Cori grew up on her family's small grain and livestock operation in Northwest Indiana. In 2018, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Marian University Indianapolis. Having shown beef cattle for 12 years at the county, state, and national levels, Cori chose to pursue a career in agriculture. Today, she serves as the Marketing Content Creator on the FBi team. In her free time, Cori enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, listening to live music, and traveling.
Consequently, post-frame builders saw an influx of quote requests and sold building projects. But rising commodity prices, specifically lumber and steel, have made it increasingly difficult to build these pole barns in a timely manner.
So does that mean you can’t build a pole barn in 2021? Not necessarily. This article details the factors affecting your construction schedule and how you can get a head start on your post-frame project.
Don’t have time to read this blog in its entirety? Watch the video below for a recap.
The Effects of COVID-19 on Pole Barn Construction
1) A Shift in the Economy
Since March 2020, there have been trillions of dollars pumped into our economy and marketplace, creating a lot of movement in the construction industry.
It was deemed an “essential” business, and companies could move forward with building projects – post-frame and stick-built.
With most of the population staying and working from home, it only made sense that home improvement projects skyrocketed. Other popular examples include landscaping and renovations.
2) Lower Interest Rates
Unsurprisingly, global financial conditions have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
The Federal Open Market Committee lowered the federal fund rates to an all-time low of 0 to 0.25 percent to stimulate the economy.
Furthermore, the Committee will maintain this rate range until it’s confident that the U.S. economy has weathered the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.
What does this mean for someone interested in building a pole barn? You can finance your post-frame building at a lower interest rate and keep it for the duration of your loan (unless stated otherwise).
We’ve noticed people taking advantage of this opportunity, which also explains the recent spike in construction projects.
3) Rising Commodity Prices
Next, lumber and steel prices have dramatically increased in 2021.
At the height of the global pandemic, major sawmills dialed back on or completely shut down the production of building materials.
Another industry facing severe pressure amidst COVID-19 is metal. U.S. steel prices dropped in response to key buyers suspending their operations. Consequently, the steel mills halted production and decreased their capacity utilization rates.
Meanwhile, the demand for lumber and steel continued to rise while the supply was limited, hence the higher prices. It’s the law of supply and demand, a fundamental economic concept.
4) Delay of Building Features
As you online shop, you’ve probably noticed that delivery dates are taking longer than usual. Amazon Prime’s 2-day delivery isn’t always, well, within two days. Convenient shipping times have spoiled us.
The same can be said about post-frame construction. To date, the following building features have longer lead times, which may affect the timely completion of your pole barn:
At FBi Buildings, our framing carpenters are directly employed by us. With subcontracted construction crews, you can run into job jumping issues, which causes scheduling problems.
Post-frame builders who invest in their field employees do so because direct accountability is the best way to ensure quality performance.
Furthermore, we have 26 construction crews scattered throughout Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. We have a higher crew power per geographical area than our competitors. This coverage allows us to build a higher volume of pole barns.
With our construction schedule filling up, we highly recommend getting a head start on these tasks.
1) Land Acquisition & Site Preparation
First, you’ll need to purchase land to build your pole barn (if you don’t already own a plot). The location can affect your construction project.
For instance, do you want to build within city limits or out in the country? Depending on the location, you may have to obtain building permits from the city hall rather than a county office. They also dictate which type of post-frame building (i.e., a barndominium) you can put up in that area.
Some cities require more paperwork and enforce more regulations (e.g., inspections and setbacks) than counties. We’ll cover more permitting information in the following section.
Once you’ve acquired the land, you must identify the exact location of your pole barn. It would be best if you considered the following factors when picking a spot:
Site Preparation: The work done to your land before post-frame construction. This step addresses complications (if any) upfront. You can hire an excavator or tackle it on your own.
Utilities: Includes electric, gas, sewage, and water. Mapping them out prevents utility strikes that may cause harm to you or workers.
Site Access: The flow of building materials, equipment, and people to your pole barn. Construction crews need ample space to do their job right and on time.
Excavation: A level job site with menial obstacles (e.g., trees). The less excavation needed, the more money you’ll save on site preparation and construction costs. If your job site is uneven or hilltop, you’ll need to fill (add) or cut (remove) until the ground is flat.
Before starting site preparation and post-frame construction, you need to obtain the necessary building permits. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” permit. It boils down to the building use and – you guessed it – location.
Again, a building permit within city limits may have a different set of rules than the countryside. However, all pole barn permits have the following components in common:
Setback: The minimum distance between a post frame building and the property line.
Easement: The legal right for another owner to cross or have limited access to one’s property.
Building Height & Lot Coverage Restrictions: Limits how high you can build and what percentage of your lot can be covered by structures.
It’s crucial that you understand these components and how they affect your construction project.
Furthermore, you should be ready to submit the following documents with your permit application:
The legal description of the property
If approved, a fee for the building permits will be charged. You’ll most likely pay with cash or a check as some government offices don’t accept credit cards.
Once the necessary permits have been issued, post-frame construction can begin.
These papers must be visible on the job site and readily available should the building inspector pay a visit. He/she may analyze construction methods and building materials, verifying that everything is up to code.
Most local governments require inspections at various stages in the construction process, such as:
Determining your needs and how those will affect your pole barn budget can be exhausting. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you start to second guess yourself. Sometimes you need a push in the right direction.
Did you know that we have FREE design software? It takes the guesswork out of choosing the right building size and location. You can save, print, or email your floor plan to family and friends.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re aware of the FBi Blog. Every week, our writers publish articles that cover a variety of topics, including building design. Top-performing blogs include:
Do you still need design inspiration? We strongly urge you to check out our pole barn gallery. Similar to our guidebooks, this online collection is FREE to use. No strings attached.
If you see a building design that catches your eye but you’d like to make some tweaks, please let us know. We’re a custom post-frame builder. No cookie-cutter floor plans here. Our structures are built around your needs.
Will You Build a Pole Barn in 2021?
We don’t want to rush you into a permanent investment, but the clock is ticking on building a pole barn by the end of the year.
Are you ready for a quote? Submit your building design to us, and a member of our sales team will give you a call to begin the estimating process.
Do you have more questions about pole barns that aren’t covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at800.552.2981orclick here to email us. If you’re ready for a price,click here to request a quote, and a member of our Customer Engagement Team will help you determine the next steps.