Home A Complete Guide to Metal Building Homes- Cost, Kits, Plans and Ideas

A Complete Guide to Metal Building Homes- Cost, Kits, Plans and Ideas

The first options that usually come to mind when talking about home construction from the ground up are the traditional wooden, cement or brick structured homes. However, if durability, stability and strength happen to be what you are looking for, then metal built homes should be the top consideration. This is especially if your house in located in an area prone to natural disasters. Not only will you be able to take advantage of easy and simple construction with ready made plans that can be assembled quickly, but can also rest assured your house will not fall apart anytime soon.

Tracing its origins, the introduction of metal buildings date back to the barns that were used to keep animals and supplies safe from natural disasters like hurricanes, twisters and tsunamis, also manmade mischief and disasters like theft and explosion. Eventually, they started getting perceived as a better form of residence as compared to traditional barns and hence made their way into construction business offering more functionality than beauty. At present day however, this is not the case and metal buildings with better architectural extras are widely available for more enhanced visual appeal.

meta building homes

Why build Metal homes?

Metal built homes have come a long way from the traditionally built mud, cement and wooden homes and continue to make our live easier and our houses stronger. Before choosing metal as your beloved house’s structure, it is good to know why you made the right choice.


Metal is without doubt an amazingly strong material loved by architects and engineers everywhere. It therefore comes as no wonder why homes having this material as their foundation will be more durable and stern against various weather conditions such as harsh sunlight, string winds, humidity and snowfall. This also includes extreme conditions like acid rain, sand storms and tornados.

Dual Purpose:

Metal building homes are designed in a way that they serve more than residential purpose- they can also be utilized for business. This is due to its structure, which allows easy division of space into both living and business areas, saving the owner a good sum of money, and eliminating the need to step out of the house and go to work.

Easy Remodeling:

Since the structure stands on the external walls, the interior columns are spared most of the load. Hence, making last minute changes to the interior columns can be done rather easily. This is especially beneficial for interior designing enthusiasts who like to experiment with new trends.

Spacious Solutions:

As mentioned above, the interior walls are highly flexible in absence of the structural load, which makes them easily removable. This means you can get rid of the interior columns without hassle and create additional space for extending your business activities or simply for the family.

Cheap Maintenance:

For individuals on a tight budget, metal can be a great way to save on some house maintenance costs since it doesn’t wear off quickly, and is therefore a good future investment as well.

Metal Building Home Kits:

Available in different sizes, styles and colors, metal building kits are well manufactured with highest design ensuring the absence of extra metal weight and unused component used in the making process. This comes as good news to those customers looking for ways to buy materials based on weight.

Metal kits are durable, and can be easily assembled and dissembled and are quite affordable. Furthermore, for the environment lovers, metal kits make a great option since they do not involve any type of material wastage, and landfills can never be flooded with wasted material. Also, these types of metals are 100% reusable and can be utilized for countless purposes like in retail stores, military buildings, workshops, garages and barns.

These metal kits act as a great alternative to traditional building and are therefore are the choice of many builders because they cost less comparatively, are more resilient and have a strong structure. The style of construction and designs can all be achieved through metal kits and some suppliers may also help out with buyer’s personalized requirements. These kits usually come with a warranty of 30 years or more and numerous functions and applications, from shielding your luxury boat or car to protecting farm grains and supplies.

Prefab metal kits are the commonly used kits and are widely available in the market in diverse range of features best suited to one’s taste. Having a thorough knowledge of the metal building is crucial prior to purchasing it as it defines the material requirement, time needed for construction, cost and labor involvement and other prerequisites necessary for the work to begin. Before the actual work is commenced, the foundation must be laid with footings to support the above structure. Few of the primary parts that come with metal building kits include the eave strut, rafter beam, purlin, end wall rafter, rigid frame, girt, end wall column and tapered column, to name a few. Handling the kits requires the need for more than one person or a crane depending on the weight and size of the components. The user manual that comes along with the kit can greatly assist in securing each post and laying the structure.

Metal building kits do not necessarily mean a DIY project and in many cases, in fact, it is prudent to employ the services of an expert building contractor who has experience in constructing these kinds of structures. If you have got plenty of time on hand or are an experienced builder then you may find it comparatively easy to take the self-build route, however, if you are looking for quick and precise results then hiring a professional is the way to go.

On the whole, a metal building kit is a great substitute to wood and brick structures in terms of their ease, speed of build and resistance to the vigorous environment. They are usually very well engineered and are of high quality. It is these factors that you will find will enable you to save money in the long run.

