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Steel home in winter, at the end of a long snow-covered driveway

Despite the fact that steel is the material of choice for skyscrapers, storm shelters and storage for private airplanes, there’s a pervasive idea that a steel house isn’t a safe choice for a family home. That somehow, steel not only won’t keep you safe from inclement weather, natural disasters and fire damage, but in some cases can actively put you at risk. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

If you’re considering a steel home for yourself or your family, rest assured: you’re on the right path. Living in a steel home is incredibly safe. Steel offers far more natural strength, inherent durability and fire resistance than traditional wood buildings. 

Looking for specifics? You got ‘em: 

Are metal buildings safe from lightning?

Yes. First, a metal building is not inherently more likely to be struck by lightning than a wood building. It may seem that way, however, because lighting is more likely to strike tall buildings, like skyscrapers. It’s their height that’s a beacon for the lightning, not their framing material. And what material is used to frame most skyscrapers? That’s right, steel. Steel is chosen, in part, because it actually performs better than wood in a lightning strike. Here’s why: 

A properly grounded steel building is a fantastic electrical current conductor, which makes it a safer place to be during a lightning storm. Because the lightning current can pass smoothly through steel framing and into the ground, it is less likely to send currents elsewhere. And because steel buildings are fire resistant, they can survive a lightning strike without much damage to the structure.

Wood, however, does not conduct electricity efficiently at all. So when a traditional wood-framed home (or a tree, which is more common) is hit by lightning, it’s more likely to catch fire and more likely to send shockwaves of that current outward, potentially striking anyone who happens to be nearby.

Are metal buildings safe in a tornado?

Yes. Tornadoes really like the United States — and they like certain midwestern states, known collectively as Tornado Alley, more than anything. 

Know what’s right in the path of Tornado Alley? The Worldwide Steel Buildings manufacturing facility. So you could say we know a thing or two about these destructive forces of nature. 

So do many of our midwestern customers, who all chose to purchase a steel building kit despite the risk of tornadoes, and felt confident doing so, given metal buildings’ high wind rating (the amount of pressure the building is designed to withstand). 

No building can avoid the path of a tornado entirely, but when steel buildings do get caught up in a cyclone, they’re less likely to suffer structural damage. That’s because instead of breaking in strong winds, steel can bend. So you’d still have some repair work to do once the storm passed, but the interior of your metal home will have had superior protection against high wind speeds as well as debris thrown around by the storm and fires originating from wood frame buildings. 

Are metal buildings safe in a snowstorm?

Yes. There’s nothing better than watching a snowstorm from safely inside your home … until you realize the damage heavy snow and ice can do to your roof and your windows. 

However, much of the snow damage inflicted on traditional wood homes comes from the weight of compacted snow and the moisture seeping into susceptible materials. 

Because metal homes won’t rot, mold, mildew or expand and contract due to temperature, the moisture isn’t a concern. And when your metal building is designed to withstand the snow load in your area (which it will be – our team makes sure of it), the weight on your roof isn’t an issue either. 

Worldwide Steel buildings are designed to withstand even the heaviest snowfall, and can perform even better depending on the roof you choose. In snowy climates, the steeper the better. An acute angle makes it much easier for snow to slide off the roof and melt into the ground. 

With a steep roof pitch, eave extensions and the strength of a metal roof, you can design a building that protects you from any snowstorm.

Is a metal building safe from natural disasters?

When it comes down to it, no man-made structure is completely invincible when it’s faced with the forces of Mother Nature. But just like in the other examples, a steel building will perform as well as or better than any other type of traditional construction. 

An earthquake that would cause a wood-framed home to splinter and break should only cause a steel-framed home to warp. 

A hurricane that would destroy a wood-framed home should only dent the siding of a metal home. 

A wildfire that would incinerate a wood-framed home wouldn’t even touch the framing of a metal home.

Feeling at home in a metal building

Perhaps the skepticism surrounding steel homes stems from peoples’ perception of them rather than the reality. If the only steel buildings you’ve been in have been barns, shelters and airplane hangars, then of course you won’t think they’re a place to make yourself at home. 

But once you add in proper insulation, the interior walls of your choice, and fill the house with your friends and family, a steel frame home offers safety, security and a place to feel at home just like any other home. 

Garage kits and workshop kits are available from Worldwide Steel Buildings, and can be delivered anywhere in the US.
Our customers turn to us and trust us with a lot of their big building projects. You know: The buildings they design for running businesses, protecting heavy equipment, and keeping their loved ones safe.

