Question about Barns

This is a toughy... As many know, I'm right in the middle of searching for a good tractor, and thanks to the help of several people, I'm now knowledgable enough to go out and begin the footwork part of my search.

On to the next question: My barn is about to fall down (see the picture at ) and I need to put a new one up to house my tractor and assorted equipment. I've got the spot picked out, all I need to do is find or build the right barn.

Where should I start? Should I get a metal shed, or should I build a new barn with the existing lumber from the old barn? Any pointers?


Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

There's a major trade-off there, Dave.

Metal barns are easy to erect and virtually maintainence free. And, size for size, are likely to be less expensive. But they are ugly as sin.

Wooden barns are more difficult to put up (if it were me, I'd hire an experienced barn builder), and require maintainence. But they look like they belong on the farm, not like a factory building.

Also, I would recommend that after you analyze your needs and decide on a size, you then go up at least to the next larger one. Barns are like the kitchen of the farm; they become the central focus of everything you do. And they are _never_ big enough.

That's a trade-off for sure. I'm afraid that I may have to go with the metal building, for money reasons. It really depends on the cost difference - do you have a rough idea what the difference between these two might be?

Also - where do I look to find companies who can sell a metal barn or build a wooden barn? I'd like to look up these kinds of places and call them and perhaps get some estimates.

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi Dave,
You can search online for storage/barn dealers, then go to their homepages. I found many dealers by searching for storage sheds, since we needed one of those as well. We are also in the market for a small barn and I found some good dealers who offer barns, from the very small to the very large. Many offer plans, kits and metal buildings at reasonable prices. Do you have an Amish community near you? They are excellent barn restorers/builders and offer their services at reasonable prices. A friend's friend had an Amish crew build her barn on site and it was excellent workmanship and the price was half of the other bids with the same material list. Just a few ideas...

Hi Dicentra - thanks for the info.

Unfortunately, the closest Amish community to us is 240 miles away, in Lawrence County, TN. There may be some closer in NC, GA, or KY, but that would still put them at least 100 miles away. I'll start looking up storage shed companies.


Chattahoochee, FL

Dave, I can't offer much advice about the new barn, but I want to caution you about the old one. That thing is a death-trap. Please don't try to disassemble it piece by piece. You never know what board is holding the whole thing up, and it could all come crashing down at once. You'd be best off to hook a cable to it and pull it down with a dozer, or something. Don't count on getting much usable lumber out of it, either. Whatever survives the destruction is likely to be harder than Chinese arithmetic and you won't be able to drive a nail into it. Darn shame it was allowed to get into that shape...looks like it was a nice one at one time.

Valley Head, WV(Zone 5a)

If you want just a one story storage shed/barn a pole barn is very easy to build. My husband and I have built several over the years to accomadate different needs. From horses and sheep, to hay storage. I imagine adding a second level would be a bit more challenging - ours were all 1 level.

Here in our rural part of WV 100 miles is nothing! If you want the Amish to build your barn, you might check with them. They might even live in for a couple of weeks to build it.

Good luck!

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

You might have some small locally owned companies in your area that build barns. Talk to your neighbors, the folks at the feed store, the farm equipment lots, etc. In a few hours you will probably have a few names and can contact them to come out and look at your situation and give you extimates. They also have the advantage of knowing about local snow loads and wind conditions. I think dealing with local people has other advantage, they want to keep their good name and reputation. Also you can go and look at other buildings they have built and see what you like. Sounds like fun to me, I like barns!

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)


Lot's of steel building makers advertise in crafts, handyman, and some lifestyles magazines. Kentucky Living has quite a few of them.

I'll send you the appropriate pages. That'll give you a starting point.

In terms of comparative prices, that's near impossible, because both materials and labor charges vary so much by location.

If you check at your lumber yard, they can probably steer you to barn builders you can call for estimates.

Surry, VA(Zone 7b)

Hi Dave,
I have to agree with Brook when it come to the appearance of metal barns. In this area a wooden barn is cheaper if you do most of the work yourself. One thing to consider though, do I have enough free time to complete this project by myself? One option would be to have someone do your framework and then finish it yourself. You could also check with the local high school/community college and see if building your barn could be part of a carpentry course. Your county extension office may have plans on file and there are books with barn designs. If you decide to go with a wooden barn, please keep in mind that mortgage rates have dropped and contractors will probably start mass building again, causing a lumber shortage which will increase the price of lumber for all of us. Also add in the costs for any power tools you may need. I looked in my electric co-op magazine and here's a few websites you might want to check out:;;;;; Too bad we are all scattered across the country/world. We could have a big barn building/great to meet you get-together. Whatever your decision, just remember to be safe!

Thanks for the info and URLs Carol. I'll continue my research. I also wish that everyone was close by - we'd have a big barn-raising party like in the old days. ;-)

Lyndeborough, NH


Hope this is timely enough.

I am in the home repair bus,

A properly constructed wood barn will out last you.
~~ I have worked on barns built in the 1700's

Metal sheds are good for a max of about 15 years.

Pole Barns are not that good in damp area's or heavy snow loads. In damp area's use pt lumber


southeast, NE

We built a Butler machine shed 22 years ago. We had some roof leaking problems but they stood behind it. I'm not sure if that company still exists. One thing nice about the metal buildings - you don't have to worry about painting them in the future.

Knowlesville, NY

Hi All!
Just found some great barn plans on ebay by a guy named Berg.(search for "Berg Barns")He has a website, but prices are higher there.( They are modern pole versions of classic looking barns. I have suffered 10 years without a barn and would like to build one soon, so I feel your pain Dave! All I need now is time and money!

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