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Do You Need a Metal Building Architect or Engineer For Your Project?
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 design projects, still seem wary of the construction process.
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 architecture firm 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. The steel frame, the open web trusses, the wall panels and the roof panels. You might want to have a buddy or two around to help you erect walls and hoist the metal roof, but you usually don’t even need to rent any heavy equipment or 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. When you work with us, we’re more than a standard sales-focused metal building company. We’re your design-build team and your building manufacturer along with everything else, which means we’re there every step of the way as your metal building system comes to life.
While we encourage you to start imagining the reality of your metal 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 of your metal building designs 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 mean that involving an architect or structural engineer who is experienced with steel building construction is the most effective solution.
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 in an area with unique zoning, 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 on 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 have more than what it takes to raise your steel structures, and for a lower cost.
Because erecting one of our pre-engineered metal 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 prefab metal building, the Worldwide Steel team is here for you. Give us a call at (800) 825-0316.