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Building Our Pole Barn

The Beginning

We need a tractor and a rotary cutter to cut open areas and make ATV trails.  There is a lean-to on Adam's property but it is not secure enough to prevent theft of a tractor.

It was apparent that we couldn't bring the baby home without a crib so a barn was our number one priority.  We started planning in May 2018.

Lean to

Lean to

Financing a Pole Barn

Financial Advisor Help

We didn't want to make payments so we had to work with our financial adviser to see what we could afford.  We were budgeted for $40,000.  In the end we spent a lot more than that amount but at least we had a place to start.

Pole Barn Cost analysis

Pole Barn Cost analysis

Pole Barn Design

The Plan

How much a pole barn cost is an item often talked about on the internet.  We decided to put together our dream plan and let reality set in against that dream.

First we considered what the biggest item we would use the pole barn for.  We have a 32 Foot Camper and a Yukon XL to tow it.  We would love to fit them in the same bay and pull it through the barn.

Decision 1: Barn must be 60 feet deep with two pull through doors 12x12.

We would need a bay for the tractor and implements.   One 10x10 door.

Decision 2: 60 foot bay with a 10x10.

We want a work bench. 

Decision 3:  Work area at least 6 feet wide.

After adding in 4 feet between end walls and bays we came up with a 50x60 foot size foot print.

Decision 4: We want the interior walls finished and 16 feet tall. That would leave room for a mezzanine if desired.

Decision 5: Interior should be insulated and steel clad.  We wanted to be able to work out of the cold and have a nice building that could be used for parties.

That included a sealed concrete floor.

Decision 6: We want it to look good.  It will have a wanscot, gutters,  and a 2 foot soffit all the way around.

Finally we wanted this to be turn key including permits and drawings. The only exception is electrical as my son and I am both from the electrical field.

Pole Barn sketch up.

Pole Barn sketch up.

Pole Barn Cost

Reality Check

To say the least we were over budget.  Building without interior. $41,375.

5" concrete floor. $10,550

6" gutters $985

Insulation and interior walls. $18,300

Gravel and site prep not included.

Total: $71,210

Pole barn design on sketch up.

Pole barn design on sketch up.

Pole Barn Specifications

Pole Barn floor plan.

Back to the drawing board

We told the builder it was more than we were willing to spend and we were thinking more like $50,000.

I suggested possibly 50x40.  He said he could do a nice job with a 56x40 size.  So Karen drew up this sketch.

New proposal

40x56 exterior including two 12x12 doors for pull thru,  two 10x10 doors for pull through and a third bay with one 10x10. $54,560.  This is 600 square feet less in size and really more functional.  

All we gave up was the idea of keeping the truck and trailer in the same bay.

We later changed  to two 14x12 foot pull thru doors in case we ever buy a motorhome and went to two 12x12 doors for the second pull thru bay. We kept one 10x10 for the third bay.  We also decided to increase the width 4 feet which added another $4000.  But all total we were under $60,000 for a really nice building. 

Note: We are having some pipes roughed into the concrete for a future bathroom.

Other costs

The pad preparation was $1500.

We also had to add a large circular drive. $7200.  We are expecting another $1000 for the gravel and preparation for the concrete floor.

The day the holes were being dug we decided to add a 10x40  leen to with a 2 foot awning. This added another $7500 but it is well worth it.

Cost Summary

Pole Barns are not cheap but it is easy to cut costs substantially .

Eliminate finished interior.

Eliminate soffit and gutters.

Eliminate wainscot.

Eliminate the pull through bays because doors aren't cheap.


We believe in supporting local people.  We have an Amish builder right down the street from us.  People in the country build long term relationships.  If this works out there may well be more projects in the future.

We kept all the extras.  If we didn't put in an interior up front we never would. Every time we looked at the barn it would not be as attractive. or as practical without soffits, gutters and wainscot.  This pole barn is going to be awesome!

Country Craziness Pole Barn Build Videos


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Digging the holes

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Start to almost finished


How much does it cost?


Good planning SAVES BIG


More pole barn costs


Digging the holes


Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4

The case for Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4

Karen was sitting in various side by sides the day Adam bought his ATV. While the order was being written up I bet Adam 2 cases of beer he couldn't get her to buy one that same day.

Later as we drank that beer we reflected on the need for the new mule.

I was tired of getting the Yukon dirty hauling gas cans, string trimmers, chain saws and hand tools. The prospect of moving between houses, barn and mail box would suck. Especially during rain and snow

We also needed it to help build trails. The little bed was perfect for saws, machetes and a first aid kit.

Some of the grandchildren are too small to ride the Honda so we could take them on the trails safely.

