0000 FBi Buildings vs Menards: Who’s Best for Your Project?
FBi Buildings vs Menards: Who’s Best for Your Project?
Angie Dobson

By: Angie Dobson on October 15th, 2019

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FBi Buildings vs Menards: Who’s Best for Your Project?

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We understand that most people shop around and get multiple pole barn quotes before they make a decision. It’s also not uncommon for us to get several questions from our customers asking how we are different from other pole barn builders or pole barn supply companies.

Whether you’re looking for a farm building, hobby barn or horse stable, we want to make sure that you understand the seven key differences to look for when comparing builders.

Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be comparing our post frame buildings with some of our biggest competitors. But let’s be clear on one thing...we aren’t doing this to brag on ourselves or to pick out the flaws of other builders. We will present the facts and the strengths of each builder. 

FBi Buildings vs Menards® Pole Barn Kits: 7 Key Differences to Look For

 

1. Customer Service

FBi Buildings

Project Manager_FBi BuildingsFrom the first call into the office, all the way to the last call with your Project Manager, FBi tries to ensure that you’re aware of what’s going on with your post frame building project every step of the way. 

Each customer is assigned their own personal Project Sales Consultant that lives in their area. This allows them to visit the property and help with the building design, shooting grade, and even staking the building out. 

Once the project is finalized and your ready for construction to start, you will be given a personal Project Manager. They are responsible for the scheduling of our crews along with providing resources to help check your site prep or answer other questions you might have. 

FBi’s Project Managers help outline your project in four specific phases:

    • Processing: Is an overview of the first steps to your construction project. This is also where FBi will be going over site preparation, permitting, and approximate start time.
    • Design & Permit: FBi will follow up with you about your building permits and site prep updates. Your Project Manager will also be reviewing your construction drawings and validating the expected construction start date. 
    • Pre-Mobilization: Involves your Project Manager completing the steps to set up the date the crew and material will arrive.
    • Construction: This phase details the main milestones that will happen during construction that you need to be aware of along with the finishing steps after completion. 

Menards

If you’re looking to buy a pole barn kit online, Menards makes this extremely easy for you to do. With over 100 post frame projects to choose from (that are already pre-priced), this is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t want to hassle with speaking to any sales reps. 

Similar to FBi, Menards also offers a building design service for those customers who prefer to have a custom building. Their design team will work with you on your preferences to create a pole barn that is perfect for you. 

Menards is also a good option for someone who thinks they can handle construction on their own. They’ll help you purchase the necessary tools that you will need and will even provide you with building guides to walk you through the process.

With over 300 store locations this can make it easy for you to visit them with any questions you might have or buy any missing materials you might need. 

Who has the best customer service?

If you’re looking for assistance every step of the way, FBi would be the best choice for your project. From the personal Project Sales Consultant to the dedicated Project Manager, they’ll help guide you in the right direction to make sure that your project gets done on time. Due to those reasons FBi gets the nod here. 

*However, if you prefer a less hands on approach and enjoy doing construction work then Menards would be a good fit for you.

 

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins and Menards Astric

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings

 

2. Service Areas

 

FBi Buildings

FBi is a family-owned company that started in 1958. Their corporate headquarters is located in Remington, Indiana. During that time they’ve been known as the preferred pole barn builder in the Midwest. 

Currently, their service area is limited to Indiana, Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Southern Michigan. However, if you have a unique project that is outside of their building territory, they will look into pursuing other options to see if it is feasible for them to be your pole barn builder. 

Menards

Similar to FBi, Menards is also a family-owned company that started in 1958. Their corporate headquarters is located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They're known as one of the most well-known chains of home improvement stores.

They have more than 300 stores located in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Who has the best service area?

With more than 300 stores and coverage across 14 states, Menards has the best service area. They are also available to customers seven days a week, which is convenient if  you’re looking for last-minute help. Due to the larger service area and more convenient hours Menards takes this one.

FBi vs Menards_Menards Wins

 

3. Pole Barn Materials

Steel

FBi Buildings

FBi buildings_steel gauage_tensile strengthFBi’s panels are 29 gauge, heat-treated, full-hard, high-tensile steel with a minimum yield point of 80,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). That’s 60 - 78% higher than what’s commonly used. 

A high yield is nearly twice as hard as other steel and can improve the structural integrity of your building two ways:

  1. Provide greater resistance to impact damage from hail, rocks, etc.
  2. Facilitate heavier wind and snow loading

Their buildings also feature Galvalume walls and roofs. Galvalume is a combination of aluminum, silicon, and zinc coating that fights corrosion. This is different from galvanized steel where once their panels wear down or are penetrated, corrosion will begin to spread.

