Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

Metal Buildings Provide 100% Usable Space

Unlimited Floor Plan Options with Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

No other building system offers the spaciousness of pre-engineered metal buildings. Steel’s strength allows for completely open floor space, unencumbered by obstructing support columns or load-bearing walls.

Let’s take a brief look at the evolution of building in the past 70 years.

The Restrictions of Wood Framing

Wood-framed structures and pole barns created most low-rise structures in the last century.

Wood needed interior supports, restricting use and maneuverability. It also required constant upkeep and frequent painting.

RHINO 100 Percent Usable SpaceRot, mold, termites, fire, lightning, and high winds all posed threats to wood structures— then and now.

Seventy years ago, wood was plentiful, readily available, and cheap, so wood framing remained the primary building system.

As old-growth forests diminished, lumber prices soared— while wood quality plunged. Soon commercial builders, farmers, ranchers, and aviation operations were looking for alternatives to old-fashioned wood structures.

The Limitations of Arch-Type Buildings

During World War II, the military needed structures that could be erected quickly— and dismantled quickly as battle lines shifted. The Quonset hut was invented to fill this need. (Think Gomer Pyle’s barracks.)

After the war, Quonset huts found a niche in agricultural markets at home. Farmers and pilots liked the ease of construction of the arch-type equipment sheds. They liked the low-maintenance and durability of steel. However, due to the curve of the walls, much of the interior space was wasted.

The Drawbacks of Light-Gauge Steel Framing

As forests disappeared and lumber prices rose, light-gauge steel framing began to make inroads into the construction market.

The idea was simple: substitute light-gauge steel studs for wood studs, “stick-for-stick.”

Steel framing was stronger and lighter than wood. Light-gauge steel framing required less maintenance than wood. Impervious to termites, rot, and mold, light-gauge steel framing also provided … Read more »

Combating the Cost of Calamities with Steel Buildings

Metal Buildings Outperform Other Structures in Natural Disasters

In the wake of the devastating natural disasters recently inflicted on the U.S., building stronger structures like steel buildings is vital. Choosing to build structures to stand up to Mother Nature at her worst just makes sense.

Counting the Cost of Catastrophic Events

The escalating cost of natural disasters in the U.S. boggles the mind.

Cost of DisastersAccording to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1980 the U.S. has suffered 170 weather related disasters where damages topped $1 billion. Total cost of the events is more than $1 trillion.

The U.S. government now spends an estimated $50 billion annually on disaster relief. That reflects a significant jump from the average $10 billion per year spent just a decade ago. It works out to $408 per year for every household in the country.

Hurricane Sandy alone racked up a $60 billion price tag for the government. Hurricane Katrina cost $50 billion in Federal spending.

Large-scale disasters also wreak havoc with insurance costs. Insurance losses for natural disasters in 2013 soared to $86.4 billion in the U.S.

Government and insurance costs reflect only part of the economic impacts of catastrophic disasters. Charitable organizations spend millions more for aid and assistance— money usually garnered from donations across the country.


In 1994, an earthquake in Northridge, California killed an estimated 60 people, injured thousands more, and destroyed 112,000 structures. Measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, the quake ran up an estimated $42 billion in damages— $61.3 billion adjusted to today’s dollars.

Deigned to produce the strongest possible structure with the least amount of steel, low-rise prefabricated metal buildings perform well in earthquakes. Because steel has the highest strength–to-weight ratio of any building material, pre-engineered … Read more »

Dektite® Gives Metal Buildings the Boot

Premium Pipe Flashing Seals Steel Buildings Tight

Corrugated steel roof panels on metal buildings present a challenge for pipes and flues. Creating custom-fabricated flashing for pipes protruding through the ribbed panels was once a major headache.

Sealing pipes, flues, and ducts is a problem no more, thanks to an ingenious device called the Dektite® roof boot.

A Revolution in Metal Roof Flashing

The Dektite® roof boot consists of a rubbery cone sleeve, attached to a strong, yet flexible base.

