Monthly Archives: February 2020

How many square feet do I need? Quick tips and expert advice for determining metal building size

At Worldwide Steel, we don’t always think bigger is better. But we do always advocate for making the most out of the space you have, and we’re here to help you do just that.

When you decided to build a metal structure from the ground up, it was probably to fulfill a specific need: somewhere to keep commercial trucks or store a personal plane, a place to live or a new building to house your growing business.

But how many square feet do you need for a metal garage, an airplane hangar, a home or a general-use metal building?

Getting started on sizing

Ensuring you have allotted enough square footage for your needs is one of the most important parts of the metal building kit design process.

Start by outlining the building’s purpose. If it’s going to be a home, how many rooms will it be divided into? If it’s a storage facility, what do you plan to keep there? Vehicles, livestock, product? Do you foresee your need for space expanding in the near future,

Once you’ve detailed what exactly you need space for inside the metal building, consider the space around it. Site planning, which includes due diligence on the plot of land where you want to erect your structure and checking local regulations on accessory buildings, setback and permitting, will ensure your expectations are in line with reality.

Taking your building plan from concept to reality can feel daunting, especially for a first-timer. But when you’re working with Worldwide Steel Buildings, it doesn’t have to. It’s our job to help customers consider all aspects of building design. By ensuring everything you’ll need is properly accounted for, you’ll avoid unnecessary upcharges and costly mistakes.

But if you want to wrap your mind around your building before connecting with us, here are some quick expert tips that you can keep in mind to get started:

  • We suggest starting with a 30×60 or 40×60 floorplan for standalone steel home. Adding an additional 24 feet will give you the space to include a two-car garage.
  • Consider the space you’ll need for HVAC. Dedicated mechanical rooms average around 25 to 40 square feet, depending on whether there’s one unit or two for an upflow furnace.
  • If you’re going to use your metal building for vehicle storage, most customers prefer a 3-4 ft gap between vehicles if possible, especially with larger trucks or small planes. We suggest 16- to 18-foot wide double doors to allow for the best access.
  • Know that most standard, commercial-grade garage doors require 17” of clearance.  Low-clearance track options can help reduce the clearance to as little as 12” in cases when clearance is compromised, and residential doors often require even lower track clearance.
  • Set doors along the eave side of the building in order to use roof pitch track doors, which allows you to take advantage of vaulted ceilings.

Our easy-to-use 3D Design Planner can help you visualize what each of these options will look like, and our experts will help you make sure you’ve made the right choice for your needs.

Why Worldwide Steel? 100% usable space, $0 in maintenance 

Here’s where making the most of the space you have comes into play. Our all-steel system, (especially the tube column version) is designed to save you time and money from the get-go.

Unlike some metal building kits, ours eliminate the need to build walls within walls. Because our support system supports interior finish work (meaning you won’t have to purchase hundreds or thousands of 2x4s to build interior walls, like you do with some building kits), Worldwide Steel buildings give you 100% usable space. 

Once it’s erected, your steel building will be essentially maintenance-free. By using a colored exterior panel we supply, you will get out of tens of thousands of dollars in repainting over the years, and our all-steel system eliminates the possibility of wood rot, termite damage, and more.

Best of all, our detailing team and consultants provide assistance in the final design plan, for free. Ready to get started? Just give our team a call at (800) 825-0316.

So you know you need a steel building. But how do you bring the garage, airplane hangar, winery or greenhouse that’s in your head to life, safely and to code, with all the features and functionality you want? 

Worldwide Steel building kits are simple to assemble, but you’re not alone if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea of designing your dream building. After all, there’s so much to take into account, and knowing where to start can be tough. 

“We make our steel building kits foolproof, so you don’t have to be a pro to build one yourself. But if you’re not a pro, you probably don’t have experience with or access to construction or architecture software. That makes designing your own building intimidating,” said Alan Jackson, a building consultant at our Scranton, KS office. “That’s the last thing we want – our steel building kits should be simple and empowering, and you should get exactly what you want and need from them. That’s why we encourage customers to use our 3D Designer.”

The Worldwide Steel Buildings Online 3D Building Designer makes it easy for novice designers to become independent, confident builders. 

When you first click onto the Online 3D Building Designer (on a desktop computer or mobile device, with easy operating instructions for either kind of device right there on-screen), you’ll see the image of a simple building, with large directional indicators on the “grass” to help you keep track of how the building will appear on your land. 

Worldwide Steel Buildings 3D designer tool loaded with default steel building example

You can zoom in and out, spin the building around with 360° rotation to check it out from all angles, and even switch between indoor and outdoor views with the click of a button. 

Then, get designing! Customize your building by altering dimensions, choosing colors and building extension options, adding porches and overhangs, windows and doors, mezzanine bays and more. You can even add objects, like a person, a truck, an airplane or a driveway, for scale, to get an even more realistic idea of how your building will come to life. 

Worldwide Steel Buildings 3D designer tool loaded with customized steel building example

“It feels like you’re just playing,” said Derek Kerr, a building consultant at our Peculiar, MO office. “It’s that fun to mess around with. But it’s not just play – it’s planning. The 3D Designer can really help you work through what exactly you need. Sometimes a design you thought was going to work actually won’t … and it’s important to figure that out before you order a building kit or start construction.” 

When the building in your mind matches the building on your screen, you can save it, share your design via email, and – best of all – you can submit your design to the WWSB team for a free quote. 

“We’re able to take a look at your design and identify any ‘gotchas’ or optimizations that might benefit you, then give you a comprehensive cost for materials,” said Kerr. 

Ready to start using the Worldwide Steel Buildings Online 3D Building Designer? You might be surprised at how much you love virtual steel building design. 

To get a feel for what some other users have done with the Online 3D Building Designer, check out the Worldwide Steel Design Examples

Grid of design examples built using Worldwide Steel Building's 3D designer tool

Like always, our team is here to answer any questions you run into along the way. Just give us a call at (800) 825-0316 whenever you need an expert ear.