How to Choose Between Barn Kits in Canada or a Metal Building

At first glance, wood pole barn kits for sale might look more affordable than a pre-engineered building package like those provided here at Global.

But look deeper – is it really cheaper?

In this article, we will review what pole barns and pole barn kits are; then, we’ll carefully compare wood pole barn packages and prefab barns made of metal by examining and comparing the structure and quality of their key building components. If you’re not convinced after that, we’ll even give you a free quote with an exact price for a  steel barn building with an endless variety of uses. Once you know all of the facts, you can decide for yourself which building type is best for you.

Let’s get started!

What are Pole Barns?

The name “pole barn” comes from the 1930s. During the Great Depression, farmers turned to the most cost-efficient materials they could to construct new affordable barns to be used as horse barns or storage sheds – they used recycled telephone poles. These “telephone pole barns” were shortened to simply “pole barns,” ushering in a new era of agricultural construction.

Pole barns are a type of post-frame construction,  a technique that has been used for centuries to rapidly build solid, dependable structures. Pole barn kits  are designed with posts as frame members buried a few feet into the ground. This post frame serves as  the main component of the foundation for these affordable barns. Advocates for wood pole barns argue that they are far less expensive and time-consuming to erect compared to other types of construction. However, farmers soon discovered that a low price is not always the best choice. In our analysis below, we show how low initial cost can lead to greater expenses down the road and how steel metal barns can wind up being a better value.

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What are Pole Barn Kits?

Barn kits in Canada consist of pre-packaged materials for your building project. You’re responsible for supplying the tools and labour.  Barn buildings like these can be purchased at the nearest home improvement retailer (i.e. Rona or Home Depot Canada). Prices vary by size and features.  Pole barn kits in Canada have increased significantly in price and material costs have increased significantly  over the past few years.

With over 35 years of design and construction experience in steel barn buildings, the Global Buildings Canada team  is trusted for their superior product, reliability and excellent customer service. Multi-generational farm families know that long-lasting metal components  outweigh cheap pole barn building prices that may require replacing in 10 years.

✔️ Let’s get started . . .

Pole Barns (Frame Buildings) vs. Metal Buildings: A Part Comparison

Structural Rigid Frames (Columns and Rafters)

Global Steel Buildings Pre-Engineered Steel Rigid Frames

Metal barn buildings consist of a rigid frame, plate steel and H-beam construction, similar to a traditional H column. A major  advantage of a steel barn rigid frame is that the frame is uniquely engineered for your barn building. Because these frames are computer-designed to withstand specific wind, rain, snow and seismic loads in your exact area, satisfying local building codes, no two rigid steel barn frames are the same.

Check out40×60 Shop Metal Building and Worldwide Steel Buildings: Ontario

Did you know that there are several active seismic locations in Canada? British Columbia is most likely to have a major earthquake, with the St. Lawrence and Ottawa River valleys coming in a close second.

Metal barns manufactured in Canada like ours are designed to handle the seismic loads needed all across Canada, whether you’re looking for horse barns in Alberta, storage sheds in Saskatchewan, or prefab barns in Ontario. Recent lumber shortages mean that pole  barn prices in Saskatchewan and prefab barns in Manitoba may not be much different than an engineered steel building.

Since no wood is used in our steel barns, no warping will occur, there’s no risk of fire or termites, AND insurance premiums will be less expensive than wood barns in Ontario. and all Canadian owners.

Our prefab barns have a 40-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship on all structural components. There is no need for maintenance on our barns against bugs and critters.

The trusses of prefab  barns that are made of metal, on the other hand, do not need a tension cord the length of the truss, which means there is complete unobstructed space within our prefab barns without columns. Birds cannot perch and defecate on the equipment and machinery like inside a wood pole barn, which will save you tremendous costs on maintenance.

Wood Frame Buildings –  Barns Columns and Rafters

Pole frame buildings are one of many types of construction adapted from the labour-intensive traditional timber frame structures technique to build a barn. It uses large wooden poles or posts buried in the ground or on a foundation to provide the vertical structural support, along with girts to provide horizontal support.

Pole barns are not engineered to local building codes. They are viewed as temporary structures. Ask your builder if the type of barn kit structure they are quoting you is being computer designed to withstand specific wind, rain, snow, and seismic loads in your area and if it meets the requirements of your local building codes. They will tell you that their pole barn building design is NOT classified as a permanent structure and will need extra maintenance (more than metal barns).

Barns, sometimes called post-frame buildings, manufactured using the post-frame construction method, will eventually warp over time.

Wood pole storage barns are a fire hazard and become a target for termites and other insects, raising the costs of insurance in Ontario and all Canadian owners.

Wood  pole barns are more expensive to insure because of their vulnerability to things like termites and fire. , Wood pole barns are NOT (excluding the metal roof) often a popular option for valuable vehicle storage, even more valuable farm equipment as agricultural buildings or common uses such as storage barns for commercial buildings for commercial use for high-value contents or tenants.

Wood pole barn kits in Canada  typically require a tension cord spanning across the truss width, causing tremendous loss of space. This also creates a perch for birds – with caustic defecation potentially damaging your machinery and equipment.

Roof Purlins and Girts Comparison

Global Canada Roof Purlins and Girts

A purlin used in metal barn construction runs parallel to the eave and supports the roof decking or sheeting. Barn building purlins are supported by the main frame rafter (part of the rigid frame).

A girt, or sheeting rail, used in metal barn construction runs parallel to the eave and laterally supports the wall panel or sheeting to resist wind loads. Girts are supported by the main frame rafter (part of the rigid frame) or end wall column.

