Most pole barn layouts are very simple and rectangular to keep the cost of the structure down and maximize usable space within the structure. Other pole barn layouts may call for more elaborate designs, but this is generally rare because changing the simple design will raise the cost of the structure, defeating the purpose of choosing this type of storage structure. The particulars of the construction can vary; some pole barns are two floors or more, while others are one-floor structures. The pole barn may or may not feature walls; they are not always necessary because the walls are not load-bearing.
The most basic pole barn layouts are rectangular footprints of various lengths. The length and width of the structure will vary according to the purpose for which the barn is being built. Smaller pole barn layouts are appropriate for use as garage structures for one or two cars, while larger pole barn layouts are appropriate for industrial purposes such as housing heavy machinery. Some pole barns are used for housing livestock, in which case the internal layout may vary; individual stalls may be added to the structure to allow animals to be contained and separated.
The roof of the pole barn can also vary. Two-story pole barns sometimes feature gambrel roof designs to maximize available space on the second floor. This roof style is generally more expensive and difficult to build, but it is an exceptional choice if the second floor will be used for storage purposes. Gable roof designs are much simpler and less expensive to build. Shed-style roofs are even simpler and less expensive, but one side of the pole barn will need to be higher than the other to accommodate the slope of the roof.
Sometimes pole barn layouts will call for a T-shape or L-shape structure. This enhances the amount of usable space and can accommodate more storage space in a smaller footprint. These shapes can be used as an alternative to a rectangular pole barn that would essentially be lengthened to accommodate the necessary amount of storage space. Building such a structure can cost a bit more money, however, as more materials may be necessary.
The floor of the structure can also affect the layout. Some pole barns are exceptionally simple, open-air structures that feature a dirt floor, while others may be enclosed by non-structural walls. The barn may feature a concrete floor as well, which is most appropriate for storing heavy machinery or a workshop.