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  #1  
Old January 31st, 2006, 08:06 PM
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Steel Buildings???

Between my rover habit, and daily drivers, I've reached gridlock in my garage. I also have other vehicles parked outside -Packrats and rabbits think the wiring is yummy!
I have been thinking of adding on to the garage. Then I thought "how about a steel building?"
Seems like cheaper square footage, but I don't know a damn thing about them.

Has anyone out there put up a steel building or had one put up? Or maybe work in one?

Please share any knowledge or opinion you might have about them.

Thanks in advance.

Rod
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  #2  
Old January 31st, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Steel buildings are great for raw work space for short money. I personally could not put one up as I am in a development and could not get by my neighbors with it. They are not particularly attractive I must admit, but if you have enough land and can sort of stick the thing out back it is a great thing for a Auto shop. Having had one and worked in alot of them here are my thoughts, this all comming from a snow country perspective.

Insulate the roof twice as much as the walls and use a higher pitch than standard 2-3" pitches, this helps keep the ice dams to a minimum. Also on the roof get a standing seam roof with no exposed fasteners, the screw heads will catch the snow and ice surprisingly well and creat icedams which then create leaks.

Go for the heavier gauge steel, not all steel buildings are created equal. some of the steel is so thin it feels like aluminum foil.

Build on a slab with frost walls, this helps minimize floor cracking down the road, also get your floor scored in 16x16' squares this will put the cracks at the scores instead of in a spider web accross the floor.

Go for the clear span as opposed to a center post. makes arranging tools and things a whole lot easier.

If you live in a high crime area or are concerned about security put all your windows above the 8' purlin, and put in alot of them, steel buildings can be like a cave to work in without natural light.

Thats about all I can think of for now. I have spent many hours working in them and the natural light thing is the most important thing for me. It make a world of diference in the whole atmosphere.

Jesse
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  #3  
Old February 1st, 2006, 09:20 AM
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I have worked in them in the past and do not like them... Especially for a residential area.

They do not retain heat the same as a stick built building
They get very hot in the summer
They can sweat
They tend to leak more than a stick built building
Every noise seems louder in them, and if it is windy, raining or hailing you might need ear protection

Some more things to think about...

A stick built building that looks somewhat like your house will add more to the resale value of your property than a metal building.

Many residential areas will not allow a metal building (might want to check if you are in a sub division)

With the rising price of steel the cost savings are not as good as they have been in the past compared to a stick built building.

The only thing positive I can say about a metal building is that they are easier to build by yourself.

I would also check out the following forum. Select “search this forum” and search on “shop build” and “building” “steel building” and you will find some good build ups of shops and info on wood and steel buildings.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=55
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I agree with Dave, fwiw, I would highly recommend a wood building.. Here is what I am currently building for tools overflow and for stacking some wood. I wanted to go twice this size, but we just didn't have the room down here near the house. If you have a local saw mill close by and a friend or two, you can do a nice little building in a reasonable amount of time.

One thing, a friend of mine is building a complete shop down the road. The footprint is 42x36 and he did the pad with radiant floor heat pipes and he's got an old oil burner to use to heat the glycol mixture. He's building it like a hangar, pressure treated poles and laminar beams and a metal roof. For doors, he's found some of those old roll-up gas station doors, I think he's doing one on each end. It's a nice layout. He's a PowerWagon dude.

I guess it also depends on how long you'll be at your current location, what the "neighborhood" is like, how much you care about asthetics, etc.

my $.02
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:49 AM
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I work in a metal prefab type building. If the humudity is high, it sweats and drips inside a bit. It is an oven in the summer and a freezer in the winter. I also highly recommend lots of windows. The one thing I would like to contribute to the discussion is to check your local fire codes as well as with your insurance company and make sure your intended use is ok. Locally, I don't think I could get business insurance if I were storing solvents or welding in a wooden building. My first choice would be a concrete building.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Rob Good point on the insurance thingwe got kicked out of a metal building that had woodworking shops in it because we welded. I agree on the concrete as teh best option. The swetting problem is not a problem in cold climates as we insulate the steel shells when thay are built.

The Radiant Heat in the floor is key if you are in a cold climate no matter what type of building you build. I have had radiant floors in a shop before and it is really nice even heat. I plan to build a 30X48 barn on my property in the next few years and radiant heat is top on my list, I also plan to run a snow melting zone outside under the concrete driveway apron I am pouring when I pur the floor. That way I dont have to plow or shovel right in front of the building durring the winter.
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  #7  
Old February 1st, 2006, 02:02 PM
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I'm always amazed by how willing people here are to share their wisdom and give advice.

Thanks a bunch guys.

You've all given answers to many of my concerns. This info really helps. Oddly enough, I make my living selling building materials to masonry contractors. I'm planning on 2500-3000 square feet, and a block building that size would be pretty pricey, so I'm looking for an alternative. Its not all shop space. I was planning on 2/3 of it for storage of hay and parking vehicles (dirt floor, no insulation). The remaining space would be shop space with a concrete floor, insulated, etc.

Michael, I had no idea the country was that nice there (I've never been east of Kansas). What a pretty place to live!

Jesse, let me know when your barn is done, I could sell my hovel and move right in. That's going to be quite a building.

Thanks again for the help guys.

Rod
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Old February 1st, 2006, 04:32 PM
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I wouldn't store hay in a metal building after hearing about the sweating and heat, I've seen a few spontaneously combust...
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Old February 1st, 2006, 06:25 PM
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Depending on the size of the building it will take some equipment to erect it. At least a rough terrain fork lift would be a big help. It is not a one man job. They can be insulated and finished out nicely on the interior. They can be erected quickly but the more you do to finish out the interior, the closer the cost is to other construction types.

Every barn I have ever stacked hay into was a metal building, usually wood framed with metal skin.
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