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!
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 it should be less expensive than insuring traditional wood-framed construction.
There’s a lot that goes into determining insurance rates for different buildings, but two of the most important factors are the building elements (the 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 to insure 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.
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 cost-effectiveness, customization options and the lower costs over the life of the building – including insurance – metal buildings start 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.
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 or barndominium) is on the rise. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably considering the same thing yourself.
It’s not unusual to see steel building framing in commercial buildings or personal buildings designed for, say, outdoor use or heavy machinery storage. But in residential construction, traditional wood framing still reigns supreme.
Despite the obvious benefits of steel building materials (including but definitely not limited to shorter construction and finishing time, lower labor costs, lower material costs (especially at the moment), and fewer maintenance needs over the life of the building), many potential builders shy away from it. While wood framing is heavier, making it potentially more durable in some situations (although we would argue that as well), the cost-effectiveness, durability and almost nonexistent barrier to entry of using steel are enough to outweigh the benefits of wood framing.
Here’s where wood still shines: 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 hybrid wood and steel building.
A hybrid wood and steel building combines all the benefits and longevity of metal with all the coziness and hominess of wood.
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 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 costs 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 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.
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 your possibilities. 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.
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.
One of the greatest benefits of a Worldwide Steel building is the level of customization we offer. Many other metal building companies just give buyers four walls of steel framing in predetermined sizes, plus metal sheeting for the walls and roof. At Worldwide Steel, from the moment you begin conceptualizing your building design, you’re presented with options. From doors, windows and skylights to gutters, eaves and cupolas, you can truly make your building your own.
For some of our customers, customization stops there. Maybe they’re storing heavy machinery, hay or building a workshop. In these cases, function comes well before form. They just need heavy-duty building materials, proper ventilation, and the right size doors. Maybe some plumbing, HVAC and electrical. These customers choose Worldwide Steel for the quality of our prefab metal building kits, the enjoyment of working with our team of experts, the ease of construction and our industry-leading 50-year structural warranty. And they’re right to do so. Our buildings hold up to time, hard use and the elements.
But what about our customers who are building homes, barndominiums, man caves, small business buildings, rec centers and churches? When people will be spending a lot of time inside a building, you want some additional comfort and beauty on top of the durability that’s a given with Worldwide Steel building kits.
In these cases, it’s easy to finish the inside and outside of your steel building just like you would traditional construction. Outside, you can finish your steel building with something other than corrugated metal sheeting – stucco, wood or vinyl siding, cedar shakes, even brick. Then there are porches, patios, walkways, landscaping and a variety of other elements to add curb appeal. Our customers often customize the outsides of their steel buildings for one of three reasons:
- They need to comply with the regulations of a local building or homeowners association that requires a certain look
- They want to attract new clients to their place of business, and know that the more inviting a building looks, the more attention it will attract
- They are constructing a steel building they want to match an existing traditionally-constructed building, like adding a stand-alone garage or shed to their home.
Inside, additional finishes are usually desired for comfort, looks, privacy and practicality. And the possibilities are endless. Multiple food-framed rooms, insulation, drywall, wood walls, shiplap walls, staircases and second stories, wood, tile or vinyl flooring … anything you could expect to find in a home or office building, you can include in your Worldwide Steel building.
Of course, adding interior and exterior finishes will add to the final cost of your metal building. However, all things considered, it is almost always still less expensive to finish out a metal building than traditional construction. Plus, even with traditional finishes, you still get the benefits of steel – like the resistance to mold, mildew and pests, the ruggedness to stand up to fires, weather and other natural disasters, to name a few.
Plus, you can save money and express your creativity by either DIYing your finishes or choosing designers, contractors and suppliers yourself, rather than having to choose from a pre-approved (and marked-up) list of vendors provided by your builder. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry.
There are quite a few customization options you can purchase directly from Worldwide Steel to be delivered as part of your building kit. And when you’re looking for metal building finish options beyond what we provide, we don’t leave you to fend for yourself.
In cases where we don’t directly manufacture or supply building finish accessories, we partner with some of the highest-quality finish providers in the midwest. When we recommend another business to our customers, you can be sure we’ve done our due diligence. The product will be quality, the craftsmanship will be quality, and the service will be exceptional.
