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What is a pole shed?

Pole sheds nz

A new shed is a practical way to increase your storage capacity and protect your assets. The question is – which type of shed is best?

One popular type of shed is the pole shed, known for its durability and cost-effectiveness. In this article, we delve into what a pole shed is, how they’re built, the key benefits, and more. 

What is a pole shed?

Unlike a traditional steel shed, a pole shed is built with timber poles that are concreted into a hole in the ground. These sheds are also known as pole barns or pole buildings and are typically made from a variety of materials, such as steel, wood, and metal siding.

In New Zealand, pole sheds are often used to house machinery, livestock, and hay, among other things.

Pole sheds are commonly known as centre pole sheds as they usually rely on timber beams in the roof. Timber beams often only span up to 6.0m so this means a 10.0m deep shed would require a pole in the centre of the shed to support the timber beams.

Some other designs use timber poles on the perimeter of the shed and then use other materials like steel beams to achieve a larger span. While these sheds still use poles, they are more commonly known in the industry as a clearspan shed.

Construction of a pole shed



Instead of a concrete slab, pole sheds rely on sturdy wooden poles as the primary support structure. These poles are concreted into the ground to provide stability, supporting the weight of the entire structure.

Another benefit of having the poles set into the ground is that the shed doesn't typically rely on a concrete floor for strength so you can install the floor later as time or funds allow. 


Once the structural poles are in place, the rest of the shed frame can be constructed. This includes fitting the beams to the poles and installing the purlins and girts. This framing provides a base for the roof and wall cladding.


There are a number of cladding options, however, corrugated and 5-rib iron cladding are by far the most common. This is because iron cladding is cost-effective, durable, low maintenance, and very quick to install.

Doors and windows

Depending on the shed’s purpose, pole sheds can be customised with doors and windows. For example, large sliding doors provide easy access for vehicles or equipment, while windows can be added for natural light and ventilation.


Benefits of pole sheds

1. Cost-effective

One of the most significant advantages of pole sheds is their cost-effectiveness due to the simple construction process and high strength. This results in a cost-effective shed, a long building lifespan, and great long-term return on your investment. 

2. Durability

Pole sheds are known for having excellent structural integrity, often withstanding harsh weather conditions. If you are in a location with strong winds and heavy snowfall, a pole shed may be a wise choice. 

3. Future Additions

Due to the strength of the timber framing, it is easy to add more bays to a pole shed. This is typically done by removing the end wall cladding and adding extra poles and purlins to continue the roof pitch. Future additions are typically very cost-effective because very little additional strengthening is required for the existing structure.

4. Quick construction

Because of the simple design, kitset pole sheds can be erected much faster than traditional buildings. This means less downtime, less disruption to your site, and faster access to the storage or workspace you need. 

5. Low-maintenance

When it comes to maintaining your pole shed, very little maintenance is required. The structural timber framing will remain strong for many years and not deteriorate with rust like a steel shed will.

POLE sheds NZ

Here at Alpine Buildings, our kitset sheds are built using a combination of structural steel rafters and timber poles. This provides maximum strength and durability from the steel, while still achieving cost savings with the use of timber. Key benefits of the Alpine Building system include:

Large clearspans

The Alpine Building system can achieve large clearspans up to 20.0m. 

Birdproof shed design

The Alpine rafters also feature a birdproof design, with purlins sitting between the rafters. This leaves nowhere for birds to perch or nest, helping to maintain a sanitary and hygienic working environment and protect anything stored below. 

Strict quality control 

We stock all the framing timber in-house and conduct thorough quality control checks at three points. 

  1. The packs of wet timber are strip-stacked with a bearer between each layer to allow even air drying. Any timber that does not meet requirements is removed. 

  2. When the timber has fully dried, it is re-stacked into dry packs. Any boards that no longer meet the quality standards are set aside.

  3. The dispatch team packs up your kitset, checking each board in the process. This ensures only the straightest, driest, highest quality timber is sent out.

Further control checks are completed when collating the kitset to ensure there are no missing materials so the builder has everything he requires to complete the build. 

Pre-dried timber

Since all of our timber is thoroughly dried before dispatch, it has already undergone its natural shrinking process. Wet timber will warp as it shrinks if it is not dried in a controlled environment. Drying the timber before it is used prevents gaps from forming in the joins and produces a tidy finish. 

Choosing the right shed for your needs is a major decision so contact our team to learn more about our unique building system or download our full product range brochure

Download our Full Range Brochure


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