"I ordered your plans last winter and built the barn this summer. I cannot express to you how happy I am with the building." A.L., Monroe, Maine
Photo - Mother Earth News Magazine - Construction of a Chestnut Barn
The plans are all designed for post-frame construction. That's the modern version of "pole-barn" construction using pressure treated 6x6 posts as the main structure and post hole or concrete pier footings. Post-frame construction eliminates the need for full foundations and can save you as much as 20% of the cost of construction by reducing the amount of site work and concrete needed. These plans and post-frame construction in general are not suitable for steeply sloped sites.
Pressure treated posts are rated for years of use. However, their life is affected by the moisture and mineral content of your soil. Commercial plastic-sleeve post protectors and concrete post bases will extend the life of your building. You'll find information on some of the most popular ones here: Barn Building Resources. The drawings include details for plastic sleeve post protectors and for optional concrete pier footings which keep all wood away from the ground. Plastic sleeve post protectors or concrete pier footings are recommended for moist areas, areas of clay soil and, in all locations, for maximum building life.
floor construction is by conventional wood joists.
Roofs are framed with wood rafters, not
space-wasting trusses, to allow full use of loft
storage space. Loft gable-end walls are framed with
wood studs. Grade level floors can be gravel, tamped
earth, or concrete. Concrete floor slabs must
be poured after the posts are standing. These
buildings can't be built on existing slabs.
Building Dimensions Click here to check the
dimensions of all of our most popular pole-barn,
garage, workshop and shed plans:
It Yourself ?
Click here to check the dimensions of all of our most popular pole-barn, garage, workshop and shed plans:
Do It Yourself ?
The plans are intended for experienced builders and use standard methods, abbreviations and symbols. They do not include step-by-step building directions. These are fairly large buildings and are not recommended for first-time builders.
You can find qualified post-frame builders in your area here: National Frame Builders Association
Accurate construction drawings will save you many times their cost. Use them to get competitive bids from a number of different contractors. Take a set to your favorite building supply center or lumber yard for a computerized materials price list. Then, substitute other materials to compare your savings. Your contractor will save time and expense in construction because details are worked-out in advance. You'll have the right documents to present to your building department, zoning board or community's building reviewers to get their approval before you start construction.
These construction drawings include floor plans, general specifications, exterior elevations, building sections, large scale details, dimensions and engineering standards for all framing and footings. Many of he drawing sets include details for optional layouts and add-on extensions. All drawings are to 1/4" scale or larger. Your purchase of the drawings gives you permission to build one unit of the copyrighted design, or to have the basic design used as a starting point for a customized design by your architect, construction engineer or contractor.
Since the drawings are for utilitarian storage spaces, they don't include details for insulation, interior finishes, electricity or plumbing. If needed, these can be added by a local building professional.
The plans meet or exceed most national standards and code requirements. Pole framing for all barns and sheds are to the standards established by the Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service at Cornell University. The designs meet or exceed the requirements of the national ICBO Code for type S and U buildings, if built no closer than 5' to an adjacent combustible building. As designed, or with minor modifications, they are also useable as Residential Accessory buildings. Like all mail-order blueprints, these drawings should be reviewed by a building professional in your community to see if they comply with local ordinances and to see if they are suitable for your site and your planned use.
The buildings are engineered to the
The drawings come with a New York State architectural seal. However, like all stock plans, these drawings should be reviewed and modified by a local construction engineer for use in areas with higher wind load requirements, for earthquake resistance requirements, higher snow load requirements and poor or poorly drained soil conditions. California, Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain locations may necessitate modifications to meet earthquake resistance requirements. High mountain locations and areas of northern Maine and northern Michigan may require higher snow load resistance. Florida, Long Island, coastal areas, high mountain areas and some other locations will require higher wind load resistance. Many northern locations will require deeper post footings because of deeper frost penetration. The states of Florida and Nevada, and some local jurisdictions, require that drawings be prepared or reviewed by an in-state architect or engineer. Some local building officials will wave some requirement if the building is planned for agricultural use or for property that is zoned as Agricultural. Check with your building department for names of qualified construction engineers in your area.
Please have these drawings reviewed by your building department. If they are not suitable for use for any reason, you may return them for a refund.
Because these buildings were designed to be built with any of a variety of exterior finishes and with optional layouts, material lists can not be prepared in advance. Many home centers and lumber yards will provide you with a computerized material list and prices, from the construction plans, after you've chosen the exterior materials and options that you want.
All of these stock barns, workshops, garages and sheds are planned for easy and inexpensive post-frame construction. In general, they should cost 15-20% less to build than conventional sheds, barns, shops and garages with the same amount of storage area. Total cost can be as little as $25 per square foot of ground area to more than twice that, depending on your choice of finishes and options, your location, your building site and the season. Material cost alone should be about half that range. Please use the blueprints to get accurate estimates from contractors and material suppliers in your area.
You can customize your building by choosing the exterior materials that you want. In addition, some changes are fairly simple and can be done during construction by an experienced contractor. Adding or eliminating doors and windows and substituting overhead doors for sliding barn doors are changes that can be done by your contractor.
We're sorry, but we can't provide modifications to the standard drawings. However, you're very welcome to pass the plans to an architect or construction engineer in your area for those modifications.
try to process all plan orders within four days and ship by
three-day First Class or Priority Mail. Please allow two weeks for delivery to
Hawaii, Alaska and Canada.
Don Berg is a New York State and NCARB licensed architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has been a guest and consultant on HGTV. His designs, articles and interviews have appeared in Better Homes & Garden's Home Plan Ideas Magazine, Period Home Magazine, Mother Earth News, Traditional Building Magazine, Home, The Old House Journal, Hudson Valley Magazine, Grit, Yankee Home Magazine and dozens of other magazines and newspapers from coast to coast. He has written fifteen books on traditional American architecture and landscape design.
Thanks again for your interest and your time.
Contact Don at:
Donald J. Berg, AIA