Dektite Boot for Metal BuildingsA light gray synthetic rubber called EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) creates the long-lasting, pipe-gripping top of the boot.

EPDM roof boots serve most applications. EPDM boots resist constant temperatures ranging from -58° F to 239° F, and withstand intermittent temperatures as high as 302° F.

For higher temperature applications, a roof boot with a red silicone cone works best. The silicone Dektite® boot withstands constant temperature up to 392° F, and intermittent temperatures as high as 482° F.

The corrosion-resistant base of the Dektite® Roof Boot fits easily onto steel roofing. The supple, bonded aluminum flange fits any roofing panel profile perfectly— regardless of rib location or roof pitch. Malleable and easily shaped by hand, the base flange conforms to the shape of the roof.

Dektite® Roof Boot Features

Waterproof Dektite® Roof Boots supply numerous advantages over old-fashioned hand-contrived pipe flashing.

• Fully flexible under all conditions • Highly resistant to damage from ultraviolet light • Low profile and unobtrusive in design • Will not crack or break, even under adverse conditions • Flexible cone sleeve holds tight during pipe contraction, expansion, or vibration • Easily adapted to any application • Sizes to fit ¼” to 19” pipes, flues, and ducts • Resistant to ignition from embers; … Read more »

39 Reasons Recycled Steel Rules

Celebrating the 17th America Recycles Day: November 15, 2014

Recycled steel leads the pack in recycled materials.  On the eve of the seventeenth America Recycles Day, some facts about the scope of steel recycling seem appropriate.

Steel Recycling and Production Facts

Steel is 100% recyclable.

Steel retains all its strength when recycled. Recycle steel hundreds of times— and it is still just as strong as it was the first time. No other material can make that claim.

All across North America, more steel is recycled every year than aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic combined. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world.

Government sources estimate American iron and steel scrap production at $29.5 billion in 2013.

America Recycles DayAmerican steel consumption increased 110 million tons in 2013.

Iron and scrap recycling produces new major appliances, motor vehicles, food containers, machinery, derricks, pipe, bridges, ships, trains and rails, various consumer products— steel-framed buildings— and more each year.

Steel mills shipped 87 million metric tons of new steel products last year.

The U.S. scrap metal industry employees over 137,000 people.

Every steel product you buy today contains recycled steel.

Recycling is not a new concept in the steel industry. North American steel companies have been recycling steel for over 170 years.

Steel mills and foundries actually depend on iron and steel scrap for production. Scrap steel is an essential ingredient in making new steel.

Steel recycling saves energy. It takes far less energy to melt and recycle steel than to create virgin steel from iron ore.

Every ton … Read more »

Ridge Caps: The Crowning Touch on Steel Buildings

RHINO’s Die-Formed Ridge Caps Lock Out Drafts, Rain, and Pests

Ridge caps are the most critical step in enclosing a steel building roof system. Running along the peak of the roof, ridge caps connect the two adjoining steel roof panels on either side of the roof seam.

Inferior ridge caps— or poorly installed ridge caps— mean constant headaches for the building’s owner.

The Disadvantages of Flat Ridge Caps

The standard ridge cap used by most pre-engineered steel building companies is the flat ridge cap.

Steel roofing panels are ribbed, not flat. Consequently, flat ridge caps cannot seal tightly.

Flat ridge caps must be laborious bent by hand.

RHINO Ridge CapAir wafts beneath the flat ridge cap, causing drafts in the structure.

Wind-driven rain pushes between the steel panel ribs. Blowing beneath the flat ridge cap, rain leaks into the building, dripping on insulation and the contents of the structure.

Mice, rats, birds, and bugs travel at will through the gap between flat ridge caps and the roof panels.

Some companies offer foam closure strips to fill the gaps between flat ridge caps and corrugated roof panels. Weather deteriorates cheaply made closures rapidly. Mice chew holes in the foam. Birds peck out chunks closure strips to build their nests.

So what is the alternative to flat ridge caps?

The Advantages of Die-Formed Ridge Caps

RHINO’s die-formed ridge caps match the profile of the steel roofing panels exactly.