But not everyone is ready for that level of metal building project. And that’s okay! Especially around this time of year, a lot of people start to realize that what they want and need isn’t a gigantic airplane hangar, community center or barndominium, but a simple storage shed. Is a steel shed the sexiest building around? Maybe not. But it’s definitely one of the most functional.

If you’re thinking about how nice it would be to have a separate storage building for your lawn tools, mower, bikes or snowblower — all those standard personal use tools and toys that seem to multiply and take up more room as the years go on — you’re probably thinking about your options. Metal sheds vs. wood sheds vs. plastic sheds. Which is best for your needs? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these types of storage buildings:

Plastic (vinyl or resin)

The two things a vinyl or resin storage shed has going for it are that it’s fairly resistant to rot, insects and rust, and that it’s lightweight. However, the flipside of lightweightness is flimsiness. A plastic shed won’t hold up well to inclement weather, and is highly flammable in case of fire. It’s also susceptible to critters other than insects, like squirrels and rabbits, and is not very secure against theft. The very chainsaw you store in a plastic building could cut right through its walls with ease. Plastic buildings can also stain and bleach in the sun, making them look worn well before they should.

Wood

A wood storage building is probably going to be easy to find and build no matter where you live, and can be quite visually attractive if done correctly. Wood frame construction is very customizable both structurally and in its finishes, which is appealing. But it’s also very expensive, makes for an incredibly heavy building, and is subject to fire damage, rot, warping, mold, insect infestation, and so much more. Over time, a wood storage building is likely to need a lot of maintenance.

Metal

A steel storage building or shed has the potential to look industrial. But with the customization options available from Worldwide Steel, it doesn’t have to. A metal building can be finished to blend in perfectly with the homes or the landscape around it while still being appealing in its own right. And that — the potential to look purely industrial if purchased elsewhere — is about the only downside we see. Everything else is coming up roses for metal buildings.

On purchase, steel storage buildings are cost-effective and come together with ease, even for first time builders. And with use, steel buildings’ true upsides start to shine: they’re fireproof, durable, resistant to all types of weather and natural disasters, and are integrally theft-proof. They resist rot, rust, insects and other critters. They’re also sustainable, energy-efficient and low maintenance for years to come. And at Worldwide Steel, they’re guaranteed. We offer an industry-leading 50-year structural warranty on every building kit we sell, so you can sleep knowing your building and what’s inside is protected for decades.

And working with Worldwide Steel is different than getting a backyard storage building from a big box store. Our team isn’t made up of retail employees, but of building specialists who can guide you through the design and construction processes, plus research any building codes or zoning regulations for your local area.

It’s a great time of year to finally take the plunge into adding a storage building to your property. Have more questions about the differences between metal sheds, wood sheds and plastic sheds? Give us a call at (800) 825-0316! Know what you want? Test out your ideas in our 3D Building Designer or request a quote online.

Barndominium decorated for the holidays

You know the pride that comes with doing something all on your own? Something challenging, that maybe you weren’t quite sure you’d be able to pull off? Now imagine feeling that way about something tangible. Something functional. Something big. Something like an entire building.

It’s more achievable than you might think, and with Worldwide Steel, it’s the last piece of the true DIY puzzle.

You dreamt your ideal metal building. Using the Worldwide Steel 3D Building Designer (with a little assistance and reassurance from our experts), you designed your own metal building. But can you really build your own metal building? Yep.

Consider this your pre-decision pep talk:

When you work with Worldwide Steel, yes, you can build your metal building with your own two hands.

Our prefab steel building kits are designed for DIYers like you — people who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty, but don’t have construction experience. Barring any exceptional circumstances like disabilities or medical conditions, you can erect your building without hiring a crew, buying special materials, or worrying about making an irreparable mistake.

How? It starts at our manufacturing plant. Worldwide Steel manufactures all the materials that comprise our building kits at our own Midwestern plant, with all-American materials. No middle man, no brokers — just your design and our steel. Here’s what really makes the difference: we do extra work at the plant so you have less work to do on site.

Upon delivery (when all you need is a safe way to offload materials from our truck and enough clear space to assemble your building), you’ll find a lot of the work is done for you. The work that has to be done on-site is explained, step-by-step, very clearly, in the instructions that are delivered alongside your building materials.

