13 Factors to Consider When Planning for a Steel Project Building

A few years back, builders were more inclined to use wood as it was easily accessible, inexpensive, and user-friendly. 

However, in recent years, steel buildings have become popular among homeowners and businesses for their durability, affordability, low maintenance needs, and ease of construction.

Steel buildings can be used for various purposes, including storage, workshops, living quarters, and large commercial structures. However,  before you jump into the steel building industry, there are some things you should consider to ensure a successful build. 

This article provides a list of factors to consider when planning your steel building project. Check them out!

13 Things to Consider When Planning a Steel Building

Planning a steel building involves careful consideration of various factors to ensure a successful and efficient construction process. Here are 13 things to consider when planning a steel building:

1. Budget

Setting aside a budget for your steel building project is essential, as this will dictate the size and scope of your structure. Your budget determines the amount to spend on labor and materials. It also helps you determine the type of structure that meets your needs. 

2. Location

Where you’ll erect your steel building is crucial since local zoning regulations may impact what types of structures are allowed or prohibited. You must also check the weather, ground level, and drainage system.

For instance, if you are in a region receiving lots of snow, you must factor in snow load. It would be best to insulate your steel building to keep you warm. 

3. Purpose of the Building

Deciding what the steel building will be used for can help narrow down the type and size of the structure to be built. This is because different purposes would require different features.

If you plan on using it as a residential property, you must account for additional amenities such as insulation, plumbing, and electrical wiring in the budget and design.

4. Steel Supplier

When selecting a steel supplier, ensure they have a good reputation within the industry. Check the company reviews and ask for recommendations.

Since steel buildings do not use nails, you must ensure the supplier collaborates with a reputableproduction fastening systems company that provides high-quality fasteners.

You must also ensure that your steel suppliers have varying steel types, such as angle iron, for your roofing needs. 

5. Type of Steel Building

There are several options available when choosing a type of steel building. You can choose among the following depending on the purpose and aesthetic preferences. These include arch buildings, continuous frame structures, and multi-span rigid frames.

Arch building

An arch building is economical for many due to its simplicity, low cost, and overall strength. It is primarily used for residential builds, garages, and workshops. It has limited space because its design doesn’t allow additional columns or beams for extra support. 

Continuous Frame

A continuous frame structure offers superior strength as all its components are connected, leaving it with fewer weak points. It is ideal for office buildings.

Multi-span Rigid Frame

The multi-span rigid framed steel building is similar to the continuous frame but slightly differs because it uses trusses instead of columns, offering better support at wider spans than what could be provided through single columns. They are ideal for factories or warehouses.

6. Roofing Pitch and Design

The roof of a steel building can be constructed with different types of pitches and designs depending on your needs and preferences. These include single slope, gable, or hip roofs and offer unique building aesthetics and protection benefits.

Single Slope Roo

A single slope roof is one in which all sides are sloped downwards towards the center, creating a gentle arc-like appearance. 

Gable Roof

Gable Roof is the most common, characterized by two opposite sloping sides that come together at an apex, forming a triangle shape when viewed from above.

Hip Roof 

This type of steel building roof consists of four sides, each with an inwardly angled pitch that slopes downward towards the center, where they meet up, creating a pyramid shape. 

7. Building Contractor

Once you’ve decided on a steel building design and have your materials ready, it’s time to look for an experienced contractor to handle the work for you. Besides, having a professional with ample experience in this field will ensure everything is constructed correctly while giving you peace of mind. So, ask for recommendations, read up on reviews, and ask to see their past steel building projects.

Alternatively, you can work with your contractor from the beginning, design, material purchase, and labor procurement. This is because they get better deals on materials and labor since they have created a network. It saves the hassle of looking for permits and sieving through steel suppliers.

8. Layout and Orientation

Planning out the layout and orientation of your structure before beginning construction is essential. This is because it will affect the accessibility of different areas. Therefore, you must consider the placement of the entrance, exit, windows, and lighting.

Lighting and Windows

Natural lighting is essential in every building. So, be sure to include windows and position them strategically. You can also consider adding several light fixtures and skylights to augment your lighting and lower energy costs.


There are a variety of doors available for use with metal buildings. These include:

  • Overhead doors
  • Entrance and exits
  • Emergency evacuation doors and fire code compliance

9. Floors

Once the walls have been erected, you must add your flooring for your steel building to become operational. There are several different types of flooring materials available. They include:

  • Waterproof vinyl
  • Finished concrete
  • Poured resin

10. Building Insulation Needs

Suppose you plan on using your steel building for storage or living quarters. In that case, you must insulate the walls and roof to keep temperatures comfortable inside while providing extra protection against moisture.

You can use foam board, fiberglass batting, and reflective foil. Each offers varying levels of effectiveness, so choose the one that meets your needs best.

11. Size of the Steel Building

The size of the steel building determines the material needed. Some of the general rules for determining the size of the steel building include:

  • 40*60 is the most common size for a metal building.
  • The majority of steel buildings have clearing spans of up to 300 feet
  •   Most people prefer metal buildings not smaller than 30*30 feet

12. Height of the Metal Building:

You must also consider the height of your steel building. Most metal buildings are low-rise, preferably 1 or 2 stories, with the height ranging between 12 and 20 feet, with the tallest steel building being 40 feet.

13. Permission from the Relevant Authorities:

Before beginning work on any project, it is always best to check with local building authorities to ensure all necessary permits and approvals are obtained before commencing construction. Some projects may even require you to submit blueprints for review.

Benefits of Steel Buildings

Steel buildings offer a range of benefits, making them a popular choice for various applications. Here are some key advantages of steel buildings:

  • Energy savings because of the high-grade insulation.
  • Stainless steelย buildings require less maintenance than their wooden counterparts due to their durability and resistance against factors such as water damage.
  • Fewer problems with the foundation.
  • Steel buildings can last several decades if properly maintained, making for great long-term investments.

Final Thoughts

Steel buildings offer many advantages when comparing them against other alternatives like wood or concrete structures, making them perfect for personal and commercial projects. However, before jumping into any project, you must consider the above factors to ensure everything runs smoothly and that the resulting build meets all your expectations. 


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