Steel Barns Vs Pole Barns

6 stall horse barn in metal

If you are about to assemble your own barn then you may be looking for advice on how to build both pole barns and steel barns.  You probably already realize the advantage of building your own barn compared to hiring a contractor.  The only question left is which method of construction will suit you better: a steel frame barn or a pole barn?

How a Pole Barn Works

First consider how a pole barn is constructed.  In this method, wooden poles are buried in the ground and then used as columns for the roof.  The walls of pole barns are made of wood, or perhaps tin, and are either screwed or nailed into the poles.  The advantage of pole barns is that they are inexpensive and you can add on many additional features, such as steel framing and insulation.  However, the disadvantages that a pole barn brings may cause you to seriously consider the steel frame barn alternative.

Pole barns have poles buried in the ground; this means that over time, these poles will shift and eventually decay.  This will put more pressure on you to perform regular maintenance and repairs.  You may experience problems with building codes in some locations, since pole barns are not thought of as permanent structures.  Lastly, pole barn insurance is known to be expensive, as these barns are simply not as sturdy as the competition.

Building a Pole Barn Compared to a Steel Frame Barn

The primary competition in this case would be a steel frame barn.  A steel frame barn’s construction style sees steel columns anchored to a concrete foundation.  This makes construction easier and more durable than the pole barn method.  A steel frame barn is also weather resistant, to both inclement weather and minor weather-related damage, such as mold, cracking and rotting.  A steel frame barn is also fire resistant, does not require maintenance or repainting, and is made from hygienic material that does not support soil rotting.

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Pole Barn Vs Steel Frame Construction Cost

How about pole barn and steel horse barn prices?  Pole barns may be cheaper, though the average steel frame barn is listed at prices 60% less than traditional construction.  Even if you can save some money on a pole barn option, remember that you may be required to spend additional money on maintenance costs, longer construction times and more investment if you want to expand the barn later on.  A steel frame barn offers savings physically as well as economically.  A steel frame barn also saves you energy costs, insurance costs (steel frame barns usually cost 40% less than pole barns) and may come with a generous warranty, lasting a few decades.

Last but not least you have to consider the welfare of your animal.  Pole barns are usually not recommended for livestock, because there is a risk of poisonous and unsanitary conditions thanks to the style of construction.  Since you are building the barn for the horse, an animal that is either personally priceless or professionally expensive, choose only the safest option: barn steel.

Author: Conrad Mackie