Are you thinking of constructing a metal barn building on your property? You must be looking for online information about it. The first thing that you will notice everyone talking about is – size. Did you know that metal barns can be customised according to your requirement? It is a popular misconception that steel barns come in standard fixed sizes, and you have to choose from that list. You can choose any size that complies with your local codes.

Another thing to be noted, especially for new buyers, is that you do not have to make floor plan selections when you shop for steel barn buildings. With a metal barn, you can design your interior layout completely. Metal barns are versatile structures that can be used for various purposes, such as storage, workshops, garages, offices, churches, and more. The size of a metal barn depends on the needs and preferences of the owner, as well as the budget and space available. Here are a few parameters that you should consider before you shop for steel barn building:

Square Footage

The metal structure differs from the conventional building when it comes to measurement. Usually, for traditional designs, square footage is calculated by the inside space. However, for metal buildings, square footage is dependent on the outer dimension of the building. For example, if your plan is 50×100 feet, the steel dealer will show you slightly larger square footage.

Since steel is robust, metal building dealers can construct a large structure without internal support. These types of buildings are called clear spans. It helps maximize the floor space.

The final plan will determine your baseline budget, which you can work on. When making a list, divide it into two parts – essential and wish list. The essential list will contain all the requirements depending on what you want to do with your metal barn. Ensure that whichever barn design you finalize meets the local guidelines.


How long can a metal barn be? The length of your barn can be as much as your property and budget allows you to. Further, you can even increase the size of your steel barn in the future if needed. Future expansions are quick and inexpensive. All you have to do is remove the end wall, attach more roofing, side posts, and side panels, and finally re-attach the end wall.

If you opt for a load-bearing end wall to your original barn’s design, you can have easier expansion. One of the most cost-effective ways to design a barn is to minimize the width and maximize the length. The size of a metal barn affects its cost, which also depends on other factors such as design, materials, location, installation, and customization. Generally speaking, the larger the barn, the higher the cost. However, some sizes may offer more value than others depending on the use and layout of the barn. For example, if you want to add 15 feet of length to your barn, it will only require a frame line, which is affordable. 


How wide can a metal barn be? A steel barn with a clear span can be more than 300 feet wide, depending upon the customer’s need. You get a column-free interior. If you want a width of more than 80 feet, you prefer using modular framing because it is economical. A modular frame with limited internal support can have a width of up to 480 feet.

Generally, the width of your steel barn will depend on the size of your property and what you want to use it for. Metal barns are usually composed of three sections: a centre section and two lean-tos on each side. The centre section is the main part of the barn, where the vehicles, equipment, or items are stored or used. The lean-tos are smaller sections that can be used for additional storage, shelter, or workspace.

For example, a narrow barn with a length more than the width will be a better choice for storage. Another example can be the case where you want to use a barn as a workshop, and then the width should be bigger to harbour large equipment.


How high can a steel barn be? Usually, people order a barn as high as 12 to 20 feet, equivalent to a low-rise building. However, barns can be as high as 40 feet with a custom quote. This generally happens in the case of large warehouses or metal hangers. The metal structure’s height is measured up to the top of the eave of the ceiling.

You must check for any zoning restrictions in your neighbourhood before deciding on your metal barn’s height. The barn should be more or less 2 feet higher than the tallest frame opening. Adding more height to your steel barn can increase the load on the frame and posts, increasing the overall cost. So, adding more width and length considerably reduces the cost of the structure.


What kind of frame options are available for metal barns? There are various framing types available for barns. Your frame will decide how much open space and post-free area you have.

  • Modular Rigid Frame (economical for 30-80 feet length and 60-300+ feet width)
  • Single Slope (usually used by retail buildings)
  • Lean-to (20-60 feet)
  • Clear span rigid frame (40-250 feet, economical for industrial and commercial purposes)
  • Tapered beam (under 60 feet, more usable floor space)

The expandable frame will aid any future expansion as long as width and height are maintained.


Which roofing is the best for a steel barn? There are three types of structures based on functionality, i.e., regular, boxed-eave/ horizontal, and vertical roofing. You can choose between multiple roofing designs for your metal barn, i.e., gable design, mono-pitched/ shed roof, arched roof, or gambrel roof. Amongst all these, arched roofs are better as they have continuous roofing, which aids water to shed rapidly from the roof. Further, there is no overhanging edge which can cause trouble when wind speed is high.

Sum Up

We hope that you like the walkthrough of the metal barn dimensions. When you shop for steel barn buildings, you should keep a check on the points mentioned above. You can contact Viking Barns with any questions; we will surely guide you. Whether you are looking to shop for a steel barn building, larger or smaller in size, we have a guide to help you pick the dimension that fits your requirement. We can help you build your dream metal barn at Vikings Barns. You can contact us if you have any queries regarding barn sizes.