Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

Steel Barns: Making a Red Barn Green

Why Farmers and Ranchers Choose Eco-friendly Metal Buildings

Strong, durable and recyclable pre-engineered steel barns and agricultural buildings make it easy to be “green.” The environmental benefits of metal buildings make them with favorite for rural dwellers and city dwellers alike.

This Land is Your Land

Farmers and ranchers respect the land. Their very existence depends on the earth’s bounty. Being “green” comes naturally to them.

That is just one of the many reasons so many ranchers and farmers make pre-engineered steel buildings their number one choice for barns and other ag buildings. They are confident metal buildings make the best environmental choice.

Steel: Endlessly Recyclable

Steel is by far the most recycled substance in the world.


Steel is the only building material on the planet that can be recycled countless time without losing any strength. RHINO’s metal barns and buildings contain up to 90.7% recycled steel.

Steel: Economical to Recycle

Other materials must be hand sorted for recycling. The magnetic qualities of steel make separating it simple. Using giant electromagnets, steel leaps from the solid waste stream, leaving glass, plastic, wood, and paper behind.

There is an abundance of steel to reclaim. Junked cars and ships, old railroad cars and tracks, dismantled old bridges, and discarded appliances abound. Decades from now, when your steel barn has outlived its usefulness, it too can be recycled into another generation of steel.

The steel industry is no Johnny-come-lately to the environmental bandwagon. North American steelmakers have been recycling steel for over 150 years.

Steel: Less Waste

Steel’s strength … Read more »

Why Ranchers Love Steel Barns and Riding Arenas

The Benefits of Metal Buildings for Horse and Cattle Ranchers

When it is time to rebuild or expand, smart ranchers choose pre-engineered steel barns and metal structures. Metal barns, steel riding arenas and stables, serve ranch operations better— and much longer— than structures built with other materials.

Pre-engineered steel buildings are easy to afford, easy to erect, and easy to maintain.

Pre-engineered Metal Barns and Ranch Buildings Save TIME

Cattle ranchers and horse breeders want to spend their time working their livestock, not building, repairing, and maintaining their ranch structures. Prefabricated steel are built fast— and built to last. Steel-framed stables, barns, riding arenas, livestock pavilions, hay sheds, equipment storage structures, and other rural ranch buildings stand up to the challenges of ranch life.

RHINO steel buildings arrive at the ranch ready to erect. All the framing components are cut, welded, punched, and marked at the factory. The building assembles one frame at a time, like a giant erector set. Prefabricated metal buildings typically take about 33% less time to build than traditional framing methods.

Steel is much stronger than all other building materials. Pre-engineered steel uses far fewer pieces to construct a much stronger frame than is possible with lumber.

Steel barns, riding arenas, stables and other agricultural buildings require almost no maintenance, saving even more time. Steel-framed structures last decades longer than ordinary wood buildings.

Steel Barns and Ranch Buildings Save MONEY

Whether raising cattle, … Read more »

Metal Barns and Buildings for Rural Life

Pre-engineered Steel Shelters Down on the Farm

Today’s modern farmers overwhelmingly choose pre-engineered metal barns and agricultural buildings. They rely on the affordability, flexibility, and durability of steel barns and farm buildings.

Family Farming: Steel Going Strong

Families have always been the backbone of American farming. In the past, a working farm often remained in a family for generations.

People assume today’s huge farm enterprises are mostly corporate operations.

Farming today is still predominately a family business. Families and individuals own over 90% of all of the 2.2 million farms in the U.S.

Corporate farms account for only 3% of total U.S. farms— and 90% of those are family owned. (Savvy family-owned farmers have incorporated to take advantage of legal benefits available to corporation agribusinesses.)

Profit-wise farmers today have increased their acreage as large-scale equipment expanded their capabilities. According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, farms now average over 400 acres. Larger farms may include thousands of acres.

High-Tech Farming Demands High-Tech Structures

Large-scale farms require large-scale farm equipment. Expensive tractors, combines, trucks, trailers, corn pickers, backhoes, graders, harvesters and other equipment need protected storage space— and a lot of it.

Wood-framed barns and structures require rafters and interior support columns, reducing usable space.

Steel is a far stronger building material than wood. Pre-engineered metal barns and farm buildings can span 200’ or more without any interior columns or overhead rafters. Steel barns provide oodles of unobstructed space. Maneuvering huge tractors and ungainly farm equipment proves far easier in clear span metal barns and farm buildings.

