Rhino Steel Buildings Blog

Build Your Own Pre-engineered Metal Building

Why Do-It-Yourselfers Love RHINO Steel Buildings

Ever wonder if you could build your own pre-engineered metal building?

Yes, you can!

Build-It-Yourself Steel BuildingOver the years many individuals have elected to erect their RHINO steel building themselves.

All the pieces of the framing kit are prefabricated. All the primary framing bolts together with high strength steel bolts and nuts.

Everything arrives at the job site clearly marked for easy identification. RHINO metal buildings require no field cutting or punching. Even the clips are pre-welded for the customer’s convenience.

A RHINO steel building kit really is much like a life-sized version of a kid’s erector set.

What Are the Benefits of Building My Own Steel Building?

There are really three reasons to choose do-it-yourself construction:

1. To save money 2. For the fun of it 3. Bragging rights

Naturally, if you are able to erect the structure yourself, you do not need to hire a steel erection crew. That saves a lot of money.

How Much Money Can I Save by Erecting My Own Metal Building?

Let’s look at a typical example.

Our most popular sized structure is a 40’ x 60’ steel building with a 12’ or 14’ eave height. Erection crews generally charge about $3.50-$4.00 per sq. ft. to erect a steel building, including insulation and trim. By erecting a 2,400 sq. ft. building yourself— with a few helpful friends— you might save $8,400- $9,600.

What Support Materials are Available from RHINO?

A printed RHINO installation manual and DVD instructional video accompany each order. These construction aids take you through a typical metal building erection process from foundation preparation to peak trim installation.

Topics covered in the RHINO … Read more »

Pre-engineered Metal Buildings in IOWA

Steel Buildings are Capturing Hearts in America’s Heartland

Farmers, businesses, and individuals all appreciate the advantages of choosing metal buildings in Iowa.

Grant Wood American Metal 02The climate challenges of the Hawkeye state demand strong structures. Iowa’s economic diversity demands versatile building systems. Heartland pride demands attractive structures. No other construction system meets these demands as well pre-engineered metal buildings.

Agribusiness in the Hawkeye State

Farming has always been the backbone of Iowa’s economy. However, farming in the state today differs drastically from bygone years.

Mega-acre agribusinesses have replaced most small farms. Iowa’s terrain and climate makes it ideal for the highly mechanized farming operations of today.

Huge equipment, modern farming techniques, and hybrid crops allow cultivation of vast acreages by far fewer people. Although 90% of its land is devoted to agriculture, Iowa farmworkers make up only 10% of the state’s workforce.

RHINO’s metal buildings in Iowa offer farmers advantages no other building system can match. Compare steel buildings to other construction methods. You will find pre-engineered metal buildings will:

• Span farther • Erect faster • Last longer • Require less maintenance • Cost less to construct and operate • Save on insurance costs • Maintain beauty and value longer • Resist damage from wind, rain, snow, fire, mold, lightning, and termites better

The Commercial and Industrial Market for Metal Buildings in Iowa

Recent decades brought more diversification to Iowa’s economy.

The Hawkeye state now boasts many businesses manufacturing products like heavy equipment, motor homes, large appliances, chemicals, food products, and farm implements. Financial services, information technology, biotech industries, and green energy production businesses also operate in Iowa today. Service businesses, tourism, and gambling bring in revenues to the mixed economy of state as well.

Most of these … Read more »

RHINO Metal Buildings Slash Construction Time

Build Faster, Occupy Sooner with Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

You can cut your construction time by one-third or more by choosing RHINO metal buildings.

Why is construction time critical to a project? Because time truly is money.

RHINO Fast ConstructionThe quicker your commercial or industrial property is completed and occupied, the sooner you will be turning a profit.

The longer a building project takes, the more you will pay in labor costs and construction insurance. Faster construction means less spent on job site security costs, too.

Faster construction also matters on personal building projects. The quicker you erect your residential building, the sooner you can enjoy your new space.

RHINO Metal Buildings Arrive on Schedule

Keeping construction projects on time and on budget present many challenges.

Coordinating building materials with subcontractors requires diligence and exact timing. If the building materials arrive too soon, protecting them from job site theft and weather becomes a problem. If the materials arrive late or damaged, you waste time and money while subcontractors stand idly by. Worse yet, subcontractors may leave, shelving your project for a later date.

RHINO steel buildings reach your job site at a pre-scheduled time, clearly marked and ready to assemble.

Stronger Framing with far Fewer Pieces

Steel possesses the highest strength-to-weight of all building materials.

Because steel is so much stronger than wood, pre-engineered metal buildings require far fewer framing pieces. Sophisticated engineering programs make maximum use of steel’s strength, creating a solid, durable structure— with the most efficient use of steel. No steel is wasted.

The outside wall of a 100-foot-long steel building usually frames with only five steel columns. The same 100-foot-long wall constructed with wood framing would require 101 wood studs— each of which would … Read more »

What Is a Pre-engineered Metal Building?

