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5 Surprising Uses for a Metal Barn

Alicia Morales

When you hear the word barn, you probably think of a painted wooden structure that houses farm animals. While barns are certainly a cozy home for your furry family members, they also offer an incredibly versatile array of alternative uses.

While wooden barns have a traditionally pleasing aesthetic, metal barns have become just as attractive, and at the same time, offer more affordability, versatility, durability, and less long-term maintenance.

We’ve compiled five surprising ideas for how to maximize your metal barn investment for a multi-purpose space.

Metal Barn as an Animal Shelter

The clearest purpose for a metal barn is sheltering animals. Given the strength and durability of steel, metal barns are an ideal way to protect horses and livestock. Prefab steel buildings are easy to maintain, last a lifetime, and are highly resistant to mold, pests, and fires.

You can easily customize your barn by building shelving and dividers to separate animals. More animal owners are also turning to metal for riding arenas. Large, open metal barns have become the modern-day standard, as their clean span design allows for enjoyable and safe riding. At Alpha Structures, our clear span metal barns go up to 70 feet wide by any length.

How soon are you hoping to install your metal building? Talk to one of our  specialists about available dates.

Not only does a metal barn offer maximum protection for animals, but it is the safest option out there for housing tractors, farming equipment, farm produce, and any other supplies. Metal is far more durable and less prone to degradation over time than wood, meaning it will withstand harsh weather conditions all year round.

Metal Barn as a Workshop

A metal barn kit is ideal as a workshop—it’s spacious, pest- and disaster-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Welding and woodworking often require significant space and create a big mess. You won’t need to worry nearly as much as you would with a wooden shop about hard-to-clean dirt, wood shavings, or dust.

You can also enhance your workspace by personalizing it with skylights, sectional doors, or windows. A metal barn guarantees ample space for any equipment, aesthetic, and work process.

Metal Barn as a Small Business Storefront

A brick-and-mortar storefront might seem financially impossible these days. However, many of our clients have built thriving small businesses with a metal barn. They are much less expensive than traditional buildings, and if you host a small business online or only sell at a farmers market, you might consider investing in a metal barn as a cheaper solution to a storefront.

Metal barns can also be customized to curate your brand and add major curb appeal. You could add a porch, gel-stained roll-up doors, exterior wainscotting or stone siding, exterior landscaping, frame-out Dutch corners, or decorative door accents using your brand’s colors.

Metal Barn as a Greenhouse

If your barn is insulated, your metal building could function as the perfect greenhouse space with customized shelving and lighting. Steel barns are perfect for offering year-round plant protection from harsh weather conditions, moisture, and structural failure. They are also naturally fireproof.

Since steel is so much more resistant to pests and moisture damage than conventional greenhouse structures, your metal greenhouse will be built to last. Standard PVC greenhouses are often a smaller upfront investment but typically require significantly more maintenance over time.

Metal Barn as a Main House or Guest House

Have you heard of the new popular term barndominium

This metal barn with living quarters is a multi-functional and cost-effective living space. It can be built as your main home, a guest house, or a workspace with living quarters included. Barndominiums are endlessly customizable, so you can adjust the height, width, and length to meet the dimensions of your property and specific needs. You can even customize your metal barn with temporary guest quarters that can be set up and torn down as needed.

RELATED CONTENT: Barndominium Plans and Pricing

Final Thoughts

If you’re hoping to make a reasonable investment in a multi-purpose building, a metal barn might be just right for your current and future projects. Today, what is used as a workshop could become your home or retail space ten years down the road, as simple customizations will make transforming your barn a breeze. 

Speak with a metal building specialist to discuss your project and find the exact dimensions and type of structure that will meet your needs and budget.

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