In addition we could have two vehicles on the trails to watch over the other.

Because the barn was not yet built we were hauling it from our house. The Kawasaki mule sx fits in the bed of a full size pickup. Handy also if it needs service.

Next it is proven itself through decades of service. Some people dog the carb but I have not read about any problems.

It is a great price point. We picked up a closeout 2018 that was discounted enough to pay the freight. $8000 out the door. A 2019 is going to cost $8600 out the door.

It was great that Karen sat in various makes and models because the smaller mule fit her perfectly.

Summary of key features:

* 401 cc air cooled engine gets great mileage with minimum maintenance.

* 1100 lb. towing capacity.

* 400 Lb. cargo bed capacity.

* Tight turn radius.

* A nice padded seat and adjustable steering wheel.

* Fits in the back of a pick up truck.

* Easy to negotiate narrow trails.


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Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4

Kawasaki Mule SX 4x4

John Deere E160

This lawn tractor is more useful than we could have imagined.


When spring came and the grass was growing fast and thick Karen and I were kicking back in FL.  Adam was borrowing Kalya's dads John Deere lawn tractor to keep the drive and around the pond in check.

Adam decided we needed a garden tractor of his own.  He decided to buy the John Deere for $2600.  They had a special running that included a free tow behind dump trailer.

This tractor is a 2 cylinder gas engine that puts out 25 HP.  It has a John Deere label but we suspect it is a Kawasaki engine. The coolest feature is the quick change oil filter.  The oil and filter come together.  You literally remove the old filter and slap in a new one. The oil is proloaded in the filter. Downside is the cost. $45.

The deck is 48".  The original blades were not very good but we made quick use of them using the little tractor brush hogging.  NO KIDDING!  We cleared out 1/2 acre with me using a weed wacker with a brush hog head and following close behind with the mower.  The more we worked the more we saw that the mighty little tractor was doing a good job on its own.  We beat the hell out of those OEM blades but replacements are only $20.  Obviously we can't continue to abuse this little warrior for an extended period of time.

We need a tractor with a rotary cutter and when this guy  will be replaced with a zero turn mower.  

Eventually we will probably take it to the suburb so it can have a peaceful retirement on 1/4 acre.  In the meantime it has been a blessing.  I guarantee you that our real tractor won't be green but I have to give green props on this one.

Pest Mice

Every time a week goes by mice have built a nest in the flywheel.  Adam has just taken the fly wheel cover off and cleaned out a nest.  We have to be careful because they also nest in the deck.  No matter what precautions we take a few mouse parts go flying  out of way place or the other.  Sometimes it just pieces of mouse. We will be moving this tractor up to the pole barn as soon as it is finished.  YouTube Viedo


Little Green


Pesty Mice

Flywheel is removed and the nest is dug out.  

YouTube Video of this problem.

Pain in the butt mice.

Mice keep building nests under the flywheel and the mower deck.  Some make it out and some don't.  The cover is easily removed for cleaning by removing 4 bolts.


Easy Change oil Filter

Easy change oil filter pop the old one off and the new one on.  That's it. The oil is loaded in the filter.

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Fiskars 18" Billhook

This 18" Billhook is a very handy tool.

Adam bought this Fiskars Billhook for not a whole lot of money but it has become one of our most valuable tools.

We have yummy wild raspberries but some of them are in places we don't want them.  In addition there is a lot of cane and saplings where we are cutting our trails.  This billhook is a handy tool to help with these tasks.  It is amazing how much brush can be removed with only this tool.  Sharp edge for slashing and a cutting edge for branches and saplings.  The billhook comes with a sheath to store safely.  You can buy one from Amazon by clicking this.

Fiskars 18" Billhook

Fiskars 18" Billhook

Fiskars Billhook is great for cutting trails

One handed use

Photo courtesy Stihl

Photo by Fiskars

Clear the suckers and vines

Photo by Fiskars

Easy to cut small limbs

Courtesy Stihl

Photo by Fiskars 

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About CountryCraziness

Our lives

Adam is one of two sons of Paul and Karen.  His fiance is Kayla.  Adam was looking all over for a house in the country.  He wanted enough land to have fun hunting, fishing, riding atv's and motorbikes.  He wanted a decent house to start his life with Kayla.  There seemed to be nothing that fit the criteria and budget.

One day we went to see a 8.5 acre property.  There was no house but it had a beutiful pond in the back. The problem was that the frontage was less than 300 feet.  It just so happened that a different person was selling 8.5 acres right next door.  So we bought the properties.  5 acres in the front are over growth ready for taming.  The back 12 acres are heavily wooded.

We are looking forward to developing the land into our CountryCraziness and invite you to follow our dream.


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