Case in point: Elmwood Reclaimed Timber. We love partnering with Elmwood because we’ve seen how their reclaimed wood paneling can transform a metal building, and because they’re just great people to work with. Whether you want to panel the walls of your man cave with a rustic reclaimed barnwood, add an accent wall of American walnut to your bedroom, add timber beams to the ceilings of your barndominium, or add a warm-yet-corporate finish to your office building with American ash, Elmwood has you covered. Just like Worldwide Steel, they offer unbelievable customization options. Whatever you have in mind, give them a call to talk it through! They’re passionate about their craftsmanship and are always ready to help make your interior and exterior finishes the best they can be. You can check out some of their projects for proof (and for inspiration).
Ready to get building? Let’s talk. Call Worldwide Steel at (800) 825-0316 today.
When you’re excited about starting construction on your new metal building, it’s easy to focus primarily on the building itself. The paint colors, the siding, the facade, the unlimited potential. After all, Worldwide Steel offers so many options for bringing your construction dreams to life, and our 3D Online Building Designer makes it fun to see how changing the specs of your building could change the way it looks and functions.
But before you get too carried away with designing your dream building, you need to know where that building is going to be located. Whether you’re still looking for land or choosing a plot and building orientation on property you already own, it’s crucial that you think carefully about your building site.
From zoning requirements to deed restrictions, soil and water issues to utilities access, wind and sun exposure to grade, metal building site selection can make or break your project.
When you work with Worldwide Steel, however, you aren’t left on your own when it comes to building site selection. Usually, do-it-yourselfers are solely responsible for complying with local building restrictions and all other site selection considerations. Our experts do the grunt work for you and with you. We check local building codes, wind and snow loads, zoning restrictions and anything else that could mean trouble for your new building.
But we can’t choose your building site for you (and you wouldn’t want that anyway). A site that will impact your satisfaction with your metal building for decades to come.
And because our building kits are truly DIY, won’t be there once your kit is offloaded from the delivery truck. That means you’re responsible for how the building ultimately comes together on the property. So we figure you want to feel confident about where you’re going to build.
Here are a few things we advise our customers to consider when they’re choosing and preparing a construction site for their new steel building:
- Survey the site carefully. Make sure you’re aware of any permits you’ll need to build a commercial or residential building, where any underground utilities may be, the exact boundaries of the property, and the grade.
- Consider the total space you have and/or need. Your metal building will need more room than just its square footage. Any access, walking, parking, growing or green space also needs to be accounted for.
- Look at the grade. Is your building site flat? Will water run away from the building? If so, will it negatively affect anything on the property around it?
- Clear and level. You will likely need to regrade the building site, level the property or clear trees and brush.
- Ensure your documents are in order. Confirm the accuracy of permits, property deeds and building plans you’ll need to legally begin construction.
- Think about your climate. Unique frost lines, soil types, average weather conditions and location may influence the site selection and building design choices you make.
- Face the right way. Sun exposure can seriously impact the efficiency of your building.
- Know which utilities you’ll need and how you’ll access them. If there are already utility lines running under the property, you’ll need to avoid them during construction. If there aren’t, how easy will it be to get them? If you aren’t able to tap into a city’s water supply, you’ll need to plan for a well and a septic system.
- Confirm the site’s accessibility. You’ll need clearance for construction, space for the delivery truck and setback according to local laws at the very least.
- Have your soil tested. If it hasn’t been mapped and you haven’t built on the property before, it can be helpful to get a soil test performed. If your soil is too loose, too hard, or contains too much clay, it can affect the functionality of your building. A professional will likely be able to mitigate any issues, but it is important to know about them so they can be dealt with.
We’re confident you’ll love your custom-built metal building. But we’ve been in business long enough to know that customers who put as much thought into site selection as building selection are those who are happiest with their decisions for years into the future.
Want to chat metal building site selection? So do we! give us a call at (816) 307-2614.
At Worldwide Steel Buildings, we pride ourselves on three things above all else:
- Industry-leading metal building kits (with industry-leading 50-year warranties)
- Our sky’s-the-limit design/build expertise (no middlemen to be found)
- A true DIY construction experience (no special skills or equipment required)
We say you can DIY the assembly of your metal building, and we mean it.
