Pole Barns vs. Metal Buildings for Farms

11 May 2021 Custom Building

If you are looking to construct a barn or other building for your farm in the near future, you have likely been considering a pole barn or metal building. Both methods are widely utilized and offer their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to determine the best option. When comparing pole barns vs. metal buildings for farms, the best choice will largely depend on your needs and budget. As leading providers of agricultural building construction services, the team at Twin Maple Construction has outlined some important information for each building type alongside some advantages and disadvantages.

Learn about what pole barns can be used for.

Pole Barns

Also referred to as post frame construction, pole barns are a style of building that utilizes wooden poles known as “beams” to support the exterior walls and roof. The beams are buried in the ground and provide vertical support, while rails are attached to them to provide horizontal support. Pole barns are a great choice for farms as they can be used to house livestock, store equipment, and many other purposes.


Advantages of pole barns include:

  • A tried-and-true method of agricultural construction.
  • Simplistic construction that allows for faster completion.
  • They do not require any materials other than wood, making them extremely cost-effective.
  • No foundation or concrete floor is required, further reducing costs.
  • Durability and resistance to handle many different uses and environments.

Potential Disadvantages

Potential disadvantages of post frame construction include:

  • Can potentially rot and suffer other damage due to moisture and insects.
  • More frequent maintenance is required.
  • They do not retain heat very well.
  • Can be more expensive to repair.
  • Not as durable as metal buildings and typically will not last as long.

Metal Buildings

Also referred to as steel-frame structures, metal buildings are often constructed from prefabricated steel panels. Metal buildings do not require beams to support the walls and roof, but they typically require a concrete foundation. A steel-frame structure is a popular modern choice for farmers that deal with extreme weather or need to house a large number of livestock.


Advantages of metal buildings include:

  • Fireproof and no risk of rot or rust, ensuring a longer usable life.
  • Nearly maintenance-free.
  • Great resistance to leaks.
  • Retains heat well, making them great for livestock.
  • Often costs less to insure.

Potential Disadvantages

Potential disadvantages for steel-frame structures include:

  • More expensive.
  • Can take longer to construct and often require professional installation.
  • Requires a concrete foundation, which can further increase costs.

The best choice for your needs will largely depend on what you intend to use the building for, your environment, and your budget.

For assistance choosing the best building style for your farm, reach out to the team at Twin Maple Construction through our online contact form. They will work with you to assess your needs and deliver the perfect solution for your farm or agricultural operation.