There is lots to think about when it comes to buying a shed. Of course, there are the basic things like the dimensions, location and layout.


But that is the easy part. Many people overlook something even more fundamental about their shed: the material it is made of.


Not all metals are created equal, and there is a marked difference between a structural steel shed and the typical cheap C Purlin shed. To help you with your decision, we have created a fully illustrated comparison matrix that covers:


What should you look for when specifying a shed?


  1. The strength differences in components made of structural steel vs C Purlin
  2. How do the differences between structural steel and the more common C Purlin material affect the longevity and quality of your structure?


Structural Steel Sheds – Its All Material

When it comes to structural integrity and product longevity, C purlin is not even in the same league as structural Steel Fabrication Melbourne. C purlin sheds are found to be considerably less robust compared to steel sheds and are made up of flimsy, weaker materials making steel sheds the clear choice for farmers who are looking for a shed that holds strength and durability at the top of its characteristics list.

Typically purlin sheds are manufactured using 1mm thick rolled material that forms the main frame of the shed. A Structural shed is made of heavy duty I Beam or H Iron columns (typically thicker than your thumb!) and a fabricated heavy duty webbed truss.


Installation – How Does It Differ Between Steel Sheds And Purlin Sheds?

C purlin sheds are advertised as “easy to construct”. In actual fact, due to the various components that require assembly of a purlin shed, they can be difficult and time-consuming to install. Steel sheds offer a comparably hassle-free installation process as they often come with prefabricated connections that are easily erected on site with no apex brackets or onsite drilling.


Durability Comparisons And The Result

Structural steel sheds are known for their durability but how exactly does their competitor, the purlin shed, measure up to the reputation of a steel sheds durability? Well, accounting for the fact that purlin sheds are considered to be poorly constructed and made up of less reliable, lower-quality materials, they are more susceptible to damage from natural elements such as strong winds and even fail to offer the same protection against damage caused by unforeseen emergencies such as a shed fire.


Design freedom and flexibility

Being constructed out of heavy duty materials, Structural Sheds offer you far greater design flexibility when building a new shed. Being capable of bays in excess of 10m between portal frames and clear span design up to 70m wide, the design options available to consider when designing a new shed are far greater when you choose to build a structural steel shed.



Structural Steel: Prefabricated connections mean there are no brackets to fail, and makes erection a breeze.


C-Purlin: Flimsy haunch plates allow movement, making assembly difficult and creating potential roof sag.



Structural Steel: Cleats are welded to the Universal Beam columns preventing movement and giving the strongest structure possible.


C-Purlin: There are no purlins cleats. Instead roof and wall purlins are tek-screwed to the main frame and are a point of movement.



Structural Steel: Columns are sturdy, structural Universal Beam to stop bowing, flexing or twisting.


C-Purlin: Columns are light gauge cold roll-formed ‘C’ section channel which can flex, twist and bend.



Structural Steel: Bracing is made from heavy duty, galvanised angle.


C-Purlin: Flimsy Hoop Iron cannot be tensioned and therefore only provides support once the shed has already started sagging or collapsing.


Rafter Connections

Structural Steel: Welded connections made of galvanised plate steel provide a rigid mating for your roof structure.


C-Purlin: Bolt together brackets for all joints and angles allow for flex and twist, making the shed more difficult to erect and keep shape.


In conclusion, the rise in the popularity of steel sheds is completely warranted as they seem to surpass the functionality and advantages of a standard purlin shed while offering increased protection of your farming assets.


While a Purlin Shed may be the cheaper option suited for your backyard tool shed, when looking for an industrial sized shed that lasts a Spanlift Structural shed will provide you with the durability, ease and freedom above any other.