Worldwide Steel building kits are designed under the assumption that you’re going to want to erect your new metal building on your own, maybe with some help from a small crew of friends or a local contractor. So we’ve designed our construction process to be super-simple, even if you’re not in the construction industry. As long as you have common sense and a couple more sets of arms willing to help you get the walls up, you can DIY the entire build. Most of our customers don’t even need to rent a crane or any other heavy equipment!
Our metal building systems are manufactured to make construction easy. Our trusses are pre-punched, our sheet metal attaches to purlins and girts with self-drilling, color-coded screws, and we include a step-by-step assembly manual to guide you through your unique building process, start to finish.
But – and this is a big but – just because our steel buildings are simple to erect doesn’t mean they’re accident-proof. You’re working with huge, heavy sheets of metal and tall steel beams, so site safety rules still apply. Here are just a few we consider non-negotiable.
1. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
The right clothing and safety equipment can mean the difference between a bandage and a hospital stay on a steel building construction site. Here’s what you’ll need to wear:
A hard hat. Everyone on or near the steel building construction absolutely must wear an OSHA-approved hard hat, all the time. Even if you’re not actively building, there is always a risk of head injury due to falling objects.
Boots. Always wear sturdy work boots. They should have good ankle support and no-slip rubber soles. We strongly recommend steel toe boots for peak safety.
Gloves. Some of the sheet metal building materials can be sharp on the edges. Wear work gloves to protect your hands from lacerations.
Goggles. Again, make sure they’re OSHA-approved and have a pair handy for anyone who is using a drill or a saw.
Masks. You don’t need a mask when you’re working with steel, but you should have them on hand for when you’re working with insulating materials or wood trim.
2. Eliminate as many fall risks as possible
To us, this means doing as much work as you can on the ground. We think avoiding the possibility of a fall altogether is much safer than even the most thoughtful fall protection. If you do as much assembly as possible at ground level, you can then lift and install the components (like walls and roof panels) once they’re more complete. For the times when you absolutely need to be up high (every job has these, of course), you can continue to mitigate your risk. Things like ladder safety and avoiding roof work in windy or slippery conditions can go a long way.
3. Communicate with everyone working on the project
Whether you’ve hired help or just convinced your buddies to help you raise the walls on your steel building, everyone on site needs to take the project seriously. This means wearing the correct PPE, knowing how to handle the building components and erect the steel framing, and paying attention to what’s going on around them. Keep emergency numbers and a first aid kit available near or on site, and be sure everyone around the project knows where they are.
4. Keep the job site clean
Sound silly? It isn’t. A picked-up construction site is a safe work environment. Not only will clear work areas prevent falls and falling objects, they’ll allow clearer exit paths in case of an emergency (like a fire). This means keeping all your work surfaces clean and dry, sealing containers that you aren’t using, keeping all objects and tools off work surfaces, stairways and out of hallways, and putting all your equipment away when it isn’t in use.
5. Admit when you’re out of your depth
Thanks to all the resources available today, there’s a lot that can be DIYed. But sometimes, aspects of a steel building project really just call for a professional. Think complicated electric or HVAC installations that could benefit from some oversight from a more qualified person. Don’t be afraid to call for assistance in the form of a general contractor when you think you need it. You’ll end up safer and with a better building in the end … and yeah, you can still say you built it yourself!
For more information, safety protocols and steel building recommendations, download a copy of our Steel Building DIY Instructions. This guide comes with every metal building kit we send out, but we decided to make it available to you before you buy, too. It’s a sneak peek at the metal building construction process and a good way to figure out how much help you’ll need from a Worldwide Steel expert.
We’re here to help. Give us a call at (800) 825-0316 or contact us here. Let’s have some (safe) fun bringing your building idea to life!
If the supply chain issues brought on by recent global events have you thinking about ways you can become more self-sufficient by growing your own vegetables and crops (or the warmer weather and sunshine brought on by spring have you craving freshly-grown fruits and ornamental plants), and you want to give your plants more protection from the elements and local wildlife than a standard garden provides, it’s time to start thinking more seriously about building a greenhouse. Greenhouses allow you to grow vegetables and crops, fruits and ornamental plants that wouldn’t normally thrive in your climate year-round, and with Worldwide Steel, they’re easier to build and maintain than you might think.
Before you start building your greenhouse, however, you have a few choices to make:
Choose your purpose: Are you planning to grow for personal use, or for production, on a more commercial scale? Vegetables, fruits, flowers or other plants? While Worldwide Steel Buildings’ focus is primarily on production greenhouses, for both hydroponic and non-hydroponic grow facilities of all types, we are able to manufacture greenhouse buildings in all shapes and sizes. Our custom steel greenhouse building kits can be adapted to any climate, conditions and purpose.
