September 26, 2019
The Cost of Steel Buildings
When you consider purchasing a steel building, the first question that may come to mind is, “How much does a steel building cost?” Many people then think, “I don’t want to get ripped off!” or “I want to do this as cheaply as possible.”
But the word “cheap” has a negative connotation for a reason, and Heritage does not sell “cheap” buildings. Steel buildings are an investment that you can depend on for decades, so doesn’t it make sense to focus on getting good value for your money?
Value is not defined as the lowest price you can get for an item. It is defined as “the relative worth, merit or importance of an item.” Steel is a sturdy and long-lasting material that is often warrantied for decades and—if installed and maintained correctly—can last for generations. When selecting a steel building manufacturer, you want to be confident in the product they deliver. From the quality of the metal panels and components to the services, processes and teams supporting your project, you should experience excellence through every step of the project. All this adds up, and the exceptional performance of your building over time make for good value, which is never a rip-off.
Many people assume that their steel building cost is based on square footage, or simply length times width times height. It isn’t that simple. It’s important to understand that while the size of a building does play a role in the cost of building materials, it isn’t the most important factor. There are a variety of other aspects that affect the price of your metal building.
Steel is sold by weight – the heavier your building, the more it will cost for both the building and the freight.
What adds more steel, i.e. additional weight, to a building? Eave height, interior columns, additional bracing, bay size, framed openings, and heavier panel gauge just to name a few. Some of these cost-adding features may be necessitated by the building’s end-use; some may be influenced by your aesthetic preferences.
There are also many building enhancements you may either want or need to be included on your building. Some examples are canopies and purlin extensions, lean-to’s, a standing-seam roof, or your chosen base condition, among others. These are optional and don’t affect the functionality of your building, but they each have their own merit and worth.
Where is your metal building’s geographic location? Location can make a difference to the associated snow and wind rating requirements, as well as many other job site specific details such as seismic activity and wind exposure. Be sure you understand all applicable codes and loads in your area so steel building manufacturers like Heritage can provide accurate cost estimates and help design a building to meet those specifications.
One factor that influences your steel building cost is fluctuating raw material prices. Steel is a global commodity and its value depends on a variety of factors. The price of steel can vary depending on the cost of raw materials, supply and demand, shipping costs, trade tariffs, natural disasters, wars and political events. Many steel building manufacturers like Heritage can leverage their size and buying power to secure lower material costs for their customers.
Your “building” consists only of the frame and the sheeting. But the price of your building is only one item to consider when determining a budget—and it’s generally a fraction of the total cost. There are a variety of factors to consider to fully understand the additional costs that you may incur outside of the steel building.
Construction costs come into play when you hire a general contractor, or even when you do it yourself. If you hire a contractor, you’ll want to make sure they align their construction and labor schedules with the steel building manufacturer’s product production and delivery timelines.
If your contractor brings a crew to the jobsite before the material is scheduled to be delivered, the contractor will still have to pay the crew for their time. Ensuring alignment here saves loads of time and headaches. If you decide to erect the building yourself, do you have all the right tools to do so or will you have to rent or purchase additional tools? Here are some tools that will be important to have on hand for a DIY job.
Anything not part of the steel framing or sheeting that will be installed on the building is considered an accessory and can increase your steel building cost. Accessories you will purchase from a third-party—whether through a partner of Heritage’s or on your own—include windows, walk doors, vehicle doors and insulation, among others. If some or all your accessories will come from one of our partners, these can be included in your Heritage price quote.
If accessories are purchased elsewhere, it’s important to decide which you will choose and from where as soon as possible. The size and location of items like overhead doors can affect the building price and should be communicated as clearly as possible to a Project Consultant.
With accessories, you generally get what you pay for. It’s like buying a car—the base model is functional, it gets you from point A to point B, and it’s affordable. However, the longevity or soundness of it may not be the same as the mid-range or luxury version of that car. When you think of accessories, think of them as the parts of your building that it only makes sense to get as much longevity out of as you can so they can match the long lifespan of the building itself.
It’s a good rule of thumb to purchase the best quality accessories you can afford. Would you rather buy the cheapest option of anything—be it a car or an overhead door—only to have to repair or replace it sooner and more often? Or would you rather invest more now in a superior version so it will function better for longer?
When calculating the cost of your building project, it’s important to consider the cost of the land you’re planning to erect the metal building on. Renting or leasing land will be an additional expense. Even if you own the land, you’ll still have to factor in any applicable permitting fees.
Is a new foundation necessary for your steel building? While it won’t affect the cost of the steel building Heritage provides you, adding a new foundation will add to your total project cost. Heritage is not a general contractor and does not provide concrete, so you will need a general contractor or concrete contractor who specializes in foundations to lay it.
Don’t get us wrong…we love a good deal. However, let’s discuss why scoring the cheapest metal building might not be the best choice. At Heritage, we do not make cheap metal buildings, but we are priced competitively. You can expect the best quality of materials used for Heritage’s buildings backed by the leading exterior building product company in America.
There are a variety of factors that affect your steel building cost and the project as a whole. At Heritage, we offer high-quality building solutions that provide value for years to come. Contact your local Heritage representative today to find out more information or receive a quote for a metal building that meets your needs.