Steel building construction has been around for nearly two hundred years. As steel production improved, the popularity of this type of structure increased. Shortly after World War I, the first steel high rise was built. Today, steel structure buildings have become the most popular way to construct buildings because of their many benefits to building owners and construction crews.

Due to the advancements in steel building construction, these structures are now being used for residential buildings. The following steel buildings buyer's guide will teach you all about steel buildings and how they can positively impact the way you build your next home.

Benefits Of A Steel Building

When seeking metal building advice, you should begin with the benefits of using a steel frame for the construction of your home. There are many benefits to using steel, including:

  • Steel buildings average a 30 percent savings over wood frame structures.
  • Steel buildings can be constructed in a shorter period of time.
  • Materials are very cost effective to maintain.
  • Steel structures assemble quicker than wood structures because they are prefabricated.
  • Steel frames are less apt to suffer damage from insects, fire, erosion and weather conditions.
  • Steel buildings do not suffer from splitting or rotting.
  • Most steel is pre-coated by the manufacturer to prevent rusting.
  • Frames can be reused or recycled when the building is torn down.

When you are looking at residential steel buildings information, you must consider the cost aspect above all other factors. In most cases, steel framed homes will cost 30 percent less than a wood frame home. This 30 percent can make the difference between a larger home and a smaller mortgage payment.

Types Of Steel Buildings In The Marketplace

A steel buildings buyer's guide must inform the consumer the types of steel buildings that are available today. This will allow consumers to fully understand the wide use of steel buildings and the impact they have on society.

  • Commercial buildings, including but not limited to: hospitals and medical complexes, shopping malls, aircraft hangars, toll booths and storage units.
  • Industrial buildings, such as warehouses, fabrications shops, trucking facilities.
  • Municipal buildings, including military structures, police and fire departments, government offices.
  • Agricultural buildings of all shapes and styles.
  • Community buildings such as schools and community centers.
  • Residential buildings which include single and multi-family structures, workshops, garages, storage units and car ports.

Steel buildings, as you can see can be designed to meet any need. Steel frames can be used alone, or in conjunction with wood to complete the project. 

Design Options For Steel Buildings

Residential steel buildings information would not be complete without a guide on the different types of designs that can be used with this type of frame work. Keep in mind, steel is used for the structure of the building, not the part that is visible to the eye, so design descriptions relate more to available space.

  • Symmetrical Gable. This is the most standard design for free standing residential steel buildings. This design has a roof that meets in the middle of the home and slants downwards. 
  • Lean-To. This is the type of structure that is used to connect a steel framed building with another structure. In residential building, this is how garages or workshops are added to the home.
  • Unsymmetrical. This type of structure is for custom designed buildings.

When you are reviewing this steel buildings buyers guide, make sure that you stop and ask these questions about design types:

  • Will the building be easy to insulate?
  • Will the building design meet all local building codes?
  • Will the design features that I like actually meet the needs I have?

It is very important to address these issues before you commit to a design style. You do not want to select a building because of the appearance, only to find out later it is much too small for your needs.

Cost For Steel Buildings

Anyone who is interested in a steel structured building is also interested in the price. The average price for a steel structure is between $15 and $20 per square foot. In some cases, depending on the size or location, the cost may be slightly higher. Areas that have heavy snow falls will be required to use thicker steel which may drive the price above the $20 mark.

Additional costs, such as laying a foundation may add between $2 and $4 per square foot. However, the cost of the foundation is usually combined in with the overall cost of construction.

It is important to remember that different companies will charge different prices for their steel structures. Consumers are advised to shop around before committing to any specific builder.

Basic Metal Building Advice

When you are preparing to erect a steel building, you should not skimp on the cost of building supplies. Your building is an investment, and you want to receive the most benefits from that investment. However, the cost of labor and other related items will differ from contractor to contractor. Always shop around to find the best prices. When you comparison shop you should:

  • Look for a company with lower labor and associate costs, not one with lower steel prices.
  • Research the company to make sure they have a solid reputation in the industry.
  • Verify insurance and bonding of the company for your own protection.
  • Request a time schedule of the construction project.

Taking a little time to do research on your steel building project will ensure that the project is a success.