While other steel building vendors require you to hire contractors and rent expensive specialized equipment, our user-friendly metal building kits mean no need to hire outside help, no need to buy unexpected supplementary materials or tools, and no need to slow down the construction of your new metal building.
With a toolbox full of basic tools, an extension ladder, steel-toed boots and thick gloves, tin snips, a screw gun, a metal cutting blade and a way to unload and hoist your building materials, you’re ready to start building.
Our metal building kits show up ready to be assembled, straight off the truck. All you need when your steel building kit arrives is a way to unload the materials from the and to hoist the steel trusses during assembly.
Everything we package and deliver is designed to make the unloading, handling and assembly of your steel building kit as easy and safe as possible.
However, as soon as our delivery truck arrives on your property, that property becomes an active construction site. There will be heavy materials involved in your build, and safety should be your top priority.
Here are some tips and things to keep in mind while unloading, handling and assembling your metal building kit:
- Wear protective shoes, gloves and safety gear.
- Clear your jobsite. Make sure a truck can access your concrete foundation and there’s room for all your building materials upon delivery.
- Know how you are going to get your building material off a flat-bed trailer. Most of our customers like to rent a tractor or skytrack if they don’t already have one.
- Remember that least-handled material is safest-handled. Know exactly where each part of your building kit is going when it comes off the truck, and unload in a manner that creates an easy pathway to get materials where they’re going.
- Know what’s in each bundle you’re unloading so you know where to put it the first time.
- Be prepared with 2x4s. You won’t want to unload your metal building materials directly onto the ground where water or mud could damage them.
- When your material bundles are delivered, inspect them for any damage that may have occurred during shipping. If you find any, let the driver know so a notation can be added to the Bill Of Lading.
HANDLING AND STORAGE
- Once again, we recommend only handling your metal building kit when you absolutely have to. The more materials are moved around, the more risk there is for injury or damage.
- Be careful with painted surfaces. Our paint coating is durable and impact-resistant, but dragging it across other metal surfaces may mar the finish.
- We don’t recommend storing your metal sheeting in its bundles. If, however, something prevents you from starting assembly right away (like inclement weather), keep your materials as dry as possible. We recommend keeping them off the ground, elevating one end of roof and wall sheets, and covering materials with a canvas (not plastic) tarp.
- Worldwide Steel metal building kits are delivered with easy-to-read step-by-step building instructions. Read them carefully. This isn’t the time to wing it.
- Don’t try to be a superhero. Make sure you have enough manpower to assemble your metal building safely. You and your crew don’t need to be experts, but you do need to be clear-headed and wearing proper safety equipment.
- Don’t be afraid to brag. Once your metal building is assembled, take a few steps back and admire it. You designed and built that yourself!
Worldwide Steel metal building kits – no matter what type of building they become – are easy to assemble. And with some pre-planning and proper precautions during unloading, handling, storage and construction, they can be fun to assemble, too.
Want the fun to start right now? Check out our 3D Building Designer online and watch your steel building take shape virtually. Then give us a call at (816) 608-8681 and talk to one of our steel building consultants about turning it into reality.
At Worldwide Steel, we’re committed to customer satisfaction. Not just when your steel building is shiny and new – when it’s shiny and old, too. That’s why every metal building, house, shed or hangar we help you design comes with a limited 50-year warranty: one that we consider the best steel building warranty in the business. It’s easy to understand, it’s comprehensive, and it’s backed by Worldwide Steel pride.
Not many other steel building vendors provide a warranty as all-encompassing or long-lasting as ours, and we think we know why: When you work with another steel building company, they’re probably sourcing parts and services from third party suppliers. We don’t do that. We’re your manufacturers, we’re your consultants, we’re your advisers. And we’re good at what we do, too.
From the first time you get on the phone with a Worldwide Steel team member, you’ll be able to hear and feel the pride we take in our work, the excitement we have about your project, and the knowledge we have about the steel building industry. Any time you have a concern about your design, we’ll be there. Any time you have a question about the building process, we’ll be there. And if you need us to make something right fifty years from now, we’ll be there.
