Do you need a new office building as your business grows? Or maybe you really should have an indoor riding arena for your horse? Or your company needs to expand with new manufacturing facilities? Maybe you just want a great outbuilding or shed for storage and other projects?
You’ve heard that steel buildings are a great option. You’ve heard that steel building construction can save you time and money, that metal buildings go up fast, and since they are pre-engineered, there are no surprises. They come in on budget, and are expertly engineered to meet the local building codes so the building permitting process is easy. And you can make all the design decisions yourself. But where to start? It’s not as complicated as you think. Here a some steel building buying tips that will help the novice metal buildings buyer feel confident as a pro.
Do call your local building department and explain that you would like to build a pre engineered steel building on your lot and give them the location. Ask whether the local building codes allow for pre-engineered steel buildings. If they do, ask what the applicable metal building codes are. Remember to ask about “setbacks” and other code requirements that may prohibit the use of prefab metal buildings or any building for that matter on a given lot.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that building codes are standard. Many times the builder or steel buildings supplier will give code information based on the standards in the metal building industry. However, there are no standard steel building codes that will satisfy building code requirements across the board. A reputable steel building supplier will make sure that the building price they quote incorporates all applicable building codes.
Do check the steel buildings supplier with the Better Business Bureau and the Dunn & Bradstreet report.
Don’t be afraid to talk in depth with your steel building supplier. Describe in detail what you want the building for, whether it is for a horse barn, a church, a warehouse, or manufacturing plant. Make sure the supplier understands exactly what the final use of the building will be. The building use will influence many design decisions and ultimately the final price.
Do know exactly what you want before you order. Decide the dimensions of the building you want to build, the width, length, and height of the building. Where do you want the doors and windows? What color do you want for the walls, roof, and trim? Are there other steel building accessories you would like, such as skylights, cupolas, gutters, and downspouts? Do you need insulation for the building? Don’t assume that doors and windows, gutters and downspouts are included. Many times the framed openings for doors and windows are included, but not the doors and windows themselves, which are additional.
Do consider your options for the roof. Do you want a standing seam roof or the screw down roofing system? A screw down roofing panel is the most commonly used panel for metal buildings roofing, and if properly installed will give you many years of weather tightness.
What about roof pitch? Roof pitch describes the steepness of the roof slope. The standard roof pitch on pre-engineered steel buildings is 1:12. This is the most economical in terms of heating and cooling. Because the structural steel frames are strong enough to support the roof, in most cases a steeper pitch is not required, although you may want a steeper pitch for aesthetic reasons, for example, if you are building a church, or you like the more traditional look of a steeper pitch.
What about color? Many steel buildings have roofs of Galvalume steel, which is a silvery color, and may qualify for Energy Credit under the Federal Tax Code. Some metal building companies have a color option for the roof, which allows you to choose from an array of energy efficient siliconized polyester coating steel buildings colors that will save you even more on energy costs.
Do you like the look of stucco, stone, or brick? If you do, make sure the steel buildings supplier can provide pre-cast panels or other materials that will give the look of wood, stone, or brick to harmonize with pre-existing construction, and to satisfy the local codes, which, in some areas of the country do not allow for standard metal siding.
Do make sure you are comparing identical buildings when comparing pricing. If the price from one steel building supplier seems markedly lower, take a closer look – you may find that what they are offering at the lower price is cutting corners and you will get an inferior building in the end.