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Commercial steel buildings were once limited to structures such as skyscrapers, barns, airplane hangars, and metal storage buildings. But, due to improved cost effectiveness, greater refinement, and better construction techniques, metal buildings can now be used in a wide range of applications. Commercial metal building technology has come far and now offers so many construction options. It can be a daunting task to determine the exact type of structure that is right for your business. In order to help you with your purchase, this buying guide identifies the major types of steel buildings, explains their benefits, and offers general pricing information.
The Benefits of Commercial Steel Buildings
Compared with traditional construction techniques, metal building construction provides a number of advantages, including:
- Affordability: All of the components of prefabricated metal buildings (also known as prefab metal buildings) are produced to order in a factory. Once pre-engineered steel buildings arrive at the construction site they only need to be bolted together, a process that results in dramatically reduced labor costs.
- Fast construction: The prefabrication process described above also means that your commercial steel building can be up, running, and helping you make money in a matter of weeks instead of months. It's also quick and simple to expand or modify pre-engineered metal buildings.
- Maintenance free: Once completed, commercial metal buildings may not require upkeep for as long as 30 years, and you won't have to worry about fire damage.
- Environmentally friendly: Using steel as a construction material results in fewer trees being cut down in ecologically sensitive areas. Plus, the metal is easy and desirable to recycle, and steel commercial buildings can be very energy efficient when properly insulated.
Types of Metal Commercial Buildings
Metal steel commercial buildings come are available in two basic designs:
- Arch: Commonly referred to as a Quonset hut, arch style commercial steel buildings are suitable for a wide range of applications such as industrial, commercial, agricultural, and military. The very simple construction of arch style steel buildings places them among the most affordable types of metal buildings, and they are a reasonable project for those interested in do it yourself metal buildings. The drawbacks of an arch design, however, are limited customization, the inability to put windows or doors on the sides, and limited overhead clearance in some places.
- Rigid frame: Rigid frame steel buildings allow for the type of customization found in traditional construction methods (windows and doors can go anywhere), but are still more cost effective. Using rigid metal building designs, it is possible to build a wide variety of steel frame buildings, including agricultural buildings, churches, gymnasiums, manufacturing buildings, recreational facilities, retail locations, schools, and much more.
Commercial Steel Buildings Average Costs - Samples
The following steel building prices are only meant to serve as a rough overview. Actual metal building prices can vary significantly by region, supplier, and the current cost of raw materials.
- In general, you can expect to pay approximately $15 to $25 per square foot for a basic rigid frame commercial steel building (all inclusive).
- More customized/refined commercial metal steel buildings might cost closer to $20 to $40 per square foot.
- If you're interested in constructing a do-it-yourself commercial steel building, metal building kits could run you somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 to $20 per square foot, while a poured concrete foundation might cost around $5 to $10 per square foot.
- Insulation, while it could easily add thousands of dollars to your overall construction costs, will save you significant money in utilities in the long run, not to mention boosting the resale value of the structure.
- For the following steel building kits, you can expect to pay approximately:
- $10,000 to $12,000 for a 20 x 20 rigid frame commercial steel building and $6,000 to $8,000 for a 20 x 20 arch frame commercial metal building.
- $16,000 to $20,000 for a 40 x 40 rigid frame steel building and $14,000-$16,000 for a 40 x 40 arch frame metal building.
- $70,000 to $80,000 for a 100 x 100 rigid frame commercial metal building and $40,000 to $50,000 for an 80 x 80 arch style commercial metal building.
- $275,000 to $325,000 for a 200 x 200 rigid frame metal building and $80,000 to $100,000 for an 80 x 200 arch steel building.
Points to Consider before Purchasing a Business Metal Building
Consider the following factors when looking for your ideal building to help ensure a smooth purchase process.
- Requisites: What are your requirements? Consider your current needs as well as what you envision happening in the future.
- Size: Your building needs to house your employees, as well as any growth you expect to occur. Don't forget the equipment you house, products, and activities conducted within its walls. For example, if you need a large production area, figure that in as part of your size needs.
- Insulation: As with traditional buildings, insulation keeps the cold and heat outside as well as providing soundproofing against outside noises as well as those originating from within.
- Feasibility: Make sure that your business will work with this setup and that colleagues and clients adapt to the new environment.