prefab buildings

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Prefab Metal Buildings

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Prefab Building Styles

Prefab Buildings come in a variety of styles and can be customized to fit your needs.

Quonset Hut Kits


Quonset Hut Steel Buildings are suitable from residential to farming to commercial purposes. This type of building style is very popular for building a DIY workshop on your property. This style of building will have extreme versatility and you will enjoy the ease of assembly.

Metal Buildings


Steel Frame Metal Buildings are an economical solution for both commercial, and smaller residential construction. There style has straight walls with a gable or sloped roofing system. They are an economical option they will save you money and last you a lifetime.

Mobile Offices

mobile office

Mobile office trailers are an effective solution for a sales team requiring extra work space or a project manager needing a fleet of mobile offices quickly on site. All sizes are constructed with a steel door, vinyl-sided walls and windows and an insulated rubber roof. 

Cargo Containers

shipping container

A storage container is your ultimate storage solution. Durable, secure, portable, wind and water tight. Steel shipping containers will provide temporary storage space for both commercial and residential needs. Choose from a wide range of sizes, colors, and features.

Examples of Prefab Metal Building Uses

Prefab Metal Buildings: Compare Prices & Plans

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What people say?


Recent Pricing Steel Buildings

  • “We paid $17,300 for a building measuring 40 feet by 60 feet. That included 3 inches of insulation on both the roof and the walls as well as two doors measuring 12×12.” – Commercial farm, Shawano, WI
  • “We paid $30,000 for a steel and concrete building. This cost included the installation as well as the structure itself.” – Retail store, Baltimore, MD
  • “For $19,000, we got a 50- by 60-foot building which included four doors.” – Industrial corporation, Omaha, NB
  • $16,000 bought us a steel building measuring 36’ by 50’. This included two overhead doors, each measuring 20’. A service door was included as well.” – Agribusiness, Altoona, KS
  • “We spent $38,000 and got a steel building which included 4,000 square feet of space. The building included insulation as well as gutters, but no doors, and no installation. We have yet to put it up.” – Defense contractor, Vienna, VA
  • “I paid $18,000. My building measures 25 by 40 feet (width and length), and stands 14 feet tall. Two roll-up doors are included along with an entry door. We also have a mezzanine inside.” –Retail company, Chicago, IL
  • “30 by 40 by 18 feet in dimensions. 2 doors, 3 windows, as well as 4 skylights. Total cost? $17,000.” –Woodworking shop, Council Bluffs, IA
  • “We purchased our steel building from a local contractor, who took care of everything for us including the framework, insulation, roofing, siding, windows, doors, skylights, and installation. $26,000.” –Charity organization, Dallas, TX
  • $16,123 for 56’ x 36’. 2 doors, 3 windows, doors not installed yet. Cost included shipping. We put down 25% and have been paying the rest in installments.” –Industrial warehouse, Portland, OR

Quotes have been edited for clarity only.

Why Use Us? was developed out of frustration when the owners were trying to construct a ‘backyard shop’ several years ago and had difficulty in finding a durable, secure and economical building solution that would require a minimum of maintenance. After months of research they decided that a prefabricated metal building checked all the boxes. It was through this research that they decided to share their knowledge and provide easy access to competing price quotes from local suppliers & manufacturers serving all 50 US states and Canada. Many with ‘factory direct’ savings! simplifies and streamlines the process of identifying suppliers for your new building, allowing you to quickly choose the vendor or contractor best suited to your needs and budget. Since launching the service in 2004 over 200,000 purchasers have saved countless thousands on their construction projects.

To receive up to four competing steel building quotes simply specify the building you are looking for and let us match you with the best suppliers in your area. Request Price Quotes  – Get Started Here (it takes less than 5 minutes & will save you both time & money!)

Introduction to Metal Buildings

Steel buildings in its simplest form may refer to metal structures with interior and exterior supports fabricated with steel. However, as the mechanics for the design and construction of this type of buildings developed over the years, the terms used to distinguish them also evolved. You have probably heard about a metal building system, a prefab building, a modular building, a structural steel building or a pre-engineered building. But, are you certain on what each terminology means?

While these terminologies have helped, in one way or another, in the classification of various prefab building techniques, they also created confusions. They all had one thing in common – they are pre-designed structures with frames and accessories partially assembled in manufacturing sites. They differ, however, in terms of construction methods.

Metal building systems are the most recent type of building technique being used in today’s modern era. Its use ranges from small home garages to wide-ranging distribution centers with low-slope roofing, colored wall and or roof panels as well as pre-designed exterior finishes including mansards and fascia’s. As a system, this engineering concept has technological components -framing, roof and walls – that are interdependent with one another. These low-rise engineered structures are deemed cost-effective and efficient in many ways. Its key advantages are discussed below.