The purlins and girts for our metal barns are superior, 16-gauge zinc-galvanized steel. These barns are all steel barns; there is no wood used anywhere.

A purlin used in metal barn construction runs parallel to the barn’s eave and supports the roof decking or sheeting. Purlins are supported by the main frame rafter (part of the rigid frame).

Post Frame Purlins and Girts

Wood pole barns manufacturers typically use wood purlins and girts, which will bow or bend over time, causing screws to loosen, sheets to flap and leaks to occur within the post frame barn.

Pole barn kits in Canada are typically all wood construction, furthering the potential for termite and fire damage and leading to higher insurance costs and greater potential for damage to pole barn contents.

Roof Sheeting Comparison

Global Buildings Roof Sheeting

The Global Barns steel barn roofing system consists of maintenance-free 80 yield, 26-gauge, AZ55 Galvalume®, which consists of 55% aluminum, 44% zinc and 1% silicon. This steel is among some of the best materials you can buy on the market today, and for good reason.

The steel mill we work with provides a 25-year rust-proof warranty on perforation, meaning that if a hole develops in a steel barn roof panel due to corrosion, the steel mill will replace it.

Our affordable barns have a 1½” depth in our corrugation in the sheeting. The extra depth of corrugation adds strength.

Our panel overlap (called a reversed “L”) prevents water from backing up through the overlap into the Global metal barns.

Pole Barns Roof Sheeting

Pole barn builders offer only a 15-year guarantee on the roof sheeting. Typically wood barn buildings only use sheeting with a zinc coating that eventually will oxidize, fade, and then rust, causing perforation holes allowing water inside the barns.

Post-frame pole barn buildings typically only use 29-gauge steel on the roof trusses, which is lighter than 26-gauge steel, and only a 5/8″ depth of corrugation that does not provide the extra strength a Global steel barnhas.

Often, pole barn kit manufacturing competitors use an ‘R’ panel roof, which means the sheeting only overlaps a third of the way into the corrugation. This doesn’t prevent leakage as well as the reverse ‘L’ design that Global uses for its steel barns because the water will back up into the pole building.

Fasteners Comparison

Global Buildings Fasteners

 The capped fasteners we use for our metal barns are top quality materials, stainless steel.

They won’t rust, and they includean industry warranty. It is very important that the fasteners be compatible with the AZ55 or AZ50 Galvalume® because the steel mill will not warranty  a wood pole barn roof if they’re incompatible.

Pole Barns Construction Fasteners

When it comes to wood pole barns and pole barn kits, building manufacturers typically only warranty the roof for 10, 15, or maybe 20 years if you’re lucky.

Wood horse barn buildings typically use fasteners with an alloy head that will tarnish and turn dark gray or black; the roof of the pole barn then loses its lustre and beauty.

Paint Coating Comparison

Global Buildings Paint Coating

The paint used on our buildings has a 40-year warranty against chipping, cracking, peeling and blistering.

The coating is a baked-on polyester paint so that the Global Building metal  barns maintain  their colour and beauty for a lifetime.

Pole Barns Paint

Wood barn kits need to be painted or stained after the pole barn is erected if you want a surface coating. Your paint job will only have the guarantee of the paint or stain manufacturer. Because the painting surface is wood, it will likely need to be repainted or re-treated every ten years or so.

Foundation Considerations

Global Building Foundation

Pre-engineered metal barn buildings utilize an engineered concrete foundation that integrates with the rigid frame and end wall columns.

Your foundation engineer will provide exact details to you and your construction manager on what is required for a metal barn foundation in your area with no guessing on your part.

The concrete slab is poured after the structure’s foundation is complete.

Additional features can easily be included in the slab design, like in-floor radiant heating to increase the potential uses for your steel barn.

The foundation can also be designed for building expansion or additions like expanding the length of your barn building or adding a lean-to.

Wood Pole Barn Foundation

With post-frame construction of a pole barn, wood posts or columns are set in concrete like a fence post, which  can be a problem in frost areas like those throughout Canada.

This approach to pole barn kits  is to use low-tech building materials.

Freezing will cause the posts to expand and crack the concrete post foundation. Sometimes, it softens the wood pole barn post, and that moist, softened wood leads to rot.

Many builders believe that pressure-treated wood posts solves that problem. But if you are constructing a horse barn, your horses are going to nibble at the wood, which leads to eating arsenic and potentially poisoning them.

Builders with years of experience know there are other workarounds, but again, this is not a permanent building, so you will end up replacing your  barn building. This makes it a much less affordable barn in the long run.

Steel is Supreme

For all these reasons and more, a barn building made primarily out of wood is not recommended, especially for uses like a storage facility, a garage, or a workshop. Prefab metal barns  are the best choice for buildings like these.

Other common uses for pre-engineered buildings include airplane hangars, metal shops, and industrial buildings. Metal buildings can also replace wood buildings that are commonly used as horse barns in Canada, horse stalls, indoor riding arenas, and  housing for livestock.

Our steel barn buildings are trusted for their ability to protect their contents from even the harshest of elements. Not only are  prefab barns great at protecting their contents, but they are better for your bottom line, saving you costly insurance and maintenance costs. If you’re looking for truly affordable barns in Canada, steel barns are the way to go.

With over 35 years of design and construction experience, here at Global Steel Buildings Canada, we are trusted for our superior product, reliability and excellent customer service. We are happy to provide a free quote for your next prefab barn or shed made of steel . Click Here.