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How Much Does a Commercial Steel Building Cost?

Many people would be surprised to learn which commercial buildings in town are actually commercial steel buildings clad in attractive exteriors. A strip mall, church building, office building or school gymnasium could be a commercial steel building. Advances in the technology used to erect these structures have transformed their appearance from basic to beautiful. Anyone in search of a steel building will want to learn more about the possibilities. Discussions with the owners of the steel buildings in the area will provide important insight for the building project. The possibilities are endless when the future steel building owner takes the time to explore the options prior to breaking ground.

Benefits of Commercial Steel Buildings

A completed steel building will not look like a potato warehouse with fancy glass doors on the front. People in all parts of the country are finding out that low commercial steel building cost is just one of the many important benefits. Large steel buildings offer advantages that traditional structures have not addressed.

  • Structure stability – Heavy weather events will not cause damage to the frame of a steel building. The posts absorb the energy and translate the wind forces into lateral strength because the posts are imbedded in the ground. A fire or earthquake will not cause a steel building to collapse like most traditional buildings will do. The steel building itself will not catch fire. A blaze inside a steel building is due to the contents, not the structure.
  • Adaptability – Challenging locations are perfect candidates for steel buildings because the site will not require significant preparation. Styles and structures can be modified to allow a steel building to fit where a conventional structure will not.
  • Wide-open floor space – The weight of the building rests on the posts that surround the building’s perimeter. Any type of layout can be placed inside the basic steel structure. Factories, gyms and aircraft hangars stand strong without center supports because the skeleton holds up the building.
  • Energy efficiency – A complete shell on the exterior of a metal building provides fewer breaks that allow air to penetrate the walls and enter the interior. With a layer of insulation, the building retains a comfortable temperature in all types of weather.
  • Foundation cost savings – Metal building prices are lower because the foundation consists of the post holes that are driven deep enough to support the building’s perimeter. Instead of tons of steel and cement, the design provides sufficient support through the skeleton.
  • Low maintenance – Once completed, the steel building will not require maintenance for many years. This face reduces the commercial steel building cost over time.

Types of Metal Steel Buildings

Anyone who has visited an airport, or a major farming operation, has a preconceived idea of what a steel building looks like without any exterior enhancements. Few people want to place such a building in the middle of a cityscape and hope that people will understand. There are three basic styles of steel buildings, but the number of options that can be added are countless.

  • Gable – The gable style closely resembles the straight walls and peaked roof of conventional structures. This type of steel building is considered a rigid frame structure. A wide variety of steel-frame buildings can be constructed, including churches, gyms, manufacturing facilities, recreation buildings, retail buildings and schools.
  • Single slope – This straight-walled style has a roof that has one angle, usually from back to front.
  • Quonset – The arch style looks as though a huge pipe was cut in half and laid on the ground. This is the most familiar style of metal building in rural communities. In areas with extreme weather, this design offers superior structure support.

Average Costs and Prices

Construction choices expand every year, and the first question is always: "How much does each one cost?" The real intention of this exploration is to find out the initial prices, but long term cost is equally important. Many factors play into metal building prices. Cost estimates should include the special features that are needed for the client’s application.

Dollar figures offered here are intended to provide a basic overview for a steel building. The cost estimates will vary by supplier, region and the cost associated with the raw materials selected for the build.

  • Square footage – Most steel buildings cost $15 to $25 per square foot for the rigid frame commercial steel building. This figure is intended to be all-inclusive.
  • Customized – The client should plan to spend $20 to $40 per square foot for a customized commercial steel building.
  • Do-It-Yourself – Many steel building kits have been assembled for the person who wants a basic building. The kit will cost $15 to $20 per square foot.
  • Poured concrete foundation – Cement prices vary with other building materials and will cost between $5 and $10 per square foot.
  • Insulation – The building interior should be insulated to reduce the heating and cooling costs. The initial cost will rise by thousands of dollars, but the long-term benefit of insulation cannot be overstated.
  • Labor – The price of a steel building will include the labor costs in the original cost estimates for the finished building.

Steel Buidling Costs by Square Footage

  • 20 x 20 rigid frame - $10,000 to $12,000
  • 20 x 20 arch frame - $6,000 to $8,000
  • 40 x 40 rigid frame - $16,000 to $20,000
  • 40 x 40 arch frame - $14,000 to $16,000
  • 80 x 80 arch frame - $40,000 to $50,000
  • 100 x 100 rigid frame - $70,000 to $80,000
  • 200 x 200 rigid frame - $275,000 to $325,000
  • 80 x 200 arch frame - $80,000 to $100,000

Final Evaluation

Commercial steel buildings are available for virtually any use imaginable. The shopper must investigate the options and hold out for the contractor who is willing to fulfill the mission. A qualified attorney should review legal contracts prior to signing paperwork. Clients should be able to ask questions and see the nearly projects completed by the contractor.