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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Metal Building

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February 7, 2017

Novice builders sometimes fail to do their homework before buying a metal building. Careful thought and research make the steel building purchasing process easier, more enjoyable— and can save money.

MISTAKE # 1: Vague Building Needs

Buying a Metal BuildingToo many people get the idea they would like a steel building without first taking time to define exactly what they need. They immediately want to find a “ballpark” price on metal buildings.

People call RHINO every day asking, “What’s the current cost-per-square-foot for metal buildings?”

Would you ask a car salesperson, “How much does a vehicle cost?” Of course not. You know there is a big difference in the prices of a Yamaha motorcycle, a Chevy compact, Ford pickup, a Lexus SUV, and a Humvee. Even in the same make and model, the price changes based on engine size and options included. Once you narrow your dream vehicle down to make, model, and accessories, there is still a price difference from dealership to dealership.

So it is with buying a metal building.

You cannot receive an accurate quote until you clearly define how much building you require. Focus on your exact needs first.

These questions will help you decide how much structure you require for your application:

  • What is the purpose for this structure?
  • How much total space do I need now? (TIP: Be advised, people frequently find they actually need 20% more space than originally estimated.)
  • What physical dimensions fit my requirements? (TIP: Steel buildings base square footage from outside-to-outside of the steel framing.)
  • Do I want a gable or a hip roof?
  • What roof pitch do I want? (TIP: The lower the pitch, the more economical the steel framing will be.)
  • How many stories do I require? (TIP: Typically, pre-engineered metal buildings are low-rise structures of one or two stories.)
  • What building height do I need? (TIP: Metal buildings measure structural height at the eaves.)
  • How many opening, doors, and widows do I want? What size do they need to be? What type of overhead doors do I want? Where do I need to place them? (TIP: You will need at least 2’ of clearance above your tallest door or opening. That may affect placement of doors. When determining maximum door heights, do not forget to include the height of antennas or air conditioners mounted on top of RVs or campers.)
  • Does my building need insulation?
  • What other options do I want to include? (TIP: RHINO offers gutter systems, awnings, overhangs, skylights, wall lights, paneling options, cool-coated reflective roof panels, insulation systems, doors, and windows as options.)
  • Am I able to do some of the work myself or do I need a contractor to complete and finish the structure?

MISTAKE # 2: Undefined Building Site

It is imperative to choose the building site before buying a metal building. The physical size and shape of the property— as well as all legal easement restrictions— determines the size and shape of the building you purchase.

Perhaps you tentatively planned on a 50’ x 50’ steel building. However, you find the narrower lot you’ve chosen better accommodates a 40’ x 62’ or a 35’ x 70’ structure.

(TIP: Be sure to include any excavation work needed on the site in your budget.)

Future expansion creates more considerations. If later growth is a possibility, place the structure on the lot with ample room for later additions.

MISTAKE # 3: Not Verifying Permitting and Zoning

Never assume your building fits local zoning restrictions.

You cannot put up a building anywhere you like, even when you already own the property. Building regulations are strict and non-negotiable.

Contact your local officials and building inspectors. Make sure you know your metal building plans meet all local zoning, specific building codes, and easements for the site you have chosen before you order your building. (TIP: Never sign a contract for a metal building until you have absolutely verified all local building loads. Change orders are costly and delay your construction.)

RHINO’s Design Your Building Tool

RHINO Design Your Building ToolRHINO recently added an easy to use “Design Your Building” tool to our Web site. This tool allows you to clarify your steel building vision before buying.

RHINO metal building specialists help you by providing fast tips for refining your dream building project. If you need assistance in clarifying your ideal structure, we will help with that too.

Our experience allows us to offer helpful suggestions to make your structure work better— or even cost less. We will answer all your questions, help you make your accessory and option selections, and lead you easily through the process of buying a metal building.

RHINO delivers quality pre-engineered metal buildings all across North America.

Contact a RHINO steel building specialist today. Call the RHINO toll free number now: 888.320.7466.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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