The Pros And Cons Of Using Metal Sheds And Barns For Agricultural Storage

For many farmers they days of enormous (and expensive) wooden barns and sheds are long gone, with metal storage buildings becoming increasingly popular in modern farming. However, while choosing metal sheds and barns over wooden or plastic options comes with a number of attractive advantages, there are also some drawbacks to using them. As such, any farmer looking to add a metal storage building to their land should assess their needs before dropping their hard-earned cash.

What are the advantages of using metal sheds and barns?

  • Ease of assembly: Metal sheds and barns are generally sold as modular, prefabricated units that can be assembled on-site. Smaller buildings can be assembled safely without professional assistance, using minimal equipment. Metal buildings are also less likely to require concrete foundations, although larger buildings situated on swampy or uneven ground may still require foundations to adhere to local building codes.
  • Durability: Metal buildings are generally more durable and resistant to impact damage than all but the most substantial wooden or plastic equivalents. And wall panels, roofing sheets, etc., can be replaced with relative ease if they become irreparably damaged. Metal sheds and barns are also extremely fire-resistant, are immune to the attentions of wood-boring insects and termites, and will not perish under sustained UV sunlight like some less expensive plastic buildings.
  • Easy maintenance: Generally speaking, occasional inspections to check for signs of rust and damage are all that is required to keep a metal shed in good shape. They are not vulnerable to mould and rot, and their relative simplicity compared to wooden structures makes inspections quicker and easier.
  • High security: Breaking into a metal barn, even with brute force, is a challenging prospect for any thief who covets your expensive equipment. Many higher-end models come with robust integrated locking systems.
  • Affordability: Even large metal barns are generally much cheaper than wooden barns of equivalent size, and cost much less time, effort and money to assemble.
  • Storage space: Because the walls of metal sheds and barns are thinner compared to wooden and plastic models, they offer significantly more internal storage space without taking up extra land.

What are the disadvantages of using metal sheds and barns?

  • Corrosion: Most metal sheds and barns are pre-coated with rust-resistant treatments before sale, and these can be expected to remain effective for many years. However, rust can quickly take hold of older buildings, and expensive re-treatment may be necessary to save them from extensive rust damage. 
  • Condensation: This accumulation of rust can be exacerbated by condensation buildup inside metal structures, a particular problem for buildings used to store silage, fresh livestock fodder and other moisture-releasing substances. Incorporating adequate ventilation into your shed or barn's design is key.
  • Noise: Metal sheds and barns can be quite noisy in high winds, and may not be suitable for building located very close to your home residence.
  • Looks: Although modern metal sheds and barns are available in a wide variety of colours and designs, they can be somewhat drab and utilitarian in appearance compared to traditionally-constructed wooden buildings.