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Wood Frame Buildings vs. Metal Building Frames

What advantages does a wood post-frame metal building have over a steel-frame metal building?

As noted earlier, a metal building can have either a wood frame or a steel frame. Which is better? The answer to that question depends on your priorities.

Steel-frame buildings are a good fit when you need extremely wide (well more than 100′) clear-span interiors, such as in a large manufacturing facility. Wood trusses max out at about 100′.

For metal buildings less than 100’ wide, a wood post-frame is generally a better choice for the following reasons:

Design Flexibility

It is much easier, and thus less expensive, to get higher-pitched roofs, interesting roof lines, overhangs, dormers, offsets, etc. on wood-frame buildings than steel-frame. That’s why it is so common to see steel buildings with extremely low-pitch roofs and no overhangs.

Energy Efficiency

Post-frame buildings are easier to insulate and don’t suffer from the extreme thermal bridging of steel-frame buildings. Learn more about the energy-efficient attributes of post-frame, steel-frame and block.


Lumber is nearly always less expensive than manufactured steel beams, sometimes substantially so. The lower material costs in a post-frame building translate into savings for you.