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Stick-Builds vs. Prefab Metal Buildings – Which Is Better?

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Stick-Builds vs. Prefab Metal Buildings

Stick-Builds vs. Prefab Metal Buildings – Which Is Better?

If you are planning on adding a building to your property to increase your space, as a workshop, for storage or other purposes, you might be wondering which is best for you, a stick-build or a prefab steel building. Let’s explore both types of buildings so you can decide which one is right for you!





A stick building is any building made from lumber using the traditional method of framing. Many freelance contractors and builders prefer this material because it is easier for them to cut and build at the worksite. Thanks to traditionalism and resistance to change, lumber still enjoys an advantage of reputation, even if it isn’t exactly the truth. Some people still believe that homes built using the old stick method are of higher quality and better workmanship than engineered homes, but nothing could be further from the truth! With the quality of modern materials and engineering techniques, this is simply not the case anymore.


Prefab Metal Buildings
Prefab Metal Buildings


Prefab Metal Buildings

Prefab metal buildings have frames made of metal engineered with pre-cut pieces before being shipped to the installation site. You can arrange for steel buildings to arrive at the designated location with already fully-fabricated steel components, ready to be unloaded and anchored, so you are ready to go!


Custom Prefab Steel Buildings
Custom Prefab Steel Buildings


Custom Prefab Steel Buildings

Prefab metal structures are super easy to customize and are almost limitless in what you can do with them! Each piece of steel is precision-engineered to your building’s specifications and are then delivered to your chosen location for professional assembly and installation by specialists. Steel structures like this are used for carports, metal garages, barns, workshops, warehouses, and personal residences. Steel buildings are becoming more popular in rural areas as well as urban and suburban areas for both residential and commercial needs.

Are Prefab Steel Buildings Expensive?

Many factors contribute to the final cost of a prefab metal building, including the cost of materials, size of the building, the location that it is being installed at, and the specific customizations that you require. However, prefab metal buildings almost always cost far less than stick-builds. Steel building manufacturers buy their supplies in bulk, which keeps the costs lower. A prefab steel building typically costs less to build because it can be easily installed often without even needing to pour concrete. You can install steel structures on almost any surface as long as it is level. Not requiring an extravagant foundation will save you even more money.

How Do Prefab Buildings Compare to Stick-Builds?

Obviously, prefab metal buildings cost less to build in terms of up-front costs. Still, prefab metal garages, metal building kits, and other steel structures have other significant advantages over traditional stick-builds.

  • Metal Buildings Cost Less: Almost all prefab metal buildings are cheaper to build per square foot than traditional stick builds are. Metal takes less maintenance and is easier to clean, too. Not to mention, your insurance costs will go down because steel building is not susceptible to fires or pests such as termites like other traditional building material options.
  • Prefab Buildings Are Easier to Install: Metal buildings are quick and easy to build. Most can go up in a day! All of the pieces for a prefab steel building are made and cut ahead of time, so installation is a breeze. A metal building can go up in just days as opposed to weeks or months for a stick-build!
  • Affordable Customization: Steel buildings are so versatile and flexible in design that you can use them for almost any application that you can imagine. They give you more usable interior space. They have an added bonus of being easier to expand as your needs grow or change than stick builds do, too.
  • Durability: One of the most obvious but one of the important features of steel buildings is that they do not rot or attract predatory insects like a stick-build does. Water and fire aren’t as much of a threat to a steel structure, and they can handle weather extremes better too.

Framing Differences Between Steel Buildings and Stick Builds

Metal buildings use a post-frame construction method that uses foundational posts for support instead of load-bearing interior walls. This is why metal buildings can have far more open space. On the other hand, the stick frame building uses lumber to build a frame that must be supported by load-bearing interior walls and a concrete foundation. There are four main areas where the two kinds of frames differ dramatically.

  • Foundation Requirements: The foundation needed for a stick build can be quite complicated and expensive, while a metal building may not need any special foundation, depending on its location.
  • Strength: Steel is much stronger than wood in terms of weight-bearing capacity, and steel is fastened by metal components that snap together instead of nails and screws that can work their way loose with time.
  • Versatility: Post-frame gives you more open space, which allows for more versatility than stick frame building does.
  • Building Insulation: Both types of framing accommodate insulation well, but post-framing gives more room and allows for more and greener insulation options than stick frame building does.

Coast to Coast Carports: Your #1 Choice for Quality Steel Structures

Since 2001, Coast to Coast Carports has been a respected industry leader, delivering and installing garages, storage units, RV covers, sheds, workshops, and warehouses to residential, agricultural, and commercial customers all over the country. Let our experts show you what we can do for you; reach out to Coast to Coast Carports today at (866) 681-7846!

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