5 Reasons to Pick a Metal Building Over a Traditional Pole Barn for Your Livestock Shelter

Pole barns are relatively inexpensive and go up quickly, but this old-fashioned building style has a few drastic disadvantages to the livestock farmer. Choosing a pre-engineered metal building kits allows you to save money and enjoy similar assembly speed without the drawbacks of using wood pole framing. These five advantages of the metal building will keep your livestock safe and healthy whether you run a hobby farm or rely on your animals for your livelihood.

Fire Resistance

With over 800 barn fires a year claiming the lives of valuable livestock and destroying expensive equipment, it's a wonder that responsible farmers are still choosing wood as a building material for their outdoor structures. Metal framed buildings won't collapse even if the walls and roof burn off, allowing you to at least salvage the frame and rebuild at a lower cost. Choosing sheet metal roofing and walls makes the entire structure fire resistant, which is crucial when you're storing hay in an area with plenty of heat being generated by the live animals and their manure. Even with metal cladding, a wood pole barn is particularly susceptible to fire.

Air Circulation

Unless you're caring for prize show horses in a very cold climate, your livestock likely produces more than enough heat on their own to stay warm in a basic enclosed barn. This means that air circulation is crucial to keep ammonia and other fumes from building up and causing respiratory problems. Metal building kits are designed with uniform spacing and gaps, making it easier to leave spaces open around the roof edges and other areas to create a steady flow of fresh air without making the space too drafty. It's also easy to mount large circulating fans and other heavy air moving devices when you've got a sturdy metal frame to handle the extra weight of the equipment.

Size Limitation

Considering a very wide barn so you can fit in more pens or stalls? Wide pole barns require all sorts of extra supports and costly design considerations, while metal barns can be engineered to practically any width with minimal increases in cost. Metal barns also help you make more efficient use of the space due to:

  • the reduction in the need for pillars and supports to hold up the center of the building, referred to as a clear span design
  • increased free space under the rafters for adding storage space for tack and hay, due to the elimination of complex supports and braces
  • straighter and more level lines, reducing lost space due to uneven framing that prevents you from properly enclosing spaces to make offices or storage rooms.

Building Code Compliance

Whether you live in a rural and agricultural area or not, you're under the jurisdiction of your county's building code restrictions. Throwing together a simple pole barn could leave you paying thousands of dollars in fines for violating these complex rules, in addition to tearing down the offending barn shortly after constructing it. Sticking with a pre-engineered building means you'll be meeting both national and county building code requirements, especially if you work with the company designing to package to make sure they're aware of your local restrictions.

Maintenance Reduction

Finally, consider the costs of replacing rotten framing posts in your wood pole barn when trying to decide if you can afford a metal building. You do need to pour a foundation for a pre-engineered kit, but this is a worthwhile effort if you plan to use the barn for more than just a few years. Most basic pole barns involve placing telephone poles or similar treated posts directly into the ground. Sitting in wet soil rots all wood eventually, no matter how the wood is treated. Tearing out the supports every decade or so just to keep the barn from collapsing significantly inflates the price of a "cheap" wood pole barn over the long haul.

Learn more about your options by contacting companies like Commercial Industries Company Inc.


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