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Are Square Footage Prices Misleading? Considering the Cost-Effectiveness for American Homeowners

Are Square Footage Prices Misleading? Considering the Cost-Effectiveness for American Homeowners

Here at Armstrong Steel, one of the trends we have noticed as steel building fabricators is the increasing use of metal buildings beyond industrial and commercial applications. More homeowners in the US are using steel metal buildings and transforming them into their dream homes. Not only are these structures cost-effective and easy to turn into comfortable dwellings —  they are also durable and long-lasting. These qualities allow more people to realize their dream of homeownership at a more reasonable cost, even in today’s unpredictable housing market.

The problem with square footage pricing

At Armstrong Steel, we are committed to simplifying the process of buying a steel metal building in the US. Our building experts are ready to walk you through the purchase of your first building, and you can even browse our guides.

Many customers ask about square footage pricing for steel metal buildings. A common approach in traditional construction, square footage pricing has limitations for US steel metal buildings. Steel buildings cannot simply be priced by square footage because numerous factors influence their cost. Unlike traditional construction projects, where materials and finishes play a significant role in the pricing, steel buildings are priced based on the weight of the steel used, which is affected by several critical factors. In this blog, we’ll explain why relying solely on this system can be misleading and lead to unexpected costs.

Steel as a Commodity Priced by Weight

Steel is priced by weight, and the weight of a steel building is influenced by its design, location, and the required engineering specifications. Therefore, a simple square footage price estimate cannot accurately reflect the cost of a steel building.

Impact of Design on Weight

The design of the steel building significantly impacts its overall weight. Complex designs with unique architectural features or specialized structural requirements will require more steel, increasing the cost. Simple, utilitarian designs may use less steel, resulting in lower costs.

Location and Environmental Considerations

The location of the building affects the engineering requirements, which in turn influence the weight and cost of the steel. Buildings in areas prone to seismic activity, high winds, or heavy snow loads will require additional steel reinforcement to meet safety standards, increasing the overall weight and cost.

Engineering Requirements

Engineering requirements based on the buildings intended use, size, and local building codes also affect the weight and cost. More stringent engineering standards will necessitate the use of more steel, impacting the final price.

Height and Weight Correlation

While the height of a steel building does not increase its square footage, it can significantly impact the overall weight. Taller buildings require more structural steel to ensure stability and safety, leading to higher costs.

The possibility of low-ball estimates

Some contractors may give a low square footage quote to win your favor but surprise you with change orders and cut corners down the road. This can lead to unexpected costs and subpar results.

Avoiding surprises

In summary, pricing a steel building involves a multifaceted approach that extends beyond mere square footage calculations. The weight of the steel, influenced by design, location, and engineering requirements, plays a crucial role in determining the cost. Square footage pricing oversimplifies these complexities and fails to account for the diverse and specific needs of a steel building project. For an accurate and comprehensive estimate, it is essential to consider all these variables to ensure transparency and informed decision-making. Thus, a detailed and tailored approach is necessary to realistically assess the costs associated with constructing a steel building.

If you like our quote and decide to move forward, our consultants will collaborate with you to design your dream home. Unlike traditional homes, US steel metal buildings easily transform into custom residences that don’t resemble warehouses. Our clear-span designs and unrestricted spaces provide the freedom to use any floor plan and maximize interior height for any room.

Ready to get a quote?

Let our engineering staff and building consultants design and pre-fabricate your US steel metal building. Armstrong Steel offers pre-engineered buildings that are easier and quicker to assemble to minimize labor costs. Plus, we optimize our use of materials to eliminate waste and excessive material usage, leading to more savings.

Price your building today here at Armstrong Steel, or call 1-800-345-4610. Our consultants are also ready to address any concerns and questions about our products.