But here’s the other thing about our warranty … you’re probably not going to need it. Worldwide steel products are the highest quality in the industry, we take great care to ensure every one of your projects is well-thought out and well-executed, and that it meets the coding and zoning standards of wherever you are.
If you do happen to need our warranty, though, we make filing a claim as easy as possible. There’s no need to jump through hoops to get what was promised to you. At Worldwide Steel, when something goes wrong, we fix it. As quickly as possible.
Our warranty guarantees that, under normal use and operation, your web steel trusses and other Worldwide Steel-supplied parts will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for fifty years from the date of delivery. And if you choose to purchase pre-painted steel roofing and siding panels as part of your steel building kit, the paint on those is under warranty, too! We work with Central States Manufacturing to guarantee your color-coated finish won’t crack, check, peel or lose adhesion under normal conditions. So not only can you be sure your metal building will function properly for years to come, you can be sure it will keep its looks, too.
What really sets the Worldwide Steel warranty apart, however, is that our reputation depends on it. As the manufacturer, our reputation of quality and service is on the line. We offer this steel building warranty, and we back it up ourselves. Since we offer our warranty directly, and not through a middleman or broker, any warranty claim you may make is handled directly by us.
We want you to look back on the process of erecting your metal building with fondness, whether you’re showing it off when it’s brand new or helping your grandkids maintain it years and years from now.
And from the very beginning, Worldwide Steel buildings are made to last. We take the time to ensure yours is designed to your local snow and wind requirements, is built to code, and is backed by a warranty that protects you from most of what could possibly go wrong with it – for decades.
To get more information on what makes the Worldwide Steel warranty (and everything else we offer) the best in the business, give us a call at (800) 825-0316.
Worldwide Steel buildings are designed to be DIY – that’s a selling point written all over our website. But sometimes we find that first-time steel builders, or people who are looking at especially complex or commercial building projects, seem wary.
If you’re one of these people – someone asking “can I really do this all by myself? Build an entire steel building from the ground up? Shouldn’t I hire an architect and an engineer to make sure I’m getting it right?” – here’s the low-down.
DIY steel is the real deal
Generally, yes. You can do it all yourself. You might want to have a buddy or two around to help you erect walls and complete roofing, but you usually don’t even need to rent any heavy equipment, and you don’t need to hire any professionals.
Because the expert Worldwide steel team provides full-service assistance with your steel building – from conception through construction – we’re able to do many of the things architects and engineers traditionally do, as part of our relationship with you.
While we encourage you to start imagining the reality of your steel building through our 3D Building Designer, because we think it helps you envision your final product (and course-correct on anything you thought you wanted but maybe no longer do), and because it helps us get a sense of what’s important to you, we never take a 3D design as law. Along with a quote for what your prototype steel building would cost, we walk through all the aspects of your project that contribute to the success of your building. For example: floor plans, elevations, roof plans, site plans, egress plans and code compliance – aka, the things an architect or engineer usually deals with. You will always receive a WorldWide Steel building kit that is designed to be load-bearing, structurally sound and up-to-code.
If you need them, Worldwide Steel also provides building engineered stamped prints for a fee. We also design each building to meet our customer’s local building requirements and provide a set of blueprints, even if you don’t need them to be certified.
Here’s when you might want an architect or engineer on board
However. Our team can’t always be there with you on-site when your building is being erected. Again, this is usually nothing to worry about, but on occasion, our clients come to us with very complicated commercial projects, and the complexity of those steel buildings could warrant the involvement of an architect or engineer who is experienced with steel building construction.
Our team can almost always provide you with everything you need for a successful project, even if we aren’t boots on the ground alongside you. But if you’re working on, say, a multi-floor commercial project with strict safety requirements and lots of complicated HVAC, in an area where we have less experience with building codes … then sure. A professional engineer or architect looking over your shoulder and reassuring you as the project moves forward can certainly provide peace of mind.
We also like to remind people that architects and engineers are helpful beyond the building itself, if that is of any concern. When deciding building placement, for example, an architect can advise you on wind direction, drainage, easements, and how each can affect the efficiency and longevity of your structure.
Additionally, if your steel building project is going to be part of a group of buildings that aren’t identical but should look and function cohesively, an architect can help you achieve that consistency.