You start by anchoring your building’s legs into piers. Then you’ll install the columns and attach a couple of your girts onto pre-welded clips. Again, all this will be explained and diagrammed in your instruction manual. Next, you’ll lay out the girders (the two halves that make up your steel trusses) and bolt them together, then bolt them to the legs you anchored. That’s the skeleton of your building. Then, you’ll frame in your doors and windows with well-packaged, clearly labeled materials.

You’ll notice perfect hole alignment at every step of construction. That’s because we pre-weld our trusses on jigs at the plant, for exemplary precision.

After that, it’s all sheeting and finishes. Worldwide Steel buildings have no sheet metal-to-sheet metal connections: it’s all sheet metal (which is just for aesthetics and sealing) to steel secondary members (attached with self-tapping, self-sealing fasteners). That means superior strength and durability, plus additional peace of mind for you. Roof panels go on just as easily.

Sure, that’s the short version, but there really isn’t much more to it.

From the beginning, we’ve prioritized design perfection and material quality to make the construction process simple. Step-by-step instructions, pre-punched, pre-drilled and pre-welded materials, and Quinton Ayler, our full-time customer support person is just a phone call away (816-779-7518).

There’s no need for advanced skill, experience or general contractors. We have customers every day who grab a buddy or two and have our buildings completed in just a few weekends.

Last but not least, we make sure to include some insurance with your building kit. You’ll find extra closures, framing, bolts and more, just in case anything rolls away or gets forgotten in yesterday’s pocket.

Still skeptical? Check out some of our customer stories and see what people like you accomplished with Worldwide Steel. Then let’s talk! Give us a call at (800) 825-0316 or request a quote online.

Barndominium decorated for the holidays

Our customers prove over and over again, at every time of year, that living in a metal home or barndominium can be just as warm, cozy and comfortable as living in traditional construction. That’s true around the holidays, as well.

If it’s your first holiday season in a metal home, you might be thinking you need to celebrate and decorate differently than you did before. After all, how can you hang lights and wreaths outside when you can’t hammer in nails to hang them from? Worse yet, will your loved ones worry a holiday celebration won’t feel the same in a metal home?

This is the winter you can prove them wrong. A metal home is a home, plain and simple.

In fact, the winter holidays are one of the best times to live in a metal home, because steel construction makes decorating and gathering easier than ever before.

Let us show you what we mean:

Hanging Christmas lights on a metal roof?

Okay, so we won’t try to tell you hanging Christmas lights on a steel roof is fun, necessarily. But that’s true about any roof, right? As long as you’re up there on a ladder, a metal roof might actually make hanging lights easier. Know why? It’s magnetic. That means no more fumbling with nails or plastic clips. If you already have lights to string, you can buy magnetic clips and just pop them onto your roofline and string the lights from there. If you need new lights anyway, you’re in luck — they actually make magnetic lights now. Isn’t that awesome? Not only are they a breeze to hang on a metal home, but they ensure your lights are all pointing in the exact same direction, which means your Christmas lights will be perfectly positioned. Metal hooks are also good for hanging wreaths, stockings, or whatever else you use to decorate.

Porch with holiday lights

Gathering with friends and family?

First of all, celebrating with loved ones is about the people, not the place. Gather the people you love in any old building — steel, brick, wood or straw — and that’s what matters. But because a metal home gives you such an opportunity for enormous clear span and a truly open floor plan, you can actually gather more people together in one room than you could in most traditional homes. No more deciding who has to eat on the couch in the living room! Break out the folding tables and celebrate with everyone you love in one place.

Baby, it’s cold outside?

No problem. Metal homes, properly insulated, can do a better job of maintaining temperature than traditional construction, thanks to the conduction properties of steel. It’s also less likely to develop any cracks where critters looking to escape the cold could make their way inside — a common occurrence in many homes during winter.

Cozy home for the holidays

Expecting a snowstorm?

You can sleep easier in a metal home. Steel is less susceptible to water damage and less likely to be damaged structurally in the case of a heavy snow load, wind speeds or fallen tree limb. Just salt the walks before guests arrive and focus on the fun parts.

If you’re getting ready to celebrate your first holiday season in a metal home, cheers! We can’t wait for you to experience just how sweet a metal home can be. If you’re tired of just thinking about your metal home project, now is the time to reach out to the team at Worldwide Steel. We’ll help you start designing the building of your dreams so it can be ready in time for next winter. Contact us today to take advantage of 2021 pricing! Call (800) 825-0316 or request a quote online.

Like most passions that require a heavy investment of time, commitment and finances, there’s something about the transition from renting to buying that just feels good. For pilots, buying that first aircraft is almost always a milestone. The one that makes you feel like a real pilot rather than someone who just dabbles in flying. The step that confirms this isn’t just a hobby you might outgrow or lose interest in. This is for life.

