|Square Foot Cost
Metal Building Kits
A 'Red Iron' metal building kit allows you to quickly, easily, and economically build a custom residential, commercial, or farm structure at a lower cost than traditional construction.
Pre-engineered building kit packages include everything you need to construct a durable, maintenance-free structure that adds value to your property.
Popular Metal Building Kits
How much do metal building kits cost?
Prefab building kit prices typically range from $15 to $25 per square foot, with larger structures being less expensive per square foot. Keep in mind that the cost of the foundation and construction also needs to be considered. These usually range from $5 to $10 per square foot. The cost of finishing the interior can also vary greatly, starting at about $10 per square foot and going up to more than $100 per square foot for high-end finishes.
Prefab Metal Building Kits Prices for Popular Sizes
In the table below are some average prefabricated kit prices for our most popular sizes. Please note - you will need to apply for quotes to get accurate pricing for your specific location and required level of customization.
|Average Kit Price
|Price / Sq Ft
|1,200 sq ft
|1,500 sq ft
|1,600 sq ft
|1,800 sq ft
|2,400 sq ft
|3,200 sq ft
|4,000 sq ft
|5,000 sq ft
|10,000 sq ft
Please note. These prices are for just the prefab kit package and do not take into account site preparation, a concrete foundation, construction costs, and customizations. For an in-depth look at turnkey cost estimates, see our metal building prices page for more details.
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Benefits of Metal Building Kits
Cost Savings. Fast construction, low material cost, reduced build cost, insurance savings, and low maintenance.
Safety. Safe, strong & sturdy, dimensionally stable, reduced fire risk and improved grounding.
Environmental. Recyclable, reduced construction waste, energy efficient, and less toxic.
Plus. Ease of expansion, ease of relocation, unlimited design options, and no painting required.
What's Included in a metal building kit?
All standard kit packages include all the components needed to erect a basic structure. You then customize the building shell to suit your intended application by adding any number and size of windows, doors, skylights, etc. You can also customize the roof style and pitch - choose from a traditional gable roof, a single slope (shed) roof, a monitor, or a gambrel-style roof.
Let's examine the components included with standard metal frame building kits.
- American-made I-beam framing
- Pre-marked parts
- Pre-punched holes
- All roof purlins and wall girts
- Long-life fasteners
- Weather seal package
- Engineer stamped erection and anchor bolt plans
- Detailed construction manual
- Complete trim package
- All nuts, bolts, clips and fasteners
- Fast delivery from multiple shipping points
- Two framed openings (add extra if required)
- 1:12 or 2:12 roof pitch (3:12 - 5:12 also available)
- Pre-painted 26-gauge metal roof and wall panels
- Up to a 40-year structural, paint & panel warranty
Key Kit Features:
- Clear-span sizes from 1,200 sq. ft
- All kits engineered to meet local codes
- Certified to 160MPH wind and snow loads up to 120 lb/ft2 (PSF)
- Certified to to 110 lb/ft2 (PSF)
- Red-oxide primer baked onto all components
- Simple DIY construction for structures up to 5,000 sq. ft.
- Kits can be customized with doors, windows, and other options
- Kit packages include numbered, pre-punched components
- Fast delivery from multiple shipping points
- Fast build times, with savings of up to 60% compared to traditional construction
- Save up to 40% on insurance costs (due to fireproofing)
- Save up to 40% on energy costs with treated ‘cool metal roofs’
- Virtually maintenance free, with 40+ year warranties*
- Easily expandable when you need more storage space
- Minimal waste: only 2% for steel versus 20% for conventional construction
*Vary by supplier
Building kit specs:
- I-Beam (primary framing) min. yield strength 55k psi *
- Secondary framing 12-16 Gauge Min. 55k psi *
- 26 or 24 gauge PBR metal sheeting (80k psi yield strength)
- 26 gauge color‐coated trim and flashing
- Bolts: A-325 for primary framing
- Bolts: A-307 for secondary framing
- Wind Loads: 110 mph (2000 IBC Exp. C)
- Snow Loads: 50 lb. /sq. ft. (standard)
*Vary by supplier
Items not included in the kit:
- Interior finishing
Why choose a steel building kit?
Bolt-up metal building kits offer versatility, durability, and affordability. Factory-made, pre-engineered kits can be configured for virtually any application, from simple garages to custom modern family homes.
The solid Steel building kits are precision-engineered to meet local building codes for wind, snow, and seismic activity, making them a durable, long-lasting construction option.
