Residential Steel Buildings
DIY Buildings that Go Up Faster & Cost Less than 2 by 4 Construction
Durable, cost-effective, with a customized appearance, pre-engineered steel buildings offer a wide range of residential applications for DIY enthusiasts.
From garages, workshops and to home offices, and studios, steel outperforms wood and other construction options on price, durability, appearance, delivery time and ease of construction.
Why consider steel as an alternative to wood for residential construction? Because steel far exceeds wood in every important benefit category. The cost of wood has more than doubled within the last few years whereas steel has remained steady. Steel is much stronger, lighter, and more durable than wood, and steel components are straight and true; you never have to worry about straightening out crooked walls or patching screw pops in drywall.
In addition to the home itself, steel can be used for constructing outbuildings such as detached garages, workshops, storage sheds, airplane hangars, and boat houses for a fraction of typical construction costs. And they can be finished to look exactly like wood-framed structures, inside and out. Steel framing is extremely flexible, making home remodeling a breeze. Steel buildings can also be assembled much more quickly; and best of all, you can build it yourself! That’s right. The pre-engineered steel building come as a kit, with all the components precut to size and full instructions on how to erect it.
Steel building kits are available in two basic structure models: the straight-wall style and the Quonset-hut style. The straight-wall, also known as the rigid-frame, is the most popular and the most customizable. This style has straight exterior walls and a flat roof which is often gabled. Because of its design, this style offers the highest flexibility in the sheer number of options available for just about every kind of application imaginable. And the straight-wall design makes it easier to build and offer more protection. With appropriate finishes, this type of model can be customized to look exactly like a wood-framed structure, if that is your objective.
The Quonset-hut or arch style building uses curved framing members that make up both the walls and the roof of the structure as a single unit. This design is reminiscent of the 1940’s-style building from which the name derives. However, unlike those utilitarian structures, the modern-day arch building is the epitome of strength and durability. Because of its dome shape, no interior supports such as columns are necessary, allowing for open accessibility. This shape also enables it to withstand high winds, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. In addition, this model is about 30% less expensive than its straight-wall counterpart. Modern finishing techniques make it possible to create elaborate and beautiful structures in the arch style. In addition to airplane hangars, workshops, and storage buildings, this style is now also being used to create stunning modern homes.
Although steel is incredibly durable and resilient as a construction material, natural forces must also be taken into consideration when engineering a steel structure, especially snow and wind. If you live in one of the northern areas of Canada that is subject to considerable snowfall, it is important to perform due diligence ahead of time and provide the manufacturer with the correct snow load figures. As a force of nature, snow is unique in that it can drift and tends to accumulate in some parts of the roof more than others, causing inconsistent stress on certain structural devices.
While almost all buildings must be anchored to the ground in some way, this aspect of the construction process is even more vital with metal buildings because they are lighter in weight than typical wood-framed buildings. Wind is one of the most significant forces or nature to account for when purchasing a steel building. Wind load is the amount of stress a structure experiences at a given wind speed. This calculation is important when determining certain aspects of a proposed structure such as the height of the building and the number and location of framed openings. Even in a simple structure, wind load is a complex calculation and should be performed by a design engineer.
Other forces to consider when engineering a steel building are the dead loads and live loads. The total weight of a steel structure, for example, is considered a dead load; the building must be able to support itself. A live load, on the other hand, is any external force that is applied to the building. Live loads can include everything from rain to the weight of the construction workers erecting the building.