Choose the optimal location on your land: Careful greenhouse site selection lets you optimize its productivity. In short, you want to choose a location that allows the most sun exposure. “Your plants need at least six hours exposure to sunlight for photosynthesis. The process is necessary for plants to grow healthy and bear fruits or flower. The best sitting direction largely depends on the season you want to grow plants,” says Garden Nurturing. If you plan to grow year-round, choose an east/west-facing ridge. “Lining up the ridge of the structure to run east to west maximizes light interception especially during November to January. The direction will help crops heat up more quickly after cold nights.” If you plan to grow crops primarily during summer, choose a south-facing ridge, as this direction will “generate an equal amount of light to each side of the structure and help reduce too much heat temperature.” It’s also important your site has access to electricity, water and heat.
Choose the size of building you need: The scale and variety of plants you plan to grow will drive most of your greenhouse square footage decisions. Consider than usually, 40 percent of a greenhouse floor area is needed for aisles and walkways. Work aisles should be at least 18 inches wide, and it’s often recommended to save space for a three-foot to five-foot main aisle down the center of your greenhouse (and potentially around the perimeter as well, depending on its size) for carts and hauling in larger plants and materials.
Choose your glazing material: Glazing is the covering around your greenhouse frame that lets sun and heat in while keeping the elements out. Glass is the most traditional glazing material, but it is also the most expensive and the most fragile. Plastic sheeting is inexpensive, but deteriorates quickly. Worldwide Steel Buildings generally recommends polycarbonate glazing, because it’s less expensive than glass, is lightweight but durable, and retains heat better than both glass or plastic.
Choose your manufacturer: Worldwide Steel custom greenhouses can be designed to your exact specifications and come with a 50-year warranty, so you can rest assured that they will stand the test of time. Because our columns and framing are made from 100% steel, our buildings aren’t susceptible to wood rot, insects or other elements. Main frames can be delivered in traditional galvanized steel or painted with a choice of secondary framing in galvanized tubing or wood. Worldwide Steel Buildings’ greenhouse design allows wider column spacing then the standard 5′-6′ spacing, giving you more space and light. Our complete framing kits allow you to use the solid or transparent glazing panels of your choice, and we can coordinate directly with our polycarbonate panel supplier if you’d like a more complete custom greenhouse package.
It’s the perfect time of year to start designing your steel greenhouse. We can help you put together a structure that fits your needs now and for decades into the future. Give us a call today at (800) 825-0316 – our experts will help you get growing.
Home ownership has long been a major part of the American Dream. As the decades go on, though, there are more and more reasons to think owning a home might not be attainable. The financial considerations are massive, urban sprawl and developer monopolies reduce choices, and the environmental impact of building a traditional wood construction residence is enough to make some would-be builders reconsider.
But there’s another option.
More and more people are making a new smart choice and building a metal house … a Worldwide Steel metal house, to be specific. Here’s why:
When you build a metal home with a Worldwide Steel kit, you’re saving money right off the bat (the national average build price for a steel building home is $70-90 a square foot, compared to $110-130 for conventional wood construction). You’re also saving money during the build process (our building kits go up a lot faster than traditional construction, no matter how elaborate your interior) and over the life of the home. Steel requires much less maintenance than wood and siding, it lasts longer, it costs less to insure, it’s fire-resistant and non-combustible, it’s less susceptible to infestations and won’t ever mold or mildew.
Make it your own
You don’t have to choose from a developer’s portfolio of model homes to plop in the middle of a hundred other beige cookie cutter builds. With Worldwide Steel, your imagination (… okay, and the laws of engineering) is your only limit. We offer open concepts with clear spans, multiple roof pitches, dormers, wrap-around porches and a variety of colorways. Check out our Online 3D Building Designer to begin designing your own floor plan.
Work with the earth and the elements
Metal homes won’t rot, warp, split, shrink or decompose, they’re less vulnerable to termites, bore bees and other pests, and they’re a lot stronger than wood construction in the face of fire and natural disasters, meaning your steel home can stand up to the elements like a champion. Beyond that, it’s a green alternative. A metal home uses less heat and air (when insulated correctly) when you’re living in it, and is environmentally-friendly during the build process (a 2000 square foot steel house is made of the equivalent of about six junk cars … compared to the 40-50 mature trees for a comparable wood house).
What sets WWSB steel and metal homes apart?
A lot of companies that claim to offer steel and metal houses are actually selling wood-framed buildings with sheet metal siding … a “solution” that doesn’t really solve much of anything. Not only do you lose many of the benefits outlined above, but you run into issues with cord bracing, wind bracing and truss depth. The requirements for each of these mean you’re going to lose space and aesthetic appeal on your interior finish. But not with Worldwide Steel. Our tube leg steel buildings work perfectly as residences because there’s no need to build perimeter stud walls, trusses don’t intrude into the living areas, there’s no cord bracing in the walls that intrude into the interior, and no trusses to work around.