Our die-formed ridge caps are made in the same steel, gauge, tensile strength, and color as the roofing panels. Rolled by the same equipment that creates the shape of the roofing panels, these ridge caps are then die-formed to match the pitch of the steel building.

RHINO die-formed ridge caps fit snuggly with steel roofing panels, attaching … Read more »

7 Ways Metal Building Formed Base Trim is Better

Why RHINO Steel Buildings Include Formed Base Trim

Metal building formed base trim is not the only way to attach steel wall panels. However, it is the best way.

Formed base trim improves the durability— and appearance— of pre-engineered steel buildings.

The Notched Concrete Foundation Method

RHINO Formed Base TrimWhile RHINO steel buildings can be built on concrete piers or perimeter walls, most customers choose to build on a concrete slab.

Exterior steel panels cannot rest on the slab floor. The panels need to extend below the floor level to avoid leaks into the building.

The two main ways to accomplish this are notched concrete slabs and formed base trim.

In ordinary notched concrete foundations, the contractor pours a lip around the outside of the slab, lower than the main floor. This notch allows the bottom of the steel wall panels to rest in the notch, below floor level.

The Formed Base Trim Method

Formed base trim creates a barrier between the bottom of the exterior wall panels and the interior floor. A steel base angle bolts to the edge of the concrete floor. The formed base trim attaches to the base angle, forming a ledge below the exterior steel panel.

Metal building formed base trim eliminates the need for a notched concrete slab.

7 Reasons RHINO Recommends Using Formed Base Trim

1. SAVES TIME: Creating a slab for formed base trim is much faster and easier than pouring a notched foundation.

2. SAVES MONEY: Notched slabs use more concrete, increasing foundation costs. On a 5,000 sq. ft. building, for example, the notched slab would cost about $300 more than a plain slab used with steel building formed base trim.

3. SAVES HASSLES:Read more »

The Versatility of Steel Buildings in UTAH

Why Metal Building Sales Are Humming in the Beehive State

Like the state itself, steel buildings in Utah are variable.

One definition of the word “variable” in the “Merriam-Webster Dictionary” is “having many uses or applications.” That is certainly true of Utah— and of pre-engineered steel buildings.

Endless Contrasts, Endless Possibilities

metal-buildings-UTAHUtah has it all.

The state encompasses an incredible diversity of scenery. Deserts, forests, plateaus, mountains, rivers, canyons, and valleys dot the landscape.

Residents and visitors ride in the hoof prints of countless Western movie stars across Monument Valley. They swim in the Great Salt Lake, ski in the tracks of Olympians, or camp in breath-taking National Forests.

The variety of Utah’s lands creates economic diversity. Agribusiness, ranching, mining, oil and gas drilling, manufacturing, tourism, forestry, commercial enterprises, and service industries all earn a place in Utah’s economy.

This diversity of businesses requires a vast variety of building styles. Only pre-engineered steel buildings provide the durability and versatility to serve such divergent needs.

Steel Buildings in Utah: Advantages Unmatched by Other Building Materials

Prefabricated metal buildings work perfectly for so many applications. Steel buildings in Utah provide:

UNMATCHED VERSATILITY: No other low-rise building system beats the versatility of RHINO’s pre-engineered metal building system. RHINO’s steel structures can be 20’ to 480’ wide. Building lengths are unlimited. Standard eave heights from 8’ to 40’ tall are standard. (Taller structures require a custom quote.)

UNMATCHED AFFORDABILITY: The purchase price of metal buildings in Utah is very economical. However, the price is just the beginning of the savings.

Pre-engineered steel buildings ship in only 4-7 weeks. The kit arrives ready to assemble. Construction time for a pre-engineered RHINO building is about 33% less than other building … Read more »

RHINO Steel Buildings Celebrates Anniversary

Reflecting on our First 16 Years in Metal Buildings

This week RHINO Steel Buildings is celebrating our sixteenth year of operation. As we reflect on the past, we also look toward the future. The first sixteen years is just the beginning.

