The family at Great Western Building Systems is proud to supply the highest quality product available. Any quote supplied is guaranteed to include our exclusive lifetime guarantee, G-90 galvanized girts and purlins, and a primary structure powder coated with grey oxide primer. Our team has pooled years of experience from all over the nation to identify features that make our steel buildings withstand the tests of time.
Multiple factors affect the price of your steel building. Steel building pricing is calculated by the weight of the steel needed to make your building on a price-per-pound basis. Steel is a commodity and its price fluctuates depending on market demand, import tariffs, and competition. Additionally, the features of your building can significantly impact its weight and therefore the cost. Heavier buildings cost more, and lighter buildings cost less.
Larger buildings generally weigh more, and large clear span spaces will often require more weight per square foot. Tougher buildings are also costlier, so if your building location has high winds, high snow, or other environmental stressors like earthquakes you will want a building engineered to withstand those high forces. Each building is custom engineered to stand up against these forces, and the design will require more steel if the conditions in that area are on the high end. Other considerations are the local building authority codes and loads (usually designed around the local environment), the use of the building (will it need to support HVAC or a crane?),
The short answer is you will want to include any weight that will be supported at the roof of the building during your planning process. If you are building a factory that has minimum ventilation and sprinkler requirements, the weight of these items will need to be factored into the strength of your building. If you do not plan for them in advance, then you building may not be adequately engineered to support the systems you need to obtain occupancy permits.
Many of our customers build for storage or personal use, and will not need to plan for these heavy items. We offer many other lightweight ventilation options that can be used to allow your building to breathe. We offer ridge vents, cupolas, and louvers, and adding multiple openings throughout the building can create a nice cross breeze if you want to air out the space.
Framed Openings typically won’t increase the price of a building. The addition of a framed opening support is counter-acted by the decrease in steel needed at the location of the opening. One exception is if a framed opening is placed in the middle of a support beam. This sort of design change will increase the cost of the building because it will need to be re-designed and re-engineered. Another exception is if a framed opening is added to every bay. Bay’s typically have X-bracing, and a framed opening prevents the use of X-bracing. Instead, the building will be supported by portal frames which will increase the weight.
Accessory costs can also add up quickly, but if you do your research a lot of nice accessories can be still be added on a budget. Be sure to make a plan for overhead doors, walk doors, windows, and even translucent light panels. There are a lot of options out there for these accessories with a variety of price points, so consider your options carefully and determine whether you need commercial or residential quality materials.
Include in your plan any dirt work, concrete (slab, footers, or foundation), and erection costs. The quality of dirt in your area will affect the need and cost for dirt work. You will want to consult with a local expert to get an accurate quote for any dirt work needed. This will be especially important if you are planning to put your building on a hill or near other features that have to be mitigated by the foundation. You should also plan to obtain your concrete work locally. The advantage of local foundation work is that the company will be familiar with the dirt and terrain in your area, so they will be able to provide an accurate quote and they will have experience with your specific needs.
If you are pricing out the cost of erection, you may wish to use local workers or you can locate a high quality traveling erection team. Companies that travel typically work on larger projects, while local crews usually put up smaller projects. You can go either way but when pricing these out be sure to ask for references and photos of their previous work. You will also want to make sure they are completely insured for the work.
Square footage is calculated by multiplying the length of the building by its width. Determining the right size for your building should be dictated by a few factors. First, how much space do you have to build? If you have a large plot of land, this probably won’t be the limiting factor, but if you have a small plot of land you may need to find out about building codes and setbacks. A setback is the distance you need to have between the edge of your building and your property line. This distance will vary depending on your local building codes, but is usually 10 - 15 ft. You also may have rules about how close you can place your building to another building like your home.
Once you’ve determined any size limitations based on the property, you will also need to determine how much space you need for the planned function of your building. This is usually calculated by square footage. A typical home ranges from about 1500 square feet to 3500 square feet, with the average around 2500. Homes averages are growing as people want more space inside. Calculate the square footage of your own home by multiplying the length by the wide by the number of floors. This will give you an idea of how much room you are working with and help you visualize the space. If you are building for heavy machinery, you will want to get dimensions and space requirements from the manufacturer of the machinery and be sure to also leave space for OSHA safety requirement. If you are building for personal use, it will generally depend on personal preference and budget.
