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Pole Barn vs Metal Buildings: Compare Pros and Cons

Pole Barn vs Metal Buildings


Barns are utilitarian buildings which date back centuries. They serve a specific purpose on your land, be it for horses, storage, livestock, cultivation, or any of its other uses. Whatever your usage, you need a barn that is strong, functional, and dependable. It also doesn’t hurt that your barn is not an eyesore to passers-by.

In this article, we are turning our focus on steel barns and pole barns. We will start with barns that are built with the pole frame method. Then, we will turn our attention to the advantages of steel over traditional construction.

Are you looking to build a new barn, or replace an existing one, and you aren’t sure whether a more expensive steel frame barn is worth it?

Or do you have a pole barn, and you want to find out about the benefits of having a steel frame barn?

Don’t worry; this guide will tell you what you need to know.

In This Article

In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about pole barns versus metal buildings, including what they are and where you can find them. We will examine the basics of these building methods, as well as the pros and cons. Then, we will give you some practical building tips, and the top manufacturers of these products.

So, are you ready to go?

Let’s go!

What’s in this guide?

What is a pole barn?

A pole barn is a simplistic style of the barn which uses wooden poles or ‘beams’ for the support of exterior walls and roof trusses. The beams or poles are buried in the ground, and provide large pillars of vertical support. Girts are attached to provide additional horizontal support. Pole barn construction is part of a technique generally known as “pole building construction” or “post frame construction”.

This post frame method of construction gained traction due to its simplicity and its functionality. It is a very basic method of construction. Essentially, the poles are buried and the barn is erected. It is fast and efficient, and the end result is extremely durable and resistant.

These types of barns are also traditionally the cheapest to build, as they don’t require anything like a concrete floor or any other materials other than wood. The frame is the bulk of the construction. Additionally, you save money on labor, as they are able to be built quite quickly.

This makes them some of the most popular types of barns. However, their low cost can quickly increase with things like maintenance and repairs, due to things such as rot and pest infestations.

What is a steel frame barn?

A steel frame barn, on the other hand, is an all-steel structure, which means that it is durable, flexible and won’t quickly become damaged or need frequent repairs.

Steel barns are more expensive than pole barns due to the price of steel, but in return, they are easier to keep and typically, it is 40% less expensive to insure a steel structure.

So while you may be spending more up-front, the idea is to hopefully save money by purchasing a more durable structure. There may not be the need for constant up-keep and maintenance as there would be with a wood barn. Steel will not rot or have pest infestations. A steel barn is an investment in the future, and will hopefully pay off as an investment over time.

Many steel barns will require a concrete floor, or at least a concrete exterior to keep the steel barn stable. However, you can still have the option to have a dirt floor when for use with horses or other agricultural needs.

Plus, sometimes you might only use your barn for storage, in which case a concrete floor might be an unnecessary expense.

What is steel?