The Best Steel buildings also referred to as metal buildings, have an adaptive design, high durability and yet are affordable. In this buyer’s guide, we will review steel building manufacturers, costs, as well as the option to build one from scratch.
Buildings built out of metal offer several key advantages over other buildings built with materials like wood or other inferior. Those tend to be not as sturdy as well as sport weak foundations.
Metal is structurally sound and manufactured to strict tolerance and specifications, and any surplus material is 100% recyclable.
Metal does not buckle, twist or bend easily. It is easy to modify and offers high flexibility of design. It is also easy to install.
Steel Buildings are chosen for their strength, durability, and resistance to weather, there are many ways to use metal in the construction industry.
The most common forms of metal are carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper tubing, each of which has their special qualities and ideal uses.
In general, however, these metals are ubiquitous in the world of construction and architecture.
Constructors praise carbon steel for its hardness and strength. It is normally used to make plates for highway construction, beams for structural framework, and rectangular tubing for welded frames, bridges, trailer beds, and more.
Carbon steel is also a preferred material for rebar and hollow structural sections (HSS). It is made by mixing iron and carbon and classified between “mild” and “very high” depending on the amount of carbon in the metal.
5 Best Metal Buildings
Metal Garage Buildings
Metal and steel are cost-effective and hold a stable price. They allow for improved quality of construction and reduce maintenance while providing enhanced safety and resistance.
Use of metal reduces the propagation of mold and mildew in residential buildings because mold needs porous, moist material to grow.
They can be designed to blend in seamlessly with their surroundings, so homeowners won’t have to worry about having their style compromised.
Most Americans need protection for their cars from hail, excessive heat, heavy wind, and torrential rain. Metal garages deliver reliable protection that is required.
They feature flexible designs, allowing customers to adapt their new structure to their ever-changing demands. If you’ve taken up a new hobby, you might need a dedicated space for it. An A-frame garage can be transformed into a studio easily.
Just like no two people are the same, neither are their needs. This is why companies’ customization options address individual tastes and needs. Here’s a list of some of the features you might need:
- Unlimited color options
- Horizontal or vertical paneling
- Different roof styles (ex. vertical, A-frame, regular)
Metal Storage Buildings
A standard metal building erected to your size requirements works well for extra storage space for product inventory or files.
To protect larger equipment such as oversized vehicles, aircraft, or other large machinery, metal buildings can be designed to any dimensions with your choice of windows, doors, and other accessories.
For those who need big roof-only storage, there are metal buildings with column-free interiors that provide wide open space to maneuver cars, trucks or larger equipment with ease.
Metal workshops should be built with the highest quality steel and paint systems, because it’s important to make sure the building is durable. If built right, the owner gains extra space for cars, trucks, motorbikes, woodworking equipment, and power tools and obtains a more efficient workspace for any of their projects.
Metal storage buildings are customized to meet load requirements based on the region. To get the best price, buy right from the manufacturer. You can choose from the following features:
- Residential doors
- Roll-up doors
- Canopies and overhangs
- Ridge vents
- Inset end walls
Large Metal Buildings
The most popular large metal buildings are aircraft and plane hangars, designed to protect jumbo jets, small single-engine planes, or anything in between.
Metal aircraft hangars can meet the requirements for commercial craft, personal aviation storage, and private jets.
Metal is the best construction material for aircraft hangars due to its durability, flexible design, and resistance to harsh weather, mold, water, and termites.
Most large metal buildings feature a clear span design, which allows for columnless interiors with a T-hangar design or a wide-open floor space.
Higher eaves are available to accommodate larger aircraft that allow a variety of door options, including hydraulic, bi-fold, or stack leaf design. You can choose from the following features:
- Ridge vents
- Below eave lean-tos
- Bi-fold, hydraulic & stack door options
Metal Building Brands
Choice Metal Buildings
Choice offers customers across the US a vast selection of fully-customizable metal buildings, each with a long list of available options and features.
Their products include barns, steel garages, sheds, carports, and more, all available with free installation and delivery nationwide.
Choice Metal Buildings is a loyal, highly valued custom metal building installation partner who looks beyond the bottom line.
According to many of their satisfied customers, they truly care about building lasting relationships and making sure the metal building installation process goes smoothly and results in a building that lasts for many decades.
Pacific Metal Buildings
Pacific Metal Buildings, Inc. is another nationally known company that offers excellent work and service to its valuable customers.
And each and every one is valuable to them – no order is too small for these professionals, who always give every Pacific Metal structure 100%.
They specialize in building and selling durable metal storage buildings including warehouses, carports, barns, mini storage units, and more.
There are standard or custom sizes available to suit your needs. They ask to be contacted directly for custom buildings. Buildings over 12’ require extra reinforcement.
Morton Metal Buildings
Morton’s tagline is, “When you build with Morton, you build something that lasts.”
Many clients will testify to its verity. Morton structures and buildings are long-lasting and durable, much like the company itself, which was founded over a century ago.