Plus, working with Worldwide Steel means working with a team of experts that really cares about your metal home – from the design process to the build to your years spent living there. Want to learn more about cord bracing, wind bracing and trusses? Want to just trust us on all that and dive right into designing your house? We’re ready to get started. Call us 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.”
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.
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.
“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.
Once metal building owners begin using their new structures, the construction process becomes an afterthought. It’s a blip in a lifetime of enjoying a high-quality, low-maintenance building. But before you commit to a prefab metal building, when the construction process is looming in front of you, it’s easy to fixate on — especially if you’re new to building erection.
When you’re planning for a DIY metal building construction project, it’s important to have a good understanding of what’s involved before you get started. There’s too much on the line to get started without knowing the basics: Where you’re going to erect your building, what kinds of equipment will be needed on the job site, and who’s going to be on your crew.
Perhaps the most crucial to the success of your project is understanding how long it’s going to take to erect your metal building, and what kinds of things can affect your timeline.
Of course, there’s no prescriptive answer to how long it takes to erect a steel building. Because our steel structures are so customizable, there is a lot of variation in our customers’ building design, building size, building materials and circumstances. That means there’s a lot of variation in the construction process, too!
While our building systems come together relatively quickly and easily regardless of their final forms, smaller, simpler metal buildings will come together more simply and in less time. A metal garage or pole barn (say, 2,400 square foot with 40’ clear span) might take less than a week to frame. But what about an airplane hangar, a house, or any other kind of structure that’s much larger or much more involved? Then, the calculations get a little bit more complex, and we recommend you reach out to a WWSB consultant for support.
Overall, however, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re planning the timeline of your steel building construction.
Consider everything you need to do before construction begins, and factor in time for that. Finding a crew, grading land, pouring concrete and taking material delivery all needs to be coordinated. After that, you can divide your erection process into three phases:
Phase 1: Standing columns and trusses. Plan to devote about 15% of your time to phase one.
Phase 2: Framing and building out your structure. Plan to devote about 15% of your time to phase two.
Phase 3: Sheeting the building. Plan to devote about 45% of your time to phase three.
Especially when it comes to phase three (sheeting buildings), it can help cut down construction time to have a crew working together. No, you won’t need to contract an entire construction company … but some trustworthy, able-bodied buddies will be indispensable. We recommend having three-man teams working together on different walls.
Prepare For Delays
Our pre-engineered metal buildings are a match for even the highest wind loads and snow loads … once they’re complete. But during construction, before everything is assembled and there’s human safety to worry about? That’s a different story. No building project is totally immune to Mother Nature. Weather is always, always the primary cause of delays when erecting a Worldwide Steel building. Plan for some inclement weather, even if there’s nothing in the forecast when you get started.
Don’t Cut Corners
Trying to rush a steel building project can be detrimental to your safety and the quality of your finished project. To stay safe, be sure to always be aware of your surroundings and go slowly when roofing the building. To ensure quality, just don’t rush – especially when putting screws into the sheetmetal (you might miss the secondary).
Looking for more specific timeline advice on your particular steel building project? We’re happy to help. Just give our team a call at (800) 825-0316.
For answers to other questions, like whether our steel building kits can be designed to meet building codes, what our 50-year warranty covers, or how the building cost of steel frame structures compares to traditional construction, check out our steel building FAQ.
One of the best things about assembling a metal garage from a Worldwide Steel building kit is that you don’t need any specialized experience or training to do it. One of the next-best things is that you can assemble your building at any time of year – even the dead of winter.
Before you break ground, though, here are five things to keep in mind if you’re planning to erect a metal garage over the winter.
1. Pour your concrete before the temperatures drop.
At Worldwide Steel, we install our buildings year-round and encourage customers to do the same. The only factor you should pre-plan is the concrete. You can’t pour concrete in freezing weather, due to the frozen ground. We recommend you pour concrete in late fall before the temperature drops. This allows you to build as your schedule allows through the winter months.
2. Pad your building schedule.
Generally, you should plan on it taking a little longer to assemble a metal garage or other metal building kit in the winter, because inclement weather has the ability to halt your progress for longer. We don’t see this as a bad thing, though! There’s a real advantage to having the flexibility to work on your building as time and weather allows. Because summer vacations, spring and fall farming, yardwork, etc. are all on the backburner during the winter months, you probably have more wiggle room in your free time.
