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 a business was built.

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! (see photo below).


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Our Loft Barns maintain their top­-seller rating year after year. Our buildings provide more head room than our competitors by using a taller wall stud– we provide a height of 6′ 8″ under the loft–plus more room in our lofts. We use full 3/4″ plywood decking in our loft floors, supported by Douglas Fir 2×6 joists. They just have to be Better Built!

We also have a line of Portable Cabins/Office buildings. We supply a ready­-to-finish shell, that you can finish out to your liking.  We can help you custom design the interior, but we do not offer interior finish services. Let’s talk about your needs!

Our Story

Better Built Barns was started in 1992 by Ernest Strubhar, along with his wife Ruth and four growing sons. They were homeschooling their children, and Ernest had been earning a living for his family of seven children by writing and editing Spanish Gospel literature. But he wanted to be able to work with his sons. Boys need to learn to work. Fathers need to teach them.

They started the business “on a shoe string,” with a few hand tools and a $239 Makita miter saw. They built a large saw­horse, bolted the miter saw on it, and designed an extension table to clamp a stop to. With just enough lumber for a couple of buildings plus enthusiasm and willingness to learn, they started cutting the components for the very first Better Built Barn

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In 1996 we built a 40’x64′ shop. What a boost! We were finally able to work inside, 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. A while later, in 2007, we added 3200 square feet to our shop.

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, and custom-blend 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!”

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Our barn deliveries are performed by Martin Tello, who runs an independent delivery service, Prairie Land Enterprises LLC. Using his specially­ designed delivery trailer and equipment, he can deliver buildings up to 16′ wide and 40′ long.

Iddo Yoder assists with sales in the office, plus handles our delivery 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.

On January 1, 2022, Better Built Barns was purchased by long-time employee Jeremiah Snodgrass, who started with the company August 1 2011 and shop foreman in 2013. His two sons also now work with him in the business, much like our founder Ernest worked with his sons in the early years.

Jeremiah knows buildings and all the ins and outs of construction principles. He also knows how to take care of customers. With Jeremiah leading, the company is poised to continue on and keep serving you, our valued customers.

Having been in this business for over 30 years, we are humbled to see the children and grandchildren of some of our original customers return to us to purchase their own portable building. That is truly rewarding to us!

We look forward to helping with your next project!