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Post-frame or steel frame: choosing between the two can be very tricky. Both building styles have their advantages and disadvantages. While one can be better in one situation, the other may have more applications in some other scenario.

The apparent difference between the two is that one is framed with steel, and the other is framed with wood. When you need to select the right building for your needs, it can be tough to compare one style against the other. Regardless of the building style you prefer, it is important to ensure that you hand over the project to only a reliable building contractor.

If you are having trouble choosing the perfect building construction method that suits your needs, don’t stress yourself. This blog post compares both and will help you decide which option is better for you. We’ll compare the following areas of post-frame and steel-frame construction:

  • Design
  • Cost
  • Strength
  • Efficiency
  • Appearance

Also Read: Top 4 Advantages Of A Post-Frame Building


Where steel frame buildings are easier to add on, post frame buildings tend to have more design flexibility. If you want a more complex design with a lot of add-ons, steel frames can be a good option for you. But for more design versatility and design options, a wooden building is a better choice.

Wooden post buildings offer roof patches that are larger than steel frame buildings. Also, they are preferred over steel frames due to their open, adaptable, and multi-use floor plans that offer the ultimate design freedom and choice. They offer several windows and door options, and you can place them anywhere.

Steel frame construction is a good fit for businesses that demand large interior areas for production or manufacturing. Popular examples of steel frame buildings include industrial facilities, multi-story towers, and other commercial development areas.


A standard pole barn shell can cost anywhere from $15 to $45 per square foot. At the same time, most steel frame companies will give you a range of $16-$20 per square foot starting and can go up to $40-$50 if the size of the building is large.

Unlike pole barn construction, steel buildings require concrete to be poured before framing, which can get costly. Compared to traditional construction methods, post-frame and pre-engineered steel structures are a lot cheaper. However, post-frame buildings are generally less costly than steel frames due to their heavy use of lumber.


A piece of metal is usually stronger than wood. But it may surprise you that post-frame buildings are stronger than steel frame buildings. When configured in a post-frame design, the building can be more substantial than other building types.

Due to the robust design and strong foundation combined with treated wooden posts for support and heavy-duty trusses for roofing, a post-frame building can hold its ground and stand the test of extreme weather and time for many years.


Compared to other construction methods such as steel frames, cinder blocks, and stud walls, post-frame buildings are easier to install insulation. Triple-laminated wood columns are not energy conductors, so the heat gets trapped inside the building and temperature can be maintained with less energy consumption. Over the period, this efficiency could result in hundreds of dollars of savings.

A building that’s entirely made out of metal will take a significant amount of work to insulate. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient building, then steel frame construction isn’t the best option for you. Despite its flexible design, steel frame buildings aren’t energy-efficient.


While appearance can be a subjective choice, both of these construction methods look beautiful when constructed by professional and experienced builders. Post-frame buildings are more functional and can be attractively covered with brick, metal, stone, wood, or a combination of siding materials.

Also, as compared to steel frame buildings, post frame buildings provide more attic space which makes them more attractive.

This was a detailed comparison between post-frame and steel frame buildings. Make sure to decide on your purpose, then select the right method. Both methods can be beneficial for several reasons and can have some downsides. Constructing these buildings is a complex task. Thus, make sure to only contact professional builders for the construction of your building.

About Premium Built Structures

Premium Built Structures is your one-stop-shop for accessing a wide variety of building materials, supplies, and components. We’re committed to providing top-quality workmanship from experienced and passionate builders. We are committed to designing and building the best post-frame and steel frame buildings. Contact us to design and buy the best quality pre-engineered metal buildings.

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