For years—decades even—home owners, business owners, and developers have gone back and forth over metal buildings versus concrete buildings. Even as steel continues to grow in popularity, some builders and property owners lobby for concrete. For some, it’s merely a personal preference. For most, it’s a matter of cost and structural integrity. So, with that criteria in mind—cost and structural integrity—let’s compare metal buildings to concrete buildings.
On the surface, it may seem like metal buildings cost more than concrete buildings. By itself, steel is more expensive than concrete. However, if one were to build two identical structures—one of metal and one of concrete—the metal building would cost less.
A metal building’s simple construction method lowers its overall cost. Compared to a concrete building a metal building is far less labor-extensive. In fact, most people can assemble metal sheds and steel barns themselves.
Both metal and concrete are strong building materials. They’re both inorganic which means they won’t be subjected to rotting, fungi, termites, and mold. Steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any construction material. And concrete simply does not budge. But which is better?
One aspect that separates metal buildings from concrete buildings is the flexibility of steel. For example, if you experience an earthquake, a metal building can bend and move with the quake. A concrete building, on the other hand, might crack since it’s not very flexible. Furthermore, steel is more impervious to harsh weather like hurricanes. Again, though, both materials are extremely strong.
The debate over metal buildings and concrete buildings has no end in sight. It’s likely that both metal and concrete buildings will pop up for years and years to come. But, if you’re looking at facts like cost and structural integrity, metal buildings are an affordable and durable option.