Wooden Buildings vs Metal Buildings: The Definitive Guide


Which Building type is Best?

If you’re considering the purchase of a building for your home, farm, business, or warehousing operation, you’re faced with selecting one that will meet your needs as well as your budget. One basic decision is whether to go with pre-engineered steel or wood frame construction. To decide which one would be right for your needs, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Wood Buildings & Metal Buildings.

Wooden Buildings

  • Wood is a natural, renewable building material. The cyclical process involved in the harvest and regeneration of forest products ensures that timber will continue to be available.
  • Wood is greenhouse positive. As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide and stores it in the leaves, branches, and trunks. Approximately half of a tree’s dry weight is carbon that’s stored for the life of the tree and retained throughout the harvesting and finishing processes.
  • Wood has an inherent value of natural insulation called cellulose fiber.  Once this cools with a small cooling source or heats up with a small heating source the building will retain the natural core value of the earth, 72-74 degrees.
  • The processing of wood into lumber uses substantially less fossil fuel energy than concrete, steel, or aluminum.
  • Historically wood is a less expensive building material compared to steel. But, this may depend based on any custom design requirements.
  • Last-minute design changes can be easily accomplished with wooden buildings since each piece of wood can be cut to fit once on-site.

Steel Buildings

  • Each part of a steel building is designed to perfectly match all of the other components of the building. Every piece is labeled clearly, and each is cross-referenced on the assembly instructions. This means that any metal building that you purchase will arrive at your site as a complete kit, and all of the pieces will fit together precisely.
  • Because they can be assembled quickly and efficiently, the erection of a steel building takes less time and requires less labor than a similar-sized wooden building.
  • A properly constructed steel building requires little to no maintenance. A steel building is impervious to damage from insects, mold, warping, or rotting.
  • Steel is 100% recyclable and is one of the few materials that retains its strength and durability when recycled.
  • While it’s true that the initial cost of a metal building may or may not be higher than wood, it can be more economical over time. This is primarily due to the cost of maintaining a metal building when compared to a wooden building.

Structural Strength & Integrity.
Portable Wooden Buildings in Carenrco, Lake Charles, and New Iberia, LA

When comparing wooden or steel buildings, structural strength and integrity are important considerations.  Both wood and steel are strong building materials.

Wood is a strong enough building material that structures made from wood, especially timber-framed structures that benefit from strong traditional joinery connections, can last for generations. However, steel is better able to withstand seismic activity, and fire, and isn’t susceptible to insect damage. Wood is also susceptible to dampness and rotting. So, both wood and steel are strong building materials and while wood is durable, it is not as durable as steel.

Which Option Is Best for You?

In the final analysis, you need to decide which building material is right for your particular application.

  • While a metal building may be more durable than wood, you do need to consider the look of a wooden building and the newer high-durability construction techniques and wind ratings.
  • If your budget is limited, a wooden building will be more affordable. But it is important to be careful with lower priced wood buildings as they may be built without a wind certification or other quality factors. Do not rely on just the price, but view the building’s construction and wind certification before you make a final choice.
  • While all buildings require some level of maintenance and upkeep throughout the building’s life, wood can require more maintenance and upkeep than steel. 
  • Rust can develop on a steel building, and can cause structural damage, whereas wood will never rust.
  • Wood is subject to warping, cracking, or rot.
  • Insulation is important for any home or building. Steel likes to transfer heat, whereas wood does not. Wooden structures are easy and efficient to insulate, while steel can be difficult to insulate.

Why Choose Acadiana Discount Portable Buildings in Carencro, Lake Charles & New Iberia, Louisiana?

Acadiana Discount Portable Buildings and Metal Carport Sales have proudly served the citizens of Louisiana with the finest portable buildings for over a decade. We carry a full line of steel and wooden portable buildings of all shapes and sizes, tailored to your specific requirements, and our expert consultants are available to answer any questions or concerns about any of the building products we offer.

Contact Us for Exceptional Services in Carenrco, Lake Charles, and New Iberia, Louisiana

With three locations, we are able to provide you with the best in sales and service. If you’d like more information about the products and services we offer, give us a call or visit our website or stop in for a visit.