In addition, prefab steel structures are more affordable than other types of construction due to reduced material waste and construction costs.
Furthermore, PEMBs are a solid investment, as they are permanent structures built to last, come with warranties of up to 30 years, and require little to no maintenance.
Overall, a prefabricated metal building kit structure is a solid investment that adds value to your property, requires little maintenance, can be erected in 30% less time than conventional construction, and can withstand the harshest of environments.
- Fast build time to occupancy
- Economical construction costs
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Highly durable & long lasting
- Clear span, 100% usable floor space
- Engineered to meet your local codes
- Custom-made to your specifications
- Easily expanded for future growth
- Adds value to your property
- Improved fire resistance
- Warranties of 30yrs+
Why are metal frame building kits so popular?
Metal frame structures are ubiquitous in the United States and Canada, even if they're not always immediately noticeable. You've likely observed them as agricultural structures, warehouses, or garages, and the utilization of prefabricated kits to construct homes or retail stores is becoming more prevalent.
These building systems are strong, versatile, and up to 50% cheaper than conventional construction.
Whether you want a warehouse, a hunting cabin, or a custom-built home, every pre-engineered metal building (PEMB) is precision-designed and manufactured using state-of-the-art computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) processes.
These advanced engineering processes allow for highly efficient material utilization and the production of structural members with a high strength-to-weight ratio that minimizes raw material costs and waste.
Steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any construction material - about 25 times greater than wood and steel frames are actually lighter!
Your custom-made kit will be delivered directly to your construction site all at once, so you won’t be waiting for materials or managing extra fees or delays from multiple manufacturers.
Steel buildings require fewer components, and each kit building package includes every bolt and fastener you need.
DIY kits are manufactured with the do-it-yourself builder in mind. Construction is straightforward and requires only basic tools, including full plans and instructions.
Also, with fast construction times, you benefit from lower construction costs if you choose to hire an erection crew.
All kits sold by our suppliers are constructed from factory-engineered kits.
How long do building kits take to erect?
A metal frame structure can be constructed in as little as 3-5 days. The typical timeline for construction from a kit is 7-28 days, compared to several months for other traditional construction options.
Small metal building kits of less than 2,000 square feet can be erected in just a few days. On the other hand, larger structures like a 10,000-square-foot warehouse can be finished in a matter of weeks instead of months, as compared to conventional construction methods.
Are metal structures cheaper than other buildings?
The total cost of ownership for metal structures remains low, even in unpredictable or hurricane-prone areas.
Insurance premiums are up to 40% lower because prefab steel structures are fireproof, weatherproof, and extremely damage-resistant. Warranties start at 20 years, giving you peace of mind in terms of longevity.
You’ll also save on maintenance costs over time. Metal structures don’t rot, attract mold, shrink, or warp like wood-frame structures. They arrive pre-painted with high-quality rust-proof paint in your choice of colors. They won’t invite damage from termites, ants, or other pests. They have 60% lower HVAC costs, are easy to clean, and don’t require extensive exterior maintenance.
Simply put, prefabricated kits are more predictable to build and maintain, lowering costs throughout construction and throughout the lifespan of the building.
Prefab metal building kits prices start as low as $15 per square foot.
Are metal building kits suitable for homes?
Absolutely! They make great family homes or a combination of home and workspace (AKA shop houses). Many homeowners choose metal for its low cost and versatility in design; they are also a popular choice for barndominiums (barn homes).
Overall, prefab kits are viable for anyone seeking an affordable, durable, and customizable housing solution. With their design flexibility and environmental benefits, they offer a modern solution to the challenges of traditional stick-built homes.
If cost is a primary concern, you might want to consider Quonset homes, as they can be up to 30% cheaper than a red iron structure and still offer many of the benefits
Do I need a permit for a new kit building?
In most cases, yes. Depending on where you live, most structures larger than a shed (typically 200 sq ft) require a permit for construction. Check your local laws or visit our codes guide for more information.
Are metal building kits environmentally friendly?
Metal frame kits are considered to be a green building solution, from raw materials to maintenance. Engineered with up to 70% post-consumer materials, all metal kit buildings are 100% recyclable.
Manufacturing your custom structure is also less wasteful, with only 2% construction waste compared to almost 20% waste for traditional lumber construction.
When fully insulated, metal structures are more energy efficient than other construction materials, and their longevity means that fewer resources are wasted over the lifespan of the structure.
