Many homeowners take on the big, yet satisfying project of building their own garage. If you’d like to try your hand at it too, you’ll first have to decide between a post framing or stick framing  building method. While most people look at the exterior of these building types to differentiate them, the real difference lies in their interior framing systems, or what some might call their “bones”. 

Each of these choices come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the best type of garage for you depends on what purpose it will serve and what your personal priorities are. 

Here’s a more detailed review of pole barn and stick built garages, as well as the factors that differentiate them, in order to help you decide which is best for your home:

Pole Barn Garage

Pole barns are often recognized by their high ceilings and wide open spaces. Although they’re commonly used for agricultural purposes, they’re also a common choice for garage builders due to lower expenses and faster build times.

Pole barns use the post-frame construction building method, which includes sinking heavy-duty laminated wooden posts about 4-6 feet into the ground, 8 feet apart (on center). These posts serve as the main vertical framing element for the garage.

What Are the Advantages of a Pole Barn Garage?

Because they primarily use treated lumber that is ready to install, pole barn garages are best for quick, cost-effective, durable builds. Some of their benefits include:

  • Lower cost – Post-frame construction doesn’t require a foundation or basement, which cuts the cost of the project down tremendously. In stick builds, the necessary continuous concrete foundation can contribute to over 15% of the project budget. 
  • Safe and fast construction – Since post-frame construction doesn’t require the lengthy framing process of a traditional stick build, it takes much less time, and considerably fewer materials. This makes for a quick construction process that goes up quickly, with fewer hands needed on site, too.
  • Durable – Due to the wooden posts being sunk in the ground, pole barn garages are as durable as they come, even in severe weather conditions. They can withstand heavy snow and large gusts of wind. 
  • Easy add-ons – Any additional projects you may want to add on to your garage in the future are easy to attach to pole barns’ posts. This can help promote the longevity of your garage. 
  • Ample space – The 8 feet of separation between wooden posts allows for a lot of uninterrupted interior space and large wall openings. If you need a garage with a lot of door or window space, post-frame construction is the way to go. 

If your priorities lie with time, money, durability, and longevity, a pole barn garage is probably the best option for you.

Stick Built Garage

Stick built garages are constructed almost entirely on site. Piece by piece, each piece of wood has to be connected to create the wooden skeleton of the building. Wall studs are typically spaced 16-24 inches apart (on center) and serve as the building’s main vertical framing elements.

Unlike pole barn garages, stick built garages require a continuous concrete foundation for support. Although this and the piece-by-piece process can make a project more costly and time consuming, some homeowners value the aesthetics enough to make it worth their while.

What Are the Advantages of a Stick Built Garage?

Stick built garages are best if you’re looking for a cozy, unique, aesthetically pleasing build. Some of their benefits include:

  • More walls – Wide open spaces aren’t for everyone. Some homeowners like a cozier space with more separating walls, even in their garages. 
  • One of a kind – Since you’ll have your hands on each piece as your garage is constructed, you have more opportunities to customize your garage so it doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – It’s true, stick built garages just look more homey than the other types. You could even match materials to align with the style of your house. 

If your priorities lie with the originality and aesthetics of the building, a stick built garage is probably the best option for you. 

The choice between pole barn garages vs. stick built garages can be a tricky one. If you’re planning to build your own garage, Zeeland Lumber & Supply can help you decide which is best and provide you with all the materials you need to build a solid post-frame constructed structure. From quality lumber to roofing and siding materials, stop into one of our locations or contact us online today.

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