In aviation, there’s another monumental transition after purchasing your own aircraft: When you make the choice to take ownership of where you keep that aircraft.

When should you build your own aircraft hangar?

You should consider building your own hangar after you’ve done the math and realized renting hangar space just isn’t the best choice anymore. Or maybe you’re running a business that’s dependent on your personal aircraft and don’t want any aspect of that  business to be at the mercy of someone else’s decisions. 

When you design and build your own hangar, you get to choose where you want it located, include all the features you could possibly imagine, and enjoy 24/7 private access with no chance of hangar rash (unless you’re building a hangar for multiple planes … in that case, just factor in some additional square footage to stay safe and comfortable). 

Sounds like a dream come true? For our customers, it has been. Designing your own hangar from the ground up means you can customize it to your individual needs — the size of your airplane (down to wingspan and tail height), the way you use it (are you loading it up with goods for regional flights? Flying customers with deep pockets to and from business meetings? Enjoying the freedom of destinationless joy rides?), plus additional space for equipment storage, utilities, facilities, even living quarters. 

How to start designing your own metal hangar

With all that choice can come a bit of uncertainty as well, especially for first-time builders. You know how important this project is, and you don’t want to mishandle any aspect of it. At Worldwide Steel, we understand the gravity of each and every decision, and work with you to shoulder the responsibility of each and every consideration — so the entire process is enjoyable and rewarding for you, not stressful. 

Here are just a few aspects you’ll need to consider when building your own hangar, and why Worldwide Steel is the right partner for this project

1. Material quality. A hangar isn’t just an investment in and of itself — it’s literally protection for another investment. That means it isn’t a place to cut corners or make guesses. Worldwide Steel is an ideal partner in this respect for four primary reasons.

  • First, unlike some other metal building companies, we’re the manufacturer of our products, not just the broker. 
  • Second, we offer an industry-leading 50-year structural warranty that guarantees the materials and workmanship of your hangar will be defect-free for decades.
  • Third, we’ve been doing this a long time. We have expertise in things you may never think of on your own — like how an aircraft hangar needs to be built on a significantly thicker concrete slab than a metal building that isn’t designed to support so much weight on such a small surface area, or things to watch out for when choosing a site (like grade and soil quality).
  • Fourth, we’re an APOA Lifestyle member, which means we have access to information on the latest aviation regulations, new advancements in the industry and more. If there’s a question our years of experience building hangars doesn’t answer, we can reach out to the world’s largest aviation community for support.

2. Accessibility.  One of the most important choices when designing a hangar is its doors. Worldwide Steel offers three types of doors that are often chosen for hangars:

  • Traditional bi-fold doors fold in half when opening, like an accordion. They open outwards, which means you don’t have to account for interior space to accommodate them — your plane(s) and equipment can take up the entire interior.
  • Hydraulic doors operate like a standard garage door on a house. They open upwards and rise as a single unit. Some customers appreciate that they can be built with windows to let in light. They do take up vertical space when they’re open, so hangars with hydraulic doors need to be designed slightly taller than they would otherwise be. 
  • Stack doors aren’t a super common choice, since their size is constrained by the overall width of the hangar and limit the space in which a plane can maneuver straight in and out of the building. Think of a barn door that slides along the wall to open. The upside of stack doors is that they can be opened manually, in case of a power outage. Sometimes we recommend a fly-through hangar (with doors on both sides) that has bi-fold or hydraulic doors on the front and stack doors on the back, so you’re covered in case of emergency.

3. Customization options. Because Worldwide Steel manufactures hangars ourselves, you’re not limited to off-the-shelf components. The customization options are almost literally endless.  You can check it out yourself with our 3D Building Designer, which lets you test out hangar ideas visually before committing. The tool even lets you add a little guy and a personal aircraft for scale. Fun, right?

4. Big ol’ clearspans. Yes, that’s the technical term. But really. With available clearspans from 24′ through 100′ wide — no need for columns — our hangars can be designed to accommodate everything from a helicopter or single-engine to a small fleet of jets. That also means you can factor in space for everything you’ll need to maintain and repair your crafts, like ramps, stairs and lifts.

5. Hassle-free assembly. Worldwide Steel building kits use a pre-punched truss system that bolts together easily, which makes assembly a snap. Often, you won’t even need to rent heavy equipment or hire a crew to erect your hangar. For larger structures, however, some customers have found having access to a forklift or tractor makes the process even easier. 

