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3 Tips for Choosing the Best Post Frame Builder

September 5th, 2018 | 5 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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Building a post frame building takes a lot of time, commitment, and dedication on the buyer’s end. There’s a lot of moving parts and pieces that go into the decision-making process, such as:

  1. Who should I build with?
  2. When would be the best time to build?
  3. And, our most frequently asked question, how much is a pole barn really going to cost?

energy efficiency_good for budgetWe hear it all the time...and we get it. You don’t want a ballpark, you want final numbers because those numbers will help you determine if you can afford all of the “extras” that go into a building project. We’ll get to what those “extras” might look like in tip #3.

That’s where we can help you make sure you’re getting the best value out of your project. We want to help you set realistic expectations about the process of getting a quote and what you can expect from your potential post frame builder.

After all, any builder should be happy to provide you with a general price range based off of approximate building specs. It’s best for you to treat this quote as a very rough estimate that helps you determine if the project is feasible.


When you’re ready for a more exact price on your pole barn or post frame building, here are three tips to keep in mind for a smooth process.


1. Treat the Information as a Trade-Off.

When you give a builder specific details, they will give you a specific price. The more exact you are on what you want in the final pole barn building, the closer the quote can be to your final price.

The sales approach should feel very consultative. What exactly do we mean by that? When you’re speaking to your potential builder, they should be asking you a series of questions to help them understand what you want and when you need it done by.

You’re probably thinking, “Well...what will they be asking me?” Great question! Here’s what you should be looking for:

  1. Where will your project be located? Let’s be real, most builders charge more the further away the project is.
  2. What type of building are you considering? A farm shop, a garage, a commercial building? The type of building you know you’re looking for will help your builder determine truss spacing, snow and wind load ratings, etc.
  3. What options are you considering? This is where it gets fun! Do you want a porch? An insulated interior? Overhangs? Wainscot? Windows? Overhead doors? You know….the pretty stuff.
  4. What notes or drawings do you have? This is where you can get creative. Be prepared to show rough floor plans for layout examples.
  5. And...the most important question, “What is your project timeline?” This will help builders determine scheduling for their crews, for material ordering, and overall, feasibility. Is it feasible for them, and your best interest, to get your project done within “x” number of days? After all, you don’t want to rush getting this done.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

2. Be Open to ‘Backs and Forths’

You’re probably thinking...can’t you just give me a number? Yes, we could...but we’re also trying to be as realistic as possible. Anticipate going back and forth a few times with your potential post frame builder before the conversation is over and your price is finalized. Don’t let this process worry you. The size, aesthetics, and functionality of your post frame building can change as you get new ideas after talking to a builder.

New ideas? Let me guess….you know exactly what you want, right? It happens all the time. You think you want a certain building and then your builder asks, “Have you thought about long-term planning? Do you plan on expanding your business over the next 10 years? What about space...is that really big enough for what you’re needing?” Then the light bulb goes off, and you’re faced with the ‘ah-ha’ moment that you really do need a bigger building.

3. Don’t Forget About Those Extras

Extras? You mean it’s not all included in one price? Depending on who you go with, the answer is more than likely going to be no. And, it’s something that you need to be prepared to hear because it will help you determine total building price. So let’s think about it...what do you really need? Consider the following:

  • Excavation
  • Concrete
  • Interior finishes
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Landscaping

Each of those costs will need to be factored into your total post frame building project. For a full list of variables that can affect the final post frame project cost, read Estimating Your Pole Barn Project Costs: 5 Forgotten Factors.

TIP: We do suggest that you add an 8-12% contingency allowance to your budget. This contingency will help with change orders and unplanned costs. If there is something you want added to your building after construction begins, that was not in the original design, that’s completely normal and doable. The cost will change, so that extra 8-12% will come in handy.

Patience is key in this process. Details and decisiveness can dictate the speed and accuracy of the quote you receive. Post frame builders are happy to answer any questions you have each step of the way. They are here to support you. Their ultimate goal is to give you a new building that you will love!

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Have more questions about building costs not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our sales team will call you!