9 Ways to Save Money on a Metal Building
One of the best ways to save on your construction project is to take on as much of the work as possible yourself (be the GC) and to shop around for the most competitive contractors for concrete, construction, plumbing, and electrical work. You can save 20% on the fees GCs charge by acting as the general contractor yourself.
Other ways to save include:
DIY Build. If it’s feasible for you to erect the steel building yourself, you could save between 20% and 30% on your construction cost.
Reduce Design Complexity. Choose a simple design. More complex designs require additional steel and engineering time.
Avoid Costly Design Changes. Not accounting for all your requirements now may be costly in the future. Change orders after the manufacturer has begun production can be very expensive, so make sure you have planned and finalized your details before placing your order with the factory.
Choose a Simple Roof Profile & Low Pitch. The cheapest option is a single-slope roof with a 1:12 pitch. Like the design point above, more complex roof profiles such as monitor and gambrel roofs require more material, engineering, and construction time. The sweet spot for most customers is a gable roof with a 2:12 pitch.
Reduce the Number of Doors & Windows. Reduce the number of framed openings to a minimum; these can add up quickly. Also, wherever possible, choose standard-size doors and windows that are readily available locally.
Reduce the Height. Try to be realistic about the height of your steel-framed building; the higher you go, the more steel is required, which will, in turn, increase the price. The additional space will also impact your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) expenses.
Plan Ahead for Expansion. Red iron buildings can easily be expanded later if you specify ‘expandable end walls’ on your initial order. If you fail to do this, the expenditure of adding additional bays later will be significantly more expensive due to the additional engineering required.
Schedule Off-Season Construction. Building at the right time of year can be an effective way to save on your construction fees. In colder climates, the most economical time for construction is usually early spring and late autumn, with summer being the most expensive.
Tax Breaks & Deductions. Speak to your accountant about possible tax deductions, such as the section 179 tax deduction or the 179D commercial buildings energy-efficiency tax deduction, along with any other incentives that you may be able to take advantage of. Some farm and agricultural buildings are also covered for the 179 deductions.
Compare Price Quotes. Your building kit price can vary based on manufacturer and location; you will want to get at least four written price quotes from different manufacturers/suppliers. This is where we can help you find the best solution and the best price on metal buildings; provide us with your project details, and we will match you with four of the most suitable suppliers. Get competing price quotes for your steel building kit.
When speaking with suppliers, enquiring if they have any current sale offers is also a good idea. Most suppliers have regular sales and offer yearly discounts to move excess inventory.
What are some mistakes to avoid when buying a kit building?
Don’t expect an accurate price until you’ve identified the exact location and size of your building. Customers often find they need more space than they initially anticipated. Consider that most PEMBs are only one story in height (max. 30 feet), so you may need a longer or wider building than if you were planning a multi-story structure.
Don’t count on price accuracy until you’ve fully planned your project. We can’t emphasize enough: that you’ll want a detailed plan before making a purchase decision. You will need to work with your chosen building supplier or contractor to nail down all your requirements and possible customization options required.
You may get an initial quote based on the estimated dimensions, construction site location, and end-use of your building, but delivery, equipment, and customization costs can vary significantly from coast-to-coast.
Make sure you include the following when requesting a quote:
- The ZIP/postal code of your proposed job site (for local code compliance)
- Preferred building design and roofing style
- The number and type of doors and windows you require
- Whether insulation is required
Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. When comparing metal building prices, it is important to understand that there are varying grades of available prefab metal buildings. Whilst doing your online research, you will probably have encountered cheap metal structures from online retailers or big-box stores. These structures normally use hollow tubular framing rather than solid-steel I-beam framing. Tubular framing does not have the same longevity or wind/snow load ratings as those with commercial-grade, steel I-beam frames, so if you go the cheaper route, remember that you’re paying for what you get.
Check manufacturer reviews. BuildingsGuide can help you find the best prices on metal buildings and locate the most suitable suppliers for your needs. We only recommend high-quality, vetted manufacturers that we stand behind. But you should also do your own research, especially for peace of mind. Read reviews and testimonials about your supplier before you make a final decision.