Is it Easy to Expand a Steel Building?

Posted by CDMG Team on Apr 22, 2019 4:35:25 PM

How to Expand Your Metal Building

Change is inevitable.

Sometimes it is for the best, and other times it can catch you off-guard.

While there are many factors to consider, the best reason for any change to occur is because of your ideas, strategies, and in this case, business growth.

Whether it be strategically planned out or completely unexpected, growth and expansion is the most beneficial way to handle change.

If your business is ready to expand, that is a wonderful thing. That means you are doing something - or many things - right.

Reasons for Needing to Expand Your Steel Building

Even if you don't run a business, sometimes you need to expand.

From farmers that need more space for additional equipment to aircraft hangars that need to store multiple planes, adding on to your metal building kit can become a necessity. 

Expansion can carry various forms and for many different reasons. This can include the following:

  • Hiring New Employees
  • Expanding your location
  • Constructing a new location
  • Adding additional products
  • Increased warehouse storage
  • And more!


Metal buildings are quickly constructed, efficient, and despite not lacking value, much cheaper than other options.

But what if you need to expand your steel building?

Is it possible?

Let's discuss just that.

Post and Beam vs. Expansion Wall

So, the easy answer is yes.

But that doesn't quite answer how.

Your first step is looking at adding frames to your pre-fabricated steel building end walls. Steel building expansion

Essentially, you are either making your metal building longer or wider.

There are a few things you need to consider before moving forward with your plans. These are as follows:

  1. Can you sufficiently expand your metal building on your property without infringing on legal easements?
  2. Always check your code before expanding your steel building.
  3. Is your steel building framed with a post and beam end wall or does it have at least one expansion wall?

Post-and-beam end walls help to support the metal building and are designed to use hot-rolled, cold-formed, and welded-up plate posts. Post-and-beam end walls are fairly economical end frame solutions.

However, expansion walls are preferred over post-and-beam end walls for this scenario. Expansion walls are designed to accommodate adding on to your metal building in the future.

Expandable walls are engineered to carry the weight of half the bay now and the other additional half of the bay if you decide to expand. This makes expandable walls more expensive than post and beam end walls, but you're in a better situation in terms of keeping your options open.

Expandable end walls provide flexibility in locating overhead doors and larger openings. They also allow for the relocation of large entrances.

The new framing you ordered would just simply attach to the existing expansion wall. Depending on your business, metal buildings with expansion walls can be left open, should you choose so.

Businesses/building styles that often choose an open expansion wall include:

  • Pavilions
  • Hay sheds
  • Truck storage sheds
  • Aircraft Hangars
  • Boathouses

The choice is yours.

The main takeaway

Post-and-beam walls don't have to bear as much weight, so saving money here is a possibility. However, they don't leave as much room for growth. While it is still possible to expand with post-and-beam walls, your best bet from the get-go is to utilize expandable walls.

To see how your pre-engineered steel building can help give you a break on taxes, check out our article What Are The Tax Benefits To Steel Building Construction?

Adding a Lean-To to Your Steel Building

Another option you have to expand your steel building is adding a lean-to. A lean-to is a simple and cost-effective strategy you can use to expand your steel building.

A lean-to is a simple structure that is typically added to an existing steel building with the rafters essentially "leaning" against another wall of the building.

How wide your lean-to will depend on the height of your metal building's roofline.

The lean-to will extend your roofline and it is your choice whether you leave it open or keep the original walls. Even if you leave the bay open, a lean-to is able to protect your products from weather conditions such as wind, snow, and rain.

Can You Make a Metal Building Taller?

Making your steel building taller will require some special framing techniques. Expanding a Metal Building | CDMG

Again, it comes back to whether or not the original building has the appropriate resistant frame.

If not, purlins and grits will need to be shored up while other grits will have to be removed. A moment-resistant frame must be properly installed and put in place before you can add new end walls or bays.

If you have a wide enough foundation, another option is building a new frame around the original building. You just have to make sure the new frame is securely footed into the foundation just outside the old walls.

Expand Your Metal Building Based on Your Needs

Not only are steel buildings cost-effective and quick to erect, as you can see, but they also are not difficult to expand.

Simple and expandable framing allows for growth so your business never has to feel stifled.

That is just one of the many benefits of owning a Steel Building made by CDMG To see how we can help you get started on your steel building expansion, click on the link below.


Check Out Our Other Articles:

The Safety Benefits of Metal Buildings
5 Ways to Lower Energy Bills in Metal Buildings
The Best Options for Insulating a Metal Building
Complete List Of Steel Building FAQ


Original blog published here.

Topics: Steel building construction