Wood vs Metal: Which is Best for Your Barn?

Traditionally wooden structures, barns built with metal are becoming increasingly popular largely because they are known to save money, both during building as well as in the long run. But is it worth it? Wood and metal are two incredibly different materials, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. To help you find which is best for your barn, here are some ways to balance out the pros and cons and figure out if a metal barn is cheaper and worth the money saved.


When it comes to price, there is a clear winner – metal buildings are much more cost-effective as they are much cheaper to build than wooden structures. Not only are the materials cheaper when building a metal barn, but they are also much quicker to construct. As labor is typically one of the largest expenses of any building project, this makes metal buildings cheaper by far. If you’re trying to keep building costs down, a metal building might be the way to go.

Due to the rising steel prices, choose a metal barn company who can give you a secure price. For example, the metal barn builders at Armstrong Steel allow you to lock in your price once you determine what your requirements are. Transparency is key when looking to buy a metal barn, so avoid any companies who have hidden fees or are misleading in what the final price will be.

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But is a metal barn cheaper in the long run? Well, upkeep of a metal barn is cheaper than that of a wooden barn as the latter is susceptible to pests like termites and water damage, whilst their metal counterpart will free you from these worries. You can also expect to repaint a wooden building every five to ten years, which wouldn’t be necessary in a metal model.

As well as this, metal barns are much cheaper to expand due to their prefabricated members and panels, so if you own a budding business, a metal barn will suit your needs for expansion.


Both wood and metal structures are built to withstand the elements but both materials have their downfalls. For wood, a porous material, it is likely that wet weather will have harsher effects than on a metal barn, such as leaking and rotting, and it will also carry the risk of infestation and mold. Changes in temperature can also be harmful to wooden barns as they can cause the wood to expand and shrink, which may lead to cracks and loss of strength. For metal barns, hailstorms may cause dents in their exterior, though these risks will be less detrimental than water issues, especially if your barn is used to store machinery. Weather and your surroundings should be considered when making this decision.

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Personal Preference

With practical factors to consider, it shouldn’t be forgotten that making this decision can involve preference, too – especially if you’ll be living nearby your barn. The look of wood and metal barns is very different and many people consider wood barns to be a thing of beauty, whilst metal barns by some are considered plain – though many love them. The two materials also split opinion with the sounds they make in wind and rain – metal barns are far noisier, thrumming in the rain and sometimes rattling in the wind. Some enjoy these noises and others find them to be a distraction. Either way, if you feel strongly about these factors, they may play a key role in your choice of barn.

Balancing up all of these factors should make it clearer which material will suit you. Both wood and metal buildings have some great advantages so whichever way you go, your new barn will be a great addition to your business.

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