Armed with little more than a good set of pole barn plans, enthusiasm and some guidance from an expert, even a novice can construct the pole barn of his dreams.
Did you notice the flaw in that sentence?
When we are starting out on a new project we are
With all that in mind I started looking for something that could guide me, as a wet behind the ears complete beginner, to my ultimate goal of a beautiful 30x50 pole barn in my yard.
The first thing I discovered is that there are lots of places to buy pole barn plans; specialist books stores, online bookstores, architects and of course right here on the Internet.
The other thing I discovered is that the price you pay for your pole barn plans isn't always an indication of the quality you're going to get. Some of the most expensive, costing upwards of $200 were, putting it bluntly, just plain rubbish. Whereas some of the cheaper pole barn plans offered exceptional value.
So what should you be looking for in your pole barn plans, in fact in any type of woodworking plans, be they workshop plans, storage shed plans or even garden shed plans?
First off, the plans should be fully detailed. There's no room for vagueness if you want your project to turn out successfully.
Pole barn construction came into its own in the 1930's with the increasing availability in rural areas of telegraph pole and steel sheeting. Sinking poles into the ground and steel siding and roofs drastically reduced the amount of materials and time in took to construct a barn. The term 'Pole Barn' is derived from the telegraph poles which the buildings were based around.
After WWII the telegraph poles were replaced with treated 6x6 or 4x6 sawn timbers to increase the expected life of the barn.
Metal plate connected trusses were introduced in the 1950's and 60's. This allowed for much larger roof spans, often over 100 feet.
The need to go taller was addressed in the 1970's and 80's as the sawn timbers were replaced with laminated 2x8 and 2x6 posts. The commercial pole barns we see today are often multi storey and can cover vast expanses.
brimming with enthusiasm, and a good set of pole barn plans, well, that can be a little bit hit-and-miss. But getting instruction from an expert pole barn constructor… Well let's face it, that could prove a bit tricky to find!
Next, you should be looking for a complete materials list so you know EXACTLY what to buy. Believe me there is nothing worse than thinking you have every detail measured out, only to find out that you've got it completely and utterly wrong!
Finally, and for me personally this is the most important feature, you need a good set of instructions, and by good set of instructions I mean a comprehensive package of detailed blueprints with clear illustrations, pictures, detailed diagrams and an explicit step-by-step, lead-you-by-the-hand guide. In fact, what you should be looking for is a pole barn plan, which does all of the preparation, and planning for you and takes away the uncertainty, worry and risk out of building your perfect pole barn.
I've listed below some of the products I bought and my honest opinion of what I thought of them.
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There are two packages, which for me stood out from the crowd, one for the depth of information it contained, and the other for the quantity and quality of the barn plans.
The first package is from Professional Woodworker, John Metz and is called 'Woodworking 4 Home'. It contains a staggering 14,000 woodworking plans and projects, including more barn plans than you can shake a stick at.
As you can probably guess, with 14,000 blueprints included you're getting an awful lot besides the Pole Barn Plans.
The variety of projects is far too large to list fully but amongst them you will find garage plans, garden shed plans, workshop plans, deck plans, kids playground plans and literally thousands of others. There are even plans to easily manufacture toys, desks, chairs, swings, in fact, there is a good chance that if it can be made from wood then you'll find a plan for it in this package.
The instructions that John gives are clear, concise and very easy to understand. They lead you easily through a step-by-step process with references to the enclosed, detailed diagrams, photo's and sectional drawings.
I'm not the only one who likes the 'Woodworking 4 Home' package. It has appeared in a range of popular glossy magazines including, American Woodworker, Popular Woodworking, Wood, Fine Woodworking, Woodworkers Journal and Outdoor Living.
So what are the downsides to this particular package? Well, while the literature states that 'your skill level doesn't matter' I would like to have seen a woodworking primer to introduce complete never-held-a-hammer beginners to some of the basic woodworking concepts.
That said, this really is a fantastic product and I thoroughly recommend it. You can visit the website and read more here…
The second product I want to talk about is called, 'My Shed Plans Elite' and is brought to us by Ryan Henderson.
Just like Woodworking4Home, My Shed Plans Elite is another darling of the glossy magazines with appearances in Woodwork, American Woodworker and unusually, Readers Digest.
The appeal of this package for me lay not just in the pole barn plans, which by the way, are excellent and include blueprints for about a dozen pole barns together with frame barn plans, rafter barn plans, plans for two storey barns, garage plans, storage barn plans and even log cabin and A-frame cabin plans. For the massively ambitious amongst us there are even plans for 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses!
No, the real appeal of My Shed Plans Elite is in the range and depth of the information and instruction, which is included.
There is truly something for everyone in here. For the out-and-out beginner there is a comprehensive 'How-To' woodworking guide and course. With lessons to lead you from being a nervous novice right down the road to being a seasoned woodworker.
For the more experienced, there is a wealth of expert advice help from the professionals backed up with an immense library of trade secrets, tools, techniques and tips to make your projects easier, cheaper and much more enjoyable.
The information isn't just limited to woodworking projects either. There is a mass of supplemental information contained within My Shed Plans Elite to help you in every aspect of planning and building your pole barn.
You will find manuals on foundations, construction planning, building regulations, electrical safety, plumbing, plastering, in fact everything you could ever need to know to help build your pole barn.
The range and depth of this well written, easy to follow information would make this package a must have item in its own right, but Ryan has also included around 12,000 plans and blueprints for a massive range of woodworking projects.
I have only started to scratch at the surface of the benefits besides the superb pole barn plans that this package provides for you. To read more about this huge collection of plans, blueprints, information, manuals, guides and lessons (and also grab a free garden shed plan) click over to the My Shed Plans Elite website now. And please don't be put off by some of the obvious sales talk like "the closest thing to hiring a full time 24/7 Carpenter" or "this is almost as easy as… eating lunch" (Although to be fair, it probably is!)