Prefabricated buildings, or more commonly known as ‘prefab buildings’ are early metal building used between the 1850’s and the 1960’s. They were assembled at a large extent in manufacturing facilities. Whereas, modern day prefab buildings are factory-finished and are built in parts. Some components or units are delivered on-site for assembly. Examples are guardhouses, toll booths and small-sized standalone classrooms.

Modular buildings are building segments with three dimensions. They are sometimes called as sectional prefab buildings as they are consisting of multiple sections or modules. The modules are being produced at an off-site manufacturing facility before they are transported to the intended site of use. Some can be a finished modular building blocks that are fastened together in a facility while others can be semi-finished.

Pre-engineered buildings were popular during the 1960s. Just like the previous buildings, pre-engineered buildings were pre-designed at the factory. They have their own standard designs and can be configured limited. The standard dimensions by which customers can choose from a catalog are 30 x 40, 30 x 50, 40 x 60, 40 x 80, 60 x 100, and so on. Framed openings of pre-engineered buildings like loading bays, and doors and windows also had their standard size too.

Building Types and Designs

There are three available building choices for both residential and commercial low-rise projects. They are as follows: Rigid frame buildings, open web truss metal buildings and Quonset hut buildings. They can all be used for different purposes and each has its own list of advantages.

Rigid Frame Buildings

Rigid frame buildings, also known as ‘I-Beam Buildings’ and in some cases as ‘Red Iron Buildings’ are characterized by square sided with peak or sloping roof. They are usually utilized for commercial and industrial purposes, including factories, warehouses, small-scale storage areas, crane buildings, and indoor arenas. A solid steel framing distinguishes rigid frame buildings as well as cold rolled panels on the walls and roof. This building type however is labor-intensive and requires heavy equipment.

Since rigid frame buildings are particularly used for larger space requirements, the materials are composed of high-quality, coated steel. Their straight wall design also enables a more usable and clear span interior space. The beams or steel primary framing are usually up to 300 feet wide and 100 to 500 feet long.

Rigid frame buildings can be customized to endure seismic loading, snow and heavy wind that are most common in North America. This building type, however, may not work well for zoning in non-industrial zoned areas due to its low roof pitch and/or sloping roof.

Open Web Truss Metal Buildings

Steel Aircraft HangarsOpen Web Truss Metal Buildings are large-scale, engineered buildings that are also characterized by square-sided with low roof pitch or sloping roof. It utilized a pre-designed truss system to add strength to the building and extra space, and to enable a second floor or mezzanine. A usually pre-engineered metal trusses based on individual specifications are delivered on site, ready for installation. A roof pitch for this building type is typically 4:12, which makes it more aesthetically fit for residential purposes like garages. Open Web Truss Metal Buildings are also being used at a larger extent in the retail sector, for constructing large stores and shopping malls.

Depending on what your steel structure requires, you may choose between a half or full-sized truss system. These pre-engineered truss systems may be used with other construction materials, including stucco, concrete and wood to build a durable square-sided structure that could last for decades.

A key advantage of using a pre-engineered truss system is faster construction time. Also, since web trusses support the building, you can build a higher structure that is just perfect to provide extra space for your vehicles, office staff and additional storage areas on the same-sized building footprint.
Compared with rigid frame buildings, however, the clear span width of open web truss metal buildings is only up to 100 feet.

Quonset hut buildings

Quonset BuildingQuonset Hut Buildings, or sometimes called the ‘Arch Buildings’ due to its curved roof structure, are probably the most popular pre-engineered building type. Quonset hut storage building is half-rounded in shape that utilizes the rigidity of its 18 to 24 inch arch panels to serve as a support. This type of buildings were originally developed for military purposes during the World War II. They were intended to be easily assembled manually using only the basic tools. It maintains the same features today, making it an attractive building type for Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts. It is also considered amongst most economical building types as one can save on labor and the building kit itself is cheap. To sum it up, Quonset hut buildings are affordable with prices as low as $5 per square foot (psf), simple-to-build, easy to maintain, and highly adaptable to whatever the storage or space requires.

Quonset hut buildings are traditionally semi-circular in shape – the so-called Q-Model. Designs were, however modified in recent years to add the advantage of using straight walls with a curved roof. It provides more functional internal space and a more amiable appearance for residential purposes, including homes, shops and garages. Quonset hut buildings are estimated to be around 16 to 150 feet wide.

Building Cost

How much will a new customized building cost?

