Basics of Metal Building Construction

By Ken Thomson

Metal building construction is a specialized niche that consists of designing and erecting pre engineered structures based upon the project owners needs. Due to the fact that each building is customized, the time needed to erect structures varies. Much depends on the building size and required finishings.

The process of metal building construction entails choosing an architect, general contractor, and building erector. Some companies, such as Facility Builders and Erectors, are full service providers which allow owners to work with the same contractor throughout the design and build process. Others specialize in one aspect of the build.

Working with an experienced steel building contractor and architect helps owners create the type of structure best suited for their needs. Accurate construction plans are needed to prepare cost estimates and ensure all design elements are incorporated.

Architects work closely with project owners to create construction plans. They must consider multiple factors when designing metal structures such as type of metal frame, building size, roof style, doors and windows, wall partitions, insulation, paint colors and exterior facades, trim selections, and loading factors.

Once plans are approved, metal buildings are prefabricated at a manufacturing facility. This is a very cost-effective method and minimizes the number of trades normally found at construction sites.

Since everything is pre engineered, metal building erectors can construct the building much faster than other types of structures. They reduce the number and type of tradesmen on the job. Exterior walls come pre-painted with 25 year warranties on the finish. Instead, prefabricated buildings contain everything needed to erect the building onsite with minimal effort.

With that said, it is imperative to employ experienced erectors to ensure the structure is properly assembled. Critical issues can come about if metal buildings are not perfectly aligned on the foundation.

The amount of time required to erect steel buildings is determined by several factors. Much depends on the size of the structure, along with design features. Buildings used as storage facilities typically require less time than office buildings or retail stores. However, on average, metal structures take less than half the time needed to construct a wood frame building.

In reality, erecting buildings is the least difficult part of the construction process. Project owners must make many decisions and take care of multiple details long before buildings are put up. Every aspect of the building must be carefully thought out to ensure that structural integrity is maintained upon completion.

It is advisable to work with a construction management firm when metal buildings are used for commercial or industrial purposes CMs oversee every aspect of the project from beginning to end and can eliminate many burdens for project owners.

There are many advantages to choosing metal buildings over traditional structures. Along with being exceptionally durable and long-lasting, pre engineered buildings are easy to maintain and erect. They also offer substantial savings in utility costs.

Last, but not least, prefab metal buildings can be used in multiple settings. They are ideal for everything from personal storage to public works. New technologies allow for substantial customization in interior and exterior finishings to provide traditional-looking structures.

We invite you to learn more about the benefits of metal building construction. The Facility Builders and Erectors blog covers an array of topics ranging from architectural design to finished product.

If you are in need of an experienced general contractor, designer, or construction management firm, we invite you to learn more about us and the services we offer. With over 20 years' experience, FBandE has the knowledge and equipment to meet your expectations.