How to Square a Pole Barn

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Long tape measure
Several wooded stakes
Long length of string
Large carpenter’s angle

A pole barn building needs to be square and set perfectly otherwise it will make completion a lot harder. Without being perfectly set, the roof will not align properly. Squaring a pole barn is a manageable task. However, if you are not feeling too confident about taking on such a project, you can hire a contractor who will square the barn for you.

Step 1 - Use Stakes as Ground Markers

Place your first stake into the ground. This will form your cornerstone and will be the starting point for constructing your pole barn. Make sure that this first stake is perfectly vertical in the ground as this will ensure that the outline for the pole barn is accurate. Make sure that all stakes that are put into the ground as markers are also perfectly vertical so that they don’t disturb the measurements.

Step 2 - String for Straight Lines

Tie a length of string to the stake. The string will need to be roughly the whole length of the longest sides of your barn. Walk in the direction that the side will occupy and when you have reached the end, place the stake in the ground. If both ends of the string are flush against the stakes, they will make a straight line.

Step 3 - Measure Corners

Use a large carpenter’s angle square to measure the corners. It is very important that the corners are set at exactly 90 degrees to ensure that your pole barn building is square. Tie another piece of string to the stake, which is the length of the shorter sides and walk in the direction as outlined by the carpenter’s angle. Again when you reach the end of the string and have placed the stake in the ground, the string at both ends should be flush against the stake.

Step 4 - Work Your Way Around

Repeat the process as outlined above until you are back at the cornerstone stake. When you are back at the first stake, the string should be flush against the stake. If it isn’t, you will need to work out where you went wrong and correct it.

Step 5 - Check for Being Square

To check that your pole barn building is square, you will need to measure all of the sides. Firstly, measure the four sides to ensure that they are equal. For instance, if you are constructing a rectangular pole building, both the long sides will need to be the same length as will the shorter sides. Also, measure the diagonal lines as they should be the same length, too. If you are building a square building, all four sides will need to be the same length and, as with the rectangular building, the diagonal lines will also need to be the same length. Once the corners for the barn have been set and squared, you can put markers in place for the other posts that will form the external walls.