What if I just don’t want to DIm(Y)self?
If, for whatever reason, you simply don’t want to DIY your steel building and would rather hire out the job, you probably still don’t need an architect or engineer. In almost all cases, a local contractor will do what you need to get done, and for a lower cost.
Because erecting one of our steel buildings is so easy, there are contractors across the country that can build your building for you. Depending on where you’re located and what kind of building you’re erecting, our team might be able to put you in touch with one of our trusted contractors.
If you’re not sure whether your project is complex enough to warrant involving an architect or an engineer, or if you want help choosing a contractor, or if you have any other questions at all about the process of erecting a steel building, the Worldwide Steel team is here for you. Give us a call at (800) 825-0316.
If you’re using a WorldWide Steel Building as your primary residence, routine maintenance is often front and center. It’s your home, and you want it to look nice, be dry, stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But metal buildings that are more about function than form, like metal garages and metal storage buildings, are more prone to unintentional neglect. Because they probably aren’t used every day, especially during certain seasons, and because their purpose is more about protecting your things than protecting your family, it can be easier to let maintenance slip.
Here’s the good news: metal buildings of all types require much less maintenance than any other kind of structure. They’re fire-resistant, immune to wood rot, less vulnerable to pests, and durable in the face of natural disaster. Our team is so confident in those facts that we offer a best-in-class 50-year structural warranty on every metal building kit we sell. We guarantee that with normal use and operation, your web steel trusses will be defect-free in material and workmanship for a full fifty years.
However. Does that mean you can erect your metal garage or metal storage building and completely ignore it for decades? We certainly don’t recommend it. It doesn’t take long for a very minor issue to become a more serious problem just because you didn’t think it was a big enough deal to address.
There are some simple, hassle-free steps you can take on an annual or biannual basis to ensure your steel building stands the test of time and keeps everything inside it safe.
An easy guide to metal building maintenance
- Create a maintenance checklist. Keep a paper copy in the steel building as well as a digital version. This helps you keep track of routine maintenance tasks, track any repairs that have been made over the years, and allows you to pass maintenance inspections on to someone else if you’re ever unable to perform them.
- Inspect the interior and exterior twice a year. Metal buildings are sturdy enough that they don’t need to be coddled, but they should get your attention about twice a year. We recommend spring and fall, after the harsher conditions of winter and summer have abated. The only exception to the spring/fall advice is in the case of excessive winter snow. If your metal building’s roof has a heavy layer of snow buildup, use a snow rake to remove it.
- Clean the gutters, if your building has them. Gutters are a metal building’s first line of defense against moisture.
- Inspect the building’s surroundings. Do you see any ground settlement? Are there any large tree branches overhanging the roof, bushes growing too closely to the structure, or root systems creeping their way toward the building? Metal building maintenance issues are usually due to external forces, not deterioration of the building itself.
- Scan along the foundation. Look for any signs of shifting, as well as signs of rodents burrowing underneath your building.
- Check the insulation. Insulation plays a major role in keeping what’s inside your metal garage or metal storage building in good condition. Make sure there isn’t any moisture damage, animal damage, or potential for electrical hazard.
- Oil the hinges. This is important for standard doors, and extra important for overhead doors. Keeping them moving smoothly will prevent potential problems over the long-term.
- Check window and door seals. Any opportunity for the outside to get inside your metal building could lead to trouble. Ensure everything shuts tightly and seals correctly.
- Replace any missing screws, and tighten those that may have loosened. Natural expansion and contraction of building materials due to weather changes can loosen screws in a metal building, which could eventually begin to let in the elements.
- Check for any scratches or gouges in the walls. Especially if your metal storage building or garage is used to keep heavy machinery or construction materials, accidents can happen, and buildings can be damaged.
- Pressure wash the exterior. Dirt, pollen, bird droppings and fungal growths that occur naturally could eventually lead to oxidation if they aren’t cleaned off regularly.
Overall, you’ll find that metal buildings are really very easy to maintain. As long as you watch out for little issues, generally caused by external factors, and address them before they turn into bigger problems, there’s no type of building material that’s lower-maintenance than steel.
To learn more about our DIY steel building kits and 50-year structural warranty, just give us a call at (800) 825-0316.