While researching modern construction trends and planning to build your own residential or commercial structure, you probably have noticed that metal buildings have surged in popularity worldwide over recent years.
Could a metal building be the right choice for your project? In this guide, we will introduce you to everything you need to know about metal building basics. We will go over the advantages and disadvantages, metal building design options, the construction process, and more.
Why Choose To Build With Metal?
To get started, let’s discuss some of the reasons why you might opt for a metal building instead of a traditional lumber frame structure.
Advantages of Metal Buildings
Metal buildings offer quite a few benefits and very few drawbacks. Here are some of the advantages that you can look forward to if you choose a metal home or commercial structure:
- Save money
One of the primary benefits of constructing a building out of metal is that it is less expensive
, potentially in both the short and long run.
Despite the fact that steel is more expensive than wood as material, steel buildings are fast and easy to erect. A large percentage of buyers are able to take care of construction on their own, saving a great deal of money at the outset.
But even if you do have to contract out, construction costs can be minimized if you purchase a steel building kit with prefabricated components.
As for long-term costs, steel is much more resilient than wood, and you will spend a great deal less maintaining it over the decades ahead.
- Steel is less vulnerable than lumber.
If you build a home out of wood, it is susceptible to damage from a variety of sources. Fire can burn through it. Water can be trapped in it, leading to wood rot. Pests can feed on it.
A metal building is able to stand up to these threats more effectively. Although it can be damaged by fire, it is more likely to survive a blaze. It will not rot from water, and if it is properly finished, it can be protected from rust. As to pests, they will not be attracted to it the way they would to be to wood.
- Maintenance is minimized and longevity is maximized.
Because you do not need to worry so much about damage from water, fire, weather, pests and other threats with a metal building, you will discover that less maintenance is required to keep your building in beautiful condition.
You are less likely to be hit with large and unexpected repair bills over the years ahead.
This can not only protect your finances, but also your peace of mind.
Because metal buildings are not nearly as vulnerable to damage as buildings made of wood, they tend to stand the test of time more admirably. Indeed, time itself is less likely to damage a metal building since it can easily outlast wood. Because wood is organic, it decays far more rapidly.
If you are hoping to pass your home down to your children and their children, a metal building is a far better choice. Long after wood buildings in the same neighborhood have gone into disrepair or have even required demolishment, your metal building may still be standing strong.
- Build your metal structure quickly, easily, and affordably.
If you want to minimize the time and effort and money which goes into building a residential or commercial structure, a steel building kit is the way to do it. In fact, you can even have modular components shipped to your site.
Because it is so easy to build a pre-fab metal structure, you might even be able to do it yourself without paying contractors for labor.
- Metal is the eco-friendly option.
Steel buildings are ideal for protecting the environment for multiple reasons. First of all, they can be made from recycled metal. Secondly, they can be recycled themselves.
Thirdly, metal’s longevity also makes it better for the planet. When we can pass down structures to future generations which are in excellent condition, we spare our descendents from needing to harvest more resources to build new structures. We are creating lasting value in the world.
- A metal building can look any way you want.
If you are new to the idea of metal buildings, you may assume that all metal buildings have an unfinished, industrial look to them, and that it would be obvious to onlookers what they are made of.
If you prefer that look, you can of course have it. But if you would like your metal building to look more traditional, you can finish it with any materials you want so that it cannot be differentiated from any of the traditional wood, brick or stone structures around it.
- Metal buildings are incredibly versatile.
Finally, another advantage of metal as a building material is that you can use it to construct pretty much any type of residential or commercial building you can imagine, including:
There are many more possibilities beyond those mentioned above. If you can dream it, you can probably turn it into a reality with a metal building kit.
Do Metal Buildings Have Drawbacks?
There are several possible drawbacks to choosing a metal home or commercial structure. Thankfully, they are pretty easy to mitigate
The first concern is rust
. Those who live close to the ocean need to be most concerned with this because of the salt content of the atmosphere. You can protect your structure, however, by building it using galvanized steel or galvalume steel.
The second concern involves energy efficiency
. A metal home with no insulation or with regular insulation will feature poor regulation of temperatures. A process called “thermal bridging” conducts heat quickly and efficiently through metal, even when regular insulation is present.
With thermal bridging in full effect, you would spend more money and use more power to maintain a comfortable living temperature in your metal building throughout the year.
How can you solve this problem?
The trick is to install more insulation
, and/or a higher quality of insulation than you would in a non-metal home or commercial structure. This can counteract thermal bridging, keeping your structure temperature-regulated during all seasons and preventing you from needing to spend an arm and a leg on heating and cooling.
The only other significant disadvantages of metal buildings are shared by those which feature lumber construction as well. It is true that metal is more resistant to fire than wood, but it can still be destroyed by it.
Poor distribution of stress throughout a metal building can also weaken it over time, just as it would with lumber. Regardless of the materials you choose for your building, you must make sure that the building plan is structurally sound.