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Debunking the Myth That Steel Buildings Cost More

Over the years, your attached garage fills up with ‘stuff.’ Your house just can’t fit all the items you’ve collected over the years. Your business is bursting at the seams, and you’re running out of room for all your products and inventory. Pure and simple, you need more space.

Where do you start? First, you want to start looking at building materials. Most people usually compare pole barns vs. steel buildings.

After research, many customer do in fact choose wood buildings, or pole barns for their land. Do they regret it? You’d have to ask them. But one of the main reasons people choose pole barns is because they think that steel buildings cost more, and that’s not always true.

You may see the sentence “Steel buildings are an investment” while you peruse the Armstrong Steel Blog Network. I want to assure you this sentence isn’t code for steel buildings are ridiculously expensive. It does, however, mean that a steel building might require a greater initial investment than a pole barn. We always like to say, ‘you get what you pay for,’ and that’s completely true when it comes to the construction industry. In fact, cheaper usually translates to ‘more expensive’ in the long run. There are certainly times when choosing the least expensive option is much smarter. There isn’t much difference in a piece of furniture, and if it’s on sale online, or less expensive in the store, grab it while you can!

But when we’re talking about building materials, cheaper equates to costly simply because of the maintenance involved, and the cost to correct future problems.

steel buildingsThere are countless benefits to pre-engineered steel buildings, and at the top of the list sits durability as arguably the most important benefit. Steel buildings will last decades because they have a natural resistance to the elements fire, the sun, and lightning. Since steel is an inorganic material, it also isn’t affected by pests, such as termites. A pre-engineered steel building doesn’t provide the organic materials for mold to feed on, and therefore greatly reduces the possibility of mold in your steel garage. Termites could cause structural damage to a wood building and, if left untreated, will cause the wood building to collapse. Exterminating termites and replacing sections of your building are only going to take money out of your pocket and increase the total cost of your building. When it comes to overall maintenance, steel doesn’t twist, warp, crack or rot. Steel frames don’t deteriorate. Period. Have you ever seen a ramshackle, abandoned wood barn on the side of the road? It wasn’t maintained properly, lost its use and most likely became completely unsafe. Most likely, the owner grew tired of the constant costs associated with replacing boards, poles and wood panels, and the barn grew into a state of disrepair. What was the owner left with? Benjamin Franklin said it best when he coined the phrase, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Does the prospect of saving money upfront really matter if you’re forced to fork over more cash over the product’s lifetime?

A quality steel building is built to last. Support beams don’t require replacement on a steel building. While your initial out-of-pocket investment may be smaller on a pole barn, over time a pole barn is going to cost you a small fortune. Remember this, because it isn’t a trick: You bought your building for a lifetime, not a quick fix for a few years. Over a lifetime, there is no comparison.

Steel buildings are usually half the cost of buildings of traditional construction methods, and can be erected in half the time. Remember, you’re looking at a building project as a whole. There are many other costs you’ll need to add to your budget, and with a steel building, you can minimize, or even eliminate some of those extraneous expenditures.

No architect needed

You need an architect for your steel building project, right? Actually, you can save even more money by choosing a steel building provider with an in-house engineering and design team. A structural engineer can make all the necessary changes you’ll ever need for your steel building project, especially when it comes to relatively simple designs – like a commercial building, garage or workshop. Lines on paper can quickly add up, and alter your budget. Generally, if an architect is needed, have them design around the steel building design rather than have the steel building supplier design around architectural plans. Some architects aren’t familiar with the engineering or design criteria of specific steel building suppliers.

No field fabrication

steel buildingsWhen you buy a wood structure or pole barn, the building generally arrives at your job site as raw lumber. Someone, usually a hired, competent construction crew, begins building the structure from scratch. Pieces aren’t sorted or matched, and that can lead to confusion or even construction delays. Pre-engineered steel buildings arrive to the job site ready to be erected. All parts are pre-welded, and bolt together for quick assembly. Perhaps the best part: Many people decided to put together their steel building themselves, sparing them the extra expense of a construction crew. Each building comes with easy to read construction drawings and an erection manual.

Steel Buildings direct from the manufacturer

Purchasing a pre-engineered steel building directly from a manufacturer can be one of the most affordable ways to buy a steel building. You’ll be dealing directly with a company who will design, engineer and fabricate your custom pre-engineered steel building. If you purchase through a broker, you’re only adding a third party to find a manufacturer to produce your pre-engineered steel building. What is the difference between a broker and a manufacturer, and how can knowing the difference help you save money? This third party will need to be paid for their services, obviously. Plus, do you even get to pick what you’re getting? How about doors, windows and accessories? Will they give you a choice in the matter? You may end up with a cheap pre-engineered steel building saddled with huge markups and even cheaper material. What do you know where they are getting material from?

steel buildingsA steel building manufacturer is able to design, engineer and fabricate a pre-engineered steel building because they have their own engineers, detailers and an actual manufacturing facility or factory to fabricate a building according to your exact specifications. Manufacturers sell directly to the public – no expensive middleman necessary! Steel building manufacturers have much more control over the entire process of a steel building project, and can assist a customer from conception to completion.

Sure, any big project can cost a substantial amount of money, but steel offers the best durability, flexibility, and significant cost savings on the market. When you decide to purchase a steel building from a company, you’ll pay a small engineering payment which will not only get designers started on your project, but will secure your steel price. This payment will go towards the total cost of your building. It’s similar to a down payment on a home. Also, recall that pesky term ‘investment,’ from earlier. In terms of an investment which will retain value, there really is no better choice than going with steel. Wooden structures that don’t require a foundation aren’t even considered permanent structures by permitting offices and may cheapen your land value. Brick and mortar structures are durable but require costly crews and construction professionals to build – not to mention the fact that they may take months, even years to complete and are more costly per square foot than steel. Steel buildings maintain value, and often times, increase the overall value of your property.

Ultimately, choosing a building material is up to you and your current budget. However, a smart first time builder will consider the costs for an entire project and factor in the life expectancy of any building solution before they buy. This decision truly necessitates research and thought. You don’t want to be paying for your building for years to come.