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Thread: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

  1. #1
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    Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    So as the title suggests, have any of you bought a steel building kit? It seems too good to be true to build a 1200 sq ft shop for $8k. But as I progress in the side work realm of things, I ask myself what the end game is. Do I stay at my full time welding job or go on my own? Right now I like where I am working but I enjoy being a ďbusiness ownerĒ in the sense that Iím making my own money.

    Right now Iím working out of my garage at my house, and so far itís okay, but a little cramped. I looked into the possibility of renting something, but rent in North Shore Massachusetts is just insane. Lowest Iíve seen is $1,100 plus utilities all the way up to $5,500 plus utilities. With a mortgage of my own, Iím not THAT busy to tack that kind of bill on. But, Iíve always hated the idea of lining someone elseís pocket by renting, so Iíve been looking at land near me. Some is reasonable, like $30k and up. So my thought is do my homework on zoning and building codes and then buy a plot of land to build these metal buildings.

    So my question is, after my long back story, is it worth it to buy a steel building kit? Too good to be true? Good/bad the ugly of owning one? Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Are you talking about the ones with a zillion bolts to assemble? I had a pole shed put up. It took them 6 days start to finish. Didn't need a concrete foundation. Laminated PWF for the inground portion of the poles in the ground. Holes are 24" with 2 bags of Quickcrete in the bottom to form a pad and then the hole is filled with 3/4" washed rock to let water drain without rotting the poles like concrete would.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    All I can really speak to is the quonset hut style shop that was on my property when I bought it. It's cheap, weatherproof, fireproof, and good in the wind. It has an aluminized foil insulation attached to it on the inside which helps more than you'd think.

    That's pretty much the extent of the good parts, though. The curved / arched wall design stinks for tall machines you'd ordinarily put alongside a wall, and while I'm sure an angled-support-leg bridge crane could be designed, it'd be more difficult and expensive. You can't really attach anything structural to the walls, and you can't just put a door in the side of it easily either. If I were looking to put up a steel building, I would definitely not choose this style if I had the time / ability to save the rest of the money for a conventional steel building.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I'm not a business owner, so don't want to mislead you. I did price some metal buildings not log ago, and talked to my masonry contractor about them. From his view, on masonry, cost is the same for the customer, about $10/sq.ft., so a 30'x40' slab would cost about $12k. That is probably a small size for a commercial shop, and you might be able to get that cheaper in New England, that I don't know, but I was also pricing the buildings in California where I am located.

    For a building that was 12'-14' high, the price was about $50k. I was looking at a structure that had one large 11'-12' roll up doors on each end, and one smaller door. My plan was to be able to drive my forklift inside as well as be able to drive a flatbed with trailer through it. EDIT: I should add, the prices varied, but this was for thicker steel and stronger supports. Some prices were down as low as $30k, with just one small door. These prices were to have someone come out and install the entire building, but the slab needed to be ready. This was from the local hardware supply, they sell them.

    One thing I mentioned to my masonry contractor was the fire hazard in a stick built structure, but he pointed out to me in some of the recent fires the metal structures dissolved into nothing...and most everything burned inside of them, so he discounted that element.

    From his view it's just as easy to frame a similar structure for about half the price. Probably more to have someone frame it for you, but that's kind of what he felt. He's a really good masonry contractor, IMO, he did an awesome foundation for me. He didn't feel most steel buildings were very strong and that most were flimsy, why he was recommending going the stick frame route with TGI trusses.

    I'm not ready to move forward on a detached shop just yet, but kind of leaning towards framing my own after talking to him. I don't know how insurance would play out on steel vs. stick frame.

    Others can probably give you a better idea, maybe someone has done exactly what you ask.
    Last edited by TraditionalToolworks; 1 Week Ago at 12:40 AM.

  6. #5
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from SoCal View Post
    I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
    That's good info Steve, thanks for posting. Helps me with my decision on what I'll do about a detached shop.

    I finally got PG&E to drop the service to my property. Kind of excited, but have a ways to go in getting things setup...but I have a 320 amp service! Nothing like you have, but more power than I've ever had. Can't wait to get my Phase Perfect hooked up.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    You want a blue print of footer and property location before purchasing. Grading and foundation pour could impact price above the significantly0 ideal pricing...Especially with the quonset style that uses a engineered slap with footer I included. The footer runs the building length as opposed to few posts.

    You can get them (quonset) much cheaper than list price once you talk to a live person. At least it sed to be that way.

    1200 sqft will disappear quickly if you plan to make money out of the building, unless you have a small job bench niche.

  10. #8
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I am looking at a 80 x 140+ building kit. 18 foot walls for a second floor in areas.

    Some kits are not easily changeable as I am finding out. And heavy duty 24ga panels are actually standard duty.

    The only upside to a building kit is the drawings and approvals. Its costs a lot to draw up a custom building.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    I would buy a ranch.
    Now you build a pole barn . You just have work on some equipment for farmer's
    It will save a lot of money and is a investment 😉.
    FYI This how I did in California

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by J93Welder View Post
    So as the title suggests, have any of you bought a steel building kit? It seems too good to be true to build a 1200 sq ft shop for $8k. But as I progress in the side work realm of things, I ask myself what the end game is. Do I stay at my full time welding job or go on my own? Right now I like where I am working but I enjoy being a ďbusiness ownerĒ in the sense that Iím making my own money.

    Right now Iím working out of my garage at my house, and so far itís okay, but a little cramped. I looked into the possibility of renting something, but rent in North Shore Massachusetts is just insane. Lowest Iíve seen is $1,100 plus utilities all the way up to $5,500 plus utilities. With a mortgage of my own, Iím not THAT busy to tack that kind of bill on. But, Iíve always hated the idea of lining someone elseís pocket by renting, so Iíve been looking at land near me. Some is reasonable, like $30k and up. So my thought is do my homework on zoning and building codes and then buy a plot of land to build these metal buildings.

    So my question is, after my long back story, is it worth it to buy a steel building kit? Too good to be true? Good/bad the ugly of owning one? Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you!
    Last edited by smithdoor; 3 Days Ago at 04:31 PM.

  12. #10
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Steve from SoCal> "I think on a small building as the OP mentioned a stick build is most cost effective. Red iron building become more economical at above 3000 sq ft. and 14' eaves.

    The very small steel building are not the same, they are welded tube frame buildings, not worth the effort IMHO.
    " I am just now checking construction prices on a 30' x 48' pole barn after reading your comments a bit ago. It's beginning to look like you were spot on. Stick built is coming out about 10% less. Thank you for posting... I just assumed based on all the advertising that a metal barn would be more affordable without checking.
    --
    Country Metals> "The only upside to a building kit is the drawings and approvals. Its costs a lot to draw up a custom building." Drawings for a livestock barn/detached garage/work shop/etc stamped by an architect for a detached garage of about 1400 sq feet are coming in at .40Ę a sq foot for us. Not too bad... all factors considered. Drawings by a PE are coming in at about .50Ę a square foot. Evidently with all the new software that's hit the market in the past 25 years, architectural fees have come way down. I'm finding that fees for a custom home are coming in around .75Ę to $1 per square foot currently. That's a massive reduction since we hired an architect to design the home we currently live in back in the late 90s. I believe we paid around $2 per square foot back then and that did not include changes or add-ons.
    --
    TT>"One thing I mentioned to my masonry contractor was the fire hazard in a stick built structure, but he pointed out to me in some of the recent fires the metal structures dissolved into nothing...and most everything burned inside of them, so he discounted that element.

    From his view it's just as easy to frame a similar structure for about half the price. Probably more to have someone frame it for you, but that's kind of what he felt. He's a really good masonry contractor, IMO, he did an awesome foundation for me. He didn't feel most steel buildings were very strong and that most were flimsy, why he was recommending going the stick frame route with TGI trusses.

