How Much Does a Residential Steel Frame Home Cost?
Last Updated: June 23, 2022
CostOwl.com note: Need a steel building at an affordable price? Fill out the 30 second questionnaire below and our steel building partners will send you free price quotes.
On This Page
Quick Summary: Residential Metal Building Prices #
A metal home will cost between $20 and $40 per square foot including concrete foundation, materials and assembly.
Although you may have heard of steel being used to build warehouses, barns, and other storage facilities, the idea of residential steel buildings may seem a bit unusual. But, the same reasons that make steel a desirable building material for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications—cost effectiveness, speed, eco friendliness, and low maintenance—also make it an outstanding choice for residential construction. As we move towards a more practical and sustainable society, people are looking for materials that provide more efficiency and less environmental impact. If you want to be on the cutting edge of home construction, then keep reading to find out more about residential metal buildings, including how much you can expect to pay for one.
Reasons to Buy a Residential Steel Building #
Residences constructed from steel provide a number of advantages over those made from traditional building materials, including:
- Price and Speed: All of the pieces for a residential metal building are pre-fabricated, which makes construction more closely resemble assembly. As a result, pre-engineered steel buildings can reduce labor costs by around 1/3 and be ready to move into much sooner than conventionally built residences.
- Maintenance-free quality: Steel has a superior strength to weight ratio, and steel residential buildings are, therefore, stronger and lighter than traditionally framed buildings. Also, because metal stands up better to the elements, structures made from it do not warp, crack or shrink the way wood buildings do. In fact, some steel building manufacturers are so confident in their products that they offer 30 year guarantees.
- Better for you and the environment: One of the greatest benefits of using steel building kits for residences is that they provide outstanding indoor air quality due to their ability to resist the growth of molds. A residential metal building also does not require the chemical additives that a wooden structure often does to keep away termites and other pests. And you'll also be creating a lower ecological impact with prefab steel buildings because they generate less waste and the metal is 100% recyclable.
- Customized looks: A steel residential building can be made to look just like any other home on the block, both inside and out. The layout, decoration, finish, and insulation are totally customizable,
- so you won't have to sacrifice aesthetics or comfort to get an affordable, low-maintenance, environmentally friendly metal residential building.
Residential Steel Building Average Costs - Samples #
Fluctuations in material costs and local and individual supplier pricing means that actual steel building prices can be difficult to pin down. The following figures should only be used as a rough overview of metal building prices.
The cost (materials, delivery, concrete foundation, and assembly) to build a residential steel building is approximately $20 to $40 per square foot or more.
A poured concrete foundation for residential steel buildings costs about $5 to $10 per square foot.
Adding insulation to a steel residential building costs approximately $1 to $3 per square foot.
For accessories such as windows and doors, factor in an additional 15-25% (includes delivery fees and installation).
Anyone interested in building a do-it-yourself residential steel building can expect to pay around $10 to $20 per square foot for materials. If you need help with labor, factor in another $5 to $10 per square foot.
Residential steel homes with the following square footage might cost approximately:
A 1,500 square foot residence: $30,000 to $60,000
A 2,400 square foot residence: $50,000 to $100,000
A 5,000 square foot residence: $100,000 to $200,000
What Do You Need to Do Before Your Steel Building Is Delivered? #
First things first, it is important that the site of your steel building has been carefully thought out. The area must be properly staged, with enough room for the delivery driver to access the space. Be sure that all site-work has been completed before the delivery of materials.
You need to make arrangements for your erection contractor to be on-site on the day of delivery. They need to verify that everything has been delivered and accounted for. If you are erecting the building yourself, it is crucial that you be incredibly thorough to make sure no parts are damaged or missing.
If you have a contractor, be sure that your contract states who will be off-loading and staging the materials, as the manufacturer does not supply equipment or labor.
- The equipment you need depends on the size of your building, but most necessitate pallet jacks, a crane, and/or a forklift rental.
Steel Building Design Plans #
If your steel building is customized, the accuracy of the plans you deliver has a direct impact on the amount of time it takes the engineered drawings to make it through the approval process. The more detail you provide, the easier it is to make the final plans come together. Try to create a drawing that is as close to what you want as possible to ensure an accurate quote and building. It is a good idea to include the layout and geometry of the building in your sketch.
- The more precise your plans, the better and faster the building comes together.
Steel Building Production and Delivery Time #
After the engineered drawings have been approved, it is time to gather materials for production. The materials used affect production time, with custom materials being harder to obtain and in-stock materials reducing time to completion. Selecting colors may also increase production time. Fabrication does not begin until the materials are available; anything not in stock has to be created or purchased.
Once the materials have been gathered and all components produced, the steel building is ready to ship. The distance from the manufacturer to the building site, the roadway to the site, and the weather conditions all contribute to the time it takes to ship. Delivery times are highly variable, differing from project to project.
Most companies provide an exact date and/or time to make sure you are ready for delivery.
Steel Building Assembly and Completion #
The amount of time it takes to assemble and fully complete a steel building comes down to the weather, size of the building, type of building, and local building codes. Harsh weather causes issues with equipment and can be dangerous to work in. During heavy rain or snow, these issues are more prevalent and it is more difficult to even reach the job site.
Larger, more complex steel buildings take longer to assemble than standard or DIY steel buildings. The building layout makes a difference, as well, with more doors and windows requiring more construction time. Steel buildings also need climate control, which requires additional work for the ducts and insulation. Exterior features, such as downspouts and gutters, add to the construction time.
Always be sure that the plans for your steel building are up to any codes or regulations within your area.
- Otherwise, you run the risk of having to change plans to meet these rules, extending the amount of time and work that goes into the project.
How to Shop for a Metal Building #
Metal buildings have their own unique construction issues, such as building codes and engineering. Consider the following items and direct questions to your vendor or contractor.
- Building codes: You need to understand the building codes to determine whether there are any complications with the site itself and take care of any issues before you unwittingly violate some code and have to pay a fine.
- Engineering: Look at design, function, and structural engineering to determine how well the building fulfills your needs.
- Product quality: A well-made business metal building lasts years if not decades. Look at the materials lists, as well as roofing products and weather guards, to determine how well your building is likely to hold up against time and the elements.
- Budget: When budgeting, expect to pay 10 to 15 percent more than the price you were quoted. If you were wrong, it's a pleasant surprise. If you were right, you aren't now scrambling for funds.
- Extras: Painting, weather proofing, gutters, and trim are those little extras that indicate a higher quality product.
Watch: Prefab Metal Building Construction for an Affordable Home #
Watch this video to walk through an affordable metal building home conversion.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Steel Framed Construction
- Metal Building System Guidelines