What is their secret? Good materials, good staff, and warranty that goes above and beyond what’s expected.
In the construction industry (as in every industry), you get what you pay for, and less is never more. Morton offers great value for money, and the reason for that is simple: quality. Morton want their clients to be proud of the buildings they’ve erected for them and pass them down to future generations.
What’s interesting about Morton Buildings is that it’s fully employee-owned.
This means the company is committed to being an industry leader with a focus on service, innovation, and quality, but most importantly, making sure each client is fully satisfied with their decision to contract Morton.
Buyers’ Guide – What To Look For When Choosing A Metal Building?
When choosing a metal building, go with a design that can be adapted to your changing and growing needs. Today, you may need a tool shed or just one garage.
In a few years’ time, you could find yourself running out of space. A lean-to is a simple addition that offers more options for future uses. A carport garage is a popular choice offering more workspace with a bit more investment.
If you need a garage, you can choose a three-car size building for two cars. This gives ample space for tools and room for work. After selecting the size, you can:
- Ensure the area is accessible to vehicles
- Make sure the building site is level
- Power should be available within 50 feet of the site
- Check local building rules for allowable colors and size
- Get permits/size of foundation necessary
Some steel building suppliers will only ship the components, while others will assist from design to the build. Steel garage kits may be useful by nature, but they should also reflect your home’s style as well as that of any other buildings on the property.
If there are no similarities, your property can look like separate lots. There are colors and roof styles to accessorize or match your home. Then, siding selections, doors, and windows can be added.
The Issue of Protection
The reason metal buildings are so popular is because of the protection they offer. From industrial equipment to vehicles, metal provides the safety that a wood building simply cannot.
Engineering to withstand hurricanes is vital for people who live in areas where heavy weather can strike. Anchoring the buildings with strict codes in place offers much-needed peace of mind.
A lot of companies use metal buildings as office space and for production and manufacturing work.
Barns for storage, animals, and machinery are cheaper and easier to maintain than their wooden counterparts. Homeowners who need awnings for campers, RVs, or boats often need special ordering.
While some customers know what design they want, this is something others may need help with.
Look for a responsive and responsible steel building seller who will work with you from the beginning to the end. Ideally, your provider should offer free installation.
How Much do Metal Buildings Cost? Metal Buildings Prices
Metal buildings prices depend on a variety of factors, including your chosen style and size, the area where you live (wind rating, snow load), and material gauges.
Not everyone provides an option for 12 GA metal framing, which is stronger and thicker than the default 14 GA. Prices range from $3,100 for a small metal building to as much as $50,000 for a big, industrial sized metal construction project.
Below are some prices:
- 12 x 6 Horse barns Cost around $2,400
- Pre-engineered steel buildings – the average cost of $18 per sq. ft.
- 10x10x10 Steel Storage Building typical cost for $7,000 to $9,000
- 50×100 Steel Building cost is $19,500
- 30×50 Building or Workshop average cost $16,000
- 30×40 Building cost around $11,200.
- Large 60×80 Insulated Steel Building Complete with Windows Average cost $41,000
What is the Best Insulation for Metal Buildings?
We’d say it’s fiberglass insulation. This is the most popular and cheapest method of insulating metal buildings. It is sold in rolls of “blanket” material.
You don’t need to be a pro to install it, but it’s essential to wear a mask. Further protective clothing is a good idea because fiberglass is likely to shed fine fibers.
Metal building fiberglass insulation has been certified by the National Association of Home Builders and is known as NAIMA 202-96R, meaning it fulfills the requirements of this particular NAIMA standard and heat-related performance in metal buildings.
Because it’s a soft batting, this insulation type can attract birds, nesting bugs, and rodents, and may absorb moisture. This is why there almost always is a protective facing or vapor barrier for metal building insulation.
Not only does this provide protection, but it also adds an attractive finished appearance to the interior of the building. The facing is offered in a variety of colors and styles to meet your requirements.
Fiberglass may be the best insulation, but it’s not the only kind. In certain cases, some others might be better. We’ll discuss some of these below.
Loose fill is insulation made up of fiber pellets or loose fibers. The insulation is blown into building cavities, much like spraying water from a hose.
It can be more expensive than other types of insulation, but it can get blown into places and corners where a blanket might not fit (see below).
Batt and Blanket
This type of insulation is made up of mineral fibers of rock wool or processed fiberglass. Batt is quite cheap, but it must be installed carefully to be as effective as possible.
Some options have a radiant barrier backing, which is the best type for metal buildings. Both blanket and batt have R-values of R-3 per inch.
Spray Foam Insulation
Similar in nature to loose-fill, spray foam insulation comes as a liquid with a foaming agent and polymer such as polyurethane.
It can be sprayed into walls, floors, and ceilings where it expands to fit the space. The insulation then hardens into a solid cellular plastic containing air-filled cells.
It easily fills all the nooks and crannies until they are airtight in areas you may not be able to insulate any other way.
Spray foam is ideal for unusual shapes or areas with a lot of obstructions. More expensive than the batt, it is a better air barrier.
