Podcast: Decorative Concrete Floors and Patios for Pole Barns

You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 35: Decorative Concrete Floors and Patios for Pole Barns and Metal Buildings. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for listening. 

Reagan: Our customers are talking about Pole Barns and how to affordably finish the concrete to serve multiple functions yet still look GREAT! Here today with a few insights into uses for pole barns and the best options for floors, patios and workshops is Lisa Bickel, pole barn owner and Shawna Turner, General Manager with Direct Colors. Welcome, Lisa and Shawna.

LB and ST:  Thank you.

Reagan:  So Lisa….What is a Pole Barn and what do you use it for?

LB: A pole barn is basically a metal barn that has been turned into something else.  For instance, I have one that we use as a shop and mainly storage.  There are many people who are now using pole barns as houses.  Some people use pole barns for house and shop combos where half of the barn is a garage or shop and the other half is their home.  You can do pretty much whatever you want to in one and make it as big as you want.

Reagan:  Is it easy to build a pole barn and do I need a professional?

LB:  Yes they are fairly easy.  You can buy a kit that has everything in it.  There are also several companies that will install the barn for you.  If you hire someone to set it up they can have it done in a few days.  If you set it up yourself it may take longer depending on how much help you have.

Reagan:  What am I getting myself into if I decide to build a pole barn? Typically what is the cost and upkeep that is put into building a pole barn?

LB:  Well of course the costs will very on the size that you choose.  For instance I’m building one that is 30’ x 50’ (1500 sq ft) for a detached garage and it’s going to cost me around $25,000.  That’s for the kit and someone else to build it.

Reagan:  What are your plans for finishing the floor in your pole barn?

LB:  Right now the floors are bare concrete.  I would really like to put some color on them.  I want something that is low maintenance and easy to apply.

Reagan:  Shawna, how would you recommend Lisa finishes her floors given she’s using the building primarily for shop/garage and storage?

ST: I think if you know that you’re only going to use the concrete for storage or the like I’d just seal the concrete with our DCI Penetrating Lithium Based Sealer Hardener. It’s a one-time only application. The concrete is then sealed and hardened permanently making it stain resistant and easy to clean. It’s a great option for shop, warehouse or storage building floors. Now, if you think you’ll be using the floor in the future for something else, such as a living area or maybe even for a business, there are some excellent DIY concrete color options.

Reagan: What would you recommend for an existing slab if a homeowner was considering living quarters or a business of some kind?

ST: Most of our customers who are planning to live in their pole barn or convert it into a business acid stain the floors after construction. We have a detailed podcast on when to acid stain during construction that anyone interested in this process should listen to before beginning for sure but acid staining is ideal because it’s a DIY project within the reach of most people, looks truly outstanding and is a very affordable flooring option. What’s better than that I ask you?  Aside from living quarters of some kind, the most popular uses for pole barns or metal buildings in general are event centers, wedding chapels and automobile showrooms.

Reagan:  Do you have a different recommendation for those that have not yet poured their concrete?

I do! I think anytime you can make a project easier you should. Pouring colored concrete is by far easier for homeowners than acid staining later because the color is added at the ready mix concrete plant before the truck even arrives! Concrete pigment integrally colors the concrete so it is a solid color but the only thing the homeowner needs to do is seal the concrete after it cures (and wax if an interior floor). Very simple process that really looks great, is easy to maintain and can be used for any end use – residential, commercial or industrial.

Reagan:  What about outdoor concrete? What would you suggest to dress up patios and walkways?

We had a customer enter our End of Summer Photo Contest with a really stunning covered patio outside their barn to home conversion that was just fantastic. In this case, they used a Chocolate Liquid Colored Antique Concrete Stain and our Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer. Very classy finish. Made the pole barn look very inviting and a place you’d like to spend some time for sure.  Liquid Colored Antique or Acid Stain are both excellent choices for outdoor concrete. The quality of the concrete often can make the choice between the two for you. Older, more heavily eroded concrete frequently isn’t a good candidate for acid staining so the antique concrete stain would be the better choice in that situation. I’d also check out our project photo galleries so customers can see how the products look on varies projects to help make a decision.

Reagan:  Thanks, Lisa and Shawna. Pole barns sound like a great option for home and business owners no matter where they live. If you have questions, call one of our expert technicians at 877-255-2656 and we’ll help you select the best products and technique for your needs.  If you prefer email, send in a free online design consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Direct Colors DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at directcolors.com/listen.  Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , YouTube and Instagram. I’m Reagan Smith and thanks again for joining us!