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  1. #1
    Member markmc's Avatar
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    Default Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Hi Guys,

    I am in the midst of arranging quotes for a kit barn. The size is in the 40x50ft range. The floor will be concrete.

    I am wondering what you guys have found the price difference to be for wood vs steel for that size - just the materials and shipping only. I would use metal cladding for either one.

    Comparisons I am looking for are:
    1. Cost
    2. Ease/speed of construction for owner
    3. Fit and finish
    4. Strength/durability
    5. Longevity/maintenance
    6. Looks - should be the same if both clad with sheet metal
    7. anything else?
    John Deere 4320 400CX FEL

  2. #2
    Veteran Member weldingisfun's Avatar
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    Mahindra 4500 4WD w/FEL, and Scotts S2048 lawn tractor

    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Add one more consideration:
    Who is going to build it, the owner or a professional?
    Good luck to you and have fun.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    From my perspective, it depends on what the barn is for. Personally I prefer to have a wood structure with metal sheeting if I'm keeping animals in it, but my hay storage is all metal. I've had a all metal horse barn at my old place and I wouldn't do it again.

    Weldingisfun is also correct about who is going to build it. I've built both types, but still lean toward the wood frame because I have a lot more experience and tools for that. In my experience, the wood frame was cheaper as well.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    For a building that size, you will need some help and experience in building is a must. Just the concrete for that 40 X 50 building will be 24.6914 yards if you go 4" thick and I would suggest 6" = 37.0370 yards and thats not counting your footers, depending on code requirements in your area.
    Jim
    Click here for my current weather

    Case 1845C with dirt bucket, forks, 3 point quick hitch on the front, 30'. boom, 6 & 1/2 foot disc harrow, 5 foot Howse RC, root and tree bucket and Grouser tracks and a Ford F-550 pick up,7.3 Turbo with Auto and a Crosley 25' X 8'.6" X 14 K D/O trailer.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    I will watch this one close, as I am wrestling with the same decisions.

    Who will build it is one of the basics to answer too me.

    I can get loads of folks to build a pole barn in my area, and steel erectors are a lot fewer and farther between.

    Pole barn is slightly cheaper from what I have found, but you always have to go back and make sure you are doing apples to apples. Doors, windows insulation make a big price difference, especially if special framing is desired.

    You have one of the basic things done though, you are set on all concrete slab.

    One of the advantages I can see for the pole barn, is that I can concrete what I want, when I want. I can build a bigger building now, and use the bulk of it for storage, while concreting in more and more for my shop etc. Kind of paying over time.

    I can somewhat do the steel building that way, but not quite as nicely.

    I definetely like the longevity of the steel.

    I did see a "pole barn" at my neighbors house, that they built on top of the slab instead of the wood in the ground. I thought that was intriuging.

    I sure do not have the answer.

    I am looking 40 X 60 w/ 16' eaves, 2 garage doors, and 1 personell door, insulated was $16K for the steel building kit.

    The other thing too look at when you are buying steel buildings, are the people that you are buying from the actual manufacturer, or just a middle man.

    Good luck, let us know which way you go.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    I think the advantage to a pole barn is that it's the cheapest building that you can build. You don't need a foundation or other type of footings to build it. You use a minimal amount of lumber in framing it up and covering it with metal sheeting is the same expense wether it's wood or metal framed.

    The metal building will have to have cement footings at the very least, but usually require a full cement slab. Metal framing will usually cost more then wood too.

    The metal building is going to require more effort to build or assemble the wood, especially for the heavy pieces. You can build a pole barn by yourself, or with a small crew fairly easily if you know how.

    If I had the money, I'd go metal. When I build my next shop, I'll probably go with a cement foundation and wood framing on top of the footings. Pole building isn't realy an advantage if you have a slab. I think it's better to go conventional framing at that point. The only reason to go with poles is when you don't have a slab, or won't be able to put one in for some time.

    Eddie

  7. #7
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Has anyone seen a projected timeframe on when the treated wood in ground contact will start to rot out realisticly? How much protection is the building itself offering the poles?

    IE, how long should I realisticly (not advertising hype) expect the buried legs of a pole barn to hold up?

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Alan, I can't answer your question but landscape logs will do about 5 years and they are made to go on the ground? I don't think I would put wood in the ground to support a building.
    Jim
    Click here for my current weather

    Case 1845C with dirt bucket, forks, 3 point quick hitch on the front, 30'. boom, 6 & 1/2 foot disc harrow, 5 foot Howse RC, root and tree bucket and Grouser tracks and a Ford F-550 pick up,7.3 Turbo with Auto and a Crosley 25' X 8'.6" X 14 K D/O trailer.
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  9. #9
    Member markmc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Thanks for the answers guys.

    The barn will be for storage only and a workshop. I cant stand dust everywhere so the concrete slab is a non-negotiable. Animals (2 horses) will go in another smaller barn one later.

    I will be building it myself (I have plenty of time available) with the help of two retired "builders" and day labor if I need it. These guys can put together anything...and I mean anything. Tools and equipment is not a problem either.

    I have had a couple of quotes for 40x50ft insulated with 16' eaves, 1 x 12x12 roller door, entry door and two 3030 windows. Both came in around $16k - $17k delivered which I thought was high.

    Money really isnt an issue but if the pole building was significantly cheaper I would go that route. I agree with Eddie that the pole building would be easier to erect than steel. I took a look at the Muellers instruction manual....quite involved actually but doable.

    Putting wood in the ground doesnt sound like it would "last forever" either so thats one for the steel.

    Lots more to consider, keep the replies coming this is good stuff!
    John Deere 4320 400CX FEL

  10. #10
    Member markmc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pole Barn vs Metal Barn....pros and cons?

    Summary of where I am at with this for a self installed equipment barn/shop.

    Cost - Pole barn cheaper.

    Ease/speed of construction for owner - pole barn easier, faster to install.

    Fit and finish - My educated guess would be that the steel by nature would fit and finish off nicer.

    Strength/durability - Steel should win over in this category but it depends on design and wind loading design.

    Longevity/maintenance - steel should last longer.

    Looks - outside, same. Inside, eye of beholder....wooden trusses have a certain appeal...not really an issue though IMHO.
    John Deere 4320 400CX FEL

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