Metal Barns and Ag Buildings: The Stronger, Safer, Smarter Way to Build

Steel barns comprise just one … Read more »

Metal Barns for Agricultural Businesses

Farmers Were the First to See the Benefits of Steel Buildings

There’s a reason so many of today’s farmers and ranchers choose to build pre-engineered metal barns: they are smart business people.

Today’s agribusiness professionals know a great deal when they see one. RHINO metal barns and ag structures offer the best deal in steel.

The Evolution of the Barn in America

Even from the early days of American farming, the barn has been the heart of farms and ranches. Barns were many times the size of farmhouses 200 years ago. Neighbors judged the prosperity of the farm on the size and condition of the barn, not the farmhouse. The man who did not keep his barn in good shape was considered a poor excuse for a businessman.

Early settler built their barns with whatever materials were at hand. Nearby forest provided timber to build wood barns. In other places, an abundance of rock made stone the material of choice for barn building.

In 1790, farmers made up 90% of America’s workforce. Using crude plows and equipment driven by horses, mules, or oxen, farming was backbreaking work.

The invention of the steel plow allowed farmers to cultivate more land. The invention of the tractor and related farm equipment expanded the capabilities of the farmer even more, requiring more space to shelter tractors and other equipment.

Farmers and Ranchers Recognize the Potential of Metal Barns

During the Depression, struggling but innovative farmers constructed pole barns from discarded utility poles and sheet metal.

In World War II, the military desperately needed structures that could be shipped in, erected quickly, … Read more »

Rain Gutters for Metal Buildings- Part 3

Are Rain Gutters the Right Choice for Your Location?

In Part 1 in this series on rain gutters for metal buildings we covered all the advantages of including rain gutters and downspouts with your pre-engineered steel building order. Part 2 of the series explained using gutter systems and rain barrels to conserve water.

However, gutters are not the right choice for all climates.

People living in areas of extreme snowfall and frequent ice storms need to evaluate whether gutters are needed in their location.

Ice Dams and Roof Damage

In a poorly insulated structure, escaping heat melts snow and ice on the roof. Since gutters and downspouts hang away from the warmer roof, melting snow and ice refreeze in the gutters, creating ice dams. Ice dams hold melting snow and ice on the roof, allowing water seepage into the building envelope. Dripping water leaks into the structure, soaking insulation.

While ice dams present a greater damage risk to shingled wood roofs than metal building roofs, slowly melting heavy snow or ice can cause leaks on any roof over time. Excess weight of snow or ice can even damage the rain gutters, ripping them from the building.

There are several remedies for ice dam destruction.

  • Use higher-grade insulation to eliminate heat loss through the roof. RHINO Steel Building Systems offers an upgrade insulation system that cannot be beat.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris and clogs that may exacerbate ice dam problems.
  • Buy a gutter heating system or heated gutter guard if you live in an area prone to sub-zero temperatures. … Read more »

Rain Gutters for Metal Buildings- Part 2

Conserving Water with Gutters and Rain Barrels

Rain gutters for metal buildings have one major job: to move water away from the structure.

Why stop there? Go “green” by conserving the runoff water gathered by the gutters.

Rain Barrels: The Eco-Friendly Choice

In the first part of this series on rain gutters for metal buildings, we covered the advantages of including gutters and downspouts with your pre-engineered steel building orders.

The option of collecting rainwater for other uses is another benefit offered by rain gutters and downspout systems.

Rain barrels are not a new idea. Your grandparents and great-grandparents probably used rain barrels to harvest water. Rain barrels are still an excellent idea today.

Save Water— and Money— with Rain Collection Systems

Think rain gutters for metal buildings will not yield enough water to bother with it? Guess again.

Most people do not realize just how much free water is available during a rainstorm. A 40’ x 60’ steel building, for example, could collect almost 1,500 gallons of water for every single inch of rainfall. A 1.5” rainstorm on a 50’ x 100’ metal building with a collection system could conserve over 4,600 gallons of water!

Every gallon collected from rain is a gallon not on your water bill.

Rainwater benefits plants and landscaping, too. All gardeners know rainwater makes plants thrive much better than chemical-laden municipal water.

Any type of clean container will work as a rain barrel. Covering the container with a fine mesh keeps debris, insects, and mosquitos from invading the water supply. A lid should cover the container when not in use.

You will find a number of rain barrel and tank ideas available online. … Read more »

Rain Gutters for Metal Buildings- Part 1

6 Reasons to Add Gutters to Your Steel Building Order

When planning to build a steel commercial building— or your own personal steel structure — consider including rain gutters and downspouts on your metal building order.

