Difference Between Imported Sheds & Wheatbelt Structural Steel Sheds

DATE POSTED: Feb 1, 2020 11:30:00 AM
POSTED BY: Sarah Heaphy

 Which shed is right for your farm? To answer that question, you need to keep a variety of variables in mind. Quality matters, but price tends to be just as important. Of course, you might tend toward the most affordable alternative. But cheap farm sheds are not always best, especially considering the long-term implications of that choice.

Imported steel is infiltrating the market, reducing prices of farm sheds across the country. At the same time, the quality of your shed has to matter, just as much, to determine long-term value.

This article will educate you about the risks and problems connected with imported cheap steel. You'll learn about the difference in quality between C-Purlin and structural steel sheds, helping you make a more informed decision on your shed. When looking for an affordable farm shed in Western Australia, here are the variables you need to look for.

Think Engineer’s Drawing First

Certified engineer drawings are vital to a high-quality product but, sheds designed oversees are not certified by an Australian engineer, putting that quality into question. As Andrew Sharpe, at WBS Group suggests,

“In general, imported steel is engineered poorly. The depth of trusts, thickness of steel, braces and galvanized quality is simply not the same.”

To make the right decision, compare engineer drawings and understand the implications of the differences you find. Imported sheds are not as strong, and will not hold up as long. Good engineer’s drawings don't just make assumptions, but are based on the specific terrain, weather conditions, base, and function you require for the shed.

Offshore engineers will find it difficult to keep these variables in mind. As a result, you may pay little money for a Chinese imported shed, but get caught spending significantly more in erecting it and adjusting it to your unique situation.

Think Fabrication and Strength

Generally speaking, you can tell quite a bit about a farm shed's quality by the material components. Here are the differences between the three most common fabrication materials and techniques:


This material is in essence cold rolled steel that is bedded into shape, and an added thin layer of galvanizing. As a result, the steel is not as strong as other alternatives, making C-Purlin ideal for smaller sheds, garages and hobby farmers.

Structural Steel

Generally speaking, this is your best option for a high-performance farm shed. The steel is between 8 and 10 times thicker than C-Purlin, the I-beams consist of hot rolled steel and solid web trusses further reinforce the strength. Fabricated structural steel is your most durable option for a farm shed.

Imported Sheds

The steel you get when importing is not always high-quality. In fact, the lower quality of the material is a large reason why the shed can appear so cheap. Before purchasing an imported shed, you should make sure you get exactly what you asked for. That should include meeting and exceeding Australian quality and safety standards, which can drive up the price.

Think Size of Your Shed

As suggested above, the size of your shed can drive the material that's ideal for your needs. For sheds spanning less than 9 metres, a C-Purlin shed hits the balance between quality and cost.

While fabricated structural steel may be overkill for these smaller sheds, it becomes especially viable for more serious agricultural sheds that span 12 metres or more. In either cases, staying away from cheaper, imported material is highly recommended.

Think Service and Authenticity

Of course, choosing between imported and domestically built sheds goes beyond the material you need. Imported sheds, for instance, are typically kit sheds, which do not consider the end to end process. As mentioned previously, failing to consider the erecting process from the start of your planning risks an additional cost of $30,000 to $40,000. Using a service that delivers end to end shed production and erection can protect you from these hidden expenses.

Don't underestimate the potential costs for delivery, crane hire, and managed work on site, either. An imported shed may seem cheap - until you triple the price because of this on-site process. When choosing between imported sheds and fabricated structural steel, keep the cost for each option in mind holistically.

Finally, consider potential add-ons for your farm shed. Unless you work with an end to end service, the list price of a shed you see is never for the finished product. Instead, it's an entry price, designed to drive initial interest before add-ons are considered. Always consider the complete cost when choosing which farm shed fits your needs.

When looking for a farm shed, it's tempting to be drawn toward the low initial price of imported options. But ultimately, the best decision for your needs depends on the considerations above. For a thorough and high-quality product, look for an end to end service in order to save valuable time, money, and additional stress when purchasing a shed.

If you would prefer a more visable comparison, download the comparison guide now.

Structural Steel vs C Purlin Comparison
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