Pole Barn vs. Steel Building Cost [Per SQFT & By Size]
When it comes to building a new structure, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important is cost. How much will it cost to build the structure? And how does that compare to other options?
The average pole barn cost $20 per sqft while the average steel building will cost on average $30 an sqft. Therefore, it is safe to say, that Building a pole barn is significantly more affordable than constructing a steel building.
In this article, we’ll be comparing the cost of building a pole barn and a steel building to see which one is the best option for you. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when deciding.
Whichever construction style you choose, we will go through costs and pros and cons to make an informed decision.
Pole Barn Cost
The most significant advantage of a pole barn is the cost. Building a pole barn is significantly more affordable than constructing a steel building. This makes pole barns an attractive option for those working with a tight budget or who need a smaller structure.
Pole barns are also very simple structures. They are primarily constructed out of wood, making assembly easy and the need for expertise to a minimum. This simplicity makes them easy and quick to build, saving you money on labor costs.
The main disadvantage of a pole barn is that it is not as weatherproof as a steel building. Pole barns are prone to leaks and don’t hold up as well in severe weather conditions. If you live in an area that is prone to heavy rains or snow, a steel building may be a better option.
The main cost of a pole barn is the cost of materials. You can expect to pay around $13 per square foot for the materials alone. This doesn’t include labor cost, which can add another $8 per square foot to the total cost. A standard pole barn size is 24×24, which will cost you about $15,000. You can get smaller or larger kits depending on your needs.
|Size||Cost||Cost Per Sq. Ft.|
|16×16||$5,000 to $10,000||$10 to $25|
|20×30||$6,500 to $20,000||$12 to $30|
|24×24||$7,500 to $18,000||$13 to $30|
|40×60||$25,000 to $47,000||$12 to $30|
|50×80||$32,000 to $65,000||$11 to $30|
It is important to consider the cost that goes into the construction of a pole barn. These costs include site prep, insulation, foundation, finishes, plumbing, and labor.
When considering a 24×24 pole barn that costs $15,000, here are how some of the cost breaks down
24×24 Pole Barn Breakdown
Site prep: $600
Plumbing and electrical: $1,500
Totaling up, the cost of a pole barn comes to around $15,000. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and site preparation.
Maintenence can be another factor in pricing out how much it costs to own a pole barn. The typical maintenance that has to be done on a pole barn every 5 to 10 years is painting, caulking, and weatherproofing. This usually costs around $2,000 every 5 to 10 years for a standard size unit.
When considering if a pole barn is a good choice for you, make sure to take into account the cost of ownership and maintenance. You’ll have to make sure your wood doesn’t rot and replace any rotted wood every few years. This can add an additional $1,000 to $2,000 to the total cost of ownership.
The cost of wood has recently become very expensive, which can make the expense of your pole barn significantly more. You can expect to pay around $1,000 more per thousand board feet with the current market.
Pole barns are known to be good options because of their simplicity and affordability.
If you’re thinking of building a pole barn, you can expect to pay an average of $20,000, which averages out to $20 per square foot. A pole barn will range anywhere from $12,000 to $40,000. The size, features, and labor involved will help determine the final price.
Steel Building Cost
The cost of a steel building varies when you consider size, features, and location, but you can expect to pay at least $30 per square foot. The standard size for a steel-constructed building is 40×60, costing you around $35,000.
Steel-constructed buildings can range from $23,000 to $60,000+ if you decide you want a large building with nice finishes and extra features.
When considering a steel building, you also need to factor in the cost of the foundation, site prep, finishes, layout, and labor. The total cost of these items can add an additional $10,000 to $15,000 to the cost of the building.
The main advantage of steel buildings is their durability. Steel buildings can withstand severe weather conditions and are less likely to suffer damage from wind or rain. They are also more fire-resistant, making them a better option for those who live in areas prone to wildfires.
|Size||Cost||Cost Per Sq. Ft.|
|20 x 30||$9,000 to $26,000||$15 to $30|
|24×24||$8,500 to $20,000||$15 to $30|
|24×40||$13,000 to $42,000||$13 to $45|
|40×60||$30,000 to $99,000||$13 to $45|
|60×100||$70,000 to $255,000||$10 to $45|
Steel buildings are also more customizable than pole barns. There is a broader range of finishes and features that you can choose from, giving you more flexibility in designing your building. This also allows you to build a larger structure.
The main disadvantage of steel buildings is that they are more expensive than pole barns.
Here is a breakdown of some costs of a standing 40×60 steel constructed building:
40×60 Steel Building Cost Breakdown
Site prep: $1,600
Finishes: $5,000 (this would include features such as windows, doors, HVAC, etc.)
Plumbing and electrical: $1,500
Totaling up, the cost of a steel building averages $35,000. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and site preparation.
Like with pole barns, it is crucial to consider the cost of ownership and maintenance for steel buildings. You will also need to budget for annual maintenance, which typically costs around $500. This includes things such as painting, caulking, and weatherproofing.
When considering if a steel building is a good choice for you, make sure to take into account the cost of ownership and maintenance. Steel prices have gone up since the pandemic by over 215% and are not projected to go down in the next year, which should be assessed when building your steel building.
Steel building construction is another popular option that you may be considering.
The average steel building will cost you $35,000, which averages $30 per square foot. The range for a steel building is $23,000 to $60,000. The finishes you choose, size, layout, labor, features, and location will help define the cost. Steel construction is an excellent option for those who want larger structures that need to stand up to the elements.
Labor cost is one of the most important factors to consider when building a pole barn or steel building. With pole barns, you can do a lot of the work yourself, which can save you a lot of money. You will need to have some construction experience and be comfortable using power tools to do this.
The average hourly rate for someone to build your pole barn is $30, while the average rate for a steel building is $45. This can add up to significant savings when constructing a larger facility.
When deciding if a pole barn or steel building is suitable for you, it is important to consider the cost of labor.
The cost of laborers for a pole barn will cost you about 12% less than a steel building.
With a steel building, more specialized professionals will need to do almost all of the work, which can add a lot to the project’s cost.
The main advantage of having a professional build your steel building is getting a warranty on the structure. Most contractors offer a 10-year warranty on their workmanship.
Should I Choose A Pole Barn or Steel Construction?
When deciding whether to build a pole barn or a steel building, there are several factors you should consider. The primary considerations are cost, durability, and customization.
Pole barns are generally cheaper to construct than steel buildings. They also typically require more maintenance which adds up over time and should be factored into your decision.
Steel buildings are more expensive to construct, but they are more durable and customizable than pole barns. They can withstand severe weather conditions and are less likely to suffer damage from wind, snow, or rain. They also have a higher fire rating, making them a better option for those who live in areas prone to wildfires.
When deciding which type of building is best for you, consider your budget, the climate where you live, and your needs. If you are looking for a cheaper option that will require more maintenance, then a pole barn is the right choice for you. If you are looking for a durable and customizable building, then a steel building may be a better.