10 things to consider when buying a steel building

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10 things to consider when buying a steel building

We have put together a list of 10 things to consider when buying a steel building.  With so many options, styles and companies to choose from, we discuss the 10 things you should think about as your going through the process.
  • 1

    Building Types

    Knowing how you are going to use your building can help determine the size and type of building you should consider.  For instance, a 12x12 shed for lawn maintenance may only need a light weight building whereas a 40x60 used for a garage/shop would need a more sturdy commercial style building.
    pre engineered red iron steel building cutaway illustration

    Red Iron I-beam steal building

    The only building we sell
    The frame of the building is comprised of steel I-beam columns and rafters with cold rolled secondary members.  The main frame columns are engineered to be attached to the concrete foundation with anchor bolts.  We utilize 26 gauge metal panels for the roof and walls.  This is commonly referred to as a Pre-engineered or Red Iron steel building and is the only building product we sell.
    wood frame pole barn illustration with cut away

    Pole Barn

    Wood frame building not sold by Renegade
    This building is framed by wood poles placed in the ground with wooden trusses and wood support for the roof and wall sheets.  Many times, thinner 29 gauge panels are used.  This building can flex and move under wind and snow loads which can affect the structure as well as the weather seal.
    quonset hut illustration

    Quonset Hut

    Arch style building not sold by Renegade
    A rounded or arch style building with no internal framing similar to the old military style buildings.  The arch style makes this self supporting.   This design has limitations on width and the radius design decreases usable interior wall space.
    Aluminum frame tube steel building ilustration

    Tube Frame Carport

    Aluminum frame building not sold by Renegade
    This style building uses an aluminum square tube for the building structure. The building can be placed on concrete or gravel with nothing more than a mobile home anchor. Typically, thinner 29 gauge metal panels are used to sheet the building.
  • 2

    Local Regulations

    Most areas have a variety of local regulations in regards to what type of buildings you can have on your property as well as any property line setbacks.  In addition to local codes, many HOA's also have clauses that can dictate what finish is on the building.  In some cases, you can customize your steel building with brick or stone wainscot or you may even have to finish a couple of walls with some other materials.  These regulations can not only determine the look of your building but can dictate the size as well.
    30x40 Renegade Steel Building with tan walls and brown trim


    Basic building with one large door and one walk door with 1:12 roof pitch
    The same building can be made to look very different depending on your personal preference and any requirements needed to meet design guidelines.  Be sure to talk to your project manager to discuss your needs.
    30x40 Renegade Steel Building with tan walls and brown trim with options

    30x40 with options

    4:12 pitch roof, wainscot, windows, sky lights and cupola
  • 3

    Steel Building Size

    Working off of the regulations above, determining you building size not only requires thought on what you need to use the building for, but also what will fit on your property.   Aside from those constraints, deciding the size that fits your needs along with any room for growth is important.  When building a residential shop or garage, most customers only buy a steel building once.  When a business needs either their first building or additional buildings for expansion, the return on investment can be a deciding factor.  With all that in mind, lets look at a few things to consider.
    basic building size chart

    Basic building size chart

    This chart allows you to see a variety of building sizes up to 5,000 square feet.  At 30 foot wide, you have room to pull a car in, close the door and still have room to walk around the front of the vehicle.  40 and 50 widths allow for more room to work or more toys to store.  Of course the buildings can continue wider from there like 75', 100', 150' or even 200' wide.  Length wise, you can continue to add bays to get to whatever length you may require.
    40x60x10 steel building 3d sketch

    40x60x10 steel building sketch

    Another dimension to consider for your steel building is the eave height.  Starting at 10' at the eave, steel buildings can typically go up to 40'.  A few common factors in determining the eave height is the size of your doors, whether you intend to have an automotive lift or storage racks, or wish to build out the interior to have a second story floor.  While we commonly reference the eave height, interior details often require considering the clearance under the haunch.  Be sure to talk to your project manager to design the building you want.
    steel building sketch

