Pole construction design began in the 1930s in the United States, originally using utility poles for horse stables and farm buildings. Simply put, a pole barn is a building made of poles. Known today as pole construction, pole barns were developed in the 1930s in farming communities in the United States. In the decades since then, pole buildings have improved with technology, but they're still a popular choice for incredibly robust and affordable barns, garages, homes and more.
Pole Barn Techniques The world was changing rapidly and it was difficult for builders to keep up. Structures with pole frames and barns with poles were born out of this need for adaptation. Traditional pole construction designs required burying utility poles, or large wooden columns, in the ground to support additional posts that wouldn't support loads. If the story is to be believed, some farmers are said to have been so desperate that they even cut off active telephone poles for use in their buildings.
Pole barns have maintained their identity as an affordable option compared to foundation buildings. When red cedar posts became scarce in the mid-1930s, Perkins used creosote-treated posts to provide the main structural support. The name of the method also changed from pole construction to pole construction at that time, as round posts were used less frequently. Perkins has been credited with refining the evolution of modern pole construction from a temporary structure to a durable structure.
Howard Doane is credited with being the innovator who, in 1930, first combined the availability of metal roofing posts and sheets into a “modern construction concept”. While materials have changed over the decades, barns with poles are still a popular and affordable option for more than just farm buildings. The Doane Agricultural Service made its plans for building barns with poles available to anyone interested in the concept around the world. For example, constant water damage often caused wooden poles to rot, making the building unsustainable.
The construction of poles dates back to prehistoric times, when the first known humans used poles embedded in the ground to protect their homes and other buildings. Building barns with posts and posts is a tried and true construction method that is sure to stand the test of time. First, pressure-treated materials that provided excellent durability, in particular the poles that were initially developed for the electrical industry, became available for building construction. For Doane, it made business sense to use a pole construction method instead of building an extravagant structure that would outlast its utility on a farm.
Pole barns became popular in the United States around the 1930s, when the Great Depression forced construction with fewer materials, using practical and durable styles.