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6 Key Points that Make a Quality Pole Barn Builder

May 2nd, 2017 | 12 min. read

Angie Dobson

Angie Dobson

Angie graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Prior to joining the FBi team, Angie was a kitchen and bath sales consultant in Lafayette, IN. In 2012, she started with FBi as the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. Today she holds the role of Sr. Marketing and Inside Sales Manager. Angie grew up in a farming community and has always enjoyed helping her family on the farm. A past 10-year 4-H Member, her passion for livestock pursued her to take a career in the agriculture field. She and her husband live in Northwest Indiana with their two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor leisure activities and spending time with friends and family.

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If you’re interested in building a pole barn, there’s a good chance that you’re going to compare price estimates.

We shop around when purchasing a vehicle, houseinsurance, schooling, streaming services, etc. So, it only makes sense that you’d do the same for your post-frame project.

With a building design in mind, you reach out to local pole barn buildersBefore you base your decision strictly on quotes, we recommend choosing a construction company that meets these six standards.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

6 Key Factors that Make a Quality Pole Barn Builder

Before you meet up with a Project Sales Consultant, you must familiarize yourself with certain aspects of post-frame construction. Then, not only will you know which qualities to look for, but you’ll also see right through any sales gimmicks.

1) Your pole barn builder has adopted a consultative approach.

Kenny SalesFirst, a quality post-frame builder will focus on establishing a trustworthy relationship with their customers, whether you decide to build with them or not.

They’ll identify solutions to the buyer’s challenges through open-ended questions and active listening. Through conversation, you’ll realize a partnership is forming between the two parties. 

They may be an expert in post-frame construction, but no one knows your farming operation or retail business better than you. Plus, who knows? They may answer questions that you didn’t know you had.

Building trust through a consultative approach is crucial from the get-go.

2) Your pole barn builder is an industry expert.

Pole_Barn_Construction_CrewSpeaking of expertise, you should choose a construction company with 20+ years of experience in the post-frame industry. This longevity shows that they can handle an ever-changing economy and environment, especially in the middle of a global pandemic.

Now would be the perfect time to ask your pole barn builder about their building process. Then, they’ll showcase their innovative features that put their product ahead of the competition.

Moreover, you should select a company that is a part of the National Frame Building Association (NFBA)Members of this organization specialize in post-frame construction and make a professional commitment to sound methods and ethical business practices.

It’s also super convenient if your pole barn builder offers repairs and renovations. While we wish our post-frame buildings were invincible, signs of aging and damage are inevitable. Having an expert who can assess the situation is highly beneficial.

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings

3) Your pole barn builder practices risk management.

Next, you should research your post-frame builder’s approach to risk management. For instance:

Do they have a written process for chaining and bracing a pole barn?

Chaining-Bracing IMG_7197Post-frame buildings are vulnerable until the metal siding is installed. Therefore, your investment should be protected throughout the entire construction process.

Inquire about your pole barn builder’s chaining and bracing procedures. They should produce a formalized and well-documented protocol.

Proper chaining and bracing secure the walls and other building components. This step eliminates the need to fix, straighten, or rebuild a pole barn that high winds have compromised. Look for the following securements:

  • Diagonal braces are used on the side walls to create a triangle that transfers structural loads at the top of the laminated column down to the ground.
  • Angle bracing is installed at vital intersecting points (e.g., corners, door frame-outs, and strategic points along the end and side walls).
  • Strong anchor points that are independent of the building to reduce structural failure.

Exercise caution if a construction company tells you that they’ll brace your post-frame building “the same way they always brace.” Every pole barn project is unique. Executing a well-engineered plan will prevent delays and keep on schedule.

Do they require customers to purchase builder's risk insurance?

A quality pole barn builder will require their customers to purchase builder’s risk insurance

This policy protects you from theft, storm damage, or vandalism that may occur during post-frame construction. The following stakeholders must be listed (if applicable):

Typically, this policy is in effect until the work is complete and the property is ready for use or occupancy. 

Don’t forget to read the fine print before signing your contract. Double-check all coverages, conditions, and exclusions. You must understand what is and what isn’t insured should a loss occur.

Avoid construction companies that do not require builders’ risk insurance. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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What are their safety policies and procedures?

QLYFT_Benefit_1Trust us when we say you do not want a serious injury to happen on your job site. Keeping this area neat and clean is critical for construction crew safetyFor your legal protection, look for the following welfare practices:

  • Daily clean up
  • Secure tool storage
  • Posted safety signs
  • Well-organized building materials
  • Proper safety gear (e.g., hardhats and eye protection)
  • Published safety record that is below industry averages

Not to mention, you must make sure they use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandated fall equipment unless they’re using the QLYFT Building System. Overall, these best practices show that the pole barn builder cares about the safety of their customers and employees.

Watch the video to learn more about the OSHA-approved safety measures behind the QLYFT Building System.

Overall, these best practices show that the pole barn builder cares about the safety of their customers and employees.

4) Your pole barn builder is code compliant.

Pole_Barn_Warranty_Columns_Roof_StructureIn post-frame construction, your pole barn must be compliant with written, adopted, or required building codes. 

Please keep in mind that building codes are minimum standards. It’s up to you to decide the perfect balance between structural strength and cost

But what if you’re not an expert in pole barn structural integrity? A quality post-frame builder will provide a licensed engineer stamp on all drawings identifying the key building components.

This stamp certifies that the entire structure will meet design requirements from top to bottom. Just knowing that the construction company is willing to provide accredited drawings may be enough assurance for you.

5) Your pole barn builder has minimal outsourcing.

You must ensure that everyone involved in your construction project all works for the same company. This act of in-housing should include the following departments:

Insourcing operations will maximize the finished product’s quality compared to outsourcing.

Pole Barn Gallery_Pole Barn Pictures_FBi Buildings

6) Your pole barn builder offers a non-prorated warranty.

Pole_Barn_Warranty_Sliding_DoorsLastly, a warranty is the written guarantee by manufacturers to purchasers promising to repair or replace defective products/services within a certain period.

It’s crucial to note that there’s no standard pole barn warranty. With that being said, you don’t want to skim through construction warranties. 

A quality post-frame builder will offer a non-prorated warranty. This type of warranty promises that any defect in building materials and craftsmanship is covered throughout the entire term.

For example, a 20-year non-prorated warranty means that the items are 100% covered for 20 years. Whereas a 40-year prorated warranty means that the items are 50% covered for 20 years.

Again, you should double-check all coverages, conditions, and exclusions. You must understand what is and isn’t covered should a defect occur.

Moreover, who is your point of contact when potential warranty claims arise? Do you call the corporate office or the salesperson responsible for selling your pole barn? Do you have to deal with subcontractors or third-party suppliers?

You should select a post-frame builder who will handle these situations on your behalf—bonus points for construction companies who have their own repair crews on deck.

Which Quality Pole Barn Builder Will You Choose?

As one of the top pole barn builders in the Midwest, it’s our goal to make sure you’re asking the right questions when comparing construction companies.

By taking the time to research these six attributes, you’ll be able to decipher between a low- and high-quality post-frame builder.

We understand that pole barns are a long-term investment. Therefore, we want to ensure that you get the dream structure you’ve worked hard for and enjoy it well into the future.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

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