Steel buildings have been around for decades, first gaining in popularity with the Quonset huts favored by the military during World War II. In recent years, though, metal buildings have become much more common. Compared to traditional construction, they’re faster and cheaper to erect. And, with so many technological improvements, steel buildings offer aesthetic possibilities far beyond the “metal box” image they once had.
First, never hire any contractor who isn’t licensed to operate in your state. Licensing ensures the contractor has the experience, training, and qualifications to perform high-quality work. In Arizona, the Registrar of Contractors is where you go to verify the contractor is licensed.
Next, you want a company with experience in both construction and metal building erection. Preferably, the builder has been in business for at least three years, including completing projects in your area. This helps ensure they have a solid understanding of zoning and other local regulations. Finally, you want a builder with strong enough financials that you can trust they won’t go out of business before completing your project.
Steel buildings feature dramatic size differences, from 10’ wide to 150’ or wider. Clear span frames have no interior columns, meaning they’re free from obstructions. And, they typically don’t have roof trusses. This makes them popular choices for agricultural buildings, aircraft hangars, and manufacturing plants.
You also find steel buildings used for warehousing, additional office or storage space, retail facilities, workshops, spray paint booths, mini-storage facilities, recreational buildings, and riding arenas.
The basic steel building includes wall panels, framing, and roof panels. It does not include the foundation, which all metal buildings require. Nor does it include what most steel building manufacturers refer to as add-ons or accessories. This includes insulation, lighting, windows, doors, gutters, and downspouts.
Most of these accessories are provided by the manufacturer at an additional cost. However, the foundation is up to you (or your contractor). In addition, if you want to add internal partitions, that typically must go through the contractor you hire to erect the building.