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What Is Post-Frame Construction?

A post-frame structure refers to a type of construction. It doesn’t mean the structure was built after the days of frames, “post-frame” — refers to a building that uses posts as a frame. It’s a simplified style that you might have seen used on barns.

This construction style uses massive poles that get buried into the ground. This gives the structure strong vertical support. From there, horizontal pieces are added between the vertical supports. The result is a durable and strong foundation that’s relatively easy and inexpensive to make.

A pole barn is just an example of post-frame construction. It’s important to realize that some pole barns don’t technically use poles at all — they use square vertical supports instead — but this doesn’t exclude them from the family.

As you know, the term pole refers to round columns. The naming comes from a long history of this type of structure, and it doesn’t change regardless of which support geometry you use.

Benefits of Post-Frame Structures

There are many benefits to a post-frame structure, besides the space it provides. We share the different benefits of a post-frame structure below.


This style of construction is significantly less expensive than other options. That’s the driving motivator for many people who opted for a pole barn in the 1930s and even today. 

The lumber, labor, and tooling required for post-frame construction are all inexpensive. On top of that, you can skip making a foundation, which is often 10% to 20% of a building’s total construction costs. 

Less Labor Required

Adding to the cost savings is the lack of intensive labor. Putting together a post-frame structure can be done by most DIYers without real trouble. Using manufactured trusses, roofing, siding, and professional designs makes the process even easier.

Easy Foundation

As mentioned earlier, the foundation is basically non-existent for a post-frame structure. You can build on top of uneven dirt or gravel without any issues. Since the building uses poles that are buried deep in the ground, you don’t need a concrete foundation that’s perfectly level.

Good Insulation

There’s a lot of spacing between the posts in a post-frame structure. This means there’s plenty of room for insulation — the end result is a well-insulated building. Additionally, the wood itself is a good insulator. You’ll enjoy more comfortable temperatures inside your post-frame structure.

Uses for Post-Frame Construction

There are many uses for a post-frame structure, it all depends on what your sole intent for the building was. Burrow’s Supply works with residential builders and commercial contractors to help them determine their needs.

Commercial Building

This form of construction has made its way into commercial buildings. Dealerships, retail shops, and warehouse buildings might opt for post-frame construction to save time and money.

Garage or Workshop

You’ll notice a lot of detached garages use post-frame construction. It gives you the ability to make a huge structure to store all of your big toys. Even RVs can comfortably fit in a garage using this style. The best part? You won’t break the bank, and you can put it basically anywhere.

Thanks to the building’s size, you also have plenty of space to put together a workshop. It can be far away from your home, so you won’t disturb people as you work on your next project.

Farm Building

The traditional use of post-frame construction is a pole barn structure. This can be used to store large farming equipment, tools, and materials. In other cases, a pole barn is used to store livestock and animals.

Work with Burrow’s Post-Frame Supply

Pole barns are the same thing as post-frame structures. They started out of necessity in the Great Depression-era to create an inexpensive way to build a massive structure, and they live on into the 21st century. Engineering and construction improvements keep post-frame construction around, so you can use this method to build a lot of different structures.

Contact Burrow’s Post-Frame Supply to learn more about building your pole barn today.

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