If you’re considering building a new industrial or commercial building, you may be wondering what the different options are for structure type and materials. Fabric and metal buildings are two of the most common styles, and each one boasts unique benefits and features. To determine which choice best suits your needs, utilize the comparison guide below. 

What Are the Differences Between Fabric & Metal Buildings?

Fabric Buildings

Fabric buildings are made using a frame that is tightly built to create tension within the structure. Once the bare bones of the configuration are fully taught, a piece of fabric is draped over it and fitted to mold to the frame. Since this material is susceptible to wear, tear, and damage when exposed to natural elements like water or wind, it needs to be replaced regularly. This type of building should not be considered a long-term solution; it's considered a cost-effective option for business owners with short-term structural needs.

Metal Buildings

metal buildings

If you're seeking a long-term option, consider using metal for the structure. These buildings are completely made of this material, including the siding, roofing, wall sheeting, and frame. Although this option is costlier upfront than its fabric counterpart, it is extremely durable; on average—and with proper care—a metal building has a life span of 60 years. 

The maintenance needs for this type of structure are also minimal, requiring only routine inspections and cleanings to keep it in top condition. Since metal buildings are resistant to water, wind, insect, and fire damage, the chances of needing a costly repair or replacement are low.


If you need a metal building for your business, talk to the fabricators at Alabama Metals in Newton, AL. This family-owned company is proud to provide a broad range of services, including metal roofing installation and repair, as well as metal building and barn construction. They offer 15 color choices for any design preference, and they're all back by a 40-year warranty. They will work with you to create a structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing building to fit your needs. Call (344) 299-0117 to discuss your project with a friendly team member and request a quote.