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Equestrian Facility

Metal or Wood: Which New Barn is Right for You

by Ben King | Wednesday May 18, 2016 | Building Tips

Got barn on the brain? The decision to build a new barn is a major one, and your mind might be spinning in a whirl of options.

One of the essential questions is often: metal or wood? This guide will help you make the best choice for you, your horses, and your property.

Metal Barn

This barn style is a popular option because it can be less expensive to build than a wood barn. Like any construction material, metal offers benefits and drawbacks.

Pros

  • Corrosion resistance. Metal is resistant to corrosion, which can translate into fewer maintenance projects.
  • Expansion possibilities. Metal buildings often come in modular designs that make it relatively simple to add space when it’s time to expand.
  • Quicker construction. Whether you erect the structure yourself or hire a team of professional builders, a metal structure can typically be assembled more quickly than a traditional wood barn.

Cons

  • Dent-ability. Storms, winds, and hail can dent metal barns. Their panels are also more vulnerable to damage from equipment and projectiles. In addition, a professional may need to repair or replace the metal panels with special tools, even if the damage is relatively minor.
  • Safety. A horse that kicks through a metal panel might seriously injure itself on the jagged edges. If you house your horse in an metal barn, consider lining it with plywood to create a safer environment.
  • Noise. Sound may not be a factor if you’re using a metal barn strictly for storage; however, if you plan to keep horses in the structure, consider whether they’ll be spooked by the noise generated when a rainstorm strikes.
  • Heat and fire. A metal barn absorbs and retains heat, often creating an uncomfortable environment during warmer weather. In addition, metal doesn’t ventilate smoke or heat during a fire, so it’s critical to add vents that allow smoke and heat to escape.
  • Visual un-appeal. Metal structures may detract from the aesthetic appeal of your property rather than enhance it.

Wood Barn

Wood barns are often more expensive to construct than their metal counterparts; yet, for many people, including horse owners, this style offers excellent value.

Pros

  • Comfort. Wood construction provides natural insulation, which offers more warmth in the winter and more cooling in the summer. This quality tends to make wood barns more comfortable for horses—and for you.
  • Simpler day-to-day maintenance. It’s relatively easy to perform minor repairs, such as the replacement of a damaged board. These smaller jobs can often be completed with no special tools or training.
  • Customization possibilities. Professional barn builders will design and customize a wood structure to suit your unique needs. In fact, design possibilities are virtually endless when you choose a wood barn.
  • Visual appeal. Wood barns just look better. (We confess that the QVC team might be a bit partial on this point!) A well-constructed, well-maintained wood barn adds an aesthetic value to your property that you won’t find in a metal building. Wood construction adds warmth and charm. It also goes a long way toward making your barn feel more like an extension of your home and less like a storage facility.

Cons

  • Climate vulnerability. Wood barns are strong and resilient, but they’re vulnerable to seasonal climate variations, such as humidity and temperature. These factors contract and expand wood, creating the potential for damage over time.
  • Longer construction. A high-quality wood barn will likely take more time to build than a similar metal structure.

Have you been dreaming about a timber frame workshop? Maybe a new horse barn? Quarry View Construction specializes in building beautiful, long-lasting wood structures. Our team is by your side through the entire process, from design to permits to construction. Discover what we can do for you. Talk with a team member for a free, no-hassle quote.