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July 20, 2023

CERTIFIED VS NON-CERTIFIED BARNS - Which is the Right Investment Option?

Are you looking forward to investing in a metal barn? You must have come across certified vs. non-certified metal buildings. What is the difference between these two? You might be tempted by how affordable non-certified metal structures are. But avoid falling for the trap. You are going to need few information before deciding between the two. So, let’s dive into the details of certified and non-certified barn buildings.

What is a Certified Steel Barn?

A certified steel barn is a structure designed to meet local building codes with engineered stamped approval blueprints. They use quality material that has undergone extensive testing to ensure the building can withstand heavy rainfall, snowfall, and high-speed winds. A certified metal structure is essential in localities and states where you need a building permit.

A certified barn comes with more support braces, screws, and anchors. Your metal building will last long if it is certified.

Non-certified barn buildings only have knee braces on four corners and one channel peak brace. It does not come with any warranty. There is no assurance of the structural integrity of the building. A non-certified structure is not reinforced, so it will not withstand harsh climate conditions.

You can buy a non-certified barn building in areas where local authorities do not require a building permit. However, it will be highly advisable for you to refrain from doing so. Certified or not, a metal building is still better than stick built structure. It will be worth every dime invested in it.

Some significant differences between certified vs. non-certified barn buildings are:

Features Certified Non-certified
Knee brace On every leg Four corners only
Peak brace On every truss/leg One-channel peak brace
Extra anchor Yes No
Safety standards Yes No necessary
Robust Yes No
Wind rating Up to 170 mph Not available
Snow load Up to 90 pounds per sq. ft. Not available
Obeys local codes Yes No
Engineering drawing available Yes No
Overall Safety Yes No
Warranty Yes No
Clever investment Yes No

Generally, barns are more significant compared to any ordinary carport or garage. This is because they have to house live stocks and store crops. Being a large building, it becomes vital that you only buy a certified metal barn. It will host your animals and store your crops without letting you worry about outside weather. It is a more protective, robust, safer, and durable structure. Compared to a certified steel barn, a non-certified may cost you less. But do not get tempted by such an offer.

A certified structure will

  • stand the test of time
  • meet all local codes
  • more durable and robust
  • require less maintenance
  • give you warranty
  • have a sturdy construct
  • provide you with peace of mind

As you can see, certified steel barns have many features that non-certified ones will never have. With some certified building suppliers, you can get at least 20 years of rust-through warranty and wind and snow load ratings.

However, a national-level rulebook or guideline regarding certification standards is yet to be established. This is because building codes vary with location and state. A certified metal barn is still worth investing in because it offers quality and assurance. Moreover, every dealer has their certification standard. So, when choosing an accredited steel barn, look for the license and credibility of your supplier.

What will you gain from choosing a certified metal barn building?

  • You get braces on every truss.
  • You get a warranty.
  • You get anchors for every leg.
  • You get guidelines for installation.

Some advantages of Certified buildings are:

Engineering drawing plan of your metal barn

One of the advantages of certified building is that you can have a blueprint of your metal structure. You can also get stamped or raised seal plans if local officials ask for them.

Wind resistant

Certified metal barns can handle the worst weather condition. For the northeast region of America, designs can handle heavy snow loads. For the southern part of America, the design can handle high storms. For the Midwestern part of America, it is an amalgam of both. With better anchor, framing, and roofing materials, certified metal structures can withstand heavy wind up to 170-180 miles per hour.

Snow Resistant

A certified steel barn can tolerate a snow load of at least 20 pounds per square foot. Snow may appear lighter but can be as heavy as 8 pounds per gallon. Snow per inch on your barn’s roof can weigh almost 1.25 pounds per square foot. So, snowfall of a few inches can build up a lot of pressure on your metal barn.

Specific to your locale

When you buy a certified steel barn, you get a design specific to your local rules. Most suppliers will ask for your zip code and state before you can choose any steel barn model. One of the reasons you require a permit is that it ensures you are installing a safe metal structure that poses no risk to you or your neighborhood in case of extreme weather events.

Security from future legal changes

If laws are changed, you have to comply with them. This will be troublesome if you are trying to sell your metal building. With a certified steel barn, you will have a guarantee that your property will be more attractive to future buyers. Certification becomes non-negotiable if you live in heavy snow, wind, or rain area.

To Sum It Up

With a strong framing of 12 or 14 gauge, a certified steel barn is most reliable when protecting your live stocks or stored harvest. Refrain from getting lured by the low cost of non-certified barn buildings, as you have to pay extra for them in the future in the form of repair. Approval of a professional engineer will make it easy for you to get a permit or license for installation.

If you still need clarification about certified vs. non-certified metal buildings, feel free to call us, Viking Barns, and get more details about it. A certified steel barn will stand firm even in the worst conditions. As a famous American proverb says,” When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” If you need more information or have any questions, contact Viking Barns or email us, and we will reply promptly.


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