Solving the puzzle known as PEMB

Which of the following do you think is the correct definition of a pre-engineered metal building?

• A cost-efficient alternative building system to conventional construction • A steel building designed for the most efficient use of raw materials • A structural system generally including steel framing, roofing, and wall cladding • A structure built on site using prefabricated components • A simplified, streamlined building system designed for quick construction

Puzzled About Pre-engineered BuildingsActually, all of these definitions describe today’s pre-engineered metal buildings. However, “giant erector set” may be the most succinct description of a pre-engineered steel building.

A pre-engineered metal building, often called a PEMB, creates a strong, durable, economical structure. The versatility of PEMBs make them popular building solutions for commercial enterprises, industrial structures, and even individual use buildings.

Creation of a pre-engineered metal building follows a logical progression.

Step 1: The Details

Pre-engineered metal buildings are not cookie-cutter designs ordered from a catalog. Each PEMB is designed, engineered, and fabricated for the specific project.

The customer contacts a RHINO steel building specialist with the details, such as size, location, building use, special equipment loads, options, accessories, and time frame.

Step 2: Design and Engineering

Based on the customer-supplied details, computer-aided design software creates working plans. Local building codes, equipment loads, and other detailed criteria are fed into sophisticated steel engineering programs.

Every order includes an anchor bolt plan, plus three full sets of plans stamped by an engineer licensed for that state or province and a Letter of Certification. (This documentation makes getting building permits much easier.)

Step 3: Fabrication

Drawings detailing the manufacturing of every piece of the framing arrive at the manufacturing plant. Each individual component of … Read more »

Why Steel is the Best Deal for Oil and Gas Buildings

Today’s Energy-Efficient Metal Buildings for the Energy Industry

Oil and gas buildings need to be efficient, economical, and expandable. No other construction method meets the energy industry’s criteria as well as pre-engineered steel buildings.

The Efficiency of Pre-engineered Steel Buildings

The energy industry moves fast. Getting operations up and running quickly is essential. Delays waste money.

RHINO Oil and Gas Buildings 2Technological advances in steel production, engineering software, and framing fabrication, make today’s steel buildings the most efficient construction system ever devised. Every steel structure promises strength, durability, and lasting value.

Pre-engineered steel buildings systems are designed quickly, fabricated efficiently, and then shipped directly to the site for rapid erection.

Steel boasts the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any construction material. With steel framing, you can do much more with much less material. Fewer pieces mean faster construction.

RHINO steel buildings arrive ready to assemble. Every component is clearly marked for identification.

A clear, concise erection manual and construction DVD guides the builder systematically through the assembly process.

The quick-and-easy, bolt-together assembly reduces construction time and costs. RHINO steel buildings save 33% or more on construction time. Because of the simplicity of the system, many energy companies elect to have their own crews erect the structure.

No other building system delivers the flexibility of steel buildings, either.

Steel framing spans farther, reaches higher, and stretches longer than other building methods. The possibilities with RHINO structures defy the imagination:

  • WIDTHS: 10’ to 200’ or more of unobstructed space with a clear span design; up to 480’ wide possible with minimal interior columns
  • HEIGHTS: 8’ to 40’ on a standard quote; even greater heights possible … Read more »

Can You Trust Your Steel Building Company?

Ask the Better Business Bureau Before You Buy

Before you start comparing pre-engineered steel building quotes, you need to know which steel building company you can trust. For most people, the starting point on gauging the trustworthiness of any business is the Better Business Bureau.

BBB: The Consumer’s Best Friend

A non-profit organization founded in 1912, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) focuses on consumer protection.

RHINO BBB PageThe BBB offers free business reviews to over 100 million discriminating consumers each year. The BBB also mediates almost one million disputes between consumers and businesses annually.

The BBB alerts the public to scams, possible misrepresentation, false advertising, consumer complaints, and unethical business practices.

Celebrating their 75th anniversary in 1987, the BBB received a glowing tribute from President Ronald Reagan. The message spoke of the “rich heritage of service.” The President also said that the Better Business Bureau had shown themselves “to be the best friend American consumers have ever had.”

We agree.

Finding the Truth in the Marketplace

The BBB does not endorse companies or products. It researches the qualifications and trustworthiness of each company.

The BBB rating for a steel building company— indeed for any company— must be earned.

BBB Accredited businesses must meet stringent criteria— and continue to maintain specific standards— to be eligible for a BBB rating. These standards include:

  • Establishing— and maintaining— a positive track record in the marketplace
  • Advertising honestly, demonstrating complete honesty in their representation of products and services
  • Complete transparency in all business matters, including company ownership, company policies, product guarantees, and any procedures affecting the customer’s decision to buy
  • Abiding by all written contracts— and verbal agreements
  • Responding to any complaints quickly and professionally
  • Collecting personal data only as needed— and safeguarding personal information against fraud or mishandling
  • Displaying company integrity in … Read more »

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 »