This type of insulation is waterproof, but it tends to be more expensive. On the plus side, it’s clean and easy to install using glue, staples, or nails. No mask or other protective gear is needed.
This type of insulation is perfect for any climate. Typically made of fiberglass, polyurethane, or polystyrene, this type is available in a variety of performance ratings, highly heat- and moisture-resistant, and very effective for dampening noise. Depending on cut thickness, the R-value can range from R-4 to R-8.
It’s relatively easy to install, but always make sure you tell your metal building provider if you plan to use this type of insulation so he can make proper accommodations, such as longer fasteners and extended panel lengths.
Finally, this insulation is comprised of an insulating foam core between two metal panels. The need for board or fiberglass insulation is thereby eliminated.
Although costlier than the other insulation options, this type features exceptional insulating properties, a streamlined architectural appearance, and faster installation times.
What Industries Use Metal Buildings?
Almost every industry in the world uses metal buildings, but we’ll focus on three, where they are most popular – warehouse and storage, agriculture, and repair.
Steel prefab warehouses are the perfect choice for even the most sophisticated warehouse infrastructures.
Warehouse and Storage Industry
The warehouse and storage industry opts for column-free structures that are customizable with millions of functional components to provide flexible, efficient, and expandable environments.
An ever-increasing percentage of farm and ranch buildings are being built with steel, but the quality of the material provided for these buildings can differ depending on the company. High-end agricultural buildings are always made of durable, high-quality steel.
Repair and Mechanic Shops
Advances in steel production and engineering software have created a way for prefab metal buildings to serve this industry effectively. Repair shop building kits are designed to specifications, manufactured at factories, shipped to the job site, and erected in a few weeks.
These buildings should be impervious to mold and termites, strong, fire-resistant, durable, attractive, and versatile. Accessories like skylights, high-quality insulation packages, gutters, windows, and overhead doors are delivered together with the steel framing package.
Prefab Steel Building or Building from Scratch?
Many farmers perceive the pole barn on their property as a proud symbol of the history of their family. However, today’s industrial leaders are choosing steel buildings increasingly as a more innovative and effective option.
Since the main framing of pole barns is set in the soil instead of on top of a concrete pier or pad, the pole barn structure can shift. Considering how fast soil conditions can change, pole barn design is not reliable and even potentially dangerous.
As the ground moves, so will the poles, which is likely to compromise the structural integrity of a building. Prefab metal could be a better option if you live in an area with even minor expansive soil.
Improved Quality Control
As steel buildings are designed and fabricated in-house, you can be sure there will be strict levels of quality control at all times. There is also the added benefit of a single source of safety and responsibility.
Usually, traditional metal buildings are fabricated on-site, where there is more than a single source in action and where it is harder to monitor and enforce quality control. This can pose a risk to the safety of future occupants and affect the durability and longevity of the building.
In most cases, you’ll have a faster, lighter, and more quality-controlled product if you choose a pre-engineered building compared to a conventional counterpart.
Fast and Affordable
Normally, prefab structures will be faster and cheaper to build. In most cases, all of your drawings, plans, engineering, architectural design, and other relevant sketches are included in the price of your metal building.
Steel building producers dispose of highly specialized computer software programs and in-house designers who can tailor your building’s design to your needs quickly and efficiently.
This is not the case with a building designed from scratch, with lots of design and detailing work required. Usually, conventional design methods cost more and take more time than prefabs.
Prefab metal buildings can be delivered in seven weeks on average, while conventional buildings must be ordered in parts, leading to delivery times of up to 26 weeks.
What is more, conventional metal buildings are usually framed using hot-rolled, mill-produced steel beams and columns, which can incur costs for extra materials.
A prefab building is made using precise materials, due to which it can be 30% lighter than a traditional one. This makes a huge difference in soil impact and material cost.
What is Better: Steel Building or Metal Building?
Smart businesspeople or homeowners will opt for a metal over a wooden building. Now there’s another decision to make: steel or metal?
Both yield durable, strong, and low-maintenance buildings but there are some differences between the two options, which we’ll go into shortly.
Metal is a solid material that is normally ductile, hard, malleable, shiny, and fusible with good heat and electrical conductivity. Steel is an alloy of iron with carbon. It is not a natural material, but a manmade one, created by heating ingredients until they melt.
Metal has a much broader meaning than steel. There are many metal elements, including lead, tin, aluminum, iron, uranium, zinc, nickel, copper, silver, and gold. We can say not all metals are steel, but all steel is metal. Although both nickel and zinc are metals, nobody would build a nickel house or a zinc ship.
So should you buy a steel building or a metal building? As you’ve read, either term can be used, so it doesn’t matter. It’s just an issue of word choice.
Thank you for reading our in-depth metal building article. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below!
Ruben has been doing online marketing for the last 4 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years managing different brick-and-mortar businesses, in the home improvement and logistics industries. Overall, he has 20 years of business experience under his belt. Recently, he added SEO, affiliate marketing, and link building to his business skills.