To determine the proper size that you will be needing for a new steel building you first need to determine what you will be using the building for. Is it a simple storage area or a residence? Will it be a large automobile dealership showroom or a small one car garage? Figuring out what the building is to be used for will help you spend the right amount of money on the right amount of space.
Making a list of all the things that you want your building to do for you will also be helpful. The question to yourself should be: What is this building going to do for me and what needs will it meet? This should be enough circumspection to help you determine the proper size for your requirements.
If you are going to be bringing in large equipment to your building you need to determine if a roll up, a sliding door, or a walk through door or doors is necessary. Determine how many doors you will need and where in the building they will be placed. Do the doors need to be placed on the end of the building or on the sides? You need to determine where people will access the building and alternate egresses if large equipment is blocking one or more doors.
Figure out if you need column-free interior space. If you do this is called “clear span” construction and can be expensive. If you don’t mind interior support columns, this is called multi-span and tends to be a less expensive construction style.
You need to determine how tall you need your new steel building to be. You should allow for optimum space vertically if things will be built or stored that are tall. Although steel buildings can easily be designed for a second story, the inclusion of a mezzanine can be pricey.
One big decision is whether to insulate your building for the hot and cold weather. If the building will be occupied even for just a portion of the day, insulation is strongly recommended. Finishing of the inside of your building also needs to be decided on – whether you will drywall the interior or leave the metal exposed.
Before building find out the proper snow and wind loads that need to be engineered into your building from your local building code office. The proper loading of your building is essential for approval, but also drives the price up when more wind and/or snow loading is added.
Finally, the foundation you will use needs to be decided on. A concrete foundation is highly recommended for any steel building except in some limited agricultural applications. Are you going to pour the concrete yourself or hire someone else to do it? Answering this question one way or the other will obviously impact your work load and budget.
Answer all of these questions for yourself before talking to any steel building manufacturer or supplier about a new steel building. That way you can determine how much it is going to cost and make you better able to compare all bids.
All Steel Buildings Are Not Equal
If you have just recently been interested in the purchase of a new steel building for your business or organization you may have been looking at or hearing a lot of building advertising lately. You have seen the ads on the television or the internet or heard them on the radio. Some of the advertisements go along the lines of – The cheapest steel buildings available on the market today – take advantage of these hot deals – today only. But upon investigation are you finding the companies offering quality steel buildings or cheaper economy models?
You have to ask yourself if you are really making the right decision on the purchase of a steel building relying so heavily on price as the deciding factor. Thomas Jefferson said “Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.” If Mr. Jefferson were alive today he would see his words reflected in the “cheap” steel buildings available on the market becoming quality and maintenance nightmares that cost their owners dearly.
There are many quality steel buildings sold at great prices by very reputable steel building manufactures and suppliers – sometimes at a fraction of the price of a more conventional structure. These structures are not the focus of this article. The cheap “economy” buildings are usually of much lesser quality. To begin with, premium quality steel buildings utilize heavy-duty 26 gauge steel. “economy” building use a thinner gauged 29 gauge steel. This is not a quality gauge of steel to design and inhabit a building with. The maintenance problems for these type of buildings are also higher in incidence than with 26 gauge steel buildings.
Quonset huts have been around a long time and are examples of yesterday is technology. They are advertised at very low prices but the added expense of effectively insulating these structures can be daunting and put the final cost of the building far beyond the price that the consumer thought he was paying. Quonset huts are basically an inefficient structure and the wasted heating and cooling costs over the life of the building can make this initially ‘cheap’ structure a very expensive proposition in the long run.
Another way to look at which steel building to purchase is to compare it to a necessary surgical procedure that you are facing. Do you shop around for the cheapest doctor or the doctor who will perform a quality procedure that gives a high likelihood of success? If you want the ‘cheapest’ doctor to handle the surgery then read no further. However, if you are interested in quality that results in success then consider the highest quality steel building company you can afford. Make sure they offer only premium grade materials. Although these companies will not offer you the cheapest building they will offer you the best available price on the market today for a long-warranted product. You do not pay added brokering expenses. You complete the design and rigging of your building through the company. There is no need to deal with different vendors for different phases of your construction that make proper coordination of all deliveries unlikely.