To some, a pole building is simply a building, but you know it’s so much more. You know that for the owner, a pole building is vital to their hobbies and work. It’s the center of their life and, without it, their lives would be completely different.

Yes, it’s that important, and when it’s time to build your own pole building, you want to make the best choice you can, for your individual needs and for your budget. You’ve been dreaming about your building for a while. It’s a big decision, but one that can be made a lot easier if you ask the right questions up front.

This article is designed to help you do just that. Included in this guide are four questions you should ask when you’re discussing your pole barn options with a potential builder. Keep track of their answers and determine which ones best match your needs and concerns. Do so and you’ll find the perfect company to deliver your one-of-a-kind dream building in no time.

1. What are my foundation options?
Your pole barn building is literally built from the ground up, so it makes sense to talk about foundation options early.

In today’s market, there are two common embedded foundations: a continuous treated wood post or a wood post anchored with concrete and connected by a bracket at the ground level. These options are different in several ways so it’s best to focus on what’s important to you. For example, if strength and longevity are your main concern, you should look for a one-piece foundation solution, as any connection point may create a weakness in the foundation.

And don’t worry about wood rotting over time. Today’s modern laminated posts have been chemically treated so they are protected from decay. Each 2-by piece of wood is individually treated, allowing the treatment to fully penetrate the wood, whereas a 6×6 solid post is too wide in diameter for the treatment to be effective. This treatment is environmentally-friendly while ensuring a long-term durability of 80 years or more.

2. What are the hidden costs in my project?
You learned long ago that nothing is ever truly free and the same is true when constructing your pole building. That’s why you should ask questions about every single component of your building project.

For example, some building solutions require adjustable height footings or concrete piers you may not need and that do not add much value for the cost. If these solutions don’t interest you, then research other options. Don’t believe that any aspect of your project is simply free; you’re paying for it somewhere else.

3. What does my warranty cover?
An investment of this level requires protection and you deserve to fully understand your warranty before ever reaching a point where you may have to use it.

When considering your options, look for a builder who will offer you a Lifetime Structural Warranty. This is the gold standard in the industry and it provides you the most comprehensive coverage available. In addition to this total structural design coverage, you should also inquire about warranties on the paint, steel and lumber used. Some treated lumber warranties last as long as 50 years, so it pays to ask about what warranty options are available to you. Note that most builders only offer a one-year workmanship warranty.

And if your prospective builder is not willing to provide you a written warranty covering your building’s long-term performance, look for other options. You should also try and judge the company’s long-term future prospects before doing business with them, as a company that goes out of business will not be able to support your warranty.

4. Will I truly get the building I want?
Your pole building will be an integral part of your life for years to come so it only makes sense that it be built to your unique specifications. However, some companies aren’t willing to work with you to create a project that matches your needs. Instead, they expect you to pick from a handful of pre-determined solutions and try to guess which one best matches your goals without working with you.

To determine whether a prospective builder is going to work with you, ask them if you have a choice in your foundation options and if you will have the chance to discuss your structural, budget and appearance goals with the builder’s engineers. The answer should be yes. Your builder should work with you to create a project that matches your specifications all the way down to the last column. If they don’t, look for one that will.Your building, your expectations.

You know how important your new pole building will be, so don’t settle. You deserve a building with the strongest foundation, the best warranty and one that was built to your exact expectations without any hidden costs. This is your building. All you have to do is ask the questions above and you’ll find the builder capable of bringing it to you.