Menards

Menards offers two different types of steel for their pole barn kits. You can choose from Pro-Rib and Premium Pro-Rib. 

Pro-Rib is a 29 gauge Galvanized panel that can be used for residential roofing, out buildings and most post frame applications. 

Premium Pro-Rib is a 28 gauge Galvanized panel and the most versatile of the two. You can use Premium Pro-Rib for a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects. 

Who has the best steel?

FBi is the better choice for steel due to their steel that they offer being galvalume 80,000 PSI.  When compared to galvanized steel, it’s less likely to rust and wear down when penetrated over time.

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins and Menards Astric


Wood

FBi Buildings

Our in-house truss plant manufactures Machine Stress-Rated (MSR) lumber. Each piece of MSR lumber is tested for stiffness and strength in an electromechanical machine. 

Menards

Your pole barn kit will come with MicroPro AC2 Treated Lumber. This type of lumber is approved for aluminum contact, is environmentally preferable, and even offers a limited warranty program. 

Its end uses included interior and exterior, above ground, ground contact, and fresh water immersion. 

MicroPro is also Greenguard Certified. However, what can’t be confirmed is if their lumber is machine stress rated.

Who has the best wood?

FBi is the better choice for wood because they use MSR lumber that is tested for stiffness and strength. 

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins


Structural Integrity eBook_FBi Buildings

Screws

FBi Buildings

FBi ScrewsFBi uses a stainless steel capped, self-sealing screw. The screw fasteners encapsulate the sealing water to protect it from the elements and to improve aesthetics. 

The washer maintains its seal and is more reliable than commonly used neoprene, and offers the best heat, cold, weather, and ozone resistance.

Menards

Menards recommends a couple of different screw applications (depending on if you’re using screws or nails).

Competitor Screws_FBi BuildingsE-Z Seal nails are recommended for nailing roof and wall sheets. This is a galvanized nail with ring shanks that are supposed to provide maximum holding power. The extra-thick silicone washer helps provide a water-tight seal. 

Wood grip screws are recommended for screwing roof and wall sheets. This is a galvanized, self-tapping screw. It also comes with a neoprene sealing washer for a tighter seal.

Who has the best screws?

FBi is the better choice for screws because the screws that they use are stainless steel and self-sealing. 

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins

 

Trusses

FBi Buildings

FBi trusses are made in their own plant and engineered specifically for your building. Their truss plant is also certified by a third party Truss Plate Institute inspection service to ensure the quality fabrication of all trusses. 

The lumber used to build the trusses is joined with heavy-duty steel plates. These plates have a dense concentration of long teeth providing excellent grip on the wood.

Menards

Menards purchases their trusses from a different vendor. They are professionally designed and put together with galvanized steel plates in a factory controlled environment. Similar to FBi, each truss is stamped with the Truss Plate Institute stamp for quality assurance.  

Who has the best trusses?

FBi is the better choice for trusses because they build them in-house and design and test them specifically for each project.  This gives them the ability to control all of the trusses for each post frame job.

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins

 


Paint

FBi Buildings

Paint Comparison_FBi BuildingsOur side and roof panels are finished with the Kynar 500 Fluoropolymer paint system. This system has a strong resistance to fading, chalking, and corrosion. 

This paint system is commonly used for large skyscrapers and urban development projects. It’s known to retain its rich color for 40 years or longer. 

Menards

The steel panels that Menards use are coated with a silicone-modified polyester coiling system. This system is designed for the metal construction industry. 

It’s a two coat system that offers resistance to moisture and UV exposure, with flexibility and abrasion resistance. 

Depending on what type of steel you choose, Pro-Rib or Premium Pro-Rib will also determine what type of warranty you will receive. 

Who has the best paint?

FBi is the better choice for paint because Kynar is a higher-quality paint system with less resistance to fading, chalking, and corrosion versus silicone polyester paint.

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Columns

FBi Buildings

Perma_Column_2There are two types of columns that you can choose from when pricing your building: Laminated and Perma-Column

Similar to FBi’s trusses, they also build their laminated columns in-house. Laminated columns have greater longevity than solid posts. Each layer of lumber is completely permeated with wood preservative and kiln-dried. This treatment prevents rot and termite damage. 

Alternatively, you can use Perma-Columns which are precast concrete columns. This sustainable solution is guaranteed to withstand insect damage, decay, and rotting as no wood goes into the ground. 

Using 10,000 PSI precast concrete, perma-columns are 3x stronger than standard concrete. Then, the columns are reinforced with 60,000 psi rebar welded to a ¼’’ steel bracket.