Why gutters?

In one word: PROTECTION. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Self-Protection

It is obvious the first job of gutters is allowing people to enter the building during a rainstorm without dashing through a waterfall. Without gutters, anyone coming inside during a thunderstorm receives a thorough drenching, as sheets of water rush off the roof.

2. Leak Protection

Without gutters, rain cascades off the building roof and straight down the walls. The runoff may leak inside around inadequately sealed window and doors, invading the structure and dampening the contents.

Large openings like garage doors present the greatest risk in structures without a gutter and downspout system. Water traveling down the side of the building wedges around the seals. If the water then freezes, it can cause breaks in the seals, increasing the likelihood of greater leaks the next time.

Pooling water around garage doors seeps inside, staining the floor. Over time, the standing water rots wooden doors, or discolors and rusts steel doors.

3. Foundation Protection

Rainwater not diverted from the base of a building can inflict massive damage on a foundation. Excess water can literally compromise the structural integrity of the building itself. Buildings with basements face the highest risk of water damage.

As a heavy rain sheets down the side of a building, it hits the ground with considerable force. Pooling around the base … Read more »

Controlling Airflow in Metal Buildings- Part 2

Good Ventilation Creates Comfort and Extends Building Life

Never underestimate the importance of airflow in metal buildings.

As discussed in part 1, adequate ventilation controls comfort, humidity levels, and condensation in steel buildings.

Two Types of Ventilation

Controlling airflow in metal buildings without air conditioning and heating is simple. You need fresh air flowing into the building and humid air flowing out. This is easily accomplished with vents and large door openings.

Steel barns, equipment structures, storage buildings, aircraft hangars, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities usually have large doorways to accommodate vehicles, equipment, and shipping and receiving. When open, these doorways introduce fresh air into the interiors.

Vents also supply airflow in metal buildings. Vents help in two ways. Vents placed lower in the structure let air into the building. Roof vents allow hot, humid air rising to the ceiling to escape the structure.


In our line of popular accessories, RHINO includes two types of vents.

RHINO’s 3′ x 3′ louver vents typically install in the endwalls. (Larger vents available as needed.) Louver vents may be fixed or include a damper mechanism to control the airflow. In smaller metal buildings, louvered air vents placed under the peak in either endwall may provide enough ventilation.

Louver vents are available from RHINO in either Polar White or Galvalume®.

Ridge vents run along the peak of a metal building’s gabled roof line. Normally, one ridge vent per bay works in larger structures. However, ridge vents can also be connected of required, forming a continuous line down the length of the building. (This allows you to control all … Read more »

Controlling Airflow in a Metal Building- Part 1

The Importance of Ventilation in Steel Buildings

Providing adequate airflow in a metal building affects both the comfort level inside and the durability of the structure. Preventing moisture buildup prolongs the life of a steel building.

Three Factors Affecting Climate in a Metal Building

Climate controlled buildings create some airflow and control moisture with heating and air-conditioning systems. Even these may need additional ventilation. However, many metal buildings are not climate controlled. These include:

• Agricultural buildings, barns, and stables • Auto detailing garages • Auto repair shops • Boat, truck and RV garages • Chemical plants • Lumber yards • Manufacturing plants • Metal shops • Self-storage buildings • Warehouses • Welding shops

Size, location, and use determine the need for ventilation in a metal building.

SIZE: The larger the structure is, the greater the need for good ventilation.

LOCATION: Excessively hot summers, extreme winters, and high humidity levels all affect indoor air quality and airflow in any structure. In areas with hot summers, warm air trapped in the building makes inside temperatures unbearable if ventilation is in adequate. Cold locations— and very humid places near lakes or coastlines— may experience condensation problems if not properly ventilated.

USE: The use of the building affects the need for airflow in a metal building, too.

Buildings which will contain a large number of people, as in a manufacturing plant, can expect higher humidity. Structures housing livestock experience the same high levels of moisture in the air. In welding shops and metal shops, heat builds up. Fresh, circulating air helps to dissipate chemicals, solvents, or other contaminants used by the business. It creates healthier, more pleasant working conditions.

Condensation buildup … Read more »

Anchor Bolts for Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

The Importance of Steel Building Foundation Connections

Anchor bolts secure a pre-engineered metal building to the foundation. A pre-engineered steel building is only as sturdy as its foundation connections.

