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Different Garage Types and Their Pros and Cons

Updated: Mar 18

There are many different types of Garages and other detached structures out there that can be used in a variety of ways. This article will highlight three different kinds of Garages and what they are used for. The type of structure you go with should align with what you are trying to accomplish from just storage to a full finish out. Please read below to learn more about these types of garages and the pros and cons that come with them.

Pole Barn

A pole barn is traditionally a farm-type building used if you just need to keep equipment and materials out of the sun and somewhat out of any elements. Traditional pole barns sometimes do not have any foundations. These are also unsuitable for placement in hilly areas and places with shifting soil. And with no snow load typically, the only real advantage for this type of structure would be a cheap solution for someone on a farm who needs to store some equipment or farming materials.

Metal building

Metal buildings have become a popular option for people looking for a large, site-built structure that they consider a lifestyle building. While it is not impossible to make this a lifestyle structure, the challenges provided do complicate things. If you’re not worried about adding to your real estate value, aesthetics, or the interior contents staying 100% dry, then the metal building could be an option for you.

Metal Building R-Value

Another factor to consider when thinking about a garage is the R-value it will provide. In the case of a metal garage, because metal is a conductor of energy, it does not naturally provide R-value. Also, temperature fluctuations that happen from day to night, for example, frequently will cause condensation, which can be a significant factor if you have valuable belongings on the inside. Even if it is sunny outside, your things can be susceptible to getting wet.

If the purpose of your garage is something more than storage, for example, you will want it finished out. Going with a metal building will provide some challenges. Since the R-value is not there naturally, you will have to frame the interior to insulate the walls. While this is possible, ultimately, it’s going to take away from your usable interior space. This will need to be planned for when planning your garage and which route you choose to take.

Metal Building Conclusion

Suppose you want an efficient and aesthetically pleasing lifestyle structure. In that case, it is possible for a metal building but essentially, what you are purchasing with a metal building is just the framework. When you think about the extra materials on the exterior and interior, it can become a significant investment in time and money to get it where you want it to be.

The bottom line is that when it comes to metal garages, it can be a great option for you if you are not concerned about it being aesthetically pleasing, and the price is the biggest factor. Or you are willing for extra investment to get it to where it needs to be. A metal garage is suitable for farm applications or big industrial buildings.

Stick Built Wood Garage

Suppose you want something ready for your finishing touches the day it’s constructed. A stick-built garage is the route you will want to go. Going with a stick-built garage with a wood frame means the garage will already be framed out and ready for a finish out. That means you will not have to worry about gathering materials and doing a lot of work on the garage’s interior before you can get it ready to finish it out the way you want. 

There are some practical reasons for going with the wood frame garage as well. For example, you can hang stuff directly on the walls and wouldn’t have to buy a big cabinet or shelving that you would have to do with garages constructed with different materials. By hanging things directly on the walls, you can maximize the usable space you have in your garage. Also, it is aesthetically pleasing with a stick-built wooden garage because you have many siding options. The wooden garage also naturally offers a significant R-value because wood is not a natural conductor of energy. Even if you do not plan to finish it out, it will be able to keep your contents dry and offer a good R-value. 

Stick Built Garage Customization

With a stick-built garage, since it is wooden construction, you have many options for the siding and exterior. If you live in an HOA, for example, and they require that your structure match your house, that is possible with a wooden garage that is not as easy to do with a metal building, for example. Not only is matching your home possible in most cases, but you can also put your personal touch on a wooden garage because of the siding options available.

Another big advantage of the wooden stick-built garage is you do have the option on some models to have a second story. This is significant because you can use it for whatever you want, and you are essentially maximizing the usable space in the same footprint. This actually drives your cost down per cubic foot. A disadvantage of going with the stick-built garage would be the upfront investment is typically more than that of a metal garage. However, when you look at the overall costs and consider additional labor either by yourself or another contractor and getting it to where you can not only finish it out but have it aesthetically pleasing, the metal garage is more of an investment in the long run than when you first purchase it. That is why a stick-built garage is an excellent investment in terms of long-term value and flexibility.

In conclusion

The different types of garages discussed in this article have their pros and cons. It’s all about determining the right fit for you and what you are looking for. If price is a leading factor and you need storage on your farm, a pole barn is great. If you still want to be price-conscious, aesthetics and overall quality do not matter, and it’s not a long-term solution, you can opt for a metal building. If you need something that either matches your house or want to make your dream lifestyle structure come to life, a stick-built wooden garage is a great option that will last you for years to come. The most significant factor is partnering with a builder who will guide you through this process and truly get you something that will fit your needs and dreams and last you for years to come.

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