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Steel Buildings Vs. Pole Barns: Choose the Right Structure for Your Needs

Steel Buildings Vs. Pole Barns: Choose the Right Structure for Your Needs

Planning to build a new agricultural facility? One of the considerations you need to think about is whether to use steel buildings or pole barns. Both have distinct pros and cons and while your choice is ultimately up to your budget and specific needs, we recommend choosing a steel-frame barn. As metal barn builders, we are confident in the longevity, durability, and performance of our steel agricultural structures here at Armstrong Steel.

From picking the materials to long-term maintenance, we will discuss everything you must know when choosing between a traditional wood pole barn and a steel structure.

The pole barn defined

A pole barn is essentially a building made with posts or poles embedded in the ground. The poles are traditionally wood but can be constructed from concrete or metal. In any case, the goal is to support the entire structure.

Pole barns are often used in agriculture for storing livestock, hay, vehicles, and equipment, but they are also practical for commercial or residential applications. They offer space to store large items like boats and tractors and can even be used as garages or workshops.

Traditional pole barns offer some benefits, such as cost-effectiveness. However, they also have disadvantages, such as limited design options, vulnerability to weather damage, high maintenance, and lack of insulation. Plus, some areas have permitting and zoning restrictions that may prevent you from building one for specific purposes.

Another downside to pole barns is due to their material. Wooden structures don’t last as long as steel barns, especially when not well-built. That said, even with a well-built pole barn, you still need to dedicate time for extensive maintenance and deal with expensive repairs and upgrades down the road.

About prefabricated steel barns

Today’s farmers and agribusiness owners know the downsides of pole barns, so they turn to steel building manufacturers like us for a better solution. Here at Armstrong Steel, we offer pre-engineered steel buildings. This means we build and customize the components in-house and transport them to your property for assembly. Our metal barns are ready to assemble and erect to take the guesswork out of traditional construction. Plus, this means lower labor costs, reduced waste, and finishing your building promptly.

Like pole barns, our steel buildings are cost-effective, quick to build, customizable, energy-efficient, and versatile. Here’s a more detailed look at how our metal barns can benefit you:

  • SavingsMetal barn builders pre-engineer every component to ensure a seamless fit each time. Plus, these parts are pre-punched and numbered and backed by detailed assembly drawings. This helps reduce labor costs, streamlines the erection process, and saves money. If you’re considering future expansions, you won’t have to spend much time and money doing so, thanks to the modular and clear-span layouts that allow virtually endless width and length extensions.At Armstrong Steel, we are proud metal barn builders who maximize the use of materials. We eliminate residual waste by designing your steel building in-house. Moreover, this means more savings because you pay only for the materials we use. Plus, every aspect of the steel barn is engineered to your location’s building codes and load-bearing requirements to avoid excessive material usage.
  • DurableOur steel barns are more cost-effective because they are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, earthquakes, and high winds. Plus, they are non-combustible and moisture-resistant, so they are unlikely to be destroyed by fire, mold, and pests.
  • VersatilityAs metal barn builders, we can customize your steel building with a modular or clear-span framing system for any application. Our structures can be customized with almost any other construction materials, enabling more options for interior and exterior finishes.
  • FlexibilitySteel barns offer more flexible interior layouts because they can have minimal to no interior columns. Meanwhile, pole barns need several columns for structural support, and this gets in the way of maximizing the space. With Armstrong Steel as your metal barn builder, you can get a steel structure with larger door openings and more than enough space for storing oversized equipment, creating dedicated work areas, and installing lifts.
  • Energy efficiencySteel buildings are easy to insulate with almost any insulation material. This makes them energy-efficient and helpful in reducing your cooling and heating costs compared to wood barns. Moreover, the right insulation will help minimize noise and sound problems, especially during a hailstorm or heavy rain.

Considerations when choosing between steel buildings and pole barns

  • Weather and climate conditionsPole barns are often ideal in areas with mild weather but not the best in locations with high winds and heavy snow. On the other hand, steel buildings are extremely durable and withstand extreme weather, making them ideal for any area, including those with harsh climates.
  • ApplicationBeyond agricultural purposes, pole barns can become a commercial space building or a home, but require significant customizations, which make them cost more. Meanwhile, steel buildings are more versatile for many purposes while remaining cost-effective.
  • Customization options and sizePole barns may be less expensive, but are costly to customize. It’s better to engage metal barn builders like us if you want a highly customizable barn that is easy and quick to build and expandable down the line.
  • Long-term durability and maintenanceNothing beats steel barns in terms of durability. Plus, they require minimal maintenance while ensuring optimum energy efficiency, which can reduce your overall expenses in the long run.

Learn more about steel barns!

Talk to metal barn builders like us to learn how our steel buildings make the best agricultural structures. Call 1-800-345-4610 or price your building on this website by answering a few questions.