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Tips for Planning And Customizing Your Commercial Steel Building


Steel structures are being incorporated into the industrial sector at an incredible speed these days. Thanks to their high durability, low demand for upkeep, and resistance to elements. That’s why so many steel builders are rushing into this field. And why shouldn’t they? After all, commercial steel building is such a versatile structure that a business can make any use of it with the growing demand.

tips for planning and customizing your commercial steel building

You can find metal structures in diverse sectors, such as aviation (for hangar), oil & gas, manufacturing units, warehouses, logistics centers, storage (including cold storage), data centers, and many more. That’s why we have some tips to help you plan and personalize your commercial metal building according to your business needs.

7 Tips to Plan Commercial Steel Building

Tip 1: Layout | Design

What is the functionality of the metal building that you want to install? Is it for storage or an office unit? Your purpose will largely affect the design of your metal structure. To start, you can make a list of needs and wants. First, incorporate all needs, and then, if your budget allows you to, you can go for wants.

If you plan for near future expansion of your business, get a larger steel building today, as it will add to the cost later. Note that as the size of a metal building goes up, the cost per sq. ft. starts to decrease.

Tip 2: Orientation

Consider how you would want sunshine to enter into your steel structure. For an office setting, using natural light throughout the day would be best. This will bring in natural light and reduce your energy bills. There have been studies that show employees’ health and productivity are better in a green building.

For a cold storage facility, you would like your building to face away from the sun. It will help reduce heat absorption so that the cooling system works efficiently.

Tip 3: Dimension

Take a particular note on how high you want your metal building to be. In general, you can opt for heights as high as 40 ft. This will give you extra space to install a mezzanine floor to increase the square footage.

For regular offices, you can select 12 to 14 ft. high. Note that the higher structure will cost you more. So, if possible, go for more length than width or height. Usually, height goes from 12 to 20 ft.

Tip 4: Foundation

The base will depend on the land availability, soil type, weather conditions, etc. It is best to seek professional advice before selecting a foundation. Although, there are chiefly three types of base: leveled ground, dirt & gravel, asphalt, and concrete. But, for buildings larger than 30 by 30, concrete is generally recommended. You may be asked to fill your installation site with gravel before pouring concrete.

A concrete base is highly durable and can withstand heavy structural loads. You can go with 4 inches thick base, but for a base that needs to bear a heavy load, 8 inches thick foundation is recommended.

Tip 5: Insulation

You must install an insulator to protect your metal building from condensation (heat transfer) and moisture buildup. An insulator also prolongs the life of your metal building by minimizing the chances of rusting.

You can choose quality insulators, such as:

  • Fiberglass: (popular) costs $0.30 to $1.50 per sq. ft.
  • Closed cell spray foam (effective esp. for roof) costs $1.25 to $1.50 per sq. ft.
  • Insulated metal panels (IMPs) (aesthetics) cost $20 to $30 per sq. ft.

Tip 6: Professional Contractor

Commercial metal buildings are large and can be complex. Hence, they need to be installed with precision. Any loose screw or missing part may compromise the structural integrity of the entire structure. So, it is best to hire an experienced professional crew for construction.

Note: Many metal builders offer steel building packages that include shipping and installation. This will make the whole process seamless for you.

Tip 7: Permit & Local Codes

Almost every area has local zoning laws and building codes that ensure the construction is safe and secure for people inside the building and the surroundings. Whether business or residential, each one has to comply with these rules. Failure to do so can lead to structural collapse (due to unforeseen circumstances like weather events), or you may be penalized.

A permit is needed to file for legal permission for commercial metal building construction. It generally includes a one-time fee of $550 to $2,000 and your structural blueprint. If your building requires any chances, the staff will inform you accordingly. We highly recommend you only buy the steel building after securing a permit.

Clean The Site

Now that we are done with planning let’s move on to the construction part:

  1. You must clean your site from any debris or vegetation.
  2. The concrete slab is poured, which requires at least 28 days to cure.
  3. The construction team arrives at the site and begins the installation.

Finally, you can start erecting the structure. Choose a steel builder with industry experience and check reviews and ratings before ordering your raw materials to get the best deal. Some builders also offer a package that includes shipping and installation. So, remember to ask about it.

Typical Sizes For Commercial Metal Buildings

Width x Length x Height
(all measurements are in ft.)
40 x 40 x 14Ideal for small office
44 x 40 x 18Ideal for cold storage unit
40 x 50 x 16Ideal for a workshop or repair & maintenance of automobiles
24 x 60 x 09Ideal for commercial storage units or garages
60 x 65 x 16Ideal for manufacturing unit & factory setup

Tips To Customize Commercial Metal Building

To customize your steel building, you can add the following features, which will give the building its unique look yet be functional.

Customize Doors & Windows

Though metal builders offer specific sizes for doors and windows, you can change their dimensions before buying one. For storage units, large roll-on doors would be practical. This will allow trucks to come inside and offload or unload goods.

Natural Lighting Source

You can add skylights, translucent glass panels, light indoor paints, large windows, clerestory windows, etc., for incoming natural light sources. This will also make your building look unique.

Gutter & Downspout

This is a necessary feature to carry all rainwater or melting snow away from the roof towards a collection area. This water can be reused.


Amplify the aesthetics of your commercial metal building by planting greenery outside. Not only does it give employees a resting area, but it will also make your design biophilic.


You can add faux brick, stone, wood, curved, or perforated metal panels to your commercial garages to give them a signature look. You can also add roof extensions and rooflines to add more aesthetic appeal.


Many metal builders offer various color options from which you can choose. You can make your structure look camouflaged or stand out from the rest of the background.

In the End

You can easily plan and customize any commercial structure for storage facilities, office settings, or for setting up retail stores. What kind of application do you want out of commercial metal buildings? You name it, metal buildings have it. You get a seamless experience when you select the right metal builder.

From providing quality service to customers to their experience in the industry, the right metal builder will guide you through the preparation, choosing designs that match your local building codes, and much more. They will provide you with an initial design blueprint, which you can submit to the permit office for verification before buying. With the right metal builder, the whole process will be seamless and finished in no time.

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Shelly Lane is a dedicated blogger. She love's to explore new things and share that on her blogs. She joined this platform to increase the reach & interaction with the users on this platform. Moreover, she has written 100+ blogs on various platforms related to various topics and categories. Follow on Twitter to them.


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