When building a pole barn for any purpose, one of the most important decisions you can make is the type of door you will be using. Not only do they tie the look together for your pole barn, they also have a major impact on its functionality. With several options to choose from, which pole barn door will work best for you? Read on to learn the pros and cons of the most popular types of pole barn doors and the types of pole barns for which each door is best suited!

Types of Pole Barn Doors:

Sliding Door

When you think  of a pole barn, you likely imagine it with a traditional sliding door. As one the most cost-effective solutions, sliding doors are simple and very popular for pole barns used for livestock or horses. They’re available in either single, full doors or two split doors that meet in the middle, allowing you some small options for aesthetics and function. They also come customizable in almost any size to fit every pole barn, large or small.

One major consideration with sliding doors is the difference with modern hardware and materials versus sliding doors you may have used in years past. Lighter materials and more effect tracks have made these doors far easier to open and close than before. This comes without sacrifice to their durability, making modern sliding doors a fantastic option to keep costs down and still protect your pole barn. That said, they are unarguably more cumbersome to operate than some other door options, especially given that they must be manually opened or closed. For pole barns that you will be using frequently, it may be worth considering if that will become an issue. If your pole barn is intended to be a garage, or will be storing motorized vehicles, it could be worth considering other options that can be operated remotely.

Sliding doors also don’t seal the area, and allow dirt, dust and critters in. On top of that, they’re not insulated, and can cause issues with temperature control. For most uses, this may not be a problem, but it is a consideration if your pole barn is being used as a hobby shop or storing sensitive items.

Best Used For:

  • Pole barn stables
  • Long-term storage
  • Livestock barns

Overhead Door

If you look at almost any modern garage, it’s likely to have an overhead door. While they are more expensive than simple sliding doors, they bring a wealth of convenience. For starters, they can be controlled remotely, and this is often the selling point that convinces many owners to decide on overhead doors. If your pole barn will be used frequently, or used as a pole barn garage for vehicle storage, we highly recommend an overhead door.

Unlike sliding doors, overhead doors seal well which is important for protecting your barn’s interior. Additionally, these doors are often made of sturdy metal that, along with the tight seal, helps protect the pole barn from theft or invasive animals. If insulation for your pole barn is important for use during the winter, you can purchase insulated overhead doors too!

There can be some downsides to overhead doors too, such as initial costs and the potential for costly repairs. Overhead doors have been known to fail after about 10 years. Of course, the better you care for them, the longer they’ll last!

Best Used For:

Hydraulic Door

When a big door isn’t big enough, you may need to start looking at hydraulic doors as the best option for your pole barn. These powerful doors use a surprisingly simple hydraulic system that can control doors much larger than typical doors. In many cases, these are used primarily for agricultural equipment or even hangars for planes.

One of the biggest benefits of hydraulic doors is that they are designed to open outward. This lets you save more interior space for storage. You can enjoy more freedom with the design of your pole barn, without sacrificing the ability to store exceptionally large machinery. As bonus, it also lets the door provide shade when open. If you need to work on your equipment, you can do so with the door open, and enjoy the fresh air in the shade.

Hydraulic doors, given their size, can be an expensive option. However, in most cases where a hydraulic door would make sense, they’re also the only reasonable option for your pole barn. It’s not recommended to use hydraulic doors for a small suburban pole barn. Commercial buildings and farms will see the most benefit, so don’t rule them out if you’re planning on building a big pole barn!

Best Used For:

  • Large agriculture equipment
  • Airplane hangars
  • Large commercial pole barns

Roll Up Door

Though less common, a roll-up door is another option that you could consider. These easy-to-use doors are great for storage garages or commercial use. They offer good durability over time, even with frequent use. Like modern sliding doors, high-quality roll-up doors have smooth tracks that makes it practically effortless to open and close. They also tend to be very durable when it comes to rain and wind, due to being made of metal.

The biggest downside of roll-up doors is that they don’t offer much for their cost. When purchased from a quality source, their cost is similar to overhead doors, without the benefit of remote controls or larger doors. They’re also not very aesthetically pleasing, which can make them give your pole barn less value than another type of door.

Best Used For:

  • Small storage pole barn garages
  • Commercial pole barns

Lock in a Quote for Your Pole Barn Workshop

If you’re ready to build your pole barn, lock in a quote with DIY Pole Barns using our Instant Quote tool! Have questions? Call our knowledgeable staff at (937) 547-9100.


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