Pole Barn vs Steel Building Construction

For many legacy farmers, the pole barn on their property is a symbol of their family history. But as the farmers of earlier eras opted for more innovative farming equipment, the industrial leaders of today are choosing more innovative building structures, including steel buildings.

Metal Building Framing Details

Pole Barn Construction

  • Primary framing anchored in soil
  • Perimeter wood poles set up to 96" apart
  • Can be up to 120' wide without posts

Steel Building Construction

  • Primary framing anchored with bolts in concrete
  • Columns can be up to 30' apart
  • Can be up to 300' wide column free
Pole Barn Interest and Expansive Soils Map Infographic

Steel Building vs Pole Barn Price

Steel Building Price

30x50 $13,000-$16,000
40x60 $22,000-$25,000
50x100 $35,000-$40,000

Pole Barn Price

30x50 $25,000-$30,000
40x60 $35,000-$42,000
50x100 $65,000-$75,000
Higher Insurance and More Risk

Pole barns are susceptible to fire damage, which can be dangerous for building users as well as animals housed in the building. More than 200 horses every year are reported dead due to barn fires, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. The dangers that come with the wooden structures also contribute to higher insurance costs.

Wood Rot

Pole barn construction often lacks the precision of steel construction, leaving gaps and holes in the structure over time. These holes can lead to leaks, which kickstart the process of rot and decay. Wood is extremely vulnerable and offers the right combination of moisture, temperature and oxygen to produce destructive fungi that can leave your building exposed and defenseless to extreme weather.

Especially in the Southeast and Northwest

Raccoons, possums, mice, rats and termites pose a serious threat to the quality of your building, and more importantly, the animals that are housed there. These pests are capable of gnawing through wood pole barns, which not only causes structural deficiencies, but also gives them access to your livestock’s feed supply.

Typical Pole Barn Interior Framing

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