Building a cheap barn house

As we continue the construction of the barn house plan or the pole barn house plans, we start the wall framing. You can pre-build the walls in 8 ft sections and stand them up and then nail them to the floor. Pole building is harder and more expensive, but some people really like the look of pole buildings.


You need to nail into a floor joist for strength. If you are using 2×6’s for walls, then you will probably want to build in 8 ft sections because of the weight when standing them up.

wall framing

When you build the frame walls, you will need to space the 2×4’s on 16” centers. With 2×6 walls, you can probably get away with 2’ centers. A barn style house plan has some flexibility that way. At the corners you will have to make a corner post. Where interior walls will attach to exterior walls, there will need to be a partition post. Corners need to be connected in a strong manner.

You can get all the rough opening measurements where you get the doors and windows. The rough opening dimensions depend on the sizes of doors and windows you want although some sizes are pretty much standard for entry doors.

house framing

Wherever you have a door or window, you will want to put a header to distribute the weight from the upper level to the floor. A 2×6 works well for headers as long as you have adequate support with the cripple studs. Otherwise, you can use a 2×10 board for a really strong header.

wall header

After you get the walls up, you will need to run a double plate on top to hold the sections together better. The same thing applies to the interior walls.

house wall framing

A top plate all the way around the exterior wall will be a 2×4 or a 2×6 depending on the thickness of the wall. Most interiors are 2×4 studs so the top plate will be 2×4’s. Make sure to offset the joints to maintain stability.

The height of the walls is really up to the owner, but certain dimensions make for easier work. Back in the 70’s, a ceiling height of 7’6” was quite common, but after that, trends went into different directions.

A good measurement is an 8’ ceiling. Whatever you decide, you need to remember to adjust your wall height to include the top plate. You can use builder studs that are already cut to the perfect height.

Barn house plan next page

Back to barn house plans main page

Over 4 million visitors to this site since it was born!

My newsletter keeps you up to date on home construction and design ideas.

home construction

I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.

--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah

I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.

Thank you,

Benny Luis Lopez,

Gainsville, Florida

I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.

Steve Lundquist,

Little Rock, Arkansas

My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.

Name respectfully withheld