While there are some manufacturers who offer a wide range of steel building designs to choose from, each still has to be customized for specific locations and individual preferences.
One of the most common misconceptions about steel buildings is that it allows for very limited design options since they are pre-engineered. This is not true. A lot of manufacturers have ready-made plans and prefabricated materials to streamline processes from the savvy customers. However, many still allow you to work with their design team as they draw up the plan according to your preference. Moreover, thanks to latest technology developments, there are software programs that now enable online steel building designs.
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To make the most of your money and time, below are a few things to keep in mind before choosing from a wide range of steel building designs option:
1. Check out your local building codes. On top of the overarching codes released by the International Building Code (IBC), each state in the U.S. has its own set of building codes. They are primarily intended for the safety of the building occupants. You may expect lighter seismic regulations for building codes in Nebraska than those in California. Meanwhile, Idaho has lower wind uplift rating requirements than in Nebraska, and so on. It may help if you will take a time to consult a local engineer to ensure your building plans comply with the building code requirements in your area. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your plans revamped.
2. Verify zoning regulations in your area. Equally important as checking out your local building codes is verifying zoning regulations within your area. Keep in mind that construction of commercial buildings is only allowed in lands that are zoned commercially. The same rule applies to residential buildings. While there are instances of cross-overs, always make sure you verified the zoning regulations before choosing steel building designs.
3. Select the best site location for your steel building. If you are a first timer in constructing a steel building, it may be helpful to speak with a professional to help you choose the best site location for your specific project. Some of the things to consider are as follows:
- Direction of the Wind. You may want to reconsider building your structure in areas that experience consistently high wind exposure. As much as possible, keep your structure’s largest expanse, including windows and doors from bearing the brunt of a strong wind. This too will result in increased interior comfort as you take a time to reduce the chances of wind damages in the long run.
- Water drainage system. Check out where the water goes when raining. The last thing you probably would not want to happen is building a structure in a depression site where the water table is high as you do not want to get flooded easily. Moreover, high moisture levels and pooled water could result in structural damages in the long run. When choosing a site location for your building, make sure it drains well. Otherwise, you may have to build drainage channels or ditches to shift the direction of the water from the foundation of your structure.
- Exposure to sunlight. If you choose to build a structure with southwest exposure, you may expect hotter than usual summer and warmer temperature during winter time. The exact opposite happens in areas with the northeast exposure. Make sure your steel building designs complement your site’s climate and exposure to the sun. To take advantage of the solar heat gain and seasonal shading, you may also use deciduous shrubs and trees, awnings and covered porches.
- Check out online programs dedicated for steel building designs to help you get started. As mentioned above, there is now a lot of software programs that you can use in designing your steel building. While the rough draft plan that you might be able to create out of these programs may not be sufficient for your manufacturer to pre-engineer your structure (since professionally engineered plans are required), it can make for a good head start. You may consider working with your manufacturer’s design team or a local engineer to get the rough draft plans done in a professionally-engineered manner.
- Do your own research of cost-cutting measures. When you go for steel for your next construction project, remember that your overall satisfaction depends on the accessory options and features you invested in at the start. Make sure your steel building designs incorporate your well-researched water shedding and energy-saving roof options, downspouts and gutter that will shift water away from the structure, and much more. As you take time in finding ways to protect further the integrity of your structure and boost its energy efficiency capacity, the more your steel building becomes affordable over time.
Taking responsibility on steel building designs will ensure that you get everything you desire and need. You can streamline the process by considering to give your rough draft plans to your manufacturer. The time to spend will surely less than if you want to start from scratch.
Steel buildings offer higher functionality compared with other conventionally-built structures. They are also durable and cost-effective. Probably unknown to many, however, steel buildings are very versatile that they can be made beautiful too. You’ll no longer think of them as industrial-looking structure as you actually got the whole rainbow of colors to choose from. There is also a wide-ranging option for roof and panels. Many of modern steel building designs are inspired by several popular style choices such as Victorian, rustic and country cute?
Another thing to keep in mind too is making the right choice of the steel roof. It surely will make a big difference in the exterior appearance of your structure. The choices are an architectural stand seam roof or a simple screw down a roof. But when you talk about both the interior and exterior appearance of your steel building, make sure you never go wrong with your window and door options. They should complement well to the overall steel building designs.
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