Metal Auto Shop Buildings: Planning & Price Guide

Prefab auto shop building

Planning your metal auto shop is an easy process. The more thoroughly you research, plan and figure out before you order your steel building, the easier the entire process will be and more importantly, you will be getting the most out of your investment. Steel buildings have become one of the most popular options when building your auto repair shop and that’s because it’s simple to plan, design and construct, making your experience one of pure enjoyment.

There are a few things to consider primarily before building your auto shop.

Budget-It’s important to make sure you know how much you want to spend before beginning. It’s also a good idea to invest in a more expensive quality of metal, rather than save yourself some money and have to deal with problems in the long run. This is especially important with your auto shop that will be housing many cars and equipment and cannot afford to break down. If you're spending tens of thousands of dollars, a difference of $500 here or there is not significant. The building is going to last 30 years or more, so make sure you get the building you want.

Building Codes-Make sure you get in touch with your local building officials once you have specifications from your supplier, but before you sign the contract. Changes to meet code will always drive your costs up, so to avoid late surcharges, you need to verify that the contract includes all the right specifications.
Design-Before any work can proceed, you need to specify the size and shape of the building and the type of roof and interior walls you want. For example when building an autoshop your best bet is to use a steel arch building, as it has clear span space-No poles, no beams and no trusses to allow for the maximum space for your cars. Arch style buildings are also easily expandable and they have double overlap panel construction which is connected by two rows of bolts. It's the equivalent of a header beam every two feet.

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Engineering-Once the basic design is complete an engineer needs to create the specifications and blueprints for the building. The blueprints will specify what materials should be used and what loads the building will need to be able to withstand to meet local building codes.

Delivery-When the blueprints have been finished, it’s time for the production. The beams, posts, girders, side and roof panels, and even the fasteners to hold the building together are all produced at a factory, then shipped to your construction site. The parts are pre-cut to the exact dimensions you need, pre-drilled, and ready to be bolted together.

Avoid Confusion-Make sure that the supplier understands what the final use of the building will be. If you are not on the same page as the supplier there could be extra cost for modification once the building is delivered. It can become very confusing when ordering your self-storage building, so know what you want before you order and try to keep any changes once you have ordered your building, to a bare minimum.

metal autoshop


This is the best phase and the one where you will see the results and be able to appreciate the hard work you’ve put in thus far. Once you’re set and the parts have been shipped to your site, it’s time to build. The following are a few key pieces to look out for and perhaps organize before building, just to make it easier on yourself.

A few key steel building components are:

Eave Strut, Frame Rafter, Ridge Cap, Gable Trim, Corner Column, Endwall Girt, Endwall Rafter, Endwall Columns, Corner Trim, Sidewall Girt,, Frame Column, Purlins, Eave Trim, Framed Opening Jamb, Jamb Trim, Framed Opening Header, Door Head Trim, Roof Slope

Now that you’re slightly more acquainted with the key parts of your metal auto shop, it’s time to erect your building and it can be done in only three easy steps.

Build Arches - Putting together your metal auto shop is safe and easy. That's because 70% of all the work is done on the ground.

Raise Arches-When it comes to raising your building, in most cases, there's no heavy equipment required. Most arches are precision made to fit perfectly and easily overlap – to allow for fast and accurate assembly.

Add End Walls - Steel buildings are pre-cut and pre-drilled so end wall panels are easy to install, with features like weather strip inserts and heavy-duty curved angles that guarantee a custom fit.

Further Reading & Resources

Author: Conrad Mackie