When it’s time to level up your passion for planes, it’s time to get in touch with the team at Worldwide Steel Buildings. We can’t wait to get started on your custom aircraft hangar — just give us a call at (800) 825-0316 or request a quote online

A metal garage building with a brick red exterior

All our buildings are steel, but not all our buildings have to look like steel.

Sure, there are ways to add siding of different materials to your exterior, but even if you choose to stick with the metal panels (like most of our customers do), there’s a world of possibilities to explore beyond gray. 

In fact, we think designing in different colors is one of the best ways to make your steel building feel less like a steel building. When you’re thinking through all the possibilities of a metal building kit, thinking them through in color can help bring your ideas to life.

All the components of Worldwide Steel metal building kits are available in 17 classic, sophisticated color choices including burnished slate, rustic red, charcoal gray, gallery blue, and so much more. Check out the color chart here! You can choose your metal roof color, trim color, wainscoting and wall panel colors individually, which means the color combinations are nearly endless.

But wait — 17 metal building color options? Can’t I head to the hardware store and choose from hundreds of shades? With Worldwide Steel, you don’t have to. And we don’t think you’ll want to,  either.

When you’re crafting your ideal Worldwide Steel building, you don’t have to factor in the time or cost of painting your new building once construction is complete. We offer pre-pigmented CentralGuard (powered by Valspar) Panel-Loc Plus metal panels. That means the actual colors aren’t just a layer on top of the steel … they’re part of the steel. We aren’t just trying to save you work (although that doesn’t hurt) — we’re adding yet another layer (or six) of protection to your steel building.

The six-layer CentralGuard panels consist of a protective backer, dent-resistant steel, rust-resistant Galvalume, two layers of primer for paint adherence, and an outer top coat. By combining the durability of ceramic and select inorganic pigments with the strength of a proprietary silicone polyester resin, these panels deliver a durable finish.

They’re incredibly resistant to the effects of sunlight, UV rays, ice, snow, acid rain and pollution, which means they resist color fade in even the most hostile environments (especially important for roof panels, which get hit the hardest by sun and precipitation).

While other pigmented metal buildings begin to fade after seven years and show significant fading (and decreased energy savings … more on that below) after 15 years, CentralGuard metal buildings display only minimal fading for 30+ years. And the inclusion of silicon polyester resin means they resist dirt, staining and abrasion.

How to Choose Your Steel Building Colors

All the available colors offer this same durability and low-maintenance benefit. Some offer additional energy efficiency benefits, as well. If you want to keep your metal building cooler inside, a dark-colored roof and walls can absorb heat and help keep your interior temperature up. Likewise, a polar white, more reflective roof and walls can help keep a metal building cool.

A commercial building with a two tone gray exterior

Beyond that, we advise our customers to consider the building’s planned usage. If you’re building an agricultural building, there’s always the traditional red and white barn, or you could choose earth tones for a calming, neutral presence (that can also better hide any mud or mess that comes along with animals). If you’re building a home for your business, you can take cues from that — we think green siding makes a beautiful storage building for a landscaping business, for example. And if you’re constructing your building near other structures, you’ll probably want to take the color of those into consideration as well.

A metal farm building with a cream colored exterior
A metal building with a red exterior against a sunset
A digital rendering of a metal building with a dark green exterior

Mostly, though, we just want you to choose something you like. To choose a metal building kit you’re excited about. To look at your building and be happy with your choice for decades to come.

So let’s get started! Check out our color selector tool and start exploring your options with this interactive color visualizer! Just remember, that the colors in the tool are a close representation but may look different on different monitors. What you see as crimson red on your laptop might be a slightly different shade on your metal home or commercial building. The way light hits your building can affect the way the colors appear, as well. Physical samples in the form of color chips are always available upon request.

If you have questions, just contact the team. One of our experts can make suggestions, show you examples of other Worldwide Steel buildings in the color scheme you’re imagining, and walk you through some pros and cons of choosing various colors.

Really, though, metal building color selection at Worldwide Steel is like everything else about customizing our building systems: there are no rules. Whatever you want, we’re here to help make it happen. If you want to begin thinking through your metal building options, you can explore some of our pre-built customizable designs, and further think through your color scheme with our online color selector

Ready to learn more about designing, building and using a Worldwide Steel building (or more about our industry-leading 50-year structural warranty), or receive a free quote on your project? We’re standing by at 1-800-825-0316.

indoor pool

Metal buildings managed to get a bit of a reputation over the years. Not “bad” … but maybe “not for me.” When most people thought of steel and metal buildings, they had a pretty narrow viewpoint.

