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STEEL BUILDINGS - FINDING THE RIGHT DESIGN


It has been demonstrated that steel buildings are more economical, more durable and more efficient that other building styles. Whether you have decided to use steel in your next building project or just want to gather more information about steel buildings, the following discussion will help you a lot.

Pre engineered steel building kits come in various sizes and styles to meet your specific needs and budget. Basically, there two design types that are further subdivided into subcategories.

Arch-style Steel Building: Cost Effective and Built to Last


Features and Benefits
The Quonset Hut or the arch-style steel building was prominently used by the U.S. Navy during World War II. This style was chosen because the military was looking for an all-purpose, lightweight building that could easily be dismantled, transported and reassembled without skilled labor. Up until today, the Quonset hut is still best known for these qualities. Relatively cheaper when compared to other building styles, the arched design allows for greater strength, durability, and protection against earthquake and strong winds.

Use and Purpose
Depending on the particular design, the purpose of Quonset huts vary:

Taking the shape of an oil drum cut in half lengthwise, this is the most popular model. The half-circle style gives it superior strength and durability, and allows for easy expansion. However, space gets limited as you move closer to the walls. Thus, the q-model is best for storage of grains and crop harvest and not for larger items.

This style is similarly shaped like the q-model except that the walls are straight, thus, "S" for "straight-wall". The straight wall design makes it suitable for equipment and warehouse storage because it allows for maximum storage utilization.

The only difference between the P-model and the S-model is the roof. "P" stands for "peaked roof". Like the S-Model, this design also allows for maximum space usage and is great for storage. The peaked roof doesn’t really offer an additional advantage except for cosmetic purposes, so this model is best suited for backyard garages and workshops.

Estimates and Prices
The price of a steel building depends on the style you choose as well as the size you need. Note, however, that the Q-Model is the cheapest option while the P-Model is the most expensive of all the Quonset designs. To give you a rough estimate, a 20 X 30 foot arch frame building costs a little over $8,800. This just includes materials, accessories, and delivery but not costs of foundation, labor, and construction. Still, the Quonset hut design is the most affordable option.

Straight Wall Steel Buildings: Innovative Design and Attractive Finish


Features and Benefits
Straight wall designs have a more traditional look than Quonset huts. Their main advantage is their visual appeal. Still, pre-engineered straight wall steel buildings are cheaper and more durable than most other construction options.

Use and Purpose
Again, the function of a straight wall steel building greatly depends on its design which include:

Straight Column

This design provides a lot of open space that is why it is best suited for RV storage buildings, small retail stores, and other commercial functions. However, it usually cannot go beyond 70 feet in width.

Clear Span Gable

Clear Span Single Slope
Clear spans are either gable-shaped or single sloped. Just like the straight column design, clear span frames provide large open spaces and require no interior support. Perfect for athletic facilities, aircraft hangers, and storage of big vehicles, clear spans can be as wide as 150 feet.

Beam and Column
Designed for buildings wider than 150 feet, the beam and column model makes us of interior columns to evenly distribute the weight load. This attribute means reduced frame and foundation costs. The beam and column model is best suited for factories and large warehouses.

Lean-To
The design of the lean-to or "Wing" model is usually intended for expanding a pre-existing building without modifying it. This model can be finished with the same material as the building it is connected to. For this reason, this design is suitable for all sorts of purposes.

Estimates and Prices
As stated, straight walls are generally more expensive than Quonset huts but they are still cheaper than most other traditional building materials. Using the same example above, a 20 X 30 foot straight wall building would roughly cost around $12,300, which again only includes materials, accessories, and delivery.