    I'm not ready to move forward on a detached shop just yet, but kind of leaning towards framing my own after talking to him. I don't know how insurance would play out on steel vs. stick frame.
    "
    --
    Few comments regarding framing your own detached shop... when we built the home we're currently living in about 20 years ago, it was build on 16Ē centers with fireblocks in the same thickness as the stud materials running horizontally between the studs. My husband added those to the original blueprints, he said we were in a rural area serviced by a volunteer fire department and that was how he wanted it regardless of cost. His rationale was that it would be pretty hard for a fire to get going in a wall with 6" fireblocks between the studs. Maybe check into what he said and see if it makes sense for your new place?
    --
    I actually might know the answer to your question about how insurance might play out on steel v. stick frame on an appurtenant structure such as a detached work shop... it might not in CA. It doesn't in the states of MI, SC, IL, and now I just verified that it doesn't in the state of AR so hopefully it won't in the state of CA. The insurance companies in the three states that we have insurance in and for AR that I just checked with all extend 10% of dwelling coverage to detached structures for no charge... it's included in a homeowners package policy. So, if we insure a home for $100,000; we'll get $10,000 as part of a package policy. And, I was told it's the primary dwelling they're basing their rate for both the home and appurtenant structures on. Brick, stucco, and concrete board siding all receive the lowest rate while cedar, vinyl, aluminum, and other sidings receive a higher rate. So since we're building a brick home, our rate for the dwelling and the detached 3.5 car garage will be based on the materials chosen for the residence not what ever materials we end up choosing for the detached 3.5 car garage and for any amount over the 10% we're given in the package for the detached garage... we'll be charged at the rate of the primary residence.
    --
    Beyond that, a primary residence is obviously cheaper than a vacation or seasonal home and then there are all kinds of discounts for having no claims, auto with the same company, new home constructed within x # of years, and others. One thing I discovered is that some insurance companies won't quote you if you don't have hardwired fire and CO2 detectors and/or a central reporting alarm system. That's something you might want to check into because I remember hardwiring the fire/CO2 and installing the components for the alarm system were easier and cheaper when the home we're in was being built.
    --
    Oh oh oh, we'll be getting a discount for excavating a slightly less than 1 acre hydrant pond within 250' of the home and you've got a whole lake within a stone's throw of the back of your home so that might reduce your insurance premiums too.
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  13. #11
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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    EQ,

    Good to know on the insurance, that kind of rings a bell here so it is probably so in California. I think that might be true of the contents in your home also, it's limited to a percentage of what the rebuild value is. I have extra insurance for my wife's piano and my upright bass.

    My original thinking was that steel would be less prone to fires, but my masonry contractor pointed out that's not always the case. Probably depends on how thick the steel is, but the steel building are typically pretty flimsy. Anyway, stick frame is the way to go on this in what I've been able to research, and what Steve mentioned also. Even though he's from SoCal, I won't hold that against him as that's where I'm from also...

    FWIW, in regard to fire, I'm required to have at least 350 gallons of water to supply the required sprinkler system for 10 minutes. I will be storing 2500-3000 gallons though, so no worries there.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Ag buildings are priced accordingly. Go to 2 different places and say 1 is for cows and 1 is for a welding shop and see what the prices are. Last time I checked, and I live in a very large farming county, cows dont sur people or firms. When was the last time a cow barn had sprinklers, emergency exits etc.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Country Metals View Post
    Ag buildings are priced accordingly. Go to 2 different places and say 1 is for cows and 1 is for a welding shop and see what the prices are. Last time I checked, and I live in a very large farming county, cows dont sur people or firms. When was the last time a cow barn had sprinklers, emergency exits etc.
    Not sure how that plays into the picture, the prices I got for a steel shop didn't include anything except the steel structure. No plans to keep cows in my shop, only machines.

    AFAIK, there is no sprinklers required for a shop/garage, only space you live in. My current shop is going in the full walkout basement to build the house, hence the sprinklers. I also don't like the idea of doing any welding other than tig inside an attached structure. I can forge and weld outside if needed, but I need to have a shop.

    EQ's needs are probably entirely different, and the OP for that matter.

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    Re: Any business owners here buy a steel building kit?

    TT> "My original thinking was that steel would be less prone to fires" Mine too but I was also looking to cut some costs because we ended up spending more for land than we budgeted for.
    --
    Actually, we need the detached garage for my husband and it will include one bay for my welding equipment and all of his tools. But, we also need at least a 24 x 40 insulated livestock barn for me. It has to have intakes, exhausts, fans, water, and A/C. And well, a little chicken coop for a few pet chickens but that's no big deal.
    --
    Country> are you suggesting that if I requested a bid for a structure labeled as a livestock barn v. a structure labeled as a garage/work shop that quotes would come in lower for a structure labeled as a livestock barn? If so, I think I'll label my husband's detached garage a goat barn. I've always wanted two or three of those Nigerian Dwarfs... no time like the present to toss a few in a bay.
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