5 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Pre-Engineered Steel Barn Over Wood

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Pre-Engineered Steel Barn Over Wood

Metal Structure Concepts installed a customized steel barn at Preston Ranch in Fort St. John, BC.

Here in Western Canada, we use agricultural buildings for just about everything, including storing crops from grain to grapes as well as for protecting livestock and equipment. With the advances in technology and changes in climate that have occurred over the last decade, it’s more important than ever to have more resistant buildings that can stand up to the weather as well as fire and other extreme conditions. A traditional wood or pole barn is also harder to insulate as well as maintain and repair. Here are five reasons why pre-engineered steel barns are the perfect choice over wood for a commercial farm, ranch, and other agricultural and eco-tourism operation.


1. They’re More Durable Than Pole Barns

Unlike the wood beams or poles used as support in traditional barn buildings, steel buildings have an edge. That’s because all their structural support comes from one of the strongest and most durable materials on earth — yep, you guessed it, steel. Where a pole barn usually has no foundation, the steel frame columns used in pre-engineered steel buildings are typically anchored to a concrete foundation or pad, which offers increased durability. Pole barn frames are also usually held together by nails, whereas, all steel parts used in prefab buildings are bolted and screwed together for extra strength. 


2. They’re Able to Withstand Extreme Weather Conditions

We’ve all heard about Dorothy’s farmhouse, which was tossed around in that tornado from The Wizard of Oz. That likely wouldn’t have happened if Auntie Em and Uncle Henry had a steel frame barn. Unlike wood, pre-engineered buildings made from steel are known to better withstand extreme weather conditions such as hurricane-force winds and even seismic activity in earthquake zones.


3. They Offer Secure Insulation

Anyone who has ever spent a winter on the Prairies knows how low the temperature can dip. A well-insulated barn is vital to protect livestock, machinery, and crops during extreme cold and heat conditions. Steel is not only a better conductor of heat than wood; all pre-engineered metal buildings use high R-value rated insulation and vapour barriers to prevent moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations from permeating the interior. Steel frame barns also do not warp, expand or shrink, unlike wood barns, which can lose their strength and crack with extreme temperature change.


4. They’re Resistant to Insects, Mould, Rot, Fire, and Rust

Most agricultural properties are left out in the open to the elements and can sometimes succumb to their surrounding environment. That’s where steel frame barns have an advantage over pole barns. Steel is not as susceptible to insect infestations, mould or rotting as wood, and steel also offers much more fire resistance than wood. Rust is also not a problem with the anti-corrosion coatings used on pre-engineered steel panels.


5. They’re More Economical Over Time

While on the surface, wood barns may seem to be cheaper to build, as they don't require a foundation. However, a metal barn will cost you less in the long run because steel buildings are virtually maintenance free and can last up to 25 years before any significant repair work is needed, while wood barns can often succumb to rot and damage from shifting in a shorter period. 


For more information on how commercial steel buildings can help your agricultural business, read our Case Study about the build we did for Preston Ranch: Not Your Average Steel Barn.


Are you looking for economical steel buildings for your commercial, industrial or agricultural operation? Contact Metal Structure Concepts for a free quote and look at our project gallery for the many buildings we have provided across Western and Northern Canada.