Are Pole Barns Less Expensive Than Metal Buildings?

Putting up a building is a significant investment. The size and complexity of your design, the labor costs in your area, and the current price of materials will influence the cost. You may choose between metal (steel) or wood framing when you are building a home, garage, or commercial space. Are metal buildings less expensive than wood? This is a seemingly simple question, but the answer may be more complicated than you expect.

Comparing the Costs of Steel and Wood

When you consider the cost of a building, think about more than just the initial costs. There are also long-term costs to be aware of.

Short-Term Costs

In the short term, there are three immediate costs associated with a building project: 

  • Design
    Any building beyond the most basic will require some design work. 
  • Labor
    You will want qualified workers to erect your building. This is often the highest cost. 
  • Materials
    The price for the materials of your building will vary based on your region and options you choose as well as other factors. 
  • Long-term costs
    Once your building is completed, there are long-term costs to owning a piece of property.
  • Insurance
    The cost of insurance protects you from financial loss if your building is damaged or someone is injured on your property. 
  • Maintenance
    Every building requires regular maintenance. Spending a small amount of money on routine maintenance, such as adjusting doors can help you avoid significant expenses later.
  • Taxes and Utilities
    Owning and using a building, means paying taxes and utilities if applicable.

 

Both long-term and short-term costs of buildings are different between metal/steel and wood. While metal buildings are often more expensive up front, they require about the same maintenance as pole barns do. Although metal buildings may have lower insurance costs.

 

Wood buildings generally have lower utility costs, and making repairs is easier.

 

Metal vs. Wood

 

Metal is durable, nonflammable, and pound for pound, it is stronger than wood. However, these benefits come at a cost.

 

Wood frame buildings are familiar to homebuilders and do-it-yourselfers alike. Unlike metal, wood is susceptible to damage from moisture, rot, and insect damage. While wood framing requires periodic maintenance, the maintenance chores are straightforward.

 

When it comes to building, there are pros and cons to every building material. Which material is right for your project? The answer depends on your needs, your specific situation. In either case, with some planning and research, your building can serve you well for many years.

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