How Much Does a Commercial Steel Building Cost?
Steel has long been used as a component in buildings, particularly commercial buildings and skyscrapers. But all-steel buildings were a rare sight until recently, reserved mostly for storage buildings, garages, airplane hangers and the like.
In recent years, all-steel buildings have grown in popularity for all sorts of applications, from manufacturing plants and offices to churches.
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About Steel Buildings
When we refer to steel buildings, we’re talking about prefabricated buildings made completely of steel, without any wood components. Some of the buildings are pre-engineered, meaning the design plans are ready to go. Others are designed to the buyer’s specifications. Either way, the components of the building are made in a factory, then assembled on site.
There are several advantages to prefabricated steel buildings. They are cheaper and faster to build than traditional wood buildings. There’s no harsh or inclement weather to deal with when the components are built in a factory, so there are fewer delays and fewer structural issues. Prefabricated metal buildings are also durable and fully recyclable.
The first step to purchasing a prefabricated steel building is deciding on the design, whether that means choosing one that exists or having an engineer come up with a new one. Then you decide what type of roofing, finishing materials, and doors and windows to buy.
Once you’ve selected a design, the fabrication process begins in the factory, taking up to six weeks. As that is happening, site work such as building a foundation takes place. Once finished, the building components are delivered and assembled on site. Then, finishing work such as interior walls, painting and plumbing complete the job.
Cost of Commercial Metal Buildings
Estimating the cost of a steel building is a difficult task. The price varies widely from one region of the country to another, mostly due to local building codes. For example, buildings in cold climates must be stronger in order to withstand large amounts of snow. Further complicating the matter, the price of steel tends to fluctuate.
Generally, you can expect to pay about $15 to $20 per square foot for a very basic steel building - one that might be used as a barn or storage building. That includes materials, foundation, delivery, site work and construction.
A building that is more finished, such as a church or retail store, might run closer to $20 to $30 per square foot.
Any steel building that is highly customized or has high-end features such as a brick facade is likely to cost $40 per square foot or more.