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

At first glance, wood pole barn kits for sale might look cheaper 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 metal buildings 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 metal 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 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, which is a technique that has been used for centuries to rapidly build solid, dependable structures. Pole shed packages are designed with posts as frame members buried a few feet into the ground. This post frame serves as a main component of the foundation for these barns. Advocates for wood pole barns argue that they are far less expensive and time-consuming to erect compared to other types of construction. But farmers soon discovered that a low price is not always the best choice.

What are Pole Barn Kits?

Barn kits in Canada consists of pre-packaged materials for your building project. You’re responsible for supplying the tools and labor. Frame buildings like these can be purchased at the nearest home improvement retailer (i.e. Rona or Home Depot Canada). Price varies by size, features, and current pole barn kit prices and material costs have increased significantly the past few years for barns.

With over 35 years of design and construction experience the Global Buildings Canada team are trusted for their superior product, reliability and excellent customer service. Multi generation farm families know that long lasting metal components outway cheap pole barn 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 buildings consist of rigid frame, plate steel and H beam construction, similar to a traditional H column. Pole frame buildings is one of many types of construction adapted from the labor-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. A major difference with a steel rigid frame is that the frame is uniquely engineered for your 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 frames are the same.

Pole barns are not engineered to local building codes. They are viewed as temporary structures.

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.

Barns manufactured in Canada like ours are designed to handle the seismic loads needed all across Canada, whether you’re looking for barns in Alberta or barns in Ontario. Ask your builder if the type of pole barn frame structure they are quoting you is being computer designed to withstand specific wind, rain, snow and seismic loads in your exact area to satisfy local building codes. They will probably tell you that their pole building barns design is NOT classified as a permanent structure.

Recent lumber shortages mean that pole shed prices in Saskatchewan and poles sheds 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. 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.

The truss of prefab metal barns, on the other hand, does not need a tension cord the length of the truss, which means there is complete unobstructed space within our 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

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

Ask your builder if the type of post frame structure they are quoting you is being computer designed to withstand specific wind, rain, snow and seismic loads in your exact area need, for example Ontario local building codes.

They will might tell you that their pole barns design is NOT classified as a permanent structure and will need extra maintenance (more than metal barns).

Wood post frame buildings are more expensive to insure because of their vulnerability to things like termites and fire. On the other hand, 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.

Wood 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 post frame barns manufacturers typically require a tension cord spanning across the truss width causing tremendous loss of space. This 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 construction runs parallel to the eave and supports the roof decking or sheeting. Purlins are supported by the main frame rafter (part of rigid frame).

A girt, or sheeting rail, used in metal 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 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; there is no wood used anywhere.

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

A Girt or Sheeting Rail used in metal barns 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 rigid frame) or end wall column.

Post Frame Purlins and Girts

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

Roof Sheeting Comparison

Global Buildings Roof Sheeting

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

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

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

Pole Barns Roof Sheeting

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

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

Post frame 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 barns has.

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 because the water will back up into the pole building.

Fasteners Comparison

Global Buildings Fasteners

Our capped fasteners are top quality materials stainless steel.

They won’t rust and includes an industry warranty. It is very important that the fasteners be compatible with the AZ55 or AZ50 because the steel mill will not warranty the 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 buildings typically use fasteners with an alloy head that will tarnish and turn dark gray or black; the roof of the barn then loses its luster 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 pole barns maintain its colour and beauty for a lifetime.

Pole Barns Paint

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.

Foundation Considerations

Global Building Foundation

Pre-engineered 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 foundation in your area with no guessing on your part.

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

Additional features can easily be included in the slab design like in-floor radiant heating.

The foundation can also be designed for building expansion or additions like expanding the length 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, but this can be a problem in frost areas like those throughout Canada.

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

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

Many builders believe that pressure treated wood posts solves that problem. But 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 custom barns.

Steel is Supreme

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

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 stalls, indoor riding arenas, and to house livestock.

Our buildings are trusted for their ability to protect their contents from even the harshest of elements. Not only are pre-engineered metal buildings great at protecting their contents, but they are better for your bottom line, saving you costly insurance and maintenance costs.

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 steel building Click Here.