Cool metal roofing panels are easily finished with state-of-the-art coatings to reflect, rather than absorb, light and heat from the sun, lowering the cooling costs and emissions in hot environments. The use of cool roofs can result in as much as a 30 percent reduction in heat gain through the roof, and due to the applied reflective coatings, they can also provide up to 40% savings in cooling costs.
Are steel building kits truly DIY?
Do-it-yourself enthusiasts love prefab kits' streamlined planning, design, and construction process. Did you enjoy erector sets as a child? Constructing a metal framed building might remind you of that experience—with the added reward of adding your own custom doors, windows, and other personalized options.
These buildings strongly appeal to people who like building and customizing their homes and workspaces. Approximately 40% of buyers elect to self-build.
They're also a favorite of those who would instead save money by taking on much of the construction process themselves. But are they really do-it-yourself?
Think of DIY metal building kits as semi-DIY. You can control the design, color, windows, doors, and style of build. You choose the kit and design the building to suit your needs best.
With some construction experience and adequate planning, do-it-yourself (DIY) building construction is doable. This is particularly true for smaller buildings under 2,000 square feet, such as our 30x40 metal building kit package.
However, we strongly recommend that professionals design and install the concrete foundation.
What kinds of materials are used?
Framing. American-made steel is used in all of the metal building kit packages you’ll find on BuildingsGuide. The steel is made from up to 70% recycled materials and doesn’t warp or shrink. It can withstand much higher loads than wood. If you live in an area where you may experience hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes, steel is more resistant to those natural phenomena, able to withstand peak wind gusts of 160 mph, and are significantly more likely to remain standing during strong seismic events.
All kit packages are custom-engineered to meet or exceed your local code requirements for wind, snow, and seismic activity.
Paints. Typically, the metal components are painted in the factory with high-quality rust-resistant paint, usually with a 30-40 year warranty. Our manufacturers' paint also won’t chip, peel, blister, or crack. Manufacturers offer many color options, so you’re not stuck with basic beige (unless that’s your preference).
Components. Straight out of the package, steel framed building kits are more environmentally friendly. They don’t require the same additional chemical treatments that wood structures require. The provided bolts are rust-resistant and won’t expand over time.
Most everything in your kit package is 100% recyclable as well, making them a sustainable construction choice.
Do metal building kits use tubular or solid steel framing?
All kits on BuildingsGuide use solid steel I-beam framing. They can be engineered to withstand 160 mph wind gusts. They’re the durable, extremely strong beams used in most modern commercial construction projects.
In short, all kits you see on our website are commercial-grade kits engineered to last and add value to your property.
Unlike the kits you may have seen at big box stores, eBay and other online suppliers sell tubular (slip-together) steel frame building kits. These types of frames are hollow steel tubes with no longevity or rigidity. They can only withstand up to 50 mph winds and don’t handle the same snow load. These types of structures are ideal for carports and backyard sheds.
Due to their semi-permanent nature, these structures won't add value to your property, whereas a solid prefab steel structure will stand the test of time and add equity to your property.
How long does It take to put up a metal structure?
Construction times for metal framed kits are shorter than other construction options since all the framing is pre-cut and drilled at the factory. As a result, a team of four (4) people can erect a small structure (under 2,000 sq ft) in just a few days.
The time frame is slightly longer for larger structures, but a crew of five to seven (5-7) people can generally erect a building up to 5,000 sq ft in about a week.
Whatever size you choose, metal frame kits go up much faster than wood, brick, or concrete structures!
What markets do you deliver to?
Our suppliers deliver Red Iron metal building kits in Canada and the United States. Kits are delivered from multiple shipping points across North America, ensuring you get the lowest cost on delivery.
The Construction ProcessRead the build process guide
How to build a steel building kit
Step 1: Planning
As with any major project, careful planning is key to ensuring you get the right building at the right price that is best suited to your intended application.
Choose a size and style. In the initial phase, you’ll determine the size of the building you need (Length x Width x Height). Don’t underestimate how much space you will need! (But also recognize that if you need to add more square footage, adding more modular sections to your existing structure is easy.)
NOTE. If this is a possibility, specify ‘expandable end walls’ when ordering your metal building kit from our suppliers.
Decide on a height. This largely depends on what you intend to use your structure for. Start by identifying the largest door clearance you will require, add two (2) feet to this as a safety measure, and then add a further two (2) feet to give you your required height. For example, if you have a truck that is 8 feet tall, you will need a 10’ door opening with a resulting height requirement of 12 feet.