    40x60x18 steel building sketch

  • 4

    Steel Building Project Timeline

    When do you want to have your building delivered.  In years past, we quoted most buildings to have drawings completed in 2 weeks and the building delivered 6 weeks after that for an 8 week total turn around.  We wish we could get back to those days.  With the huge demand on steel mills and steel products in general since 2020, we have seen lead times continue to get longer and longer.  As of the end of July 2021 we can offer two options for when you will get your building.  In some locations we can offer 14-16 weeks, in other areas it's 30+ weeks.  Depending on your situation, this may give you the time you need to do your clearing, dirt work, and work through the permit process.  We are always up front with you on what to really expect so that you are not surprised later.
  • 5


    Knowing your budget is important before going into any project.  The cost of the building is only one piece of the puzzle.  You will need to include site prep, cost for your concrete slab and foundation, cost of the building, labor to erect, and any interior build out you may do.  Renegade Steel Buildings can help with the cost of the building kit, and your local contractors can furnish pricing for the other items.  Collecting all of these cost can help you stay on budget and determine what your ROI may be.
  • 6

    Steel Building Permit

    Knowing what is involved in obtaining a permit is a very important part of the process.  In some cases, you may not need a permit, in others you will and on commercial jobs is all but certain that you will.  Renegade Steel Buildings is a nationwide supplier of American made, Red Iron, pre-engineered steel buildings.  We are not general contractors and do not get involved in the permitting or building process.
  • 7


    There are a variety of accessories that you can add to you building for either added functionality or aesthetic appeal.  Knowing your options can help you get the building you want.
    4030, 4x3 steel building horizontal sliding window bronze

    Horizontal Sliding Steel Building Window

    A steel building sliding window offers both functionality and aesthetics.  Check out our standards to see why we like to provide a framed opening for windows.
    3070 renegade steel building walk door, man door, bronze

    Steel Walk Door

    Every building needs access to get in and out.  A large roll up or sectional door may be great, but there are always times when you just need to walk into your building without opening a large door.  A 3070 walk door is just what you need.
    Renegade steel building interior liner panels

    Interior Liner Panels

    One great way to finish the inside of your building and protect your insulation as well is with interior liner panels.  Made from the same material and panels as your wall panels, they provide a clean look for your interior walls.
    Hi R-value steel building liner system insulation

    Hi R-Value Insulation

    We offer a few different options for insulating your steel building.  Our standard is a vinyl faced fiberglass insulation that can go up to R-19 value at 6" thick.  Beyond that we can also offer a liner system which allows you to increase your insulation R-38 or more.  Our metal building insulation page has much more information.
    Renegade steel building vent fan

    Steel Building Vent Fan

    A great option for airflow in your steel building is to add a 36" or 48" vent fan.  With this fan placed high in the building across from a door opening or louvered vent can give you a nice cross flow of air to remove heat and ventilate your building.
    renegade steel building with wall lights

    Wall Lights

    We are often asked about adding skylight panels to a steel building.  While the are great for adding natural light they have a couple of disadvantages as well such as sweating.  Another option that works well without the problems is adding wall lights.  This option allows light in your building without cutting holes in your roof.
  • 8


    Don't be fooled by wild warranty claims.  The industry standard is 1 year structural warranty against defect in material and workmanship.  The warranty on panels is a finish warranty against fading and typically starts at 25 years pro rata.  You may see some claiming a lifetime structural warranty.  Be sure to read that warranty statement to see what it actually covers.
  • 9


    In many cases, your quote becomes your contract once signed.  The biggest thing we see when comparing quotes is that there is usually a good reason why someone has a cheaper bottom line.  Most times, something is missing from their quote whether it is doors, insulation or tax.  Once signed, you are only purchasing exactly what is on the contract so if a competitor verbally assured you they have something included, but it is not on their contract, you may end up paying more to get it later.
    Renegade steel building standard contract page
  • 10

    Bottom Line

    The bottom line is that there are many steel building companies to choose from, some reputable, some shady and some just downright pushy.  We strive to be upfront and honest with our customers.  That's why we give you realistic lead times, tell you what we can and cannot do, advise you to check your local codes and loads and help value engineer your building to get what you want as cost effectively as possible.  Do your homework, check out each company your considering and let us help you get the best building at a price your happy with.

    We hope this list of 10 things to consider when buying a steel building helps you in your project.

Talk to one of our project managers to get the details you need for your pre-engineered steel building project.
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