How Long Does it Take to Build a Metal Building?

Posted on January 21, 2020

A metal building currently under construction with the just the frame completed.
Once metal building owners begin using their new structures, the construction process becomes an afterthought. It’s a blip in a lifetime of enjoying a high-quality, low-maintenance building. But before you commit to a prefab metal building, when the construction process is looming in front of you, it’s easy to fixate on — especially if you’re new to building erection. 

When you’re planning for a DIY metal building construction project, it’s important to have a good understanding of what’s involved before you get started. There’s too much on the line to get started without knowing the basics: Where you’re going to erect your building, what kinds of equipment will be needed on the job site, and who’s going to be on your crew.

Perhaps the most crucial to the success of your project is understanding how long it’s going to take to erect your metal building, and what kinds of things can affect your timeline.

Of course, there’s no prescriptive answer to how long it takes to erect a steel building. Because our steel structures are so customizable, there is a lot of variation in our customers’ building design, building size, building materials and circumstances. That means there’s a lot of variation in the construction process, too! 

While our building systems come together relatively quickly and easily regardless of their final forms, smaller, simpler metal buildings will come together more simply and in less time. A metal garage or pole barn (say, 2,400 square foot with 40’ clear span) might take less than a week to frame. But what about an airplane hangar, a house, or any other kind of structure that’s much larger or much more involved? Then, the calculations get a little bit more complex, and we recommend you reach out to a WWSB consultant for support.

Overall, however, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re planning the timeline of your steel building construction.

Phase Construction

Consider everything you need to do before construction begins, and factor in time for that. Finding a crew, grading land, pouring concrete and taking material delivery all needs to be coordinated. After that, you can divide your erection process into three phases:

  • Phase 1: Standing columns and trusses. Plan to devote about 15% of your time to phase one.
  • Phase 2: Framing and building out your structure. Plan to devote about 15% of your time to phase two.
  • Phase 3: Sheeting the building. Plan to devote about 45% of your time to phase three.

Work Together

Especially when it comes to phase three (sheeting buildings), it can help cut down construction time to have a crew working together. No, you won’t need to contract an entire construction company … but some trustworthy, able-bodied buddies will be indispensable. We recommend having three-man teams working together on different walls.

Prepare For Delays

Our pre-engineered metal buildings are a match for even the highest wind loads and snow loads … once they’re complete. But during construction, before everything is assembled and there’s human safety to worry about? That’s a different story. No building project is totally immune to Mother Nature. Weather is always, always the primary cause of delays when erecting a Worldwide Steel building. Plan for some inclement weather, even if there’s nothing in the forecast when you get started.

Don’t Cut Corners

Trying to rush a steel building project can be detrimental to your safety and the quality of your finished project. To stay safe, be sure to always be aware of your surroundings and go slowly when roofing the building. To ensure quality, just don’t rush – especially when putting screws into the sheetmetal (you might miss the secondary).

Looking for more specific timeline advice on your particular steel building project? We’re happy to help. Just give our team a call at (800) 825-0316.

For answers to other questions, like whether our steel building kits can be designed to meet building codes, what our 50-year warranty covers, or how the building cost of steel frame structures compares to traditional construction, check out our steel building FAQ

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