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  • Vap Construction

Post Frame vs. Steel Frame Buildings

If you’re in the market for a new metal building, it can be confusing looking at all the options. The two most common types of structures are post frame buildings or steel frame buildings, but how do you determine which one is the best option for your project? They each have different benefits, costs, and timelines so in the paragraphs below, we are going to try and help you compare post frame and steel frame to better understand the pros and cons of each type of structure.

First, there are many similarities between these types of frames design wise. The outside of the building will look basically the same either way, so the look or style isn’t really something to worry about as you weigh the differences between the types of buildings.

Now, onto the three main differences between these two types of buildings:

1. Size of the Building

For buildings that need to be built more than 80’ wide, steel frame buildings are the way to go. Both types of structures can be built to pretty much any length, but the width on post frame is limited to 80’ or less. So for a large commercial manufacturing facility, or agriculture machinery shop, or any other application that needs a footprint wider than 80’ you’d want to opt for steel frame. Structurally, both options provide similar durability when they are under 80’ wide.

2. Cost of the Building

Steel frame buildings are going to be more expensive than post frame buildings due to the cost of manufacturing the steel beams. Post frame is more a more affordable option, and therefore is more popular with most residential, small business, and agricultural clients.

3. Longevity

Steel buildings will last longer than wood frame buildings. Post frame buildings are very durable and strong, lasting anywhere from 50 to 80 years, especially if they are well-built at or above the minimum building code. Steel frame buildings will last well over a century, but because of the higher cost associated with that longevity, it may not be a priority to last those few extra decades.

One other factor to consider is the timeline of the project. Steel frame materials can take longer to come in than post frame materials, which might be worth discussing with your salesperson if you have a strict timeline you need to follow.

Our friendly team helps customers all over the Midwest weigh these options and decide what is the best fit for their project. Size of the building is typically the reason most steel frame customers go that route, as the cost difference is usually only “worth it” for applications that necessitate a wider building. Hopefully this information will help guide your decisions as you start quoting your next metal building project. We’ve been putting up the highest quality metal buildings for over 25 years, with 15 of those in the steel frame industry. Whichever type of structure you choose, you can feel confident that Vap Construction will deliver the very best quality, service, and award-winning construction.


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