RHINO AnniversaryOver 27,000,000 Square Feet of Steel Buildings Delivered

Over the past sixteen years, the growth of RHINO Steel Building Systems has been phenomenal. Today the RHINO name is accepted as a premiere building brand in the metal building market.

In checking sixteen years of RHINO sales data, we found the following:

  • RHINO has delivered over 27 MILLION square feet of steel buildings to date.
  • We have shipped almost 60,000 TONS of commercial-grade steel.
  • Our sales have included everything from a tiny 144 sq. ft. building in Missouri, to a 165,000 sq. ft. monster structure in Texas— and everything in between.
  • RHINO has delivered metal buildings to every state in the U.S., all across Canada and Mexico— even to Bora Bora and Pago Pago!

Even we are amazed at all the uses our customers find for our metal buildings. RHINO metal buildings sold so far include:

AGRICULTURAL: Steel barns, hay sheds, equipment storage, farm product storage, stables, indoor riding arenas, horse training facilities, livestock buildings, farm and ranch offices, and more.

COMMERCIAL: Restaurants, office buildings, medical buildings, retail centers, auto service centers and tire stores, auto parts sales, vehicle showrooms, strip malls, self-storage facilities, churches, and more.

AVIATION: Private and corporate airplane hangars, helicopter hangars, shade shelters, and office buildings.

INDUSTRIAL: Steel warehouses, meatpacking plants, oil and gas buildings, and manufacturing plants of … Read more »

Steel Homes: Think Outside the Box- Part 6

Using Pre-engineered Metal Building Systems to Build Metal Homes

Did you know many people choose pre-engineered steel building systems to build their own steel homes? Who wouldn’t want all the benefits of steel buildings for their home?

Steel Home 001Pre-engineered steel buildings dominate the agricultural, commercial, and industrial low-rise construction markets.

Why? Steel buildings offer wonderful advantages over other building methods. Pre-engineered metal buildings provide:

STRENGTH: No other building material matches the strength of steel.

DURABILITY: No other building method outlasts steel. Steel buildings retain their beauty and value far longer than other building systems. Metal homes never rot, sag, creep, or shift like wood houses do. RHINO’s steel framing is guaranteed to meet or exceed all local building codes— for the LIFETIME of the structure!

SPEED: RHINO steel buildings deliver in only 4-7 weeks, ready to assemble. Our system cuts construction time by 33% or more.

Steel Homes 04SAVINGS: Foundations, construction, and insurance costs are much less with prefabricated metal buildings. Adding RHINO’s Pro-Value Insulation Package slashes energy bills by 50%. Choosing cool-coated metal roofing saves an additional 7%-15% on utilities.

SAFETY: You would not feel safe in a wood car built, so why would you feel safe in a house framed with wood? RHINO steel buildings provide superior resistance to damage from by strong winds, lightning, heavy snows, fire, termites, earthquakes, and mold.

FLEXIBILITY: Because RHINO’s steel framing is self-supporting, the interior floor plan can include spacious, open areas, and soaring ceilings. Remodeling is simple, because there are no load-bearing walls to consider. Floor plans can even be changed on the fly at the job site.

ECO-FRIENDLY: No other building material … Read more »

Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box- Part 5

Receding an Exterior Wall Changes the Look of Metal Buildings

In Part 4 of our series on “Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box” we covered adding pop-out sections of framing. Pop-outs protrude outside the main structure, breaking up the boxy look of pre-engineered steel buildings.

Indented wall ccreates porchAnother way to add visual interest to a metal building is to do the exact opposite. Instead of extending an exterior wall, consider receding an exterior wall, sort of a “pop-in” section.

Practical Reasons for Indenting an Exterior Wall

The exterior wall of pre-engineered metal buildings can end at the last frame of the structure, or at the next-to-the-last frame. In fact— with minimal additional framing— the exterior wall can be placed anywhere in between frames.

Indented wall- ag buildingFor example, you might want a deep porch under rafter. Or perhaps your commercial business needs a corner entrance under rafter to protect clients in inclement weather.

