Our first building

From the beginning we had a simple business model:  build a top-quality product, sell it for a reasonable price, and provide good customer service by keeping our word every time. With God’s help, it worked. Little by little we built a business.

But we needed a way to deliver our product. I found a ½ ton Chevy pick­up that a neighbor had for sale and an old tilt ­trailer that a farmer had built to haul his tractor on. It wasn’t really designed for delivering buildings, but we adapted it and made it work.

And we were in business.

In those early years we built a lot of 8’x12′ Mini Barns. Then we started a line of Garden Sheds. When we loaded our first 10’x16′ Loft Barn on our little trailer, we thought we had a huge building.

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In 2006 we restructured the company into a partnership. In 2007 we added 3200 square feet to our shop.

Currently we employ 4 or 5 men in the shop. Jeremiah Snodgrass is the shop foreman. He has two sons who work with him, much like I worked with my sons in the early years.

My nephew, Martin Tello, ran our delivery trucks. With our truck and specially­ designed delivery trailer, we can deliver buildings up to 16′ wide and 40′ long.

Iddo Yoder and Jeremiah Snodgrass help me with sales in the office.   Iddo also handles our scheduling and gets the permits for wide loads.  Any of us in the office can help you with your needs.  We specialize in custom cabin design, and we work hard to provide top-notch customer service.

Just like we did in 1992, we still work hard to provide a top ­quality product at a reasonable price. We look for the best materials available–#1 treated 4″x6″ skids, #2 Douglas Fir framing lumber, Smart Panel siding that is 7/16″ thick (not 3/8″, like most builders use), 30-­year Malarkey shingles, Benjamin Moore Paint. And we work hard to maintain old­-fashioned craftsmanship. Every building shows our attention to detail.  So let’s say it this way, “The more you look, the better we look!”

By Ernest Strubhar

I started Better Built Barns in late 1992, the year we moved to Perkins, OK. At that time my wife Ruth and I had four growing sons,  Albert (14), Brian (12), Carl (10), and Daniel (7). We were homeschooling our children, and I had been earning a living for our family of seven children by writing and editing Spanish Gospel literature. But I wanted to be able to work with my sons. Boys need to learn to work. Fathers need to teach them.

We started the business “on a shoe string.” We bought a few hand tools and a $239 Makita miter saw. I built a large saw­horse, bolted the miter saw on it, and designed an extension table to clamp a stop to. We bought enough lumber for a couple buildings and started cutting the parts for our first Better Built Barn–right in our yard beside the mobile home we lived in. We had little but enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

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By 1996 we had enough money to build a 40’x64′ shop. What a boost! We were able to work out of the weather. (Both wind and rain were real problems when we painted.) And we could start buying materials in  quantity to reduce our costs.

For around 10 years we had a family company. Then Albert went to Nicaragua to teach school in the jungles where my old friend, Pablo Yoder, was pioneering a missionary church plant. (The story of his early years in Nicaragua is told in his book Angels Over Waslala.) Albert ended up marrying a Nicaraguan lady. They have 4 children now and still live in Nicaragua where he now serves as a self­-supporting missionary pastor.

One­ by­ one the rest of the boys grew up and left home too. Today I am providing opportunity for two other fathers to work  with their sons.

Our Loft Barns maintain their top­-seller rating year after year. Our buildings provide more head room than our competitors–6′ 8″ under the loft–and more room in our lofts. We use plywood decking in our lofts, supported by 2x6s. They just have to be Better Built.

We also have a line of Portable Cabins/Offices. We price a ready­-to-­finish shell.  We can help you custom design the interior, but we are no longer able to finish the interior.  Let’s talk!

Whatever you are looking for, we work hard to please you.  “The more you look, the better we look!” Better Built Barns–better than they’d have to be.  Better than ever!


As of January 1, 2022, I sold Better Built Barns to Jeremiah Snodgrass, who worked here for the last 10 years.  He knows buildings.  He knows how to take care of customers.  This company will go on and keep on serving you. Just give us a call!