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The Benefits of Designing Your Own Custom Warehouse Building

If you’re thinking about getting a new warehouse storage building, read on and we’ll give you 13 reasons why designing a custom steel building is the only choice for you.

1. Built-In Exterior Finishes

Zillow quotes the average cost of exterior finishings from building a new home at $43,447. This includes doors, windows, finishing the exterior walls and roof, and weatherproofing. When you choose a pre-fab steel building, you don’t have to worry about these extra costs. This is because most exterior finishes on a steel building get worked into the framework during fabrication. Additionally, the sheer strength of steel means you need fewer parts to make a solid building. Fewer parts mean lower material costs.

2. Streamline the Construction Process

When you order a steel-frame building, all the pieces get made off-site on an assembly line and a manufacturing warehouse. The weather doesn’t factor in this part of the process. Even during construction, the elements don’t affect your time table the same way it does in other building projects. The more time construction workers spend building your new warehouse, the more money you’ll spend on labor costs. The more experience your crew has, the less time they’ll take. Exacting specifications ensure each piece of the building fits together with ease. This means that when it’s sent to you for construction, there are no unexpected delays caused by incompatible parts.

You can save even more time by:

  • Coordinating architectural and design teams early on
  • Employing proactive project management
  • Using adaptable materials
  • Encouraging teamwork between contractors, manufacturers, and design teams
  • If everyone works together, strict timelines are easier to set and adhere to.

3. DIY and Eliminate Labor Costs

If you’re up to the challenge, you can build a metal building yourself.

All building kits should come with:
Anchor Bolt Patterns – Anchor bolts fasten buildings to concrete foundations. To ensure solid construction, the placement of these bolts is crucial. Having pre-planned patterns for your design ensures your building will withstand the test of time.
A Step-By-Step Construction Guide – You don’t have to know what you’re doing, you only need to be able to follow the instructions. Every piece of a steel building has clear labels so you can tell what it is. Combine this with the detailed directions in the construction guide and you can erect your building with ease.
Detailed Assembly Drawings – Detailed assembly drawings make it even easier to figure out how to put everything together. If you’re still having trouble, take a look at our Help Videos for some extra guidance.

4. Reduced Maintenance Expenses

large span steel building

To maintain metal buildings, all you need to do is pressure wash the exteriors and clear out the gutters once or twice a year. You can hire someone to do that or save money and do it yourself. Either way, it’s far less labor and money intensive than maintaining other types of buildings.

The only thing you have to worry about with steel-based buildings is corrosion. You can mitigate corrosion concerns with the addition of a Galvalume(R) coating. Galvalume is an alloy made up of zinc and aluminum. Zinc helps to protect against general damage. Aluminum prevents rust.

Additionally, warranties on steel construction components last for 40 to 50 years and you don’t have to pay a dime. You must update and pay for Home and building warranties for other structure types every year.

5. Lower Insurance Premiums

Building materials made of steel are inorganic. This means they are resistant to many things other building materials fall prey to. A well-designed steel warehouse building can withstand heavy gusts of wind. In areas devastated by tornadoes, steel buildings are often the only ones left standing.

Steel doesn’t mold, it resists mildew, termites don’t see it as a midday snack and steel frames won’t burn. Can you say the same about wood?
Insurance agencies recognize these factors and provide lower rates for metal buildings

6. Security

The solid structure of custom metal buildings makes it difficult to penetrate. For this reason, many thieves will bypass steel structures for easier targets. Add security cameras, alarm systems, and metal doors for added security.

7. Faster Design and Construction Times

Many of the same features that contribute to lower construction costs also reduce build time:

  • Easy construction
  • Pre-fabricated parts
  • Built-in finishes
  • Adaptable materials
  • Fewer construction delays from incompatible parts and weather

Plus, once you’ve drawn up your plans, received your materials and your permits get approved, you can start building.

8. Spacious, Clear Span Designs

The need for spacious warehouse floorplans is indisputable. Most warehouses call for the constant movement of products and frequent layout changes. Steel buildings are perfect for this because they allow for clear span designs. A clear span design is a floor plan with at least 100 feet between load-bearing poles.

Because of the strength-to-weight ratios of custom metal buildings, all the support needed is in the framework of the building. There is no need for support columns in buildings up to 300 feet wide. If you need something wider, you can go up to 480 feet with a minimal number of supports and still have plenty of room.

While there is a limit to how wide a steel building can be, there are no restrictions on length. You can also combine clear span areas to go as large as you want by adding expansions on end walls. Use overhead rolling doors at extension points to open your space up even further. If you prefer vertical expansion, this is also possible up to 40 feet. You can then maximize space with the addition of mezzanine floors.

9. Customizable

commercial warehouse design tool

One of the most impressive features of designing metal warehouse building plans is that you can customize them any way you want.

Your building design doesn’t have to look like an elongated igloo or a giant box. You can design it any way you want.

Advances in materials make it possible to choose from a wide range of colors and textures. Options for exteriors now include:

  • Colorful panels
  • Glass
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Tilt-up Concrete
  • EIFS
  • Stucco

Wood siding is also an option but may prevent you from taking advantage of insurance discounts. Even if you don’t get any kind of special siding, you can have a mural painted on one side of your building for a splash of color. Don’t be afraid to be creative. This is your brainchild.

10. Steel Is Eco-Friendly

Steel is a sustainable material and very eco-friendly. Recycled steel scrap comprises 93% of structural steel made in the US. When it’s time to dispose of a building, you can recycle 98% of the steel used in its construction.

Unlike many materials, steel doesn’t lose any of its physical properties when it’s recycled. This means you can recycle it over and over again or sell the scrap metal to recoup some of your original building costs.

11. Metal Buildings Are Easy to Insulate

Metal roofing materials reflect UV rays from the sun helping them stay cool in warm climates. This helps you reduce both energy costs and your eco-footprint. You can add vapor barriers at the roofline to help protect against moisture damage and further insulate your building. Vapor barriers have a reflective layer.

When installing your vapor barrier make sure it faces the correct way. In warmer areas, the reflective layer should face the ceiling to further reflect UV waves. In cooler locations, the reflective side needs to face the interior of the building. This will let sun rays penetrate the building and help warm the space. In temperate zones, this may be all you need to maintain constant temperatures. In areas with more extreme conditions, you can install insulated metal panels (IMPs) with R-values as high as R-42.

If IMPs won’t suit your needs, you may be able to get a high R-value standing seam roof system. This type of roofing uses clips to hold single-skin panels with up to 12 inches of R-30 blanket insulation.

If your area’s codes require it, there are also fire-rated panels. These panels are like foam IMPs but have a flame retardant, mineral wool core.

12. Ready for Solar Panel Installation

55% of consumers will pay more for products and services from companies devoted to making a positive environmental impact. It’s a good thing then that metal roofs are a perfect location for a solar array. Besides keeping your customers happy, using solar energy will help save you money on utilities. Market data shows that the average business spends $1950 per month on their energy bill. Those who supplement their electricity with solar power only pay about $500 per month. Even residential users can save big. Washington residents who use solar power can expect to recoup up to $12,905 after 20 years of use.

13. Code Compliant Warehouse Buildings

Area building codes change all the time and it’s difficult to keep up. Because metal buildings are pre-engineered, compliant kits get delivered to you with all current building codes. You won’t get fined for not following guidelines. It’s one less thing to worry about.

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