Read here for details on common barn materials and foundational choices, as well as key factors to help you decide which ones you should use.

1. Cost

Setting a budget before you start is prudent. From that starting point, you can make informed decisions based on what your priorities are.

Barns made of metal are typically cheaper than those made of wood. Fewer materials, in the form of framing and structural support, are needed and the materials cost less, with prefab metal barns ranging in price between $7 and $25 per square foot. Additionally, your labor costs are reduced as fewer man-hours are required for the streamlined process of erecting a pole barn.

Traditional timber barns, conversely, can be priced as high as $45 per square foot.

2. Insulation and Ventilation

Ventilation has always been an important consideration. The materials and design you choose should allow for sufficient air flow. Large barn doors help to let fresh air in, but how then do you balance that with adequate insulation?

The posts of pole barns are spaced widely apart, reducing the number of thermal breaks in the envelope of the building. This results in better insulation. Wood is a natural insulator, which is why many metal barns include timber cladding on the inner wall.

3. Fire Safety

Because of the nature of barns – set apart from your residence, used to store various goods, and often in remote or rural locations – fire prevention is a top concern. When selecting the best materials for your barn, look for those that will buy you the most time to get your possessions, livestock, etc. out of danger.

Although wood is combustible, timber can be treated with a flame-retardant. Metal, on the other hand, is non-combustible.

4. Durability

Farming is synonymous with words such as “rugged”, “tough”, and “hard-working”. You expect nothing less from your barn! Being a big investment, you want your barn to be a durable structure that will stand the test of time. As charming as traditional wooden structures look, timber is vulnerable to the elements. Without considerable upkeep, natural wood is susceptible to mold and rotting after exposure to rain and snow.

If you lack the manpower, time, or inclination to regularly maintain your barn, prefabricated materials are a worthy option.

5. Location and Climate

Considering Colorado Springs’ climate, you may want flexibility regarding the layout of your barn. Conventional brick and mortar buildings are restricted in terms of design, size, and location. By merging reliable methods and materials with innovative new technology, post-frame and modular buildings are the solution! Using the natural incline on which your barn is located is the most cost effective way to manage water run-off. At the very least, consider a gravel floor. Where possible, slope your floor towards a drain to prevent standing water caused by Colorado’s thunderstorms and melting snow.

6. Don’t Forget Your Foundation

The barn foundations used for post-frame construction are one of the most appealing aspects of this style. Whether you are using metal or wood, the structure can be built on unlevel ground, gravel, or even dirt because the frame is set into concrete footers. Even though there is no need for an asphalt or concrete slab, the design is sturdy and secure.

Peak Pole Barns and Manufacturing specializes in the design and construction of all kinds of pole barn structures including tack rooms, horse barns, agricultural buildings, and garages. Contact us to discuss the barn materials most suitable for your pole barn needs.