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Planning a Steel Building Project

Steel buildings are major purchases for most people, and it is important that buyers learn as much about the product and the process as they can. In the first two pages of this section, we will offer you some general advice about planning your project and working with metal building companies, and then we will give you a step-by-step outline of how STEELBUILDING.COM's system works. If you are unclear about something or have questions, please call us at (800)-945-6572.

Budgeting For Your Metal Buildings
When planning your budget, it is important to consider the entire project. For even the simplest jobs, the building is rarely more than half of the overall cost. STEELBUILDING.COM's price includes the design, the drawings and the materials for the basic structure. The metal building will also need some type of foundation (see below), and its construction will require labor, tools and equipment. After that, the project cost will depend on how much the building and site are finished out. As you add features like electrical, heating and cooling, plumbing, flooring, landscaping, etc., the costs rise accordingly.

Building Permits for Steel Buildings
Before you buy your steel building, it is crucial that you determine your permit requirements. Unfortunately, some people try to avoid or delay this responsibility, which can increase the cost of your building project. As soon as you start shopping prices, you need to contact the local authority and find out if you must have a permit to build. If you do, you need answers to the following questions:
  • What is the building code (IBC, UBC, etc)?
  • What are the design loads (wind, etc.)?
  • Will you need to submit stamped drawings?
  • Will you need to submit design calculations?
You cannot get an accurate price without this information because it determines how a building is engineered. If you order a steel building designed to the wrong specifications, you could have a big problem. At best, it will need costly changes, and you might even have to pay for something you cannot use at all. Steel buildings in urban areas may also come under the jurisdiction of a zoning board and/or planning commission, and these may have additional requirements.

Metal Building Foundations
Your metal building will need some type of foundation on which to anchor the columns and thereby tie the whole structure together. Some agricultural steel buildings are designed to have dirt or gravel floors and consequently use concrete piers instead of a full slab; however, a concrete slab is best for most situations, like commercial or industrial steel buildings. Whatever foundation you use, we strongly recommend that you employ an experienced local foundation engineer to design it. Your erection drawings will include an "anchor-bolt setting plan with reactions," which will give a qualified engineer the necessary data to design a suitable foundation for your building.

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