Thinking about having a pole barn home built by Greiner Buildings? Before you go all in, there are a couple of things you must know – things like the timeline it takes to build a residential pole building and the often overlooked costs included in these projects. Although it would be nice to know exactly what your metal building home costs will be, unfortunately, there is no black and white answer.

There are multiple factors that can influence your pole barn cost, including the current cost of commodities like lumber and steel, design features, and city or county building regulations. We want to encourage you to build your dream home, but we also want to prepare you for those unforeseen costs before, during, and after the building process.

The last thing we want is for you to start building your dream home, only to find out that you may not have the budget to finish it – leading to tough decisions and conversations with your builder. To avoid that conversation and appropriately plan for the building process, read about the five big costs to anticipate when building a metal pole barn home.

Planning is Critical

Getting the site ready for construction will take time. Prepping the site is a required step to check how well the site drains, if there are overhead obstacles like power lines and trees, and to test the soil. Soil testing helps verify the stability of the building site and determines if it needs to be improved in order to have the correct foundation support.

In order to start construction of your pole barn home, the site often requires dirt and gravel to be moved or brought in to establish a level and elevated base for your building. This is something that Greiner Buildings is prepared to help with for any job but is also a good opportunity to save some money if you are able to do this type of site preparation work independently. This prep work is a crucial element that helps set the rest of the building project up for success.

Site Costs that You Must Prepare For

An often-overlooked cost is bringing all the utilities to the site. This includes sewer or septic, water, gas, and electric. These may be less of a concern if you are building in an established neighborhood where this has all been set up. But if not, these are costs that you must consider and be prepared to include in your overall budget.

It will be important to follow your city and county regulations and obtain any necessary permits in advance. Utility installations, such as having to install the septic system, adding a well to the property, or connecting to electrical can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how rural your location is. Make sure to do your research and factor this into your budget.

Building Design Choices Will Determine the Length and Costs of Your Project

Once you have figured out the land and utilities, it’s time to start thinking about the building. The design costs for your dream metal barn home rely heavily on the type of structure you want to build. When you’re looking to build a residential pole building like a Shome® or a hobby garage, there are design decisions that can influence the overall price of your structure. Once you get a feel for the type of pole building structure you want as your home, work with your builder with an open mind on how to make it a reality.

Developing a design plan for your pole barn house serves as a roadmap for the rest of the construction process. There are many important decisions that are made in this process that if not done strategically, can make your home more expensive without you even realizing it. Placement of utility connections, bathrooms, and much more can influence future finishing costs. Greiner Buildings understands all this and has 2D and 3D design experts that can help you create a plan that gives you the home design features you want while also respecting your budget.

Managing Finishing & Furnishing Costs

Adding external and internal features and furnishings will impact your pole building costs. Greiner Buildings can make your life easy by contracting this work for you, but you can also have the work subcontracted or done yourself if this is part of the project where you want to save some money. Finishing features most often include:

  • Concrete
  • Drywall
  • Framing
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing and HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Cabinetry & Finished Carpentry
  • Flooring/Carpet
  • Landscaping (including driveways and sidewalks)

When making furnishing decisions, make sure to keep some wiggle room in your budget. These after-construction additions tend to be out of sight during the early stages of the building process. Although finishing touches will make your home unique and add value, decide what touches are nice-to-haves versus need-to haves. The cost of each one of these items can vary significantly, depending on whether you choose an economical or top-of-the-line version. These are the expenses that can make a fully finished Shome range anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 or more. Think carefully and prioritize the features that are most important to you. Also, avoid changing any design features after they’re implemented because last-minute changes to features like doors, porches, and windows will cost more and add to the overall timeline.

Another budget-friendly option is having your pole barn builder construct the shell of the building, and hiring subcontractors to finish the work or even do some of the work yourself. A shell typically includes the site prep, building pad, steel siding and roofing, and installation of windows and doors, while the inside of the structure is left unfinished. Hiring Greiner Buildings to construct the unfinished shell averages customers between $200,000 and $350,000 but this can vary. As you might expect, the cost is heavily dependent on the total square-footage or footprint of the building, as well as the quality and quantity of the doors, windows, concrete and insulation you select. Having only the shell of the building hired out can be perfect for a DIY expert, as it allows them to finish the inside of the home on their own timeline and with their own resources.

What Does a Finished Shome Cost?

  • A basic finished Shome® with 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of living space will start at approximately $400,000.
  • A standard finished 3-bedroom, 2-bath Shome with approximately 2,000 square feet of living space will land in the $500,000 to $650,000 range.
  • Custom luxury Shomes with higher-end finishes will start at $750,000 or more.

Again, the overall size of the structure, architectural complexity of the build, and quantity and quality of the materials and finishes you choose will ultimately determine your particular price point. The shop portion of a Shome will cost less than the finished living space, but will be driven by the overall size, as well as the quantity, quality, and size of doors and windows.

What a Greiner Shome Isn’t

We occasionally receive inquiries about basements, vinyl siding and architectural shingles. If these design elements are must-haves for you, then you’re better off considering traditional poured foundation and stick frame construction.

Understand Your Financing

Before you decide to build a residential pole building and start filling out requests for quotes, it’s crucial to think this all the way through. Building a pole barn home can be time intensive and costly. Our recommendation in preparing for the expenses that come with building is to discuss with your bank and obtain approval for financing before working with a builder. Try to get this figured out ahead of time so that you know exactly what you can afford before starting discussions.

“Not understanding what you can afford only sets you up for disappointment,“ warns Will Hipwell, CEO of Greiner Buildings. “Dreams are great, but having a plan based in financial reality is really the first critical step.”

While you do have plenty of options when building a pole barn, a residential pole building can take 4 to 6 months or more, and there will be multiple costs during the process. There isn’t a “one size fits all” price as it all boils down to the intended use and location, and every house is different.

Why Should You Hire a Professional Builder?

Building a home from scratch can be challenging and you need the right people to make the process as smooth as possible. Your dream home can be a reality when it is built the right way, and Greiner Buildings is the best choice in the Midwest.

“Professional builders are experienced at combining a customer’s dream or vision with the financial reality of what he or she wants to spend and can afford,” explains Hipwell. “Our job on the front-end is to help customers understand the costs, and then work with pre-qualified buyers to find the most cost-effective way to build for them.”

More Info on Residential Building Construction

Whether you just want to learn more about residential pole buildings or you’re ready to get started building your dream home, Greiner Buildings can help. With multiple locations across Iowa and Illinois, our team is proud to build custom residential pole barn homes that fit your lifestyle and your unique needs and has even been recognized with multiple building awards and countless customer testimonials.

Contact Greiner Buildings today for expert post frame building advice or for your free residential building cost quote.