A steel building surrounded by green grass and trees, showing steel's strength in a pole barn vs. steel building comparison.

Pole Barn vs. Steel Building – Which Is Best For Your Needs?

If you’re building a new barn, outhouse, garage or stable, chances are you’re wrestling with an important question: which construction materials should I use?

Like many before you, you’re probably weighing the benefits of a pole barn vs. a metal building. On the one hand, you have an icon of the American tradition: the pole barn. On the other hand, the sleek, more advanced, and efficient metal or steel building.

Throughout history, the role of the barn hasn’t changed much. Its primary function is to store things and keep them safe, be it crops, animals or machinery — whether it’s made from wood or steel.

But, like everything else, a barn should pay for itself over the course of its life. After all, you’re running a business, right? Modern barns must offer as much efficiency as physically possible.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the steel building vs. pole barn problem and find out which material is best for you.

Pole Barn vs. Steel Building – Price

You should know right off the bat that the cost for materials will be roughly the same for a pole barn or steel building.

As an initial investment, steel comes out a little cheaper — which is great, of course — but where it really starts to shine is in lifetime cost. Did you know that steel barns are 40% cheaper to insure than wooden pole barns?

You could save thousands of dollars on the overall cost of your barn or outhouse through lower insurance premiums. The reason for this is that steel buildings are less vulnerable to damage than wooden ones.

This also means your maintenance costs on a steel barn are going to be a fraction of what you could spend on a wood frame barn. When it comes to getting your money’s worth, steel is clearly the way to go.

Pole Barn vs. Steel Building – Construction process

Erecting the frame for your wood pole barn is simple: just dig out some holes and lower your perimeter wood poles in. For a steel building, you will need a proper foundation — so, this round goes to the pole barn, right?

Well, not quite. 

After the pole barn’s perimeter poles are in, you then need to attach the exterior and roof, which can be a long and difficult job.

With a steel barn, though, once the foundation is in place and your steel columns are in, the rest is plain sailing. Everything comes to you, prefabricated, pre-engineered, and precision perfect. There are rarely any nasty surprises when you’re building with steel.

Pole Barn vs. Steel Building – Quality

A good quality barn, outhouse, garage or stable should stand the test of time and need very little maintenance throughout its lifetime.

Steel is well-known for its durability — the oldest steel frame building in America was built 130 years ago, and it still stands in the exact same spot, with the exact same frame today!

The problem with wooden pole barns is that they leak. Over time, the wood warps, and this opens up small gaps in the walls or roof. These tiny gaps may not appear to be a problem at first, but after a few rainfalls, you will be dealing with damp, rot, and a host of other issues.

But a steel barn is measured up to the millimeter before being delivered to you — and it stays that way. No bending, warping, or damp and no rot or woodworm to worry about. Set within a concrete foundation, steel buildings outlast wood structures.

If you want your outhouse to look the same — and protect its contents just as well — in 20 years or more, a steel building is the only way to go, and California All Steel can help you find the perfect steel building for your needs. We offer free quotes, building kits, and financing options to make building a steel building affordable for all budgets. 

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Please note: there is an extra fee for additional walk-in/side garage doors. 

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