All function, no form. All workhorse, no wow factor.

This reputation likely stems from their more historic uses. A century ago, opulent buildings were made of stone, cheaper buildings (due to availability of materials) were made of wood. Steel buildings didn’t start gaining popularity until World War II, when orders for other steel products (bomb casings, shells, airplane parts, etc) skyrocketed. But at that point, the whole world was unadorned, solemn, concerned with little but survival. So the steel buildings were austere. They were built to house artillery, heavy machinery, and all the trappings of the war.

But … they sure did come together quickly. And hold up well. Steel buildings were money well-spent. The American people were on to something.

So following the war, the popularity of steel for buildings didn’t decline, but it remained pretty limited to functional usage: garages, pole barns, you know the type. And for decades, that’s kind of where they stayed.

But improved materials, processes and computer-aided design programs (like our 3D building designer) mean that today, that’s far from true. Today, steel buildings can be just as warm, inviting and multi-functional as a building made out of anything else.

Of course, here at Worldwide Steel, we’re passionate about proving that to be true. We aren’t shy about spreading the word of steel: it’s structurally sound, can be built quickly, is energy efficient, cost-effective and nearly maintenance-free. And ― surprise ― it sure can look good.

Here are just some of the ways our customers have designed, built and used their metal building kits:

Metal homes: One of the biggest headaches of traditional home ownership is the maintenance. It seems like there’s always something: pest control, mold, fire hazards … but these all disappear with steel. A steel home requires much less maintenance as a traditional wood home, and can be finished out to feel just as cozy.

Barndominiums: Keeping up on the latest trends? Think bigger than a metal home: think a barndominium, among the best examples of multi-purpose buildings. If you want to combine your living space and your workshop, garage,  horse stable or whatever else, you want a barndominium.

Horse arenas: Metal buildings can hold your horses and everything that comes along with them, no matter how messy. Plus, Worldwide Steel offers clear spans up to 225’, so you can get the unobstructed riding space you’re looking for.

Airplane hangars: Two of the biggest benefits to building an aircraft hangar from a steel kit are their resistance to damage (natural or otherwise) and the wide range of … wide … door options available to fit your wingspan.

Churches and rec centers: When you need to build a gathering place, steel is a great option. Metal churches and recreation centers are a great use for a steel building, because it’s easy to build them big and expand as needed. Plus, the natural climate control of steel (especially with the right vent components) is top-notch.

Greenhouses: Hydroponic or non-hydroponic? Backyard or production? Our fully-customizable steel building kits can handle it all. Give your greenery the best ― check out steel for your greenhouse project..

What can you build out of steel? Just about anything. You dream it, and we can help you design it. Have an idea you think would stump the Worldwide Steel team? Try us. Call us at 1-800-825-0316 ― we do love a challenge!

A residential metal building built by Worldwide Steel Buildings

When you’re about to invest in a new building, it’s important to look beyond the build itself. For example, when you’re looking at prefab steel building kits, you have to look past the price of the kit itself (which are very cost-effective at Worldwide Steel) to the costs of construction and maintenance … which happen to be two of the strongest reasons for choosing a steel building over traditional wood construction.

One area where these benefits combine to be most obvious is in insurance costs. Metal building insurance is an important consideration whether you’re going to use your building for commercial or personal purposes, and insurance prices should be lower than insuring traditional wood-framed construction.

There’s a lot that goes into determining insurance rates for different buildings, which are based primarily on the projected replacement cost of the structure. Two of the most important factors are the building elements (the building materials used in the frame, interior and exterior walls – both load-bearing and not –, support beams and joists and roof construction) and fire resistance (the amount of time a passive fire protection system can withstand fire).

Insurance Services Office (ISO), part of Verisk Analytics, has been a leading source of information for property and casualty insurance risk for commercial and personal assets for fifty years. Many US insurance providers use ISO Construction Classifications – which rank buildings by fire resistance – to help determine how much to charge you for insurance coverage on a building. There are six classifications of fire resistance, from least to most fire resistant.

Construction class 1: Frame. “Buildings with exterior walls of noncombustible or slow-burning construction with combustible floors and roof or walls and roofs with composite assemblies that include both combustible and noncombustible materials.”

Construction class 2: Joined Masonry. “Exterior walls are constructed of fire-resistive materials rated at not less than one hour or masonry with combustible floors and roof.”

