Creating a Pole Barn Structure

Reference Number: KB-01081
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Pro or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Landscape & Deck


I would like to design a pole building.  How can I do this in Home Designer?


In Home Designer, a simple pole structure can be easily created using Railings.

To create the building perimeter

  1. Open the Home Designer plan in which you would like to create a pole structure or select File> New Plan  from the menu to open a new, blank plan using the Default style template.

  2. Select Build> Railing and Deck (Railing)> Straight Railing  from the menu, then click and drag in the drawing area to draw an enclosed rectangular structure.

    • In this example, a 30' x 40' structure is drawn.

  3. With the Select Objects tool, click on one of the railings to select it, then click the Open Object  edit button to open the Railing Specification dialog. 

  4. On the General panel:

    • Specify the Thickness to equal the size of posts that you want. In this example, 7 1/4" is used.

    • Uncheck No Locate so that the railing will be located if you choose to use the Auto Exterior Dimensions tool.

  5. On the Rail Style panel:

    • Specify the Railing Type to be No Rail.

    • Specify the Newels/Posts to be Post to Beam.

  6. On the Newels/Balusters panel:

    • Increase the Newel Width to be the same as the railing's width - in this example, 7 1/4".

    • If you'd like, you can select the Newel Type and specify an on center (O.C.) spacing for the newels. In this example, we will use Square newels and 96" O.C.

    • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes. 

  7. Repeat this procedure for each of your structure's perimeter walls. 

  8. Take a Camera  view to see the results so far.

By default, the program will generate a roof plane over each exterior wall, producing a hip roof.


To create a gable roof

  1. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on a wall that you would like to have a triangular gable wall above instead of a roof plane.

  2. With the wall selected, click on the Open Object  edit tool to open the Wall Specification dialog. On the Roof panel, place a check in the box beside Full Gable Wall, then click OK.

  3. Select Build> Roof> Build Roof  to open the Build Roof dialog.

    • On the Roof panel, specify the desired Pitch and Overhang values.

    • On the Materials panel, you can select materials for the Roof surface, Fascia, and more.

    • When you are finished, click OK to rebuild the roof.

  4. If you would like to have an open gable rather than one enclosed by a wall with siding, select the gable wall attic wall within a 3D camera  view and click the Open Object  edit button.

    • On the General panel of the Wall Specification dialog, check the box beside Invisible.

    • Click OK.

    • In the warning message box that displays next, click Yes to confirm the change made to the automatically generated attic wall. 


The default floor structure for a new room is a framed platform with wood flooring. This can be easily changed to a slab, or to no floor platform whatsoever.

To add a concrete monolithic slab floor

  1. Click the Select Objects  button, click in an empty space in the pole structure's room to select it, then click the Open Object  edit tool to open the Room Specification dialog.

  2. On the General panel:

    • For a concrete slab, select "Slab" from the Room Type drop-down list.

    • For a structure with no floor, select "Open Below" as the Room Type.

    • If you'd like, you can uncheck Use Room Type and then type a custom Room Name in the text field.

    • Under the Living Area heading, select the radio button beside Include in Total Living Area Calculation.

    • Click the OK button to close the dialog and apply your changes.

Most pole barns use the underside of the roof as a ceiling rather than a flat ceiling. This is easily specified.


To create a sloped ceiling

  1. Select the room and click on the Open Object  edit button once more.

  2. On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog, uncheck the check box beside Ceiling Over This Room and click OK.

  3. You can also change the Ceiling Finish material on the Materials panel, then click OK.

Use corbels from the Library Browser to add angled braces at the top of the posts, or add other Millwork objects to add details to your structure, and add vehicles for space planning. If you don't see an item in the Home Designer library that suits your needs, you can import symbols from other sources. To learn more, see the related article below.