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Which is the Better Buy— Pole Barns or Metal Barns?

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December 27, 2013

Part 2: Comparing Pole Barns and Pre-engineered Steel Barns

Price comparisons between wood pole barns and pre-engineered metal barns rest on several factors. In this second installment of our eight-part series comparing pole barns and steel barns, we will focus on the differences in the initial costs of construction.

Pole Barn versus Metal Barn Framing Kits

Wood prices and steel prices fluctuate with the supply and demand of the market. Consequently, timber-based pole barn and pre-engineered steel barn framing package pricing wavers, too.

Wood prices are usually more volatile than steel prices, but either building material may experience price changes over time.

Usually, you will find wooded pole barn and prefabricated steel barn kits are close in price. The only way to get an exact comparison at any given time is to ask for bids on both systems.

Pricing the building package, however, constitutes only part of the true cost.

Engineering Pole Barns and Steel Barns

Unlike wood buildings like pole barns, there is no cookie-cutter, one-barn-fits-all designing in steel fabrication. Customers enjoy more freedom to “customize” their structure with a steel building system.

Every pre-engineered metal building order is designed quickly and accurately to meet or exceed all local building codes— and the customer’s exact requirements.

Designed with sophisticated, state-of-the-art structural computer software, each metal barn or steel building is precisely fabricated for that individual order.

All RHINO metal barns and other steel building orders include three sets of plans stamped by an engineer licensed for that location. Every steel barn or metal framing kit includes a certified letter promising the steel frame will meet or exceed the local design loads for the lifetime of the structure.

Most wooden pole barns companies do not make such guarantees.

Actually banned in some areas, most pole barns include no engineering documentation at all.

Comparing Foundations for Pole Barns and Steel Barns

Pole barns consist of posts driven directly into the ground. Although pole barns can have a concrete floor poured within the structure, often they use simple dirt or gravel floors.

Metal barns require either concrete pier beneath each column, a concrete perimeter wall, or a full concrete slab. While concrete options for a steel barn represent an added expense to the building project, steel on concrete produces a far more lasting, stable, and permanent structure than wooden poles driven into dirt.

Consider Long-Term Value before Choosing a Barn or Building

In many ways, comparing pole barns and steel barns is much like comparing apples and oranges.

While both systems produce similar buildings, the strength, durability, and value of the steel barn system makes it the better buy.

RHINO metal barns and other steel buildings offer many value-added features:

  • RHINO structures use the strongest building material available: steel.
  • All RHINO steel building kits include features for extra protection from leaking and condensation.
  • Because of the superior strength of steel, RHINO metal barns and steel buildings can span much farther than traditional pole barns, allowing open, clear span interiors.
  • Steel buildings require no treatment with harsh chemicals to protect from ground rot or termites.
  • RHINO buildings use 26-gauge Galvalume® steel roof and wall panels, while pole barns may typically use thinner 29-gauge metal sheathing.

To learn more about pole barns versus metal barns, please call RHINO now for more information or a free quote. Our toll free number is 1.888.320.7466.

Related Blogs:

“So What’s the Difference Between Pole Barns and Steel Barn?”



- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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