Construction class 3: Noncombustible. “Exterior walls, floors, and roof are constructed of noncombustible or slow-burning materials or are supported by noncombustible or slow-burning supports.”

Construction Class 4: Masonry Noncombustible. “Exterior walls of fire resistive construction rated at not less than one hour or masonry not less than four inches thick, with noncombustible or slow-burning floors and roof.”

Construction Class 5: Modified Fire Resistive. “Exterior walls, floors, and roof constructed of materials described in Construction Class 6 Fire Resistive but there are deficiencies in thickness and a fire resistance rating of less than two hours but not less than one hour.”

Construction Class 6: Fire-Resistive. “Solid masonry walls not less than four inches thick or hollow masonry walls not less than eight inches thick or assemblies with fire resistance rating of not less than two hours. The floor and roof assemblies have a fire resistance rating of not less than two hours. Horizontal and vertical load bearing, protected metal supports with a fire resistance rating of not less than two hours. Includes pre-stressed or post-tensioned concrete units.”

According to the ISO, almost all prefab steel buildings fall into Class 3 based on their slow-burning nature.

While yes, it’s possible to build more fire-resistant buildings, it’s also cost-prohibitive and impractical for most people considering a metal building kit in the first place. Not many people in the market for a metal home, barndominium or steel building for a small business are interested in constructing a building with a four-inch-thick masonry floor or eight-inch hollow masonry walls.

Plus, the difference between insurance rates for Class 3 buildings and Class 4-6 buildings usually isn’t large enough to make up for the added cost of materials, construction, maintenance and so on.

If your metal building is less than 15 thousand square feet, the rate you’re charged to insure it will be based on these classifications. In some circumstances, you may be able to further lower your insurance costs by adding active fire-resistance elements (like a sprinkler system) to your building. If you’re constructing a building larger than 15 thousand square feet, most insurance companies will take some additional factors under consideration as well, like losses aggregated by your state, region and building type, and the actual value of your building.

For example, if you’re building a metal airplane hangar in a part of the country that regularly sees earthquakes, tornados or hurricanes, insurance companies will take the possibility of natural disaster into account. But even in these cases, steel buildings are cheaper to insure than traditional construction. After all, wood-frame buildings in the same area would get hit by the same hypothetical natural disaster … and would be much more likely to incur damage. The fact that steel buildings are resistant not only to fire but to earthquakes, water damage and high wind make them very attractive to insurance providers (not to mention homeowners). 

Because Worldwide Steel metal building kits go up much more quickly than any traditional construction project, they’re appealing from the get-go. Add in the lower building costs, customization options and the lower costs over the life of the building – including insurance premiums – metal buildings keep looking better and better.

Ready to start talking about a metal building of your own? Give our team a call at 1-800-825-0316.

An example of a building with an all steel frame and an example of a building with a steel and wood frame

The number of people getting in touch with Worldwide Steel experts because they’re interested in a metal building for residential use (like a metal home, residential garage, barndominium or even personal storage building) is on the rise. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably considering the same thing yourself.

It’s not unusual to see metal building framing in commercial buildings or personal buildings designed for, say, outdoor use or heavy machinery storage. That’s where we all expect to see steel structures. But in residential construction, traditional wood framing still reigns supreme.

The Benefits of Using Steel and Wood

Despite the obvious benefits of steel building materials (including but definitely not limited to: shorter construction and finishing time, structural integrity, lower labor costs, lower material costs (especially at the moment), energy efficiency, durability against high winds and snow loads, immunity to termites and lower upkeep and maintenance over the life of the building), many potential builders shy away from it in favor of wood buildings. While wood framing construction materials are heavier, making it potentially more durable in some situations (although we would argue that’s a misconception as well), the cost-effectiveness, durability and almost nonexistent barrier to entry of using steel frame construction are enough to outweigh the benefits of wood framing.

Here’s where wooden buildings still shine: aesthetics. Even for metal building enthusiasts like us, we understand that most people still consider a traditional wood residence more attractive than one made of steel. So if you’re intrigued with the benefits of a steel building kit, but can’t get your mind off how beautiful a wood structure would look (or if you’re looking to build in an area with strict building regulations), we suggest you consider a third building type: a hybrid wood and steel building.

A hybrid wood and steel building combines all the benefits and longevity of metal trusses with all the coziness and hominess of a wood frame building.

