When you’re looking at building a barndominium, you’ll have to choose between a pole barn and steel frame construction.
If you’re like me, you thought they were the same thing. But it turns out that the two are quite different.
So this post will cover the difference between the two as well as go over the pros and cons of each option.
What is a pole barn?
Pole barns are so called because they are supported by large wooden poles that are buried deep in the ground.
Constructing a building this way is often less expensive because you don’t have to build a foundation. It also allows the building to be put up wherever it’s needed without a lot of grading or site prep.
Traditionally, pole barns are constructed to house animals so speed and simplicity of construction are most valuable. However, this type of building can also be made into a barndominium.
Pros & cons of pole barn barndominiums
|Inexpensive||Potential fire hazard may increase insurance|
|Easy to install||Poles may shift in soil|
|Flexible site prep||Susceptible to rot & termites|
What is a steel building?
Steel buildings are simply structures built from steel framing and bolted into a concrete foundation.
The metal construction is not only very sturdy but also extremely hardy and long-lasting. Building this way does require some site preparation and a foundation, but you will have very little ongoing maintenance.
Metal buildings have traditionally been used to build storage buildings, garages, and workshops. But it’s becoming more common to convert metal buildings into primary residences.
Pros and cons of steel barndominiums
|Inexpensive compared to stick build||May be more expensive than pole barn|
|Quick to build||Requires concrete foundation|
|Long lasting||Potential for rust|
|Fire, rot, & pest resistant|
Pole barn vs steel: Which is best?
Despite their differences, pole barns and steel buildings both have characteristics that make them great for barndominium builds.
Ultimately, you’ll have to look at both options with your construction company and choose the best method for your location and floor plan.
In some cases, wood may be more expensive than steel or vice versa. You may even decide that a hybrid build is right for you.
The best decision is one that fits your ideal, budget, and location.
Which did you choose?
Share your experience in the comments!