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Building Codes & Permits for Pole Barns

It’s important to ensure you have the right building permits in place before you start your next pole barn project.

We issued a post-frame construction industry survey to builders, and one of our questions was about code enforcement in their area. We asked 134 post-frame builders, and 55% of them said they have needed it on occasion to change their construction to meet code.

Codes can become an issue if they’re not clearly understood, so it’s important to start with your local planning and zoning office or your local building inspector, and they will be able to tell you the standards for your community. 

Before you start building, talk to the professionals in your area, and learn the rules to ensure you’re doing your project the right way. We’ve highlighted some of the rules in areas we’ve come across, these could be the same ones in your area and it’s important to be aware of them. 

  • Some cities will not allow a steel skin building – you must have a brick veneer 
  • Almost all residential areas will have a setback requirement, meaning the building must be so many feet from the property line. 
  • Many neighborhoods have a restriction on how tall you can make the building. 
  • Many areas want to inspect a building at each stage of construction, starting with the depth of the holes, then they will inspect the wooden framework, then the completed structure. 
  • Some communities insist on bolting the trusses in place, adding hurricane clips, beefing up the top plate, digging the holes deeper, and providing longer poles or adding gravel or a concrete footer in the hole. 

The rules and codes differ between states, even cities, so it’s important to know what your city allows. Some local code expectations may seem over-engineered when it comes to equating cost with necessity.

In our view, codes generally foster a better quality building and we have found it is best to give the inspector what they want. Life and your project will go easier that way. 

If you need help, not only building your next project but also going through the code and permit process; contact Burrow’s Post Frame Supply today and we’ll see how we can help you!

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