Cost Factors That Influence The Construction Of A Steel Building

Posted by Ben Sparhawk on Feb 28, 2019 2:38:24 PM

 It's typical that whenever someone is looking to purchase something, one of the first things they think about is the price.

It only makes sense. If we want to buy something, we have to be sure we can afford it.

However, sometimes when we think of price, we want to be sure we get the lowest price possible.

Sometimes, though, the lowest price doesn't make for the best purchase.

That rule most definitely applies to steel buildings.

If you're in the market for a new steel building, keep in mind that the lowest price won't always get you the best building.

Instead of looking for the lowest price, you should look for the best deal.

Most of the time when you're pricing a steel building, the company won't be able to quote you an exact price.

And that's a good thing.

Buying a steel building isn't like buying a new t-shirt.

Several factors come into play during construction that will affect the cost of your building.

So if a company can quote you a price right away, they likely aren't doing their due diligence.

They haven't done their groundwork to see how much the building will cost after taking into account all the factors that will influence the cost. With CDMG metal buildings we take the steps necessary to make sure you get the steel building you need.

We will discuss those factors below.

Factor 1: Know What You Want

Before you can tell the company what you want, you have to know what you want.

Knowing what you want up front and communicating that with your salesperson and making sure they understand your design is critical in saving on your final costs.

When you know exactly what you want upfront, there is less of a chance for any surprises to pop up during the construction.

If you aren't quite sure what you need, the company can help you decide what's best for you.

Making sure everyone is on the same page at the beginning is important to do before moving on in the process.

The price of steel is always fluctuating, which will impact the cost of your structure.

Factor 2: Steel Prices Fluctuate

Because of the nature of the steel industry and the fluctuating prices, there's no way to know exactly how much your building will cost right away.

Steel is a global commodity that is subject to change due to the status of the world economy, the value of the American dollar, and unpredictable natural disasters.

The lack of stability means the price of steel can change at a moment's notice and without warning.

The value of steel has dipped over the last few years, but experts are predicting that it's value will increase over the next year.

With all that said, the building you want might be in your price range now, but next week it could be out of reach.

Ask your sales rep if their company will allow you to lock in a price with a deposit, allowing you to avoid changes to the market. 

Factor 3: Customizations

The customizations for steel buildings are what makes an aircraft different from a car garage, and a car garage different from an office building.

Some of the commonly selected components that will make a steel building your own are listed below:

  • 3070 Man Door
  • Sectional Door
  • Roll Up Door
  • Horizontal or Vertical Slide Windows
  • Insulation
  • Fasteners
  • Sealants and Flashing
  • Deluxe Trim Package
  • Ridge Cap
  • Plans and Drawings
  • Insulated Stucco Panels
  • Light Transmitting Panels
  • Gutters and Downspouts
  • Primary and Secondary Framing
  • 1:12 Roof Pitch
  • 26 Gauge Roof and Wall Sheeting

Factor 4: The Buildings Size

The size of your building obviously plays a huge role in the cost of your building.

Bigger buildings require more materials, increasing your cost.

Below is a list of average costs per square foot. But remember, these prices aren't concrete, and they could change at any time.

  • 16' x 21' - $17 per SQFT
  • 40' x 60' - $12 per SQFT
  • 50' x 100' - $10 per SQFT
  • 100' x 200' - $8 per SQFT

Get Started On Your Metal Building Project Today With CDMG

Factor 5: The Building System

A steel building obviously isn't your only choice for construction.

There are several more options for you to choose from, so below is a chart you can use to compare the popular construction methods.

  • Quonset Hut  $13 – $15 per SQFT
  • Pole Barn - $25 – $30 per SQFT
  • Modular - $36 – $40 per SQFT
  • I-Beam Metal Building - $8 - $17 per SQFT
  • C-Channel Building - $15 - $18 per SQFT
  • Block Building  - $9 - $12 per SQFT

Factor 6: Location

Metal buildings will always be engineered with your location in mind. You have to meet or exceed local codes and loads, so you need to know exactly where you want your building.

If you're in the northern United States, wind and snow will be issues, but if you're building on the west coast, you need to account for seismic activity.

Both of those factors will significantly influence the cost of your building.

Atmospheric conditions (wind, rain, seismic activity, snow, temperature...) play a huge part in how your steel building has to be constructed.

Those factors always play a role in price.

Construction costs will influence the cost of your building 

Factor 7: Construction Costs

The construction costs you encounter while completing your building can fluctuate even more than the price of steel.

A good rule of thumb is to count on between $10-$20 per square foot for essential things like concrete, erection, and insulation, but that range can vary greatly.

Union labor, demand, the time of year, and your proximity to suppliers are just a few factors that can influence the price in your local market.

Typically, the Northeast has higher construction costs than other regions, but that doesn't mean every state in the Northeast has similar high costs.

That's why it's important not to rely on general cost per square foot estimates when planning your project. 

Factor 8: The Complexity Of The Building

Metal buildings are no longer confined like they used to be. Today, steel building kits are used for everything from personal garages to elaborate hotels or distilleries.

Each building will require it's own custom building system, and depending on the use of the building, the design could be very simple to extremely complex.

A simple auto shop design won't cost as much as a building of the same size that needs to accommodate an interior crane system due to its complexity. 

Take Into Account Every Factor

If you're ready to start the construction of a steel building, be sure to take into account all of the factors mentioned above.

Prices can change from day to day, so be sure to take that into account when making your budget.

Working with an experienced and reputable company is the first step in ensuring you get the most bang for your buck, and you get a structure that you can be proud of.

CDMG has been in the business since 1991, and are one of the leaders in the metal building supply and construction industry.

Contact CDMG today for more information about our capabilities and to discuss your upcoming project with one of our experts.

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Check Out Our Other Articles:

5 Ways To Lower Energy Bills In Metal Buildings

What Are The Best Options For Insulating A Metal Building?

Topics: steel building

About The Author

ben-sparhawkI'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for CDMG. I write to showcase the work that CDMG does and everything related to the pre-engineered metal building industry as well as their engineering capabilities. When I'm not working on content, you can find me spending time with my wife and children. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.