Agricultural buildings and shops often include a protected outside area under rafter to store hay, equipment, or vehicles out of the weather. Personal storage building, workshops, or multi-vehicle garages might encompass an under rafter area for a boat, RV, or camp trailer.

Stylish Reasons for Indenting an Exterior Wall

Indented wall- outside storageBeyond practical considerations, indenting a wall also changes the profile of a structure. Receding a wall helps adds visual interest. It is an easy and economical way to add personality to a structure. Commercial enterprises may find this especially helpful.

Suppose you want to add a “down-home” look to your new barbecue restaurant. Indent the exterior wall … Read more »

Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box- Part 4

Adding Pizzazz to Metal Buildings with “Pop-Out” Framing

The most economical shape for pre-engineered steel buildings remains the basic rectangle. While practical for most industrial, agricultural, and storage applications, commercial enterprises sometime require more visual interest.

RHINO building with pop-outs 1In this series on customizing steel buildings, we have divulged several ways to lose the “boxy” look of metal buildings to add eye appeal. So far, we have covered:

Part 1: Changing the Roofline

Part 2: Adding Roofline Extensions

Part 3: Using Brick, Stone, Stucco and Other Exterior Building Materials

We can further improve a structure by adding structural “pop-outs.”

Metal Building Basics

First, let’s cover some a couple of basics in pre-engineered steel building construction.

RHINO sidewall pop-outIn a clear span steel building, the two steel columns bolted together with two rafter beams create a single “frame. The frames run the length of the structure, much like ribs supporting the skeleton of the building.

Typically, frames are spaced 20’-25’ apart. The distance between the frames is called a “bay.”

The frames continue for the length of the structure, creating the basic rectangle of the building.

So What is a “Pop-out”?

End wall shed pop-outAdding smaller frames outside the main structure creates pop-outs. This adds square footage to the structure while breaking up the rectangular shape of the building. Pop-outs can be added at either the end wall or sidewall.

Pop-outs offer many practical uses.

For example, a pop-out section on a church, hotel, medical building, school, … Read more »

Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box- Part 3

Customizing the Exteriors of Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

Steel buildings do not have to look like steel buildings. There are many ways to enhance the exterior of a structure to lose the “boxy” look of a metal building.

RHINO hangar wihjt wainscotIn parts one and two of this series, we offered suggestions for changing the roofline and profile of a steel building to create a more traditional look. The versatility steel buildings doesn’t stop there.

Any exterior building material available for other building systems will also work with pre-engineered steel framing.

Steel Panel Exteriors for Metal Buildings

Most of RHINO Steel Building System’s customers with agricultural, industrial, and storage applications choose our standard 26-gauge purlin bearing roof (PBR) steel panels for cladding. The panels are attractive, economical, and durable. Available in a variety of colors, steel exterior panels and trim offer many choices for the buyer.

Stone wainscotBuyers may purchase optional gutters and downspouts in colors to match trim. Also available are 24-gauge standing seam roof panels and highly reflective “cool coated” steel panels.

Steel Panel Wainscoting

One very economical way to “dress up” a steel building is to add steel panel wainscoting. A wainscot is simply a contrasting material added at the bottom exterior wall, usually about 3-1/2’ to 4’ in height.

Using Traditional Exterior Finishing Materials with Steel Buildings

Stone facade entrywayChoose any exterior building material used with other building methods for pre-engineered metal buildings.

Planning an office complex with … Read more »

Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box- Part 2

Roofline Extensions Add Flair to Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

In part one of this series on steel buildings, we discussed changing the roof pitch and gable rooflines versus hip rooflines. You can also “dress up” metal buildings by adding eave overhangs or canopies.

NAPA CanopyIn standard pre-engineered steel buildings, the roofline ends flush with sidewalls. That is adequate for many applications, where the “boxy” look of the building does not matter. For example, agricultural barns and industrial warehouses find this basic steel building economical and practical for their needs.

However, many commercial enterprises must think outside the box to achieve a look that suits their vision. Adding eave overhangs or canopies brings a more traditional look to the structure.

