Constructing a custom steel building begins long before the materials arrive. Carefully planning the pre-construction phase will ensure your building design, delivery and erection goes without a hitch and lasts for years.
Budgeting for your steel building
As obvious as it may seem, your budget has to take into account the entire project. In fact, the steel building itself is rarely more than half the overall cost of a project. There’s the foundation, the labor, tools and equipment. Then, how will you want the building finished out? Adding electrical, air conditioning and heating, plumbing, flooring and landscaping all have to be factored into your total project budget.
You’ll no doubt need to secure financing. The good news is there are several ways to structure a loan. Be sure to select a lender who can explain all the pluses and minuses of options such as building financing to lot/land and construction loans.
Steel building permits
Every steel building is engineered based on its location, size and your intended use. Our Steel Building HomeShow Pro, Mueller Inc, starts by understanding your use of the building and works the other details from there. It’s critical you first make sure your building meets local code requirements as well as possible Homeowners Association restrictions. If a permit is required, you’ll need answers to questions like:
- 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?
These answers determine how your building engineered. Using the wrong specifications leads to problems such as costly changes. This is just one more reason why carefully working through the planning phase is so crucial.
Designing your steel building
How will you use your building? What accessories will you want? Visualizing your building in detail helps you see enhancements that will save money down the road. For instance, planning now for gutters, custom doors, or upgraded windows may cost more now, but would be more expensive to add later.
While your steel building components are being fabricated, you need to have your site prepared. Typically, your steel building is best placed on a slight rise allowing for water run off. Factor in how the sun and wind will affect your building’s year-round interior comfort and exterior ease of access.
The company you choose to erect your building can help determine what site prep is necessary. For example, you will need to have the property surveyed. You would also be wise to get the soil surveyed as well. With this complete, excavation can begin.
Planning Your Foundation
Every steel building needs a foundation of some kind where columns can be anchored. Some structures only need piers, allowing for a dirt or gravel floor. However, the best foundation for most buildings is a slab foundation.
A lot goes into a foundation. That’s why you should only entrust it to an experienced local foundation engineer to design it. While easy to pour, a slab needs to be cured for the proper time before building on it.
Delivery and installation
When your building is delivered, the components must be verified. Usually the company you hire to erect the building can handle this verification process. Be certain this has happened before siging for the delivery because if anything is missing, it could lead to unneeded added expenses.
Steel building erectors do just that. They erect the building Finish work to the building, such as electrical, plumbing or air conditioning. That means you’ll need to set up an additional contractor to handle the finish stage of your building. Though, each builder works differently. That’s why you should determine who will be responsible for what long before the project begins. And, of course, get it all in writing.
Your planning can’t start soon enough
A simple steel building can go up in as little as six weeks. Larger, more complex ones take exponentially longer. And then, there are potential weather delays. With so many variables, the best time to plan your building was last month. The second best? Right now.