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Comparing Metal and Pole Framed Barns

Comparing Metal and Pole Framed Barns

Pole Barns Vs. Metal Barns

Regardless of where you call home, you’re likely familiar with pole barns. After all, these structures have been a mainstay of American living for hundreds of years. They’re an affordable way to provide shelter for animals, supplies, equipment, and livestock.

However, metal barns have tremendously impacted agriculture in recent decades due to their strength, durability, and cost-efficiency. They’ve quickly risen to be one of the industry’s most sought-after forms of construction and offer farmers and ranchers alike the infrastructure they need to succeed.

But how do these two barn types compare to one another? If you’re searching for a structure that can upgrade your functionality, having a solid grasp of the benefits of both can be quite valuable. And we want to provide you with that knowledge.

In this blog, we’ll explore these structures in greater detail and give you the information you need to make a wise buying decision. Stick around to find out which barn type best fits your needs.

What is a Pole Barn?

In short, a wooden pole barn is an agricultural structure characterized by simple, old-world-style engineering. They feature wooden poles, or posts, that serve as the main vertical supports, holding up the structure without the need for interior columns. Connected to these wooden poles are horizontal beams and trusses that make up the remainder of the building’s backbone.

Top this straightforward design with a metal roofing system, and you’ve got an effective structure that offers strength and the traditional appeal of a stick-built building.

What is a Metal Barn?

Like their wooden counterparts, metal barns utilize simple engineering tactics to deliver a resilient structure with little to no internal support. These buildings are comprised of pre-manufactured components designed off-site and delivered for installation.

This process speeds up installation timeframes and allows farmers to enjoy a durable building without the hassle of expensive components and architectural red tape.

The Differences Between Metal Barns and Wooden Barns

So, what barn type is right for you? While that may be hard to nail down immediately, let’s take a moment to compare the two building types and what they bring to the table:


Metal barns are renowned for their durability. Steel is naturally resistant to rot, pests, and decay, ensuring a longer lifespan than wooden alternatives. These structures can withstand harsh weather conditions, making them an excellent choice for areas prone to extreme climates.

While wooden pole barns are sturdy, they are far more susceptible to the elements. Wood can rot over time and may be vulnerable to pest infestations if left unchecked. Regular maintenance and vigilance are crucial to extending the lifespan of a wooden barn.

Construction Difficulty

Metal barns often come in prefabricated kits, simplifying the construction process. The precision of factory-made components can reduce construction time, making metal barns a quicker option.

On the other hand, wooden pole barns usually require more labor-intensive construction. Erecting the wooden frame and installing panels or siding can be a more time-consuming process compared to assembling metal components.

Maintenance Needs

Metal barns generally have lower maintenance requirements. The steel used in construction is resistant to many of the issues that afflict wood, such as rot and pests. Periodic checks for rust and minor repairs may be necessary, but the overall maintenance is relatively minimal.

Conversely, wooden pole barns demand regular maintenance to prevent rot, insect damage, and decay. Staining or painting the wood can be necessary to preserve its integrity over time.

Design Limitations

Metal barns often have a more industrial appearance due to the nature of the materials used. However, thanks to advances in modern engineering, these structures can be designed to match any aesthetic. They’re highly customizable and allow you to change, upgrade, or adjust almost every facet of your building.

Wooden alternatives offer a natural warmth and feel and can be adapted to suit a wide range of looks but are more rigid in terms of construction. To make any structural changes to your wooden barn, you’ll likely need the help of an architect or engineer. This can be troublesome for farmers who need an adaptable building that can evolve with them.


In terms of value, both wooden barns and metal alternatives have their strengths. Wooden barns often have a higher upfront cost due to lumber prices but can provide you with a look and feel that fits your overall needs.

But in comparison, steel buildings offer higher durability and longevity. These structures last longer, require much less maintenance and often carry a smaller upfront price tag than wooden options.


Unlike wooden barns that require the sourcing of lumber, metal buildings offer a much more sustainable alternative. Steel is 100% recyclable, carries a smaller carbon footprint, and can be reused again and again without degradation of quality. This advantage makes steel construction a far more ecologically conscious building option.

Price Differences Between Wooden Barns and Steel Barns

Is there a big price difference between wooden barns and their metal counterparts? Yes, and in more ways than might meet the eye. For example, wooden barns, with their traditional charm and timeless appeal, are often perceived as a more budget-friendly option upfront. But that is not necessarily the case.

With ever-increasing lumber costs and the difficulty of finding contractors, constructing a wooden building is not exactly cheap. Combine this with regular maintenance and upkeep costs, and your venture might be more expensive than you realized.

Steel barns, however, are generally more affordable, and they provide a host of advantages that can save you money throughout ownership. They’re resistant to mold, mildew, rust, decay, pests, and even extreme temperatures, ensuring your building can withstand tough environments without breaking the bank in the process.

Get Carports is Your Trusted Metal Barn Provider

With years of experience in the metal building industry, Get Carports knows a thing or two about high-quality structures. Our buildings are engineered with durable materials and backed by industry-leading warranties and craftsmanship guarantees so that you can rest easy knowing you invested in the best.

We offer flexible financing options and RTO plans and will work closely with you so you can invest in a structure without breaking the bank in the process.

Take your agriculture game to the next level, and let the Get Carports experts help you. Our friendly staff will help you customize a building to meet your needs and deliver a barn capable of tackling your biggest and dirtiest jobs. Call us at  (800) 691 5221 to discuss your custom barn needs today!

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