Steel Shops –The Ultimate Man Cave!
Enjoy Your Own Space with a Custom Steel Workshop
Whether you need a place to work or wind down, a steel shop is the ultimate man cave. Enjoy your own space in a matter of weeks!
Beginning at only $5-$7/square foot, customize your shop with stucco, metal cladding, masonry or hardy board so it blends in with your existing residence.
Enjoy protection against extreme weather, termites and fire, and your own space to watch the game, work on hobbies, or hang out with your friends.
Get a new steel shop for less today, and start enjoying more usable space
In most minds, the word “workshop” is a place to do woodworking. But in recent years, these outbuildings have found a myriad of new uses to augment the useable space in the home. And a Pre-engineered Steel Building can offer the best options for such spaces. Consider some possibilities:
Why steel for Workshops?
Steel is the most durable building material on the market for workshops. It provides first-rate protection from harsh weather including wind, rain, hail, and snow. Most buildings can be engineered to withstand 140 mph wind loads, and Quonset huts-style buildings have been known to stand up to hurricane force winds. Its high strength-to-weight ratio provides outstanding resilience to the elements. Steel is rot-proof and termite resistant. It is also fire resistant, making it less expensive to insure compared with wood-framed buildings.
Steel is the most recycled material on the planet, so it is very environmentally friendly. And with pre-fabricated steel workshop building kits, one of these structures can be erected by the homeowner without having to hire an outside contractor. Best of all, they are very low maintenance. You will never have to replace warped, cracked, or rotted components, and painting and repairs have to be done much less often.
Before you buy – There are several factors to keep in mind during the planning stage for your new steel workshop.
In all likelihood, you will need a permit from the local building department who has jurisdiction in your area. The only time a permit is not required is if the building is under a certain size. In most large cities in Canada any structure over 108 square feet requires a building permit. But there are exceptions. Be sure to check the requirements in the specific city in which you plan to build. (See the box below for some examples)
|City||Size Requiring Permit|
|Calgary, Alberta||Over 108 sq. ft.|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||Over 100 sq. ft.|
|Montreal, Quebec||Over 161 sq. ft.|
|Saskatoon, Saskatchewan||Over 108 sq. ft.|
|Toronto, Ontario||Over 108 sq. ft.|
|Vancouver, BC||Over 108 sq. ft.|
|St. Johns, Newfoundland||Over 108 sq. ft.|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba||Over 108 sq. ft.|
A good foundation
Part of the permit, inspection, and approval process will include the foundation. For very small structures (under 100 square feet), a crushed rock pad may be all that is necessary. But anything larger will require a solid foundation, and indeed it needs one to provide longevity to the structure. Poured concrete or floating slab foundations are usually the strongest and most practical, but pier foundations may also be acceptable in some cases. Steel reinforcing bars (rebar) is also recommended and is often required.
Water and power
Consider what utilities you will need in your workshop and plan ahead for their installation. Communicate with the utility companies to see what their guidelines and restrictions are regarding location and installation. For instance, the electric company will tell you where the breaker box should be located and if it needs to be a separate service or if a subpanel can be installed in the new building as part of the main home’s electrical service. If a bathroom or running water will be included in the new building, you will need to determine if it will be connected to a sewer or if a new septic system will need to be installed. How much light you will require in your shop and where will you need the most natural light for working on projects? Consider these factors when deciding how many windows and skylights to use and where they will be located.
When to build?
Generally speaking, late spring is the best time of year to build, after the ground has thawed and dried. This will afford you a long stretch of good weather and ample time to complete construction before winter sets in again. By planning ahead, you can use all of the previous months to prepare for construction, obtain building permits, and hire contractors if needed. Consider these possible time frames for a typical construction project.
|Build Phase||Timeline||Suggested Dates|
|Planning||3-4 weeks||Dec 01 – Jan 01|
|Design & Engineering||3-4 weeks||Dec 01 – Jan 01|
|Foundation Engineering||3-4 weeks||Dec 01 – Jan 01|
|Permit Processing||3-4 weeks||Feb 01 - Mar 01|
|Fabrication||3-8 weeks||Feb 01 - Apr 01|
|Site Preparation||2-4 weeks||Feb 01 - Mar 01|
|Concrete Pouring||1-2 weeks||Mar 01 - Mar 14|
|Building Erection||2-4 weeks||Mar 15 - Apr 15|
|Finishing||2-4 weeks||Apr 15 - May 01|
|Walkthrough & Inspection||1-2 weeks||May 01 - may 15|
Hot and cold
If you plan on using your workshop in all seasons, insulation should be considered. This is especially true if you live in one of the more frigid northern areas. Winnipeg, Manitoba, for instance, has the coldest weather of any major Canadian city, often dropping to -30 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. Many Prairie cities along with several others in Ontario and Quebec also rank among the coldest. Extreme cold can have a detrimental effect on equipment and supplies. But temperatures don’t have to be extreme to be harmful. Moderate but sustained cold weather can do damage as well.
On the other hand, in areas that are hot and humid, steel building will tend to “sweat,” causing water droplets to form on the ceiling. Several cities in British Columbia rank among the hottest in Canada, and Ontario has some of the most humid locales. Although steel structures are resistant to mildew and mold growth, a consistent accumulation of moisture can damage the structure over time. Proper insulation can reduce or eliminate both of these problems. Various insulation options are available. Research each of them to decide which would be appropriate for your area.