These Three Govern All

Before you Invest any of your very hard earned dollars on a Steel/Metal Building there are THREE QUESTIONS WHICH MUST BE ANSWERED. Answering these questions will save you and your contractor hours in wasted time and effort.

  • What do You want?
    What size of building will suit your needs, length, width, eave height and roof pitch. This should not be what some steel building company has as a supposed “special buy”. Do you want roll up doors? If so how many and what size? Do you want to park your truck, travel trailer, fifth-wheel, or class A motor home inside? What is the length and height of these vehicles? How wide do you need these openings to be? Do you want to be able to walk past your 8’ wide travel trailer or your truck while it is parked in the door opening? The height of the openings for these vehicles will determine the height of your building. In most cases the “eave height” of your building will need to be at least 2 feet above your tallest door. How About walk through doors, windows or skylight panels? Do you want a mezzanine or second level in all or part of your building? Do you plan to install a vehicle lift for working on your project car? Do you want to have your building insulated? If you are planning to insulate will you need just enough to buffer the heat and cold or will this be your “man cave” and need a better insulating package? This is by no means a comprehensive list of the questions for your building and while your needs may be flexible in some of these items but the closer you can define what you really want the more time and frustration you will save throughout the process.
  • Does your Budget match your needs?
    (see Luke 14:28-30) If you’ve done any checking on the internet you have found dozens of companies, usually out-of-state, claiming the lowest prices on Steel Buildings. Some of them will even have online pricing tools to allow you to get a “quote” from them immediately. You should understand that these are for the steel package only. In my years of experience I have observed that this usually represents about 1/3 of the cost of completing your building. The other items not included in this online pricing include concrete engineering, concrete work, labor and equipment to erect your building, doors, windows, insulation, etc… A turn-key steel building project can run anywhere from $16 to $35 per square foot depending on the footprint size, eave height, number size and type of doors, concrete slab thickness, insulation ‘R’ value and additional features. Most of the workshop/storage type buildings we build on private properties range in the $20 to $25 psf range.
  • Can you legally build what you want?
    If you plan on obtaining a Building Permit, can you Legally build what you want on your property? Before you put a “down payment” on that steel building, do your homework. Nearly every construction project is affected by local, county, state or some other building code or regulatory agency. Unfortunately in this day and age the fact that you own the land doesn’t always mean you can legally build what you want on it. Find out who the building authority is in your area (Town, City or County), go to their offices and tell them what you would like to build and find out if there are any restrictions to your plan. By the way go in armed. No, I don’t mean with your latest gun show purchase, I mean go in prepared with a simple hand drawn sketch showing your property, existing structures, septic system, proposed steel building etc. I do this on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper or note pad. Specific questions for them include: Is my location in a flood plain? If so will a Grading and Drainage Plan or Report be required? What percentage of the property may be covered by structures? How close to the property lines, other structures or septic system can I build? Will there be a certified property survey required? Will a “Soils Report” be required? Is there a height limit on the building? What is the registered “Parcel Number” and what are the “recorded” exact dimensions of the property lines. Each of the above questions and many others have impacted or delayed one of my projects in the past costing me added trips, plan revisions, added plan review fees, plan reproduction fees and frustration. If you are dealing with a quality contractor he will likely help you through this or will do it for you.

We hope you find this simple guide helpful and would be thrilled to assist with all of your ‘Steel Building’ needs. For further service please contact usl. Sentry Builders, LLC 480-322-7784


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