It depends on varying factors – including the size of the building; the level of exterior and interior finish requirements; and the building mode (e.g. Is it self-built or will it engage a general contractor to do the construction and finishing?). Take note that the larger the space that the building will require, the lower the price. Building kits could range from $7 to $15 psf, while the foundation could cost around $4.50 psf. If a building is to be erected by a general contractor, the cost could range from $7 to $14 psf.

Advantages of Using Pre-Engineered or Metal Building Systems

Below are the key features and advantages of using modern metal buildings:

  • Cost-effective – Steel buildings are 35 to 50% cheaper than the conventional ones, including the stick-built or post and beam buildings.
  • Faster Construction – Since most of the construction preparation, including measuring, cutting and drilling of the assembly holes and other materials were already done in the factory, the overall construction time is reduced by 40 to 50%. Building components are just delivered at the construction site, almost ready to be erected. Reduced assembly and construction time could also mean reduced cost and faster return on investment (ROI).
  • Lower Material Cost – With most of the site construction preparation eliminated, there is almost no materials being wasted.
  • Engineering Accuracy – As building components are pre-engineered at the factory using computer-aided design and drafting technology, the output is accurate and each fits perfectly with one another. The high level of accuracy in design and components does not only contribute in the reduction of construction, but also in limiting the amount of waste materials. It also helps contractors in making more accurate project estimations and save money from unnecessary excess materials and other unexpected charges during construction.
  • Insurance savings – Since metal buildings and their post-production finishes are essentially fire-resistant, their insurance premiums are approximately 40% cheaper than those for wood frame buildings.
  • Lower Maintenance Cost – An obvious advantage of metal buildings over wooden structures is the fact that they do not decay, warp, and crumble. Hence, re-painting is not necessary. Metal buildings with rust-resistant finishes and high quality paint finishes are granted with up to 40 years of warranty against damage, breaking, blistering and peeling.
  • Energy savings – Accuracy in the engineering of the buildings at the factory guarantees that doors and windows are tightly closed to prevent heat loss or in some cases prevent cool air from escaping. There are also modern high-tech paint finishes that help in reducing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) costs by reflecting around 70% of the sun’s rays.

Safety Benefits:

  • Increased strength, rigidity and greater durability – With the inherent strength of the steel framed buildings, alongside modern engineering practices, metal buildings can be customized to bear up against strong wind speeds ranging from 70mph to 180mph. With more storms hitting Florida than any other states, a number of new commercial and storage buildings constructed here are made from steel. Metal buildings are also common to Colarado and Alaska, which are affected mostly by snow loading.
  • Dimensional Stability – Expansion and contraction due to certain moisture levels are virtually non-existent among metal buildings as rust-resistant bolts secure the structures.
  • Low Fire Risk – The likelihood of incurring indoor or outdoor fires is very minimal as components and structures are all made up of steel.

Environmentally Friendly Features:

Steel framed buildings are also regarded as ‘Green Buildings’ as they have no harmful effects to the environment, in terms of energy use, raw material consumption and created material waste, compared with other types of buildings.

  • Recyclable – Steel framed building components can be all recycled, making it a sustainable and reusable choice of building. The buildings per se are also made from 30 % or more of recycled steel including fridges, automobile and industrial scraps. Steel is in fact ranked top recycled material in the North America with an annual output of over 80 million tons. The survey from Steel Recycling Institute also noted that steel’s annual output exceeds that of the combined output for aluminum and glass, paper and plastic.
  • Reduced Waste Material – The percentage of materials wasted in the production and erection of steel framed buildings are only 2%, far less when compared to 20% for wood framing.
  • Energy-efficient – As mentioned above, pre-engineered buildings perform better in keeping a constant internal temperature, resulting into reduced overall heating or cooling costs.
  • Reduced Toxic Level – Steel framed buildings are not chemically treated to prevent rotting, unlike the case of wood framed counterparts. As such, there are no issues of contamination in the future.

Other Notable Advantages:

  1. Flexible and Expandable – Metal buildings are modular in nature and hence, can be easily expanded by merely deconstructing one end wall and putting extra clear span sections. This makes it cost-effective as well as it is does not require intensive labor. The detached end wall is reusable, in many cases.
  2. Ease of Relocation – Metal buildings with sizes ranging from 1,200 to 10,000 square feet can be disassembled and relocated without much difficulty.
  3. Limitless Architectural Possibilities – Pre-engineered buildings can be designed according to your own preference as there are various roofing and wall panel choices available for architects. Substitutes for metal cladding for the walls may include, but not limited to precast concrete panels, concrete masonry, brick veneers and glass fiber.

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