Three books that I read and kept as reference were Practical Pole Building Construction, How to Build Small Barns and Outbuildings, and Building Construction Illustrated.

I bought the first two new off of Amazon and the latter I picked up on EBay for a little over 10 dollars plus shipping. I read Practical Pole Building Construction from cover to cover several times and consulted it frequently. If I was going to have only one book that would be the one as it is a very good primer on pole building.

Also, I noticed the link to the USDA's Midwest Building Service was no longer valid. Some of the free USDA plans are on this page. The Canadian Plan Service link is still good but I should point out that the structural loading information are found on the Series 9000 pages.

Actually there's a lot of good information spread throughout both websites and if you've time look at some of the beef, dairy, and other categories. Bottom line is that all of the references and links above helped me, a rookie, figure out how to build this garage. If you're an amateur like me I strongly suggest you read the book(s) and surf those two websites.

More to follow in the next week or so.


I've had several emails plus comments here about sharing the plans for this. I'd do that but the originals got fried along with the hard drive they were on in an old PC I used. But I think I will try to duplicate the plans again and I will share them once I get them into a CAD format.

Incidentally, someone asked me about my CAD training and I replied I don't have any CAD training, but learned as I went along with a copy of Turbo-Cad 7.0 that I got on EBay for 5 or 6 dollars a few years ago. 2D CAD isn't all that hard and since I was primarily drawing rectangles it wasn't that difficult. But, if you're not aware of it, CAD lets you measure things "real-world" right there on your screen and you know immediately if the dimensions you're entering will work or not.

Since there's interest in it I'll try to add some regular updates to it.

All the best to all who've emailed and commented.


A few good links

This 20 x 36 garage uses a combination of stick framing and pole barn carpentry. I'm not a professional builder so I read a lot of material about building large storage buildings long before I ever drove a nail in this building or even put pencil to paper to make up some plans.

One place that I frequented a lot and downloaded a lot of free plans from was the Mid-West Plan Service of the USDA. These were very valuable as they helped me understand the rudiments of pole building. Just click on the plan numbers in the left hand column to see a PDF file of the particular building.

The Canadians also have a plan service. That service had a lot of information about structure loading. That was especially critical for me as I was going to sheath this building in OSB and not the traditional method of sheet tin. OSB is heavy and I wanted to be sure it wasn't going to come down on me one day.


To the gentleman that emailed me about the gambrel framing here's a view of how I built the gambrels . I made ours with 2 x 6 bottom and top chords, 3/4" plywood for the gussets, and then used an 8' 2x4 for the collar ties.


My Baptist walk door

I haven't been completely idle. I have the overhead door installed, plus a walk door. The walk door was a gift from a neighbor who had 3 of them to include their metal frames. They were designed for a building with a brick exterior.

These were heavy, solid wood fire doors salvaged from a local Baptist church that had been demolished. Oh, the church is still very active. In fact, they had to build and move into a much larger church because they were running out of room.

I digress. Anyway, I couldn't use the steel frame so I had to make a wood frame out of 1 x 12s and that was interesting. But I actually got the hinge pockets routed correctly, the mount screws centered and darned if the door isn't plumb and level.

I amazed myself on that one as it all went together without much of a hitch. I'll post some pictures of it soon.