Why Pole Barns are Not Better Than Metal Barns

Pole barns have long been our top competition in the barn industry. They’ve struck the argument that their affordability and function due to reasons of material and ease of construction outweigh the benefits of metal barns. When metal was not as easy to attain, this was undoubtedly true. Metal simply costed more. Although cost is not always the deciding factor in purchasing any product, the costs do not differ all that much these days. Whatever you need to use your barn for, be it a livestock shelter, farm equipment storage, workshop, or even a house, steel barns can do everything that a pole barn can do and often better. The only thing wooden pole barns in truth do better than steel barns, is burn down. However, there are some reasons that are still argued by pole barn companies for the superiority of pole barns over metal structures. Most of us are worried about the costs, which leads us to the first reason why pole barns are not better than metal barns.

Cost Determines the Sale


All of us know at one point or another what it’s like to not be able to afford something, whether it’s rent in those early years of going out on your own, or whether it’s the flat screen TV that’s just a few inches sharper and clearer than the one you have in your living room currently. With construction, cost is definitely a point of contention with many buyers. Often times, people will go with the less expensive option, even if it means their not getting the best value for their money. When choosing the structure that’s going to be on your property for many years, considering quality is absolutely the number one issue. If you get a cheaper barn, you might save money right away, but upkeep and maintenance and outright replacements will come to get you in the end. We’ve seen it happen before. Some of our customers were wooden barn owners before they were metal barn buyers. Wood is susceptible to a plethora of harmful outside influences. Firstly, fire, as the obvious one. Metal barns don’t burn. It’s as simple as that. They are also impervious to termites, which we wrote about here. Wood is inherently less reliable than metal. That’s why we don’t build cars out of wood, it decays over time, and parts may not be reused or replaced as easily. Sure, you can replace a piece of wood for cheaper than you can replace a piece of metal, but if you don’t have to replace a piece of your barn at all you’re better off.

Metal stands up to weather better too. Over time, heat and rain causes wood to accelerate it’s degradation process, and metal is impervious to these ailments. It’s true that metal buildings may cost more to begin with, but only slightly, and with a lot less cost in maintenance. We believe in buying things once, and for hopefully your entire lifetime. Wood barns have to be replaced in shorter timespans than that. Just take a look the next time you’re traveling on a country road at all the rotting decrepit wooden barns in the middle of large fields. Sure, they work, but not entirely. Metal barns don’t become rotting decrepit structures that could fall at the next strong gust of wind. They hold fast, like our promise to deliver you the best structure that can be created, and all the options you need to make it your own.

Metal Barns Offer More Space at the Same Dimensions


Pole barn sellers will tell you that given the correct dimensions your building will have all the space you require. It goes without saying that when you’re buying space, you intend to use it. With a pole barn, pretty much every one of them, no matter the size is going to have a large span of poles in the center. The number of poles and their space differs as you increase in size, effectively creating a ratio of the larger your pole barn, the more space you’re going to have taken up by the wooden poles. Strange isn’t it? The more you pay for a pole barn the more that it takes from you in the realm of space. For something less than forty feet, you may not have an interior support column. Yet, no matter what you’re going to have a truss with a flat cord trailing the ceiling supports. The beams don’t support the load of the structure as efficiently as metal does, and therefore you get more of them to equalize the pressure of the building. Herein, more cases where your building might require maintenance right off the bat. Metal Buildings do not require a truss system as detailed and elaborate as wooden buildings, but have increased wind and snow loads simply due to the superiority in engineering and the rigidity of the material. Also, when going higher in dimensions the structure increases in integrity, it does not decrease like a wooden pole barn. The bigger your pole barn, the more you’re going to pay for in materials, and the less space you’re going to have taken up by those very same materials.

So, the cost argument comes back in. If you look at what you’re paying for in available storage, and usable space, steel buildings are in fact cheaper by the cubic foot 99% of the time. In that 1%, you’re getting a pole barn that won’t last the winter. Our metal barns are engineered to be as efficiently oriented as possible, so the structure compliments itself in form and function in every aspect. Also, we don’t short change you with the amount of storage space that you’re receiving. Steel buildings are superior in the eyes of the military as well. They are used for aircraft hangars, buildings for soldiers, storage of weaponry, and everything in between. This is because their durability, affordability, and engineering prowess can simply not be topped by wood in the amount of space you get for your buck. We engineer each piece of steel to be as strong as the last, and all buildings that come from Elephant Structures are of the same quality as the previous ones. We’ve been getting customers more space for their money for 37 years, and it shows. Metal has not been around as a building material for as long as wood, but this is only due to technological advancement taking time to win out over tradition.

Metal Barns Increase Your Property Worth.


Pole barns do have the potential to increase your property value, it’s no great surprise that another structure on your property constructed by professionals will benefit you in some way. Most people need space when they buy a house, and if they’re buying a large house with land that needs to be maintained, they don’t want to have to know they’re going to need to build another structure in order to keep it up. However, it is also important to know that adding structures in areas that have open land, the value is decreased if the structure is not long term oriented, or has the capability to decrease in integrity over time. This is because required maintenance is factored in to the prices of property, and an interesting example of this is homes with swimming pools. Homes with swimming pools will cost less than the same home without one, because the next owner has to also take into account that the property must be maintained. Think of your metal barn as a swimming pool that doesn’t need to be cleaned every day, or maintained by a professional each month. It’s a swimming pool that you have to look after once a year, and only to make sure you don’t need to replace a screw that might’ve been removed by a strong windstorm or debris damaging a panel.

We will build metal barns on any surface, as long as that surface as level. But we do recommend putting that structure on concrete and choosing the site carefully. We’ve written about that more here. Pole barns do not require a foundation either, but this is in their case because they are not considered permanent structures. What the whole argument really boils down to is that you’re investing in something that is going to either depreciate or maintain the same value over time. Pole barns depreciate, and require more maintenance in order to maintain their value. This is the root of the argument for metal structures, not to mention the myriad of other reasons written here and on other areas of our blog. Make the right choice, and get the most value for your money. You earned it. We believe in giving customers the tools they need to reap benefits from their investments, not the other way around. Call in today for a free consultation from one of our metal barn experts.


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  1. Pingback: Our Metal Barns are For Sale Nationwide | Carport.com

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