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How Much Does a Barn Cost?

Last Updated: January 13, 2022

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Barn Costs #

The cost to build a barn depends on the type of barn you are looking for and the size of the barn. Barns are typically built to house horses or other farm animals, workspace, storage, or even extra living space. There are several different construction methods available to build your barn. A wood barn can be built using traditional framing methods or you can use post-and-beam construction to give your barn an antique look. You can build a barn using metal I-beams, girders and trusses. Alternatively, you can build a pole barn. Metal framed barns and pole barns are relatively inexpensive and very easy to assemble. Wood barns are expensive but look fantastic!

Traditional Wood Barns #

Using wood to build a barn is the expensive way to go but is the only choice if you are going for the classic barn look. A traditional wood barn typically costs $45 to $65 per square foot. These costs do not include electrical or plumbing. Every barn needs its own unique plumbing and electrical so it is impossible to give a cost range for what your specific setup. Talk to a contractor about your specific electrical and plumbing needs.

Antique Wood Barns #

Post and beam construction can get rather expensive. There are very few old-growth timbers still available for purchase. Most of them come from older homes and barns that have been torn down and salvaged. Expect to pay a large premium for this type of lumber. The labor costs are a bit more expensive, as well. Each beam has to be carefully placed and fastened according to an engineered plan. This type of barn usually costs $65 to $75 per square foot.

Metal Barns #

A metal barn is erected with steel columns for support, steel studs in between for fastening purposes, steel trusses for wall and roof support, and sheet metal for the protective exterior layer. Metal barns do require a concrete slab, however. These typically cost between $25 and $35 per square foot. You can also buy premade metal barn kits that are ready to assemble.

Pole Barns #

Pole barns differ from other types of barns simply because their main structural element is wooden poles (think of telephone poles). The skin and the roof of the building is usually sheet metal. These are less labor intensive than other barns. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $30 per square foot to build one of these.

Shopping For Barn Building Services? #

Depending on the size of the barn you are building you are going to have to get engineer-stamped plans to apply for a permit. A small barn, not much bigger than a shed, may not require plans (depending on what you are keeping inside). Hiring an architect to draw up plans and having an engineer approve them can be expensive. You can also buy pre-approved plans from architectural firms that can take some of the cost and the headache away from custom plans. A permit from your town or city may be quite expensive as well. All of the above figures do not include pricing for an overhead door. An overhead door will be a significant cost. Moreover, motorized doors usually require a specialty contractor. Keep that in mind.

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