Barns might seem like simple structures, but as any horse owner knows, a good barn makes a huge difference for both the horses and the owners. Material is a big part of this consideration. A wood barn and a steel barn might serve the same purpose, but they are very different buildings with distinct advantages. Learn more about the differences between them and which is right for your needs.

Steel vs Wood Horse Barns

Both steel and wood are versatile and long-lasting building materials. Here are a few points to consider when thinking about what to use for your horse barn:


A barn is more than a building - it’s a home for your horses and your equipment. To that end, you want to make sure your barn is built to be strong and long-lasting. Steel barns last much longer than wooden ones on the whole, because steel is overall much more durable than wood. Wood suffers from rot and gradual decay, whereas steel barns can easily last 30 years or more without any problems whatsoever. If you’re looking for the most durable and long-lived barns on the market, steel is a better choice.


Another major consideration for barn owners is maintenance and upkeep. Wooden barns regularly need to be repainted and treated with stains or sealers to keep the wood in good shape. This can be a major undertaking, and it often requires you to find another place for your horses and gear in the meantime. Steel barns don’t need any comparable upkeep. Because of steel’s inherent strength, and because all steel used in barn construction is galvanized, it requires little to no maintenance. That leaves you free to concentrate on what’s important.


Steel is, pound for pound, much stronger than wood. That means you can build a barn of equivalent strength out of steel with much less material. This, in turn, reduces the overall building weight and gives you more options for where to build your barn.

Interior Space

Want a barn with lots of overhead room for a loft or storage space, or plenty of floor space for a practice ring or large stalls? Metal barns can be built with clear interior spans to provide lots of room for any need. In contrast, wooden barns almost always need interior columns and rafters to hold up the additional weight of the walls and roof. This gives you less options and flexibility when it comes to planning your barn’s interior.


When you own horses, you know how important it is to keep them comfortable in the barn. Temperature plays a big part in that. On their own, wood offers more inherent insulation value than steel, since it doesn’t transfer heat or cold as much. However, metal barns are naturally more airtight than wooden barns, making metal a better choice when you heat or cool the interior.


Every barn owner knows the danger of fire. It’s an unfortunate fact that virtually all of a barn’s interior is flammable - hay, straw, sawdust, feed dust, electric heaters, and numerous oils and chemicals can all pose a fire risk. However, metal barns are inherently fireproof and can provide a major buffer against the spread of fire in your barn.


Finally, it’s important to think about the price of your barn and what you’re able to get for your money. In general, metal barns are much more affordable than wood barns because the material costs are lower and because they are pre-engineered. This allows you to either spend less to get a barn that fits your needs, or to use your budget to get more for the same amount. And combined with the fact that metal barns last longer and need less upkeep than wood, they almost pay for themselves over time.

Get a Great Deal on a Metal Horse Barn

If you’re considering a new horse barn, you should consider the steel barns from Bargain Barns USA. Our metal barns and farm buildings are perfect for horses, livestock, and any other farm or ranch needs. Call 405-872-0338 today to learn more about our pre-engineered steel barns or to start customizing your very own. You can also visit us on Facebook to ask questions and see popular posts and more.