Is It Easy to Expand a Steel Building?

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Family is the most important thing in life to many, if not all people. The typical scenarios repeat themselves in almost every family. Children are born, and then begin to make friends. Later in life, more relationships form. Soon, people move in together and develop families of their own. Parents become elderly and you must make the hard decision between a nursing home or inviting them to move in with you.

Change is difficult no matter the circumstances. But change isn’t tough if you have a steel building.

You probably weren’t thinking of family or business expansion and the inevitable space problem when you decided to search different building materials. You might have just been tired of paying rent and wanted to own your building. Maybe your circumstances changed, and you needed something different. Maybe you already own a pre-engineered steel building, and you weren’t aware you could grow the building according to your needs.

So you need to go bigger. Expanding the length of your building requires a clear spanning moment-resistant frame. If your original building was fabricated with post and beam construction, you will need to install a clear spanning moment-resistant frame to continue your expansion. Once you have this installed, you are free to add to your building as you wish. Naturally, you are able to design your building with the intention of future expansion and you can add the proper framing to make it easier and more affordable to expand when the time comes.

Adding width to your pre-engineered steel building is also a possibility. This type of expansion could require a lean-to. A lean-to is a smaller building that shares a wall with a larger building and a roof that leans against that wall. You must be sure that your roof line will accommodate your new expansion by meeting the necessary height. Be sure to take into consideration your climate because a snow load should be accounted for when expanding in this manner.

If you’re considering a steel building purchase, and you think you might expand in the future, tell your project manager. They’ll work with detailers and engineers to ensure expansion down the road is even easier.

If you can’t expand outward, building a second story is always an option. You’ll probably need to make some adjustments to your existing building, but you should still be able to erect the addition you desire. Instead of being supported by the original frame, your second story can be designed to allow the vertical parts of your frame to be supported by the foundation. Of course, this means you will need a sufficient foundation. Adding a mezzanine is always an option, to expand, and efficiently use all of the space in your building and not just the ground.

When you are expanding, be sure to check your local building codes. Your original building may be out of compliance due to the changing of codes and you may have to address this issue before you can expand. Knowledge of your local municipality’s building codes will also allow your addition to be designed in the safest and most efficient way possible.

Life happens. The original building you purchased all those years ago might not be big enough to hold your family anymore. Your steel building provider can help you expand your building to accommodate your needs.

Photo courtesy: Skeeze

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