Menards

Menards also offers two different types of columns: Treated Posts and Laminated Columns

Treated posts either come in 4x6 or 6x6 and have a lifetime warranty against rotting and decay. However, this does require notching for the truss to pole connection and is only recommended for buildings 12’ tall and under.

Laminated Columns come pre-notched and offer a better truss to column connection. The lower portion is treated for in-ground use only. They also come with steel reinforcement plates at all spliced locations. Laminated columns are recommended for buildings over 12’ tall.

Who has the best columns?

FBi is the better choice for columns due to the option of installing Perma-Columns which are stronger and will last longer. If you choose to go this route, you’ll also be receiving a better warranty compared to laminated columns.

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins

 

Doors

FBi Buildings

Sliding Doors

StepSaver Latch_FBi BuildingsFBi’s EasyMotion sliding door was introduced in 2010. One of the perks that’s included with this door is the StepSaver Latch. This system saves you time and energy. No more running around to the walk-in door to disengage cam latches and snugger chains. Just turn the key and grab the handle. It’s that simple! 

The EasyMotion door also features the Posi-Guide Track. This guide doesn’t collect rain, ice, snow, or debris (i.e., bird nests and leaves). A unique low-friction polymer roller is protected behind and underneath the track. This system keeps the door snug to the building as it operates.

Overhead Doors

Overhead doors are something that is not standard with FBi’s buildings. If you’re interested in having overhead doors on your building we will work directly with our preferred vendors to supply you with the style and size needed. 

Our in-house engineers carefully evaluate the entire building system and will specify the necessary foundation, column and header sizes to carry the expected loads for each door. 

Menards

Menards pole barn kits do come with overhead doors with different styles and colors for you to choose from. 

If you choose a kit with a sliding door, you’ll have to assemble it yourself (which could cause some problems along the way). However, it will come with guided instructions to walk you through the process. 

Who has the best doors?

Menards is better when it comes to overhead doors. They have multiple options that they stock and sell directly. This will save you time and less hassle without having to speak to a separate vendor.

FBi vs Menards_Menards Wins

Windows

FBi Buildings

Window Styles_FBi BuildingsBelieve it or not, there’s a lot of decisions to make when choosing windows for your pole barn. The windows that we offer are energy-efficient and come in popular styles.

Some of your choices could include the following:

  • Double-hung
  • Single slider
  • Eyebrow
  • Half-round
  • Gothic
  • Full Circle
  • Hexagon
  • Quarter-round

Menards

Being a home improvement store, Menards is able to get windows from a variety of vendors. 

Their colors, options, and styles are similar to what we can purchase. The benefit of purchasing windows through Menards is the price savings (especially if it’s a basic double-hung window). 

However, if you’re looking for specialty windows like a trapezoid, gothic, or eyebrow you won’t be able to find that at Menards

Who has the best windows?

Menards is the best place to shop for windows. You’ll be able to find a variety of different styles at a lesser cost at their numerous store locations.

FBi vs Menards_Menards Wins

 

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings

Who has the best materials overall?

Out of the eight different material categories FBi comes out the winner. They win six out of the eight; those being steel, wood, screws, trusses, paint and columns. Menards wins two categories those being overhead doors and windows. 


FBi vs Menards_Material Wins

 

4. Delivery

FBi Buildings

Site_AccessPrior to construction starting, your material will be delivered on-site. Depending on the size of your project will also determine the size and type of equipment that will be showing up. 

FBi normally brings the following equipment to a job-site:

  • A semi for material and delivery
  • Gradall / telehandler
  • Crew truck and trailer
  • Skid-steer
  • And a crane, if applicable

Their materials are delivered with company employed drivers straight from their own truss plant. 

Menards

Menards offers professional delivery seven days a week for all of their in-stock items. Their standard delivery can deliver to your home, business, or job site. To get accurate delivery pricing, you’ll have to work with a Delivery Coordinator for pricing and scheduling. 

When you’re needing a large supply of materials (like trusses, shingles, etc) job site delivery might be the perfection option for you. They can be shipped directly to you from the manufacturer. 

Their specialized delivery equipment (semis and shingle loader) makes it easier for you to get your materials if you can’t pick them up yourself.

Who has the best delivery?

This is a tie between FBi and Menards. Menards does offer a wider range of delivery (due to their hundreds of locations), but FBi offers a more personalized and comprehensive approach to delivery. 

FBi vs Menards_FBi and Menards Wins

 


5. Construction

 

FBi Buildings

Crew_WinFBi’s average crew person has been employed for over 13 years. Experienced men make fewer mistakes, giving you a higher quality building. We also have a Crew Management team of 30+ year construction veterans who oversee and support the foremen and his crew.

