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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tthomass, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    I'm in the process, have been, of designing my shop etc to build this winter. I'm back and forth on a few things but the layout will get straightened out. Here's the questions...........steel or wood? Both have about the same outside walls and roof (tin). I'm just a little hung up on a steel or wood building. From what I've seen, wood is less expensive. I can design the building and have a lumber place or saw mill cut everything for me and order trusses.

    Steel or wood and an educational "why" please. Thanks.
  2. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Steel will last longer, you can span wider widths to span with steel with out have poles scattering the shop, you also need less steel members as they can be space apart further, also more expensive up front cost. Wood that is dried and kept dry will last more than a life time, easy to work with, cheap, does require inspections for termites, ants, and such. Also easier to hang things off of I.E. racks, shelving, etc.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    It's personal preference.

    In terms of resale, neither will make a difference at all.

    Hey, schools and churches are made of steel and block.
  4. Qualey

    Qualey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    I have to disagree on the resale mention. In my area steel carries its value much more than wood. Insurance is much less as well (although not nearly as good as block). Wood is faster, cheaper and a good way to go if designed right. It doesn't sound as though resale is a big priority if its for your use, so I would use a wood structure.
  5. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Steel will withstand a fire if the unfortunate happens.
  6. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    If you're talking about a wooden post frame building, it will be cheaper to build but in time the posts at and below grade will rot. Steel lasts much longer with more cost upfront.
    You might want to check out www.permacolumn.com, I haven't used them but it seems like a good idea.
  7. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    Most of it depends on budget or how you want to build if you are doing it yourself. We went with the Miracle truss style because it had to look a certain way. It is steel trusses and has wood purlin and girts. Will look for some pics when just the steel was up.
  8. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    Pictures would be great..........from anybody actually. I'm thinking of something about 40x60. With my zoning etc, no inspections will be taking place but that doesn't go to say its not going to be built properly. Whatever I build the county views agriculturally as a "pole barn" regardless of structure. I got the building permit months ago, just waiting on winter to get here to build. I'm planning for probably (2) 14' garage doors + 1 regular door between them. Inside a finished concrete floor with drains.
  9. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    I've seen a barn that was 40 wide made of wood that was hanging about 10 years and the trusses are bowing and twisting. This could have been avoided with beams but a 8400 JD really doen't fit to well with beams, let alone the harvester with a 24ft cutter on the front.

    If your thinking fire wise. Think of your shop becoming a giant oven, wood burst in to flames at 451*. Steel unfortunaly stores heat, and when heat is stored with in steel it becomes soft/lose's its temper, thus a problem with the WTC when the fire proofing was knocked off.

    It really is a horse a piece really. Some of Lawnsite's firefighters can answer that question better than I can. I just picked a few things from family.
  10. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    I really have no concern about fire. A good fire would be my parents barn. I would guess its 80x150 and holds LOTS of hay. If my shop was to catch fire I would obviously be a bit upset but in the end I've got insurance so pull out the marsh mellows and make the most of it!

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