Even simple building projects involve a lot of moving parts. Once you begin researching the cost of the building itself, it’s time to make sure the rest of your planning is in place. The initial design, land, and perhaps financing should all be in the works. The size of your building, its intended uses, and design features will become more important as you begin to finalize the goals of your project. The building location and finishing touches will begin to solidify as you progress through the planning process, and it’s incredibly exciting to watch your dream become a reality.
The initial design of your project is important so you can ensure the steps along the way will meet your goals. Using the size of your home or another familiar space, you can decide how much space you really need to ensure your building will provide appropriate access, clearance, and space to work on your prized cars, store your Class A motorhome, or build your dream barndominium.
The planned use of your building will need to be determined so you can ensure the structure meets the codes and loads of your local building authority. Hay storage will likely have different county or city requirements than a building that will be used as a home or office. If you plan to house valuable livestock or a classic car collection, you may wish to overbuild, or build stronger than the local building authority requires. Individuals in hurricane prone areas often request the highest wind loads so they can build with peace of mind.
When you are drawing up your initial design, certain features greatly affect the price you will be quoted. First of all and most obvious is the size. Bigger and taller buildings will cost more, because they will use more steel. If you have a large clear span space for a riding arena, airplane hangar, or wedding venue it will also be pricier, but our customers always say it’s worth having the large open unobstructed views inside their buildings.
More complex designs with hipped roofs (multiple roof peaks that run into each other, usually at a ninety degree angle) also have aesthetic appeal. The addition of lean-to’s or other complex arrangements in the base design should be planned for early on in the initial design. Many metal building companies will approach these types of designs as multiple buildings. This allows them to be engineered independently before they are “put together” in the final design. Any shape that isn’t “box” like is also typically considered complex, so if you need a special shape to meet setback requirements, or if you want an octagonal building, expect to pay more for complexity.
The next item to consider is the location of your building. It will determine some up-front costs, as well as the minimum codes and loads required for any building. If you haven’t secured land, you have the opportunity to shop for a parcel that will lower your building costs and meet your targeted space and orientation ideas.
In mountainous areas, there are case study areas that are elevation dependent. Usually higher elevations will require a higher snow load. Also, you may want to consider the possibility of drift snow loads. These are areas where you intend to build that could cause a buildup of snow against your building.
If the land you choose is sloped or hilly, you will need to have dirt work done before concrete is poured. Dirt work will dramatically increase the cost of your project, so it may be worth buying a slightly more expensive parcel if the land already has a nice flat area for your to place your building.
Dirt quality and concrete work are also important costs to consider. A local concrete company will be knowledgeable about the dirt in your area, and will be well prepared to quote the cost of the work you need to prepare for your building. Some projects are ideal for a concrete slab, while horse arenas usually just use concrete footers to support the steel beams that hold up the building.
Once the concrete is poured and cured, you will either put up your metal building yourself or hire and erector (usually for larger and more complex projects). The advantage of putting it up yourself is it will save a lot of money. You may need to rent a scissor lift and some specific tools, but it is still very cost effective to do it yourself.
If you plan to insulate your building, you will want to have the insulation ready before you start sheeting your project. It is far more cost effective to install the insulation during erection then to try and add it later.
Standing seam roofs are an excellent choice, especially for larger buildings. They are free-floating and allow expansion and contraction without the risk of introducing leaks. Upgrades and accessories can be added later, or ordered along with the initial building depending whether you are trying to put off some of the costs. Many customers order overhead doors, man doors, windows, and translucent light panels.
Steel buildings are great because of their cost, versatility, and ease of erection. Many people save a lot of money by managing their own project and putting it up themselves. Because these buildings are pre-engineered, they arrive with instructions and are designed to fit together piece by piece. In addition, they can be engineered to have large open spaces, and to withstand many strong forces of nature. If you want a building guaranteed to last, Great Western Buildings will supply you with the best.