Home & Hobby Residential Metal Buildings
DIY Buildings that Go Up Fast & Cost Less than Wood Construction
Attention DIY Enthusiasts! Do you have a need for a hobby shop, a storage area for your boat, airplane or RV, or even have a teenager seeking their own private space outside the home?
A pre-engineered residential metal structure is the most durable and cost-effective solution to all your building needs. These easy-to-assemble structures can be erected quickly and efficiently, often without the need for professional help. Although they are self-assembly, pre-engineered steel buildings have a high-end customizable appearance.
Although steel is an incredibly durable and resilient construction material, when engineering a steel structure one must take into account the forces of nature, especially snow and wind.
If you live in a climate that receives a lot of snow, it is important to research the structure you wish to purchase and provide the manufacturer with the correct expected snow load. Snow is a unique force of nature in that it can drift and accumulate more on some parts of the roof, causing inconsistent stress on certain structural devices. While it is possible to calculate typical snow load for your region in real time, many municipal planning departments also have figures on truss size, pitch and materials to the pounds per square foot of pressure from snow.
Metal buildings tend to be light in weight and require secure anchoring to the ground. Wind is one of the most important forces to take into account when purchasing a steel building. Wind load is a determination of the amount of stress a structure experiences at a given wind speed. This calculation is important when determining the height of a building, as well as other structural aspects like the number and location of openings in the building. Determining wind load for even a simple structure is complex and should be carried out by a design engineer.
Other forces to take into account when engineering a steel building are the dead and live loads. A dead load is defined as the weight of a steel structure, meaning the building must be able to structurally support itself. A live load is an external force applied to the building, such as construction workers that would be on the building while it is being erected. Rain is also considered to be a live load.
Every steel building is made up of the same basic components and requires similar do-it-yourself assembly instructions. If you are concerned about the difficulty of assembling a steel structure, consider the following basic directions.
1. Before you begin, you will need to prepare the building site by leveling and grading as needed, then excavating and adding at least a 4-inch thick layer of compacted gravel. The gravel can be compacted with a tamper, ensuring the foundation is flat using a level and a long, straight 2 x 4 (more about steel building foundations). You may want to apply landscaping fabric under to gravel to limit the growth of weeds.
2. The first step in assembling most metal building kits is the floor. Keep in mind where you would like the door to be located during this step, and try not to fasten any of the parts together until you have laid everything out on the ground. Always wear thick work gloves when handling the metal kit parts as the edges can be sharp.
3. If your kit suggests it, anchor the floor to the ground of the site. Once the floor is secure, you can begin installing the wall panels by following specific directions from the manufacturer. Most panels are pre-drilled for fasteners and can be easily constructed by ensuring the fastener holes align between panels and with the floor.
4. Attach the wall panels using fasteners, taking together mating corner panels on at least two adjacent corners. Fill in the wall panels between completed corners, attaching them to the frames with fasteners.
5. To assemble the roof, lay out the roof beam parts and the side frames, using fasteners to connect the parts together.
6. Fasten the shed panels to the top frames, ensuring the fastener holes are aligned. Fasten the doorframe trim pieces to the frames to finish the door opening. Take extra precaution to not overdrive the fasteners.
7. Insert the building gable panels into the side frames and the door track, sliding them together so the fastener holes are aligned. Then fit the main roof beam into the clips of the gable panels.
8. Now install any supplementary support hardware for the beam, like gussets or angle braces. Then attach the roof panels to the roof beam and the top flanges of the side frames.
9. Before you attach the overlapping roof panels, apply weather-stripping tape to the top ends to seal the joints. Any adhesive-backed foam tape available from most hardware stores can work, or your kit will provide it.
10. Finally, you will install the plywood floor and assemble/attach the doors.
Metal buildings tend to be light in weight and require secure anchoring to the ground. Manufacturers will sometimes sell an anchor kit separately, so check to ensure this before you order your metal structure.There are several anchoring methods to keep in mind, depending on the type of base you've built.