Make initial permit inquiries. At this stage, it is a good idea to have an initial conversation with your local building department to verify if a permit will be required. If a permit is required, you can verify with the building department what information they will require for the permit application. You are responsible for ensuring all city, state, and regional codes (wind, snow, seismic) will be met before you order your kit and begin construction.
Decide on construction options. Will you go the do-it-yourself route and construct your own building, hire sub-contractors and self-build (be your own GC), or hire a general contractor (GC) to oversee the project? If your structure is over 2,000 square feet, you may want to hire an experienced erection crew. For more details, see our construction options article.
For more, see our article on planning a building project.
Step 2: Design
One of the benefits of working with our suppliers is that they will assist you in the design of your building and advise you on the most suitable options. Alternatively, you can also engage an architect if you require a highly stylized design.
Select your roof profile. You’ll want to consider the roof style you want and the pitch. Here's our guide to the available roof styles.
Decide on design options. Base model kits come with all the components for a basic structure. You then decide how you need to customize this to suit your needs best. Color, number, type, and size of doors, windows, porches, awnings, siding, etc. - the base kit package is the canvas for your dream structure! Or it can be just a basic garage with a couple of additions. You do you. Here’s our guide for choosing custom options.
Choose interior finishing options (if required). At this point, you can choose or design your custom floor plan and decide on the level of finish you need. For inspiration, see our sample metal building floor plans.
Step 3: Ordering & Contracting
Now that you have a good idea of the overall size, style, and design of your building, it’s time to find the most suitable supplier. This is where we can help you find the best metal building kits for sale.
Comparing quotes is crucial to find the best building for your purposes at the best price. Read about our cost comparison service and how it works.
Get at least four written quotes. Not all kits are priced the same, so it is advisable to shop around. BuildingsGuide is here to help you find the most suitable local supplier for your project.
After telling us a little about your requirements, we will then match you with up to four suppliers who deliver to your job site. Start by getting up to four competing quotes for your new structure.
Choose a supplier. Before choosing a supplier, compare cost, quality, specifications, supplier reputation, and customizations.
Place a deposit. Your initial deposit is usually 10-30% of the total cost of the kit. Once you place a deposit, your supplier will then provide you with a set of engineering drawings (blueprints) for your building. You will also need a set of engineering drawings for the foundation. Please note – not all suppliers provide these. If they don't, you will need to hire a local structural engineer to have these drawn up.
Once you are in possession of the engineering drawings, you can finalize the following:
- Arrange Financing (if required). Financing a prefabricated building can be tricky. Most U.S. banks don’t provide homeowner financing for prefab steel structures. Don’t worry; there are options: here’s our guide to financing.
- Apply for permits. As part of the permit process, you will be required to submit plans along with a site plan illustrating where you intend to build.
- Contracting. If you elect not to self-build, you will need to sign contracts with sub-contractors or a general contractor for construction and finishing.
Please note. As indicated earlier, our suppliers do not sell cheap metal building kits that you will find at box stores. These are all commercial-grade, permanent kit structures that are engineered to last.
Step 4: Pre-Construction
Site preparation. Much like planning for a baby’s due date, you’ll want to consider how you handle the delivery of your kit package.
Run services. Arrange for power, cable, water, and sewer lines to be run to the project site.
Pour the foundation. Before receiving your kit, you need a level, prepared site, and you need to lay a concrete foundation with anchor bolts.
Here’s our guide to foundations. We STRONGLY advise that you have a professional concrete company take care of this stage, as the foundation is a critical stage of the process.
Step 5: Delivery & Construction
Prep for delivery. Have a forklift or other lifting equipment ready to offload the delivery truck. For a detailed look at this step, see our article on prepping for delivery.
Pay the order balance. At this point, you will pay the outstanding balance on the building. This will either be just before the kit package arrives or at the delivery time. Be sure to discuss this with your supplier.
Store the components. Have a dry, level area ready to store the kit components in preparation for construction.
Schedule contractors. If you are subbing out your construction, confirm time schedule with your contractors.
Construction. The day you’ve been waiting for!
Step 6: Finishing
Hookup Services. Get utilities connected and operational.
Install Insulation. Add insulation (if required). For more, see our article on insulation.
Interior Build-out & Finishing (if required). Frame out your interior rooms and finish the interior. Your kit has everything to construct your new structure, but you’re in charge of the interior. Here’s our guide to working with the peculiarities of a metal frame building interior.
Walkthrough & Final Inspection. Like any new structure, you’ll need to schedule and complete a building inspection with your local inspector.