They also have a rigorous safety program that all of their crews go through and continue to receive continuous training and education on. 

Menards

Since Menards is a home improvement store, they do not have construction crews. If you choose to purchase one of their pole barn kits, you will be responsible for putting up your building. 

Who has the best construction?

If you’re looking to have your pole barn professionally installed, then FBi would be the best choice for your project as they have their own professionally employed crews. With Menards not having crews you will have to find your own labor to add to the overall price. Due to that this is an easy win for FBi.

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins and Menards Astric

 

6. Warranty

FBi Buildings

A pole barn warranty is simply a promise to stand behind a product or service. All warranties are limited, and there is no standard warranty in the post frame industry.

Here’s what’s covered under FBi’s warranty:

  • Columns: Lifetime
  • Roof Structure: 20 Years
  • Red Rust: 15 Years
  • Paint: 40 Years
  • Gloss Loss: 5 Years
  • Roof Leaks: 5 Years
  • Sliding Doors: Lifetime

Menards

Menards overall structure does not have a warranty as you are responsible for the construction of the building. Their products do have one.

Here’s what’s covered under Menards warranty:

  • Steel (Durapanel): 15 Year Limited
  • Steel (Pro-Rib): 40 Year Limited; which is used more in the residential settings or as steel roofing
  • Treated Posts: Lifetime
  • Laminated Columns: Lifetime (for the treated portion only)

Who has the best warranty?

Both companies offer good warranties on their materials. Where FBi takes this win is that due to having their own crews they are able to provide warranties on the completed building and craftsmanship. 

FBi vs Menards_FBi Wins

Structural Integrity eBook_FBi Buildings

7. Cost

FBi Buildings

FBi is well aware that they aren’t the cheapest post frame builder out there, but they also aren’t the most expensive. 

A standard pole building shell can cost anywhere from $8 to $45 per square foot. Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is there a big difference in price per square foot?” 

Here’s why...

The following factors will determine if your pole barn is leaning towards the low/high side of the cost spectrum:

  • Total square feet
  • Type of features (e.g., overhangs, windows, walk-in doors, steel liner packages, etc.)
  • Current nature of the commodities market (the price of steel)

For example, adding a porch, cupolas, and numerous doors will push you closer to the $45 per square foot. If you want a basic 30 x 40 without the bells and whistles, then you’ll pay closer to $8 per square foot.

Menards

Menards does offer very cost-effective buildings, and if you’re buying a pole barn online you also might get a cheaper price than what’s at your local Menards store. 

If you choose to pick up your building at your local store, your building price will stay the same. If you prefer to have your building delivered to your site than there will be a delivery fee. The type of fee will vary on where you’re located. 

For example, you can buy a 10’ x 18’ open-sided building for $1,760, a 36’ x 54’ machine shed building for $11,023, or a 60’ x 120’ commercial building for $79,825.

One benefit of choosing your building online is the convenience of knowing your price. Even if you decide to upgrade features, the new price will be reflected. 

Who has the best cost?

Since we are not measuring best cost for the value you are getting, we are going to go strictly off of who is more cost effective. By doing that, Menards is going to be the cheapest option for your post frame building needs. However, be sure to get a cost for labor as their quote will not include that.

FBi vs Menards_Menards Wins_FBi Astric
 


Who’s Best for Your Post Frame Building Project?

FBi vs Menards_Overall Winner

NOTE: The star denotes personal preference based on the buyer. Please reference each section for specifics.

There’s no right or wrong decision when deciding who’s best for your building project. We both have our advantages and disadvantages, and the final decision is solely up to you and your specific needs. 

  • Menards is the way to go if you’re looking for a lower-cost option and aren’t afraid to tackle a DIY pole barn project

  • FBi Buildings is the right choice if you’re looking to make a long-lasting investment and would like to get a more personalized sales experience

If you’re still unsure about what to do, we recommend checking out these additional resources:

We’d be happy to work with you on your pole barn project if you’re located in Indiana, Illinois, Eastern Iowa, and Southern Michigan.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings


Do you have more questions that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact FBi Buildings at 800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our customer engagement team will help you determine the next steps of your project.

About Angie Dobson

Angie graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Prior to joining the FBi team, Angie was a kitchen and bath sales consultant in Lafayette, IN. In 2012, she started with FBi as the Inside Sales/Marketing Assistant. Today she holds the role as Marketing Project Manager. Angie grew up in a farming community and has always enjoyed helping her family on the farm. A past 10 year 4-H Member, her passion for livestock pursued her to take a career in the agriculture field. Her and her husband live in Northwest Indiana with their two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor leisure activities and spending time with friends and family.