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Community and Q&A

SIP vs Pole Barn Construction Costs for Workshop

artisanfarms | Posted in General Questions on

I’m planning to build a shop next year and am vacillating between pole construction and SIP.

I’ve contacted a builder in my area who I have worked for in the past and who does both pole and SIP construction for a budget quote, but am still curious as to others’ experience regarding construction costs.  What is a reasonable $/sqft number for a 30X50 SIP building w/12′ sidewalls.  This would be for the building shell – poured concrete pad and building shell with no interior finish other than a dividing wall breaking the building into two rooms on a prepared pad.   I’m in central NY.

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  1. walta100 | | #1

    In my mind both of the options you purposed are very extreme. I think if you built your shop the way most people build a home it would cost less in the long run than either of the options you purposed. Yes you can build a pole building for a very low construction cost but it will be a drafty place that costs a lot to heat/cool. Your SIP building will cost a lot to build but much less to heat and cool.

    Try getting a quote for 2x6 walls filled with fluffy insulation a flat ceiling covered with more fluffy stuff.

    In my opinion a pole building is built with a one goal in mind that is what the lowest cost per dry square foot building I can possibly build, that is great if the goal is to keep the tractor dry but you when start trying heat and cool the place almost everything you did to hold down the construction cost has to be redone.

    If you want to understand the total cost to build, finance and operate you should consider modeling your project in a computer program call BEopt.


    1. artisanfarms | | #3

      Thanks for the link.

      I've built insulated pole buildings in the past on the farm and know several people with spray foamed pole buildings that work great as shops and for cold storage. So, I know this is a viable option and have a handle on the cost and would end up with a tighter envelope than a stick built structure (plus lumber, foundation & labor costs for stick framing are a lot higher than for pole construction. The question I'm working through is pole vs. SIP. The building will be finished with ag steel on the exterior and if pole construction, liner panels on the interior (which is another negative for stick built because I would have to add furring strips on the exterior to attach the siding).

  2. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #2

    What Walta said.

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