picture of an empty pole barn with a window

10 Awesome Pole Barn Ideas [Gallery]

Pole barns (post frame structures) were developed in the United States, in the 1930s, as a quick and reliable way of erecting architecture. Sturdy, economical, and environmentally friendly – wood is still the preferred building material of many residential developers and quickly gaining momentum in the commercial construction industry.

Whether you’re fortunate enough to have purchased land with one that’s sitting empty, or you’re looking to add extra space, here are 10 awesome ideas for your pole barn (that might even earn you some cash!)


woman standing on pole barn porch in winter

Pole barns make excellent homes and are faster and easier to construct than those made of steel and cement. Best of all, you’ll save loads of money on materials and foundation for your post frame house, without sacrificing security. Resilient by design, the deep-set structure of pole barns means they’re built to withstand heavy rain, wind, and snow keeping people and property safe. Plus, the wide interior of a pole barn – devoid of additional construction – naturally creates the open floor plan coveted by families with little children and/or lots of stuff.

Man Cave

pole barn man cave

Many men enjoy having a place to call their own outfitted with electronics, games, liquor, tools, and other items not appreciated (or permitted) in the main living area of the home. Pole barns make excellent man caves, as they’re detached from the house, allowing for hours of uninterrupted game viewing and late-night beer bashes with the boys. Just be careful, making your man cave too appealing might turn it into everyone’s favorite hangout spot, completely defeating its purpose.

She Shed

pole barn she shed

The she shed is the female equivalent of the man cave. Separate from the main home and full of things the lady of the house needs to relax, the she shed is typically off limits to men and children of both genders. Arts and crafts, wine, fluffy pillows, decadent chocolate, and a gaggle of gal-pals create a much-needed escape from work, cooking, cleaning, child-care, manhandling, and any other stress a woman may encounter. A pole barn is perfect she shed real estate.


pole barn playroom

We could all use more exercise and less screen-time. Turning your pole barn into a playroom is a great way to get more movement and isn’t just for the kids! Store bikes, skis, bats, balls, and racquets in your pole barn for easy access to outside activities – and maybe even set up a basketball hoop (eliminating rained out court sessions.) A pole barn means there’s room for racks of weights, fitness machines, a stair-climber, or a treadmill giving you no excuse for skipping the gym. Best of all, filling your pole barn with games, toys, and possibly a stage means increased use of imagination for the kids and tons of family bonding time.

Art Studio

pole barn art studio


Possibly considered a man cave or she shed hybrid, a pole barn art studio is a great way to relax! For serious artists, the seclusion craved during the creative process is more easily obtained while working in a stand-alone structure, like a pole barn. The flexibility of post frame construction makes it ideal for building a studio to your exact specifications, including windows for natural light and shelves for art supply storage. Leaving the walls and floor unfinished in your art studio pole barn, means additional project surface area and worry-free mess making.


pole barn office

Whether working alone or housing your company, pole barns make excellent office space! The wide-open floor plan feels made for shared desks and collaborative conversations while leaving enough room for copiers and other equipment. If you’re in the audio business, pole barns tend to have awesome acoustics and the exposed trusses are perfect for hanging speakers or video screens. The close proximity to your home creates an easy commute to the office, with the option of making a home-cooked lunch in your kitchen or grabbing a 20-minute power nap in the comfort of your bed.

Mother-in-Law Suite

pole barn mother in law suite

Whether you love your mother-in-law or not, there may come a time when she lives with you. A pole barn makes a quaint and comfortable suite for your spouse’s mom while providing private living quarters separate from the main house. Deck it out with its own kitchen and bathroom, and you may not cross paths that often. The nicest part is that Mom has her own space, the kids can see Grandma whenever they wish, and you still feel like a grown-up.


pole barn storage shed

If the garage is for your cars, then where do your tools live? Pole barns make the best storage sheds for anything and everything that’s stuffed in your garage. Just imagine pulling (both) vehicles into your pristine garage, with enough room to fully open the car door, and walking into your house without tripping over skateboards, shovels, and the recycling bin. Move all the lawn equipment, sporting goods, winter clothes, pool inflatables, and tools into a storage shed complete with hooks, shelves, racks, and maybe even a dusty new workbench!


two horses in a pole barn

For centuries, barns have been used to house and protect all things agriculture from dairy and grain to equipment and crop production, to livestock and fodder. It only makes sense that today, pole barns are very often used as…barns! The immense space, excellent ventilation, and sturdy design make pole barns perfect for parking expensive tractors, sheltering animals like horses and sheep, and holding the feed for your fast and fluffy farm-friends.

Event Venue

wedding reception in pole barn

If your property and pole barn are fancy enough, you might just make some money. Rustic weddings are all the rage and the more authentic the site, the more the happy couple is willing to pay. From business meetings to Bar Mitzvahs, a beautiful pole barn and peaceful backdrop are often the perfect venue. The neutral wood color, open space, and exposed beams make your pole barn a flexible event destination with limitless configurations and decorative possibilities. Team up with a local caterer, florist, photographer, and DJ and you’ve just started yourself a business.