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Pole Barn vs Steel Building – Which is Right for You?

Pole Barn vs Steel Building – Which is Right for You?

If you need an affordable building with plenty of storage space, two main ideas are likely to come to mind: pole barns and steel buildings. Each can be a cost-effective option, and each can provide the ample space you require for your storage or projects. So, which is right for you? The right selection will depend on a variety of factors. Let’s take a closer look at pole barns vs steel buildings.

Should you decide to go with a steel building, consider working with American Steel Carports. We make it easy to customize your steel building to your exact needs: Customize My Steel Building.

What’s The Difference?

Before you can decide if a pole barn or steel building is right for you, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

As the name implies, a steel building is made of steel. That includes both the framing of the building as well as the walls and roof. It’s virtually all steel from top to bottom. For a pole barn, the usual construction involves wooden beams used for support while metal is employed to create the roof and walls.

Foundation Requirements

One of the major differences between these two options is the site prep that will be required. For a steel building, you are going to need a level foundation. When you work with American Steel Carports, Inc., our buildings can be installed on ground or asphalt. We only require that the surface be level before installation.

For a pole barn, very little site prep will be needed. The ground doesn’t even need to be perfectly level, since individual holes will be dug for each pole and no formal foundation will be necessary. Some pole barns even have dirt floors, although that may not work for your needs depending on what you intend to store inside.

Performance Considerations

Some of the key performance considerations when it comes to pole barns vs steel buildings include:

  • No warping with steel. The wood rafters in a pole barn may warp over time, but there will be no such concern with a steel building.
  • Fire issues. You don’t need to worry about a steel building being a fire hazard, but wood materials in a pole barn could cause issues.
  • Termites. In some areas, wood beams may be at risk for damage from termites. When a steel building is used, termites will have to look somewhere else for a meal.
  • Truss cords. Most pole barns include a cord across the truss, while steel buildings do not. This means you can have more space available in a steel building of the same size.

In addition to the points listed above, a quality steel building also provides a sturdy frame which can be expected to provide reliable performance as the years go by. While a pole barn can be relatively stable, the nature of its design is not going to allow it to have the same kind of stability as a steel building erected on a concrete foundation.

Long-Term Maintenance

As the owner of the building, you probably would like to limit the time and money required for maintenance down the road. With a steel building, there is virtually nothing to do. Once the building is put up, you can plan to use it day after day without thinking much about maintenance—especially if you order from a respected company like American Steel Carports. Pole barns, on the other hand, can require ongoing repair and maintenance, taking a bite out of your budget and your calendar.

Build Your Custom Steel Building

At American Steel Carports, the quality of our structures matches up with the quality of the customer service we provide. If you’ve decided that a steel building will best serve your needs, we’ll be happy to bring your project to life. Try out our Build & Price Tool to customize your building and receive an instant quote, or contact us for more information. Thanks for visiting!


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