How do you calculate the price of a Metal Building?

20x30 shop building

To arrive at a total price for a metal building, one has to consider a multitude of factors. There’s not only the materials involved, but also the concrete foundation if there is not one existing. Of course, labor is the next big expense, and this breaks down into a number of constituents:

  • Availability of experienced labor. Wages tend to be more in higher demand locations.
  • Tools and equipment. Lease, buy, or supplied by the contractor? Wear and tear must be factored in, as well as gas, vehicle wear, and other such overheads.
  • Site location. Steep grades must be terraced to allow a flat, level surface for the building, requiring more man-hours and equipment hire.
  • Weather may be a factor in slowing work down; snow, rain, high winds and extreme heat can all adversely affect erection time. For example, the amount of snow the area gets may determine the type of roof and load-bearing requirements of the structure.
  • Structural complexity. Obviously the more complicated the shape of the building, the more time and material is needed.
  • Clear span width. Wider buildings require more stringent construction safety requirements and more specialized (read: more expensive) installation equipment.

The main factors to consider when evaluating the price of a metal building are:

  • What size of building do you require (Length x Width) to give you the total square feet of building space required
  • How tall do you need the building to be (the taller the building the more expensive it will be)
  • What style of building do you want – a Quonset hut style building or a more traditional building with a pitched roof. Quonset buildings can be up to 30% cheaper and are generally less expensive to construct
  • What size & thickness of a foundation do you need? A 3” slab can run anywhere between $4-8 per square foot depending on labor, concrete cost etc.
  • Will you erect the building yourself or have a GC do the work for you? A qualified steel building erection crew could cost you $3-10 per square foot.

For an instant estimate see: metal building price estimates

Also see our page on 'how much does it cost to build a 30x40 garage' for further details on per square foot pricing, labor costs and material costs.

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