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Can A Pole Barn Have A Basement?

April 13th, 2020 | 10 min. read

Courtney Moore

Courtney Moore

After working in the banking industry for 5 years after college, Courtney realized she needed a change and decided to pursue a new career path. Growing up she has always been creative and enjoyed writing, taking pictures, or painting. Now as the Marketing Content Creator for FBi Buildings, she gets to utilize her creative abilities in her everyday work. In her free time, you can find Courtney at home reading a book, partaking in any and all outdoor activities, or traveling and photographing her adventures. Courtney resides in Northwest Indiana with Lacey, her red tick coonhound.

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We all know that Midwest weather can be a little unpredictable. Our seasons are temperamental and can change in the blink of an eye, most of the time without warning. It’s not unusual to wear a winter jacket then change into shorts - on the same day.

Our storms can be a little bit testy, too. Let’s say you’re out working in your farm shop when a storm pops up out of nowhere. This isn’t one of those storms where you open your overhead door to sit and watch until it passes. No, this storm is one of those where you should take shelter immediately. 

Pole Barn Basement Blog

Attempting to run to the basement in your house could be a bit risky, so what can you do to prepare for these kinds of surprise storms? You could pour a basement for your pole barn.

While a basement under a post frame building is nontraditional and not very typical, it can be done.

When post frame buildings made their way into the picture, they were not built with a basement in mind. This option can be quite costly, so it’s not common to see pole barns with them. However, with the continuous advancements in the industry, the option is now possible for those who think a basement would be a great idea for their post frame building.

Even though FBi Buildings does not offer the option to pour a basement, we still want to inform you of the options you have if you do decide to include one in your pole barn plans. By the end of this blog, you just might learn some new information that will help you decide.


During post frame construction, your builder might use one of two options:

  1. Wet set brackets, which are embedded into the concrete walls at the time the walls are being poured
  2. Dry set brackets, which are attached to the concrete with bolts after the walls have been poured

These options are what make it possible to secure your pole barn to the foundation properly. Laminated columns can then be secured in the brackets, and post frame construction can continue like normal.

Let’s take a look at each of the different style basements and find the pros and cons of each so you can determine which option is the best for your pole barn.

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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages to Each Pole Barn Basement?

Full Basement

This is an excellent idea for someone who is planning on building a post frame residential home, but this can also be a good option for someone with a farm shop or office space.


Pole Barn with Lawnmower1. One of the advantages of a full basement is increased structural integrity. Poured concrete gives a strong foundation and can eliminate any moisture permeation. Since the foundation is below the frost line, at least eight feet or deeper, the longevity of the foundation is increased.

2. The next advantage is the increased square footage. Not only do you get more, but you get more at a much lower price than you would other parts of your post frame building or home. Having larger square footage can help with the overall value of your building structure, too.

3. Another advantage is how much easier repairs can be done. As opposed to a crawl space where repair technicians have to get in tight spaces, in a basement, they can actually stand up to make repairs. If you’re the one handling the repairs, then you’ll end up thanking yourself later on.

4. As stated in the introduction, if you’re caught off guard with a pop-up summer storm, you’re going to want somewhere to go and get to quickly. By having a basement in your pole barn, you don’t have far to go for protection against storms that take a turn for the worse.

5. A final advantage is that you will have more room for storage. If you prefer to store larger items such as equipment and vehicles up top, you can store smaller items, such as Christmas decorations, down below.



1. One of the cons of having a concrete basement is the high cost that comes with it. Unless your basement is going to get utilized enough to make up for the hefty price tag, it might not be worth the investment. It’ll be especially expensive if you plan to finish the basement if you’re building a residential post frame building.

Pole Barn Garage2. The next con would be the potential for flooding. If you do not install a sump pump, then you could end up with a flooded basement after a severe rainstorm. If the basement wasn’t expensive enough, to have to invest in a sump pump on top of that just increases that bottom line even more.