Anchor Bolts and Concrete Engineers

RHINO Steel Building Systems supplies a detailed Anchor Bolt Plan with every order. The plan shows the building dimensions, the precise locations for anchor bolt placement, and the total number of anchor bolts required. The Anchor Bolt Plan also provides the reactions, called “kips.”

From this information a concrete engineer designs the foundation.

The customer assumes the responsibility for hiring a local professional concrete engineer.

Your local concrete engineer determines the depth of the slab foundation— or the details of concrete piers used for structures without slabs— and the correct length for the anchor bolts.

The plans arrive within days of the placement of the order. This allows ample time for site excavation in preparation for the foundation.

(Be sure to check with all local codes for placement of your building. Some areas require minimum distance between structures, property lines, roadways, etc.)

Ideally, you will want to have your foundation poured and ready to begin erection as soon as the steel arrives. Therefore, anchor bolts do not come as part of the steel framing package. Usually, the concrete contractor acquires the anchor bolts locally.

Anchor Bolt Guidelines

Here are a few basic guidelines for understanding anchor bolts:

  • Anchor bolts must have a curved shape, like an “L” or a “J” to increase resistance and keep the bolts from shifting as the concrete dries.
  • All structural steel columns must be connected to the foundation with a minimum of four anchor bolts. (The illustration above, for example, has three … Read more »

13 Reasons to Buy Pre-engineered Metal Buildings

Steel Buildings Systems for Home or Business

If you are planning to build a commercial building— or a structure personal use— pre-engineered metal buildings deliver the best building value.

Here’s why your best building deal is steel:

1. Faster Delivery

Using pre-engineered steel buildings saves time. Receive your RHINO building in five to seven weeks.

2. Faster Construction

Mechanization shortens your building time. All the framing components arrive at your site cut, welded, punched, painted, clearly marked and ready to start erecting. Simply assemble the kit by following the step-by-step instructions. Think of it as an adult-sized version of a kid’s erector set.

Using RHINO steel buildings cuts erection time by about 33%.

3. Consistent Quality

Traditional wood construction requires you buy 15-20% more lumber than needed to cull out the split, warped, and inferior studs. Manufactured to exacting standards and precise tolerances, pre-engineered steel buildings assure consistent in strength and quality. There’s no guesswork.

4. High-Strength Connections

Nails and staples used in conventional wood building work out over time. The frame loosens up as it shifts, sags, and settles. Doors and windows start to stick. Corners bend. Floors creak.

Rigid steel-framed buildings employ high-strength bolts and self-drilling screws for all connections. Pre-engineered steel buildings assemble straight and true— and stay straight and true— for the lifetime of the structure.

5. Superior Protection

You are purchasing this building to protect something— your business, your family, or your possessions. You want the best protection possible. Steel buildings meet extreme weather … Read more »

Using a Metal Building for a Lake Cabin

Pre-engineered Steel Buildings as Vacation Getaways

Have you ever considered using a metal building for a lake cabin or vacation home? Many people now choose pre-engineered steel buildings to frame lake cottages, hunting cabins, and vacation hideaways.

Using a Metal Building for a Lake CabinMany benefits make steel buildings overwhelmingly popular for commercial structures. Vacation homebuyers want the same advantages for their homes-away-from-home.

Why Choose a Metal Building for a Lake Cabin?

These are just a few of the reasons steel buildings work very well as second homes:

FLEXIBLE Floor Plans:  Clear span steel buildings create a self-supporting exterior. Load-bearing interior walls are not necessary in a pre-engineered metal building. Enjoy total floor plan freedom. The interior is completely up to you. Find plans you like or sketch your own plans. Follow the floor plan exactly— or adapt it on the fly as you build.

DURABLE Structure:  Steel buildings last much longer— and retain their value and appearance decades longer— than wood structures. Steel buildings offer a better long-term investment.

EASY Maintenance:  You want a place to escape the frantic pace of daily life— not another home needing constant repairs. Metal building lake cabins and vacation homes require almost no maintenance. Your free time is yours to enjoy.

AFFORDABLE Upkeep:  You also do not need a second home continually draining your bank account. Lower maintenance, lower insurance, and lower utilities save you a bundle in operating costs over the lifetime of a vacation home. In fact, RHINO’s Pro-Value insulation package cuts heating and cooling by as much as 50%.

DIY’s Dream:  … Read more »

Steel Buildings in MICHIGAN

Why Wolverines Love the Many Benefits of Metal Buildings

Why choose pre-engineered steel buildings in Michigan? Prefabricated metal buildings offer the durability, strength, and versatility required for the diverse Michigan market at an affordable price.

