• U.S.A. Pre-Fabricated Steel Buildings

Pre-construction Planning

PreConstruction Metal Building Planning

The Rapidset Automated design tools save a lot of time and money in the pre-construction plans for the metal building process.

Where to start the pre-construction planning

Typically you would start with your “due diligence” on a piece of land. This would mean where are the utilities? How much does it cost to get to them and what fees are hidden when you do hook up.  For instance sometimes on waterlines, it might run right in front of the property. But the person, group, or company that installed the would want a propitiate cost reimbursed to hook up.
In the process you would find out, hopefully before fulling committing, what other hidden fees there might be like moving fiber optic line, the cost of a water meter, if you need 3 phase power what will that cost to get it to the property, do you get the water rights but what type do you get, is natural gas available, the type of soil is not good to directly build on and will need an over dig or caissons, etc.
And a huge thing to check is your local zoning department will allow what you are planning.  If yes then while you are there check setbacks and other things that might be asked like required landscape, any drainage issues, and if they need any type of study like turn lane, environmental, traffic, or anything else that might be part of your use. It is a big job to make sure you have your bases covered.

Pre-Planning your layout

Once you figure out what is needed and commit to acquiring the land now it is time for a plat layout. To make it a little simpler there is usually a formula used by those that do it all the time.  For instance, the building footprint is about 28% – 31% of land square footage. And for the other % you would have got some of the info in due diligence like % of landscape (if at all) and parking space formula for your use. And the reason I say “for your use” sure is that there is a different amount of parking spaces for each use within your steel building plans. It would be sq ft of office divided by 200 sq ft = 1 space.  You need to check what your local requirements are.

Metal Building Plans

OK, let’s presume your building footprint allows 8,000 sq ft. Now is the time to use our automated design tool and start designing your facility for your special use.  Go to https://rapidset.designbuildsystems.com/ Our tool will help you think through what is needed. And when you let the system work after you input your desired building requirements then you can add accessories and the next page will be the quote form. If you click next the system will generate plans for your design.
Once those are done you can generate the metal building plans in PDF or you can generate a “walk-around” or “walk-through” of the Rapidset Building design you just created. The beauty of this system is you can see what is needed for the steel frames, what net height do you have inside under the frames, the thickness of the walls, how it bolts together, the area in the floor plan, etc. And the 3D walkthrough will give you a visual of the space and where, exactly, bracing is. Please feel free to use the system as much as you like. On the first page of the design system, below the video, you will find another video link to “Advanced Mode”. This video will show you how to get into advanced mode. It will allow you to choose different kinds of bracing, set exact bay spacing, exact opening offsets, etc.

Building Loads and Code

I can not emphasize this point enough;  When you have generated a few building designs and are feeling comfortable with the general design now is the time to print out your quote and metal building plans and take them down to your building department. Please do not discount this step. The reason is that we would not know the exact building load requirements for your building site. Make sure they confirm or list exactly what is needed. If you look at the quote right in the upper center you will see listed what your building is designed to. And if they give you other criteria like special seismic values, 3-second gust wind speed, ground snow, etc.
At this point, it would be good to give us a call at 719-268-1325. And tell us what your planning and what the quote ID is for your best design.  And we can take your requirements and pull the design from the server. We can then adjust the design to get it right.  Each pound per sq ft of roof snow load, each mph of wind will make a difference in the design and price. And also some places have local codes like FBC (Florida Building Code) and many others. We list them on the loads and codes page if they are in the database but they are usually not on the quote, but the listed codes and loads are what the system will design the building too. With a pre-engineered building, the loads are designed throughout to optimize for weight and cost.


If you own 180 acres and need a building, great!  Most of the above won’t apply. But even if you don’t have a building department it is good to understand what loading you want to use for your structure. Unlike a pole barn, a well-designed Rapidset Metal Building should last for generations. But if you are stepping through the above procedure, have a question, or need help understanding, please call us. I understand the hesitation of talking with a high-pressure salesperson, we are not like that.  If your questions can not be answered by who answers the phone then they might know who at the office can help. We know the steps are many and the procedure is sometimes not easy but we hope to make it easier.

Rapidset Metal Buildings 719-268-1325 for a building in all 50 states or anywhere in the world