If you’re building on a lot that is in a flood zone, chances are it’ll be recommended that you get a battery or waterflow backup in case the sump pump were to fail. Again, this just adds to your bottom line when that money might be more useful towards something else.

It’s worth noting that flooding can happen even if the concrete is poured correctly. Over time the ground will shift and this can potentially cause cracks in the foundation, which can then lead to flooding. If you see cracks in your foundation, it’s best to call a repair technician right away to repair the damage.

3. Finally, the last con would be a lack of natural light. If you’re building a residential pole barn and plan to convert the basement into living quarters, natural light will be nonexistent. Of course, if this isn’t a negative factor for you, then this wouldn’t be much of a disadvantage.

Ultimate Guide to Pole Barn Cost_FBi Buildings

Partial Basement

A partial basement is ideal for someone who is building a residential pole barn, or someone who is looking to build a farm shop and needs extra storage. By including a partial basement in your farm shop plan, you can utilize this space for storage so that you don’t have clutter in your shop. This will allow you to have even more space to work.


1. One advantage is that it’s a more cost-effective way to get the basement you want. It’s a much cheaper solution to a full basement without having to compromise much more than space. If you only plan to use your basement for storage and storm protection, a partial basement just might be the route to take.

2. Another advantage is that it’s ideal for smaller lots. If your lot does not allow the room for a full basement, a partial can be the next best option. Again, if you’re only planning to use your basement for storage and storm protection, having to forgo a full basement won’t be much of a setback.


1. One disadvantage is that you’ll be giving up additional living space. If you had planned on utilizing your basement for living quarters, by forgoing a full basement, you wouldn’t have this option anymore. This could impact your future plans to expand and impact the overall value of your home if you’re building a residential pole barn.

2. Even though pouring a partial concrete basement is a cheaper option, you won’t get as much out of your money as you would if you poured a full basement. The workload and associated costs are disproportionate to the amount of basement you are getting, so at that point, you might as well go all the way and opt for a full basement.

Pole Barn Gallery_Pole Barn Pictures_FBi Buildings

Daylight/Walk-Out Basement

This style is a great option for someone looking to build a residential home or someone looking to build a shop with extra garage space.

Barn with Pool


1. One advantage is that you will have maximum utilization of your lot. Since these types of basements are built on sloped lots, you won’t feel like you're giving up on space. Living quarters can be incorporated still so that you can have plenty of room for bedrooms, a guest suite, or playroom for your kids.

2. With a full or partial basement, you’ll have to waive any chance of getting any natural light, but with a daylight basement, natural light is possible. Windows can be placed on one or more of the walls, and you can even have the option for a door leading out to your yard.

3. Another advantage is that you can incorporate a garage into the plan. Since part of the basement is fully above ground, an overhead door can be installed like usual. The part of the basement that is underground can then be used for utility space.



1. One of the disadvantages is if you want to add living quarters, you must make sure there is an exit in the livable rooms in case of an emergency. For example, a basement bedroom will require a door to the outside if there is an emergency.

This can pose a problem as there is only so much space to include doors, and this could become costly if extra excavation is needed to make this option possible,

2. Since a walkout basement is more complicated than a traditional one, another disadvantage is that this style will be more costly. There is much more work that goes into preparing your lot to properly pour the foundation, so you can expect your bottom line to be higher than normal.


Which Style Basement Will You Choose for Your Pole Barn?

Now that you've heard a pole barn can have a basement, will you include one in your plans for your future post frame building? It’s crucial to keep in mind that soil conditions will dictate what kind of basement, if any, you will need for your pole barn.

Whether you’re looking to build a residential pole barn, agricultural farm shop, or office space, including a basement is always a good idea if you feel it’s the right fit for your vision. Just remember to always build with confidence, and you’ll end up with your dream pole barn in the end.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Do you want to learn more about pole barn basements? Check out these great articles for additional information:

Do you have more questions about pole barn basements that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you're ready to get a price, click here to request a quote, and a member of our Customer Engagement Team will help you determine the next steps of your project.