Welcome back. In this installment we will explain a few things you need to ask yourself before pricing your new prefab metal building kit.
The purpose of this exercise is to get you thinking "outside the box" (no pun intended). You have an idea about what your needs are for a building but there may be other needs and uses for your building that don't seem apparent at first.
Be sure to jot down your answers because you will use all of the information later. It will also help identify exactly what you need.
1. First a foremost you will need to know exactly what your metal building will be used for?
Now this might seem strange but bear with me here.
You want a new metal building. The building has a primary use – say a metal workshop. In this workshop you will have a welder, work benches, metal cutting machines and storage racks and bins.
However, will you also store some outdoor furniture or equipment?
Would you like an office area?
Do you need to get a vehicle into your building?
Will you require any lifting devices and do they need support?
Will clients or customers be coming to your workshop?
Will you be doing some entertaining in your metal building?
Think of any other items that may affect your building use and jot them all down.
All of the answers to these questions will have an impact on what type of metal building kits you choose.
They also can affect how the building is to be engineered. Different use categories have different criteria for engineering requirements.
2. What big does your new metal workshop have to be?
Okay, we have identified a number of uses for your new shop and placed them on a list. Now is the time to think about how much space each item will require. And just as important, where are these spaces located in relation to one another.
The orientation of the spaces can greatly impact on the require building size.
If for example all of your tools and equipment need to be aligned in one row, the building would be longer than it would be if the equipment could be placed in a more square area.
Where would you like your office space?
Where would the client or entertaining space be in relation to the other areas?
How high does your building have to be? Now don't be too shy with this question. You can deal with a building that is perhaps a couple of feet higher than required. But if it is even six inches too low, then what?
You may need to roughly sketch out all of the areas and then try to assemble them in a usable building configuration. You don't need to be exact here yet – just plan the orientation of all of the areas.
3. What shape will your new workshop building be?
The shape of your building can greatly affect the cost of your building. Often a building that is more square will be more cost effective than a long narrow building – but not always.
A square building can also be most cost effective to heat and cool than a marrow rectangular building.
Your location however may dictate the actual shape and size to a certain extent. Location and lot orientation may also dictate where doors and windows are placed.
And remember that metal buildings do not need to be metal boxes.
On Robertson building was actually built to resemble the Titanic complete
with iceberg for a theme park!
Again you need to look at the uses of your building just as you did with size. If you have an office area and an area for receiving guests or entertaining you may have to adjust the metal building shape.
4. Does your municipality have any restrictions on what type of building can be erected?
Of course you will need to get a building permit for your new metal workshop building. What are the local bylaws regarding building construction?
Some municipalities place restrictions the types of buildings and exterior finishes that can be used. You will want to find this out early on in the planning process. If not, you may be wasting a good deal of your valuable time planning, pricing and assessing a building that will not be allowed on your lot.
Now would be a good time to find out what information is required by your municipality for a building permit. It can be very frustrating getting everything together for your permit application only to find that you require another piece of documentation. This could hold up your permit by weeks.
5. What do you foresee in the future?
Can you envision ever requiring more space?
Do you think that at some time in the future you would want to add on to your building?
Now is the time to think of these things as well. Metal building kits are economized. This means that they are designed to meet the functional needs required and no more.
An unplanned addition may require you to add extra steel in the area that the new building meets the existing metal building.
If properly planned you may be able to remove the exterior cladding and simply carry on with your addition. It will appear that the new addition was part of the original plan and won't have extra steel posts and beams at the joint.
You may also have the added benefit of being able to re-use the removed cladding on the new end wall.
6. What type of exterior cladding would you prefer?
With many metal building manufacturers you have some choices in the type of cladding. You may also have a choice of colors. This will allow you to have your new metal building blend in or stand out - whatever you please.
Trim colors can often be chosen as well making your new metal building kits unique to your needs and desires.
You can also decide to put a different finish on part or all of your walls. For example you may wish to have your entrance area finished in brick or EIFS (stucco).
One wall may be required to be fireproof because of its proximity to another structure. In this case you could install concrete masonry instead of the metal cladding.
(You're still documenting all of this - right? You will need this information when it comes time to get quotes for your new metal building kit.)
There are many other options available and we will address these in future editions of this series.
Step 2 - Planning and Constructing Metal Building Kits – Types of Roofing.
· Check out the other articles relating to metal building kits and residential building packages on our Metal Building Kits Articles Map
· Check out the merchants relating to metal building kits here.
New Series! How To Plan and Build Your New Metal Building Kit!
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