Lake-Effect Climate Challenges

The two halves of Michigan bracket Lake Michigan. The state actually borders on four of the five great lakes. In addition, Michigan boasts about 11,000 inland lakes. That is a lot of water.

Steel Buildings in MichiganWhen polar air masses move southward across Canada, they collide with the moisture-laden air over the Great Lakes. The result is lake-effect precipitation. Two lake-effect snow belts normally exist in Michigan— one along the southern shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, and another along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula.

While generally Michigan’s climate is considered mild, this past winter blew away all previous records. The 2013-2014 winter toppled a 133-year-old snowfall record with a whopping 94.8 total snowfall in Detroit. Even more surprising, ice covered 92% of the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan froze up to two foot deep over 93% of its surface.

With that kind of snow, you had better be sure your structures can take the weight.

RHINO’s prefabricated steel buildings in Michigan meet the challenge head on. Our metal buildings meet— or exceed— all local buildings codes for the lifetime of the structure.

When Storms Roar Across the Peninsulas

Not only do RHINO metal buildings in Michigan stand up to crushing snows, they also stand up to fierce winds, deadly lightning, hail, and occasional tornadoes that sometime plague the state.

Michigan ranks second in the nation for lightning-induced deaths and injuries. Since 1959, over 700 people have been killed or badly injured … Read more »

Uses and Benefits of Steel Buildings

You’ve seen them around and are probably noticing more of them as they gain popularity as permanent, practical, and economical structures. I’m talking about steel buildings.

These metal buildings are all around us in the form of garages, shops, warehouses, commercial/industrial buildings, recreational facilities, airplane hangers, fire stations and agricultural buildings such as barns and implement sheds.

The use of steel buildings has been favorable since post WWII, and steel building systems have been gaining widespread popularity since the 1970s. Today, steel buildings are more popular than ever before. This popularity comes from a variety of factors involved in the efficiency and versatility of metal structures.

Advantages and Uses of Steel BuildingsSteel buildings hold several advantages over conventional wood or masonry structures. For instance, steel as a building material is widely accessible, common, and endlessly versatile. These qualities make steel building materials hugely economical. With metal building materials being 100% recyclable and steel buildings being energy efficient, steel buildings are largely popular in the ‘green’ movement as environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Steel building systems require far less maintenance than wood structures and are superior to  masonry structures in that steel building systems do not crack, twist, bend, or warp. Steel building systems are also less prone to mold and mildew. Steel buildings are durable and stand up to heavy winds, heavy snow, and even fire. Steel buildings are also harder to breach or break into. With these factors considered, steel buildings offer increased safety over other materials. These qualities are considered by insurance agencies and result in lower insurance premiums.  Low cost material, virtually zero maintenance, and lower insurance premiums certainly make steel building systems cost effective.

Steel building systems can be stand-alone structures or … Read more »

Steel Buildings in INDIANA

Building for the Weather Extremes of the Hoosier State

Steel buildings in Indiana deliver strength and durability. Those traits uniquely fit a place where volatile weather extremes threaten property— and lives.

Metal Buildings in Indiana and Lightning

Steel Buildings in IndianaThe dangers of lightning are sometimes overlooked when considering a building material. That can be a deadly mistake.

Lightning strikes Indiana almost 600,000 times each year. In the U.S., Indiana ranks 12th in lightning fatalities.

Insurance companies shell out nearly $1 billion annually for property damages caused by lightning.

When struck by lightning, building materials containing moisture like wood and concrete can explode. Wood is a poor conductor of current. Lightning striking a wood-framed structure usually ignites wood— or flashes out into nearby objects, animals, or people.

Steel is a great conductor. In a well-grounded metal building, the lightning passes through the framing and harmlessly into the ground.

Steel Buildings in Indiana and Snow

Along Lake Michigan, lake effect storms dump heavy snows across northern Indiana. Structures there must stand up to the crushing loads of wet, heavy snows. Snow weights vary on moisture content. A cubic foot of snow weighs between 7-20 pounds.

RHINO metal buildings in Indiana are guaranteed to meet or exceed all local building codes— including snow loads— for the lifetime of the structure.

Metal Buildings in Indiana and Winds

In recent years, strong straight line winds of almost 100 MPH damaged trees and structures in the Hoosier state. These sometimes deadly storms, called “derechos,” tear through the state cutting a path of destruction.

Derechos swept through Indiana on June 18, 2010 and again on July … Read more »