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  • Writer's pictureDuncan Farrow

FAQ: Can I turn my old pole barn into a shop?

So, you've got an old pole barn and you're wondering, "Can I turn my old pole barn into a shop, or should I just tear it down and build a new one?" It's a common question, especially for those who buy an acreage with an existing building. In this blog, we'll explore the options, weigh the pros and cons, and help you decide the best path forward for your specific project.


old riding arena freshly updated with new post and wall cladding

Assessing the Structural Integrity: The biggest deciding factor will be the structural integrity of the current building. If the roof is in good condition, you may be able to reuse the trusses. You could pick them off with a crane, set them aside, get rid of the old posts, rebuild the walls, and throw the trusses back on. Just make sure the new posts are out of the ground so they don't rot.


old trusses ready to be reused

Considering the Roof: Depending on your area and local regulations, you may need to get a new roof or have documentation and engineering for the existing one. If the building's been there for 40 years and the roof is solid, you might be able to reuse it. However, it's wise to have a professional inspect it to ensure it's going to hold up.


When to Start Fresh: If the roof's in bad shape, you're probably better off tearing down the whole thing and starting over with a new building. The existing level pad can be a good starting point. Also, if you want a bigger size, you'll be limited by the current roof if you plan to reuse it.


taking apart an old roof to fix structural issues

When to Renovate: Some buildings are in excellent shape all the way to the ground, with no problems at all. In that case, you can just strap the walls, close the building in, and continue from there. It's an excellent option if you find yourself in this scenario.


Turning an old pole barn into a shop or building a new one is a decision that comes down to the specific condition of the existing structure and your individual needs. A professional inspection will reveal the best road to take for your project. Every old building has a story, and with the right approach, you might just be able to give it a new chapter.


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