My Steel Building Project: Do I Need to Involve an Architect or Engineer?

Posted on July 17, 2020

Building steel buildings

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.