How to Easily Convert a Pole Barn into an Animal Shelter

white dog and gray cat hugging each other on grass

Pole barn conversions are becoming increasingly popular. This should come as no surprise because pole barns are among the simplest structures to build and convert. You may think that the use of pole barns is limited, but you can’t be more wrong. Since they’re so flexible, you can use your old pole barn for almost anything.

Pole barns are typically large enough to accommodate any kind of new home. Don’t forget that pole barn building were originally used on farms as animal shelters. Because of that, is no wonder that pole barns are ideal to provide shelter, warmth, and safety for your animals. As a result, converting pole barns into animal shelters is simpler than you might think. Continue reading to find out how simple it is.

Start With Animal Shelter Planning

The first step is to determine how to set up the interior of your pole barn. Figure out how many stalls you'll need and how big they should be if you want to keep your animals in individual stalls. Determine the amount of interior space available in your pole barn. Draw a scale diagram and experiment with different stall arrangements until you find the one that allows you to make the best use of the available space.

Consider accessibility and capacity for people, equipment, animals, or inventory. Pole-barn structures are simple to expand. So if there is a space around the pole barn and if you think that you need to expand that need to be first on your plan.

You'll also need a place to keep your animals' food and hay. If you do not have a separate storage shed, you must make space inside your pole barn. Take this into account when planning your layout. Also think of a way of providing a separate system for your animals to drink fresh water from the feeding units is a sanitary and safe way to keep your animals hydrated.


Each animal shelter is accountable for making sure that every animal in its care has the best possible chance of living a happy and healthy life. To do so you need to make sure that the species where the animals will spend their time is comfortable. To ensure that your animals going to be comfortable, check to see if you have a properly insulated pole barn, or if this is something you need to do.

Insulation keeps the pole-barn building at a consistent temperature. This means lower energy costs, a healthier environment for people and animals, and less damage to the building and its contents. Plan carefully and decide which R-value best meets your needs.


Make certain that your pole barn has adequate drainage. Use a builder's level to determine which side of your property has the higher grade. Dig a two-foot-deep trench beginning at the higher grade and extending down, fill it with two inches of gravel, lay a perforated drainage pipe over it, and fill the rest of the trench with gravel.

Isolation and Quarantine Areas

When you think of space, preventing disease spread should be priority number one when designing a pole-building animal shelter. Incoming animals must be quarantined from animals that are ready to be placed in homes. Also, know that isolation and quarantine areas must not be open to the general public. In this era, you need to have a safe space for

Rooms for medical and euthanasia should be near the isolation/quarantine area. This allows for the easy movement of sick and recovering animals in and out. There needs to be plenty of room for your first-aid kit so you can help the animals in need. Also, it should have a separate outside entrance with easy access for vehicles.

Final Words

If you are new to barn pole conversions, we recommend hiring the services of a professional company. They can assist you in making the best decisions about converting your pole barn into an animal shelter. However, choosing to convert an old barn yourself can be slightly more expensive than building a pole barn as an animal shelter from scratch.

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