When you add secondary wood framing to the interior and/or exterior of your Worldwide steel building, you’re combining the best of steel with the best of wood for a structure that’s easy to erect, stands up against pests and the elements, and is less susceptible to many long-term deterioration issues. With wood construction incorporated in the secondary framing, you can turn a simple metal frame kit into whatever interior configuration you choose, and can often overcome HOA or municipality building restrictions with wood exterior siding. This means truly endless configurations, floor plan options and finishes, so your Worldwide Steel building kit becomes even more customizable (we know, hard to believe).

Sounds perfect, right? In many cases, depending on your priorities, your budget and your timeline, yes.

A steel frame at the heart of your hybrid construction still means you’re reducing your building cost and optimizing your longevity and durability. You would need to purchase, construct, prime and paint even more wood if you chose the traditional route, and you wouldn’t get any of the benefits of steel.

A high-quality hybrid approach also means easier customization in the future. If you wanted to add a wing to your building ten years in the future, you could do so with an additional metal building component without worrying as much about the difficulties of expansion.

Call Worldwide Steel For All Of Your Steel Building Needs

Here at Worldwide Steel, we predict a continued rise in steel for residential buildings, but we recognize that change doesn’t happen overnight. In the meantime, to appeal to both design-conscious builders and the rules of building organizations, we urge you to consider the benefits of taking a hybrid approach and incorporating both steel and wood in your project.

If you have questions (and you probably will – our most conscientious customers ask many), please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our experts are as passionate about your building plans as you are, and look forward to talking through the possibilities for your building project. They can even show you some examples of recently completed hybrid projects so you can picture your options. 

Let’s get started! Give us a call at 1-800-825-0316 to learn more about steel construction, our building systems, and the 50-year structural warranties offered on all our building kits.

If the time has come that you’re thinking about building your own metal airplane hangar, you probably aren’t new to aviation.

Most hobbyists begin by renting space at a local hangar. But eventually, aviation becomes a lifestyle. While renting is cost effective for a while, it comes along with its own challenges and inconveniences. You don’t get to choose where your aircraft is located, you can’t control the climate inside the hangar, and sometimes you can’t even come and go as you please.

When the cons of renting an airplane hanger begin to outweigh the pros, or if you’re investing in an expanded aircraft fleet, it starts making a lot more sense to build your own personal metal airplane hangar.

Worldwide Steel Buildings knows how important it is that your aircraft is protected from all the things that could potentially damage it – natural disasters, weather conditions, excess humidity, extreme temperatures, vandalism and more. And our experts know just what it takes to keep your investments safe.

Worldwide Steel is a member of AOPA, so you can trust our commitment to your aircraft as well as your building. Our team has the experience and knowledge to help you design, craft and build the perfect steel aircraft hangar for your needs. Our consultants have worked on all types of hangars, from single aircraft storage and t-hangars, including a hangar that houses the helicopters for a St. Louis Children’s hospital, and our customers have never experienced aircraft damage due to steel building failure.

When you work with us, you get the ease of a metal building kit with the power of customization that is anything but off-the-shelf. Whether you’re housing commercial airplanes, a personal prop plane, helicopters, gliders or any other type of large vehicle, a Worldwide Steel building kit can accommodate your needs.

Because there’s no middleman when you work with Worldwide Steel, you can design everything to spec. We recommend bifold doors for aircraft hangars, but if you want something different? We can do that. Want to add office space to your hangar? We can do that too. You can add plumbing, electricity, even a tarmac.

You can check out just a few of the aircraft hangar projects we’ve worked on recently to get a feel for your options. Check out the variation in size, color, use, location, and general aesthetics. These hangars all look so different, but fundamentally, they’re built from the same strong, energy-efficient, precisely manufactured building kits.

At Worldwide Steel, you get to design the hangar of your dreams (really – you can get started right now with our online 3D building designer) without sacrificing quality or durability. We manufacture all our own steel building parts right here in the midwest, which means the components of your custom-designed hangar are delivered straight from our hands to yours. And we’re so confident in the structural stability of our metal buildings that we offer an industry-leading 50-year warranty on all our metal building kits.

If you want a steel aircraft hangar that’s yours and yours alone, an aircraft hangar that you designed from scratch (with a little reassurance from the experts), an aircraft hangar that can be passed down the generations … then you want Worldwide Steel.

To learn more about designing an aircraft hangar that will fit your needs, and to learn more about the benefits of working with Worldwide Steel Buildings (like our DIY steel building kits and that 50-year structural warranty), give us a call! Reach our experts at (816) 608-8520.

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