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Avoid These Steel Building Mistakes

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October 24, 2018

Six Tips for the Do-It-Yourself Metal Building Erector

Our prefabricated structures are quick and easy to assemble— if you avoid the more common steel building mistakes.

Many RHINO metal building buyers prefer the do-it-yourself method for erecting their structure. After all, the steel framing pieces arrive marked and ready to assemble.

two construction workers in hard hats stand before a steel building under constructionErecting a pre-engineered metal building is truly like building a giant version of a kid’s erector set.  Detailed erection instructions and a DVD accompany the building.  What could be simpler?

Erecting your own metal building saves money. Moreover, it is just plain fun for a skilled do-it-yourselfer— if you avoid these common construction mistakes.

Not Getting Prior Approval

Never erect a structure before obtaining a building permit.  You will need to know all current local building codes before ordering your RHINO steel building.

Discovering your completed structure violates local regulations, zoning, or easements can cost you a bundle in fines.  In fact, local authorities might even force you to take down your new structure!

You will also need to know— and clearly mark— the location of any buried utilities.

Contact your local building department before you order your structure.  They can give you complete information on what you’ll need to comply with your local codes.  RHINO’s engineered stamped plans and Letter of Certification should smooth the permitting process with your building department.

Inadequate Site Preparation

All structures, including metal buildings, need solid, level ground.  A well-graded site assures a problem-free building foundation.  Larger structures may require soil tests to determine the stability of the ground.

In addition, be sure to allow sufficient clearance around the foundation for delivery trucks and lift equipment.

Pouring the Foundation Too Soon

It is horrifying to receive a call from someone who has happily poured a concrete slab— and now wants a metal building to fit the foundation!  That’s really putting the cart before the horse.

Pre-engineered metal buildings require excellent concrete contractors.  Foundations must exactly fit the structure.

Moreover, the bolts anchoring the framing to the foundation must be inserted in precise locations before pouring the slab.

Ignoring Instructions and Safety Measures

Enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers sometimes tend to jump in to a project too quickly.  They are confident in their ability to “figure it out” as they go.

However, metal building mistakes caused by lack of care and planning can be dangerous.

Read the RHINO erection manual thoroughly.  Follow its systematic instructions exactly.  Give particular attention to the directions for bracing the framing.

Also, pay close attention to all the safety procedures in the manual. Be sure everyone on the job site wears hardhats and the recommended safety gear.

Strict adherence to the manual’s instructions protects both the building and the builders.

Alterations in the Field

Do-it-yourselfers that are more familiar with traditional construction may be tempted to alter the steel framing pieces in the field.  Resist the urge!

Metal building kits are precisely designed, engineered, and fabricated to meet specific loads.  If something does not seem to fit as it should, refer again to the erection manual and plans.  If retracing your steps does not solve the problem, contact the building supplier.

Never cut, weld, or tamper with the steel framing!

Incorrect Screw Installation

Fastener installation errors might be one of the most overlooked steel building mistakes.  Correctly installed, high-grade metal building screws provide a watertight, problem-free structure.  However, over tightened or under tightened fasteners lead to messy, annoying leaks.

RHINO metal building screws include long-lasting washers to prevent leaks.  Ideally, the screw should be driven until the washer extends just beyond the screw head.  In under-driven screws, the washer edges remain completely beneath the screw head.  Over-driving the screw squishes the washer too flat.

You Can Do It!

Building your own metal building is simple— if you carefully follow the instructions.  Just avoid the pitfalls of these common steel building construction mistakes, and enjoy the rewards of your labors!

RHINO’s experienced metal building specialists will help you all along the way.  Moreover, the guarantee assures that your steel building meets or exceeds all your current local building codes— for the lifetime of the structure!

Learn more about The RHINO Difference in metal buildings.  Call us today at 940.383.9566 for more information and a free estimate.


- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc