finished construction.


The use of more pleasing appearance means that the traditional pole barn construction can now be considered far beyond its original use as a covered parking space for farm equipment or animals. Buildings from such as Pole Barns Manhattan KS are regularly used for residential outbuildings and commercial structures. The basic four walls and a roof concept is maintained but in an attractive manner than can be put to many uses.

Reputable suppliers and construction companies can provide many “off-the-shelf” designs or custom designed buildings to suit their clients’ individual needs. Companies like Pole Barns Manhattan KS act as a complete service provider from initial design through materials supply to the actual construction. Visit us website for all your building construction needs in Manhattan, KS.

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