If you’re planning to build an outbuilding on your property in the near future, you’ve probably stumbled across both pole barns and steel-framed buildings as potential options. But what’s the difference between a pole barn vs. a steel-framed building, and how important are these differences to the integrity of your build?
We’re glad you asked! Here at Beehive Buildings, we are committed to providing our customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to their build. Find out the pros and cons of pole barns vs. steel-framed buildings in the sections below!
Pole Barns vs. Steel-framed Buildings: The Pros & Cons
The first step in any construction project is deciding on your foundation. With a steel-framed building, you must first excavate (one-day process), pour footings (one-day process), pour foundation (one-day process), and then wait one week to backfill. This concrete foundation is necessary in order to secure the steel columns to rafter beams to create the building’s frame. Due to the time and materials involved in this process, you’ll typically find a steel building is more expensive.
By contrast, pole barns don’t require a foundation to be in place. Pole barns are built by augering (digging) holes and inserting pressure-treated wooden poles (one-day process) set up to 12’ apart to create the framing. From there, the framing is anchored below frost level, ensuring that the building is secured properly. In fact, pad preparation for a pole barn only needs to be at least 6” taller than any area within 8 to 10 feet of the building, which can be easily achieved with a fill material, such as road base or gravel.
In both steel-framed buildings and pole buildings, a concrete floor can be added after the foundation is laid, later on in the construction process or sometime down the road if you decided a concrete floor is right for you.
As the name suggests, steel-framed buildings are constructed from steel; however, they can be cladded in other metal materials, such as aluminum, as well. For this reason, steel-framed buildings are exceptionally resistant to fire, pests, decay, rot, mildew, mold and extreme weather conditions. Because metal is used throughout the entire build, these buildings are considered to be highly durable.
Despite what one may believe about the durability of wooden poles, the pressure-treated wood used at Beehive Buildings is rated as UC4B, preserved and able to withstand all weather cycles with a high risk for decay. Not only that, but there is a large variety of pole barn siding options that clients can choose from to complete their build.
Many of our pole barns are completed using metal siding for a more durable, long-lasting building that is resistant to the same pests and environmental factors as steel-framed buildings. Put simply, the resiliency of pressure-treated wood is comparable to that of steel buildings.
The cost of pole barns vs. steel-framed buildings is also something to consider: Steel-framed buildings have a much higher price point than pole barns. This is largely due to the types of materials used and the need to have a completely level foundation with poured concrete to build and anchor the frame. Comparatively, pole barns are a much more affordable option that provides all of the functionality of steel-framed and other building options without sacrificing quality or durability.
Pole Barn vs. Steel-framed building? Let Beehive Buildings Help!
Still wondering if a pole barn vs. steel-framed building construction is right for you? Beehive Buildings is here to help! Our team has years of experience handcrafting custom pole barns for clients throughout the Western United States. Through our deeply personalized approach, we ensure each build is completed on budget, on time, every time. Connect with our team to receive a custom pole barn construction quote today!
Do you travel down to central Utah to put buildings up? I’m in the Delta area and considered a pole building. If you do, is there any buildings in the area you have done? Thanks
We can definitely build down in your area. I believe the closest we’ve built to you is in Levan where we’ve done a couple buildings for a customer. If you’d like to chat about a building or get a free quote, please feel free to reach out to our Sales Manager, Jake, at 801-529-4222 or Sales@BeehiveBuildings.com.
My anticipated building lot has a slope that would accommodate a “walk-out basement” using traditional construction. Would pole construction adapt to the slope, either by 1) considering the excavated level (traditional basement level) as the main/ground level, or by 2) anchoring the poles on the basement/foundation wall or 3) other method?
Pole buildings are best on a mostly level property. There are times when we can pour a foundation and set the posts in saddles.
If you’re in Utah, Wyoming or Idaho and are interested in building with us, please contact our Sales Manager, Jake, and he can assist you with your particular situation. his contact info is 801-529-4222 or Sales@BeehiveBuildings.com.
If you’re out of our building area, I recommend calling a pole building contractor in your area and asking for their opinion on your potential building lot.