Planning Checklist: How to Prepare to Build a Barn

Below are four steps you can take to jumpstart your project.

Welcome to the Barn Pros planning checklist! We pride ourselves on being good stewards of your project, assisting and advising where we can to ensure a smooth and successful project. With this in mind, we have created this checklist to prepare you for selecting, ordering and building the barn of your dreams!


1. Outline Goals For Your Structure

Identify what your structure will be used for, and what kind of structure will best suit your needs. Is the right structure for you:

  • A barn for horses and equestrian equipment? 
  • A shop or garage to store vehicles, boats, RVs or agricultural equipment? 
  • A stand-alone living space, or living space over garage/ stalls?

Define your wants vs. your needs

Create a wishlist of features that simply must be included in your structure, as well as features that would be nice to have, but not absolutely vital to the design of your structure, whether for the utility aspect or personal preference.

What kind of layout and size will provide the space you need?

  • Is your structure to be used as a utility/ storage space for horses, motor vehicles, boats, RVs or agricultural equipment? 
  • Do you plan to include living space? 
  • Are shed roofs off the side of your structure necessary for additional covered storage space? 
  • If housing animals, how many stalls will you need in your barn? 
  • What size of equipment or RVs/ boats/ trailers do you need to store?

Our structure pages and galleries are a great way to explore options, uses and capabilities of our structures. Explore our barns, shops and living spaces here.

2. Assess Your Land

Your land will greatly determine what type and size of structure you can build, and where. If you don’t own land yet, this information is still helpful as a forecasting tool while you search for land. Every barn we manufacture is designed and engineered to meet local building code, and every parcel across the county is governed by that particular county’s building department. Without these details, we can’t provide you with a firm estimate. Once you’ve secured property, or have a contract to purchase property, you’ve got a barn project in the makings! Some things to think about:

  • Where would you ideally like your structure to be located on your land? Is it on the top or side of a hill which could require a lot of excavation to prepare the building site? 
  • Is there space to access your preferred building site to store material and equipment? Is it at the back of your property where an access road/ driveway may need to be built to access it? 
  • Is your preferred building site near a wetland, stream, river, lake or other body of water that may require additional permits?
  • Research any HOA or other community organization requirements if these apply to you.

Once you’ve identified where your ideal building site on your property would be, we recommend contacting your local building authority to begin a conversation about what kind of structure your land can support and what is required in your state and county to permit a new structure. Your building authority will also be able to confirm if you can in fact build at your preferred location on your land, as well as suggest alternatives.

This is also a great time to share how you intend to use your structure with the building authority, as a structure’s intended use requires different types of building permits. Living spaces, structures for agricultural use, and storage shops/ garages all oftentimes require different types of building permits. This is useful information when creating your project plan and timeline and budget, as permitting can require a significant amount of time and money on the front end of your project.

Permitting is one of the most important steps in your project. Learn more about permitting and what you can expect in our Building Permit Process resource article here.

3. Determine How You Will Pay for Your Structure

Will you pay in cash? Or obtain financing?

The simplest way to fund a Barn Pros structure is with cash, but it’s also common to seek out some sort of financing for portions of a project.

If you are planning to finance your project, it’s important to keep in mind that financing for this type of project greatly differs from a typical home loan. The first question you must answer is how you are going to use the building because it dictates the type of loan you may need. Financing for commercial agriculture and storage structures are one thing whereas residential structures are completely different and require different qualifications.

Check out our How to Finance Your Barn Project resource article for more information, and to see the Barn Pros payment schedule.

4. Begin Researching Available Builders In Your Area

Barn Pros ships nationwide, however because of the diverse geographic locations and state building regulations, we entrust the actual construction of your structure to local builders who understand your region and government requirements. Plus, this gives you control over who you work with. Starting your search early in your project timeline will allow for better opportunities to contact and choose a builder and get on their schedule in a way that aligns with your desired project timeline. If you have a builder identified, we are happy to speak with them to answer any questions they may have about assembling your Barn Pros structure package. Some of the best avenues to find a builder:

  • Search Online
  • Leverage family and friends from your own network
  • Government and Professional Services

See our How to Find and Choose a Barn Builder resource article for more information about finding a builder for your project.

Putting It All Together

Your planning checklist is the first step in our process of creating a beautiful structure unique to you and your vision. The goal of this checklist is to begin gathering all the details that we need to ensure we can provide you with the most accurate project information. Keep in mind that this is the type of information that you will need to know, no matter who you work with to bring your barn to life.

We hope you have gained insight into where to start your planning, and what to consider as you prepare to start your journey with Barn Pros.

If you have more questions or are ready to start choosing your structure, visit our frequently asked questions page, or contact a Barn Pros Project Specialist today.

Call us at 866.844.2276 or email us at barns@barnpros.com today!


How to Find & Choose a Barn Builder

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How to Finance Your Barn Project: Understanding Your Financial Options

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Preparing To Build On Your Land

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