Making the MOST OF Your Metal Building Investment

Eave overhangs and canopies change the profile and performance of a structure dramatically. Both useful and attractive, eave overhangs are a simple way to enhance the look of a steel building.

RHINO Overhangs and canopiesWhat are the practical advantages of eave overhangs and canopies?

SHADE: Extending the roofline provides additional shade across the building, windows and doors. Shading creates cooler building temperatures, a big plus in southern climates with hot summers.

SHELTER: Canopies and eave overhangs over doorways shelter people coming and going from the building in inclement weather.

PROTECTION: Overhangs and canopies move rain, snow, and ice away from the structure quickly, preventing splashing on walls and messy, slippery accumulations near doorways. This is especially important in metal buildings without gutters and downspouts.

VALUE: Canopies and eave overhangs increase curb appeal, improving your structure’s resale value. … Read more »

Steel Buildings: Think Outside the Box- Part 1

Adding Personality to a Metal Building by Changing the Roofline

In pre-engineered steel buildings, nothing is more affordable than a basic box. Most agricultural, aviation, and industrial metal building buyers find “no-frills” prefabricated metal buildings both practical and economical for their needs.

However, commercial buyers sometimes require a more upscale building appearance. Their building designs must attract customers and blend in with neighboring businesses. Although these buyers long for the benefits of steel buildings, they think steel limits their exterior design choices.

Steel Buildings Gable and Hip RoofsThey are SO wrong.

Steel buildings are incredibly versatile.

This series of articles on “dressing up” metal buildings will be full of ideas on adding panache to any building project. Let’s begin with simple roofline modifications.

Increasing Roof Pitch

Pitch refers to the slope of a building’s roof. Specific pitches are referred to as a ratio, such as a 4:12 roof. The ratio indicates how much rise there is in the roof slope for every foot it runs horizontally. Therefore, a 4:12 pitch rises 4” for every 12” it spans.

Increasing the pitch of the roof is an inexpensive way to change the cosmetic look of the structure. It changes the “boxy” appearance of the building to a more traditional-looking structure.

If you need extra storage space or clearance above the eaves, a higher pitched roof may be your answer.

Metal Building Roof PitchOn the practical side, a higher roof slope sheds water and snow more efficiently than a flatter roof, reducing the chance for leaks. In air conditioned buildings, the additional cubic feet overhead allow heat to rise above the floor area, reducing air conditioning costs.

Higher pitches often fit in … Read more »

The Many Uses for Steel Buildings in OREGON

Why Pre-engineered Metal Buildings Dominate in the Beaver State

Steel buildings in Oregon stand up to the unique challenges of the Beaver State.

Need a 500,000 sq. ft. import warehouse in Portland? Pre-engineered steel buildings meet all your criteria.

metal-buildings-OregonPlanning a business complex in Salem? You will find nothing works better than steel.

Is your congregation in Eugene planning a new church building? Steel framing allows more design freedom than any other building method.

Need a hangar for your private plane or jet in Medford? Steel buildings provide large, unobstructed interiors simply not possible with other building systems. RHINO has hangar doors to fit any aircraft.

Thinking about starting a self-storage business in Ashland? Nothing protects better, lasts longer, or stands stronger than steel.

Want a bigger barn for your farm in the Willamette Valley? Farmers and ranchers everywhere love the quality of a practical, economical, low maintenance steel barn.

Dreaming of a multi-purpose structure for a garage, workshop, and storage at your home in Corvallis? Do-it-yourselfers prefer easy-to-erect pre-engineered steel buildings for their residential projects.

The Benefits of Steel Buildings in Oregon

Steel dominates the low-rise agricultural and commercial markets today, because perceptive farmers, ranchers, and commercial business people appreciate the advantages metal buildings provide. Steel frames 95% of all low-rise industrial construction today. Many homeowners today choose pre-engineered steel buildings for garages, storage buildings, man caves, hobby buildings, workshops— and even for their houses.  Look at some of the advantages pre-engineered metal buildings in Oregon deliver:

VERSATILE: No other building system offers the versatility of a pre-engineered steel … Read more »