3. Worldwide Steel can withstand the weather.
Even if you’re expecting extended periods of below-freezing temps this winter, our steel kits can handle it. There’s no need to be concerned about leaving an all-steel building kit out in the cold – it’s just a non-issue. That said, we do recommend you try to keep prolonged snow and moisture away from the pre-assembled steel components as much as possible.
4. Stay safe.
Mother Nature always is a factor in construction. You definitely need to be careful of ice and snow when you’re building, and completely avoid attempting any roof work if there’s ice and/or snow in the air or on the ground. The biggest weather concern during the winter, though, is wind – just like during the rest of the year. Always take the proper safety precautions when erecting a steel building kit, no matter the season.
5. Take advantage!
Really, there are no disadvantages to planning a WWSB build in the winter. As long as you get your concrete done early, you can spend the winter assembling your building at your leisure. Not to mention, pricing is usually better in the winter – not only for the building kit itself, but for any workers and subcontractors you hire, as well. Think you’d still rather wait for a sunny day to build your metal garage, or didn’t pre-plan and get your concrete poured before the frost? Worldwide Steel offers a program called “Winter Works” that allows you to buy a building now and not have it delivered until spring.
You don’t need to specialize in steel building construction to put up a Worldwide Steel Building. Just ask Scott Tallman, president of Tallman Construction, a general contractor in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “It’s a user-friendly solution that doesn’t require any special equipment or tools,” he says. “My guys had no problem putting it together. Everything went very smoothly from start to finish.”
Scott designed and constructed two steel buildings for Sun Rain, a client of his that grows and distributes a variety of potatoes. One of the structures required a constant temperature between 48 and 52 degrees, meaning a poly-foam insulation had to be applied to the entire building. Fortunately, Scott was able to do so thanks to the versatility of the Worldwide Steel product.
Beyond versatility, Scott says he chose Worldwide Steel over other manufacturers because it offered both better pricing and better service. It’s why he’d use Worldwide Steel in the future along with recommending them to others. “We definitely had a great experience with the product and the staff. I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.”
If David Olsen had a question, Worldwide Steel Buildings had an answer. It’s why the do-it-yourselfer was able to successfully assemble his own multi-purpose steel building on his property in Boulder, Colorado. “Whenever I needed help during construction, Worldwide Steel was always there for me,” says Olsen.
Olsen required assistance early on after his local municipal building department asked him to modify foundation plans. He reached out to his Worldwide Steel customer service representative who quickly provided adjustments to meet requirements. Later on, Olsen experienced some minor material snafus that were easily remedied by Worldwide Steel.
“Their responsiveness made a world of a difference,” notes Olsen. “I was able to count on them throughout the project.”
Olsen leveraged one of Worldwide Steel’s predesigned packages and utilizes his 2,000-square-foot facility as a garage, shop and storage facility. He wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Worldwide Steel to others. “They offer a hard-to-beat combination of product and service. I’m really happy about how my building turned out.”
Get a clearer picture of the steel building in your future with a little help from the satisfied customers of Worldwide Steel Buildings. Now available on our website are design examples created by our customers (with our popular 3D Building Design Tool) that served as the springboard for the steel building of their dreams.
You’ll feel inspired to take your design to the next level by viewing the plans of others whether you’re thinking of building a garage, workshop, house, barndominium or commercial building. Worldwide Steel Buildings hopes to help people get over the design hump by simply sharing the work of others.
“Sometimes it just takes a little spark to the imagination to complete a building design,” says Jeff Snell, president and CEO of Worldwide Steel Buildings. “And what’s great about our 3D design tool is that it provides a clear vision of the buildings that’s swirling inside the heads of our customers.”
With a 50-year warranty from Worldwide Steel Buildings, Adam Fike has a feeling that the two structures on his 10-acre property will be around for a very long time to come.
“I anticipate that both buildings will outlive me,” says Adam, who resides on 10 acres in Spring Hill, KS. “I wanted a product that would last a lifetime so I decided that steel was the best way to go. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about wood rot and other costly maintenance issues.”
Adam also liked the idea of lower upfront costs. Early on he learned he could save a bunch of money by choosing steel over wood for his two buildings – one of which is a 24’ x 30’ structure that he utilizes to operate his residential painting business. The shop provides materials storage in addition to space for spraying out cabinets and doors.
His other building is 40’ x 40’ and is used for a light farming operation. It serves as home to cows, goats and horses as well as storage for hay and equipment. For both buildings, Adam chose to go with off-the-shelf packages provided by Worldwide Steel, which still provided room for some customization.
“I was really amazed at how easily everything came together,” claims Adam. “The building components are manufactured like well designed puzzle pieces.” He was also impressed with the customer service at Worldwide Steel from start to finish. “Everyone I worked with was really knowledgeable and respectful. It was just a great experience overall.”