Buying the Right Metal Building for Your Home

Before buying a metal building for the construction of your house, garage or storage shed, it is important to first analyze your building requirements. Not only will this help you choose more accurately, but also ensure that you do not sway from your budget only to be disappointed in the end.


The building’s size is the first factor to be considered and will usually be dependent on the purpose of the building. Based on what you wish for the building to be used and how many people will be using it, you can decide on the required size.

A good tip is to always go an extra size to better cater to any future accommodation requirements.


Individual metal components may not be the cheapest however when bought in bulk for constructing houses or other buildings the overall cost can significantly decrease. It is still important to first do some research and browse through different suppliers who can provide you with the best cost. There are really no hidden costs nor constructional delays with metal.

Other Factors:

Additional factors may include weatherproofing and energy saving. Based on the location of the building and the weather conditions is frequently experiences, you can make choose the material accordingly. For instance, if your locality experiences heavy snowfall, a metal building is capable of enduring the extra weight of snow.

Similarly, in areas with high humidity levels, purchasing a material that is moisture resistant maybe a good idea.

Adding Extra Features to Your Metal Building:

Metal buildings, especially prefab kits are rapidly becoming a popular home construction option due to factors like affordability, availability of wide variety of styles and colors, and dependability.

Since the finish on a metal building is designed to keep the home rust-free, moisture does not penetrate the actual metal, giving the structure a much more elongated lifespan.

Other features that you can add to your metal building may include:

Windows: to allow in the daily supply of sunlight.

Insulation: Even though metal buildings are highly durable, they still require proper insulation not only for the purposes of reduced energy consumption, but also for controlling outside transference of temperature. With insulation, you have several options.

  • Loose-fill insulation: This insulation method requires the use of special equipment to blow fiber pellets or loose fiber into the building’s cavities. Although this method is expensive, it efficiently minimizes air leakage and acts as a solid barrier.
  • Spray Foam Insulation: This insulation technique is an airtight one and best suited for filling gaps in shaped structures. This method involves the use of a liquid mixture containing polymer, which is then sprayed onto the walls, floors and ceilings that in turn expands and eventually turns into solid cellular plastic.
  • Batt and Blanket Insulation: This insulation method is the least expensive, and is used for ceilings, walls and floors. Batt insulation involves prefabricated panels of fiberglass or mineral fiber, sizing from four to eight feet. Blanket insulation also uses the same material as Batt, but in the form of rolls cut out in accordance with specifications.
  • Right Board Insulation: This system of insulation also uses fiberglass, polystyrene or polyurethane cut to the desired width. This method is best suited for flat roofs.


Doors: for easy entrance and exit from the building; rolling or garage doors in your garage for further space.

Skylights: or roof lights for enhancing the interior lighting.

Ventilation: For allowing the supply of fresh air and optimum temperature inside the house.

Rafters: A rafter is a supporting beam for the roof, which can be added to the building depending on its style.

Gutters and Trims: Maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the house can be accomplished through the installation of gutters and trims to prevent the water from accumulating and keeping the building sides beautiful and clean.

End walls: Since metal frames are prefabricated and precut, they usually come with easily installed end walls. You can further add extra features like weather strips and heavy-duty curved angles, and many more.

Columns: Columns helps divide a room into segments. Depending on the building style and purpose, you will need to install columns with powerful rafters.

Metal Building Homes- Ideas:

When deciding to structure your house with a metal building, you will be presented with many ideas, of which the common ones include:

Quonset hut:

A Quonset hut is an arched or curved building with a self-supporting structure and no interior posts or beams. First introduced in Rhode Island, this metal building type can withstand any natural disaster and is renowned as the strongest and most economical structure in this sector.

Quonset hut structures come in two primary shapes:

  • A semi-circular shaped structure
  • Semi-circular roof structure with straight walls tunneled into the ground.

With this metal building, erecting, installation, assembling and dissembling are relatively easy and cost-effective. This model is a best fit for open-end structures for instance crops and grains storage. However, insulation and door installation may prove to be rather costly and difficult.

pole barn homes

Pole barn homes:

This type of metal building home is a typical structure with wooden poles plowed into the ground to be used as roof columns. Even though wooden poles are less costly, they still require money and time for repairs, maintenance and further expansion.

A metal pole barn uses anchored columns that can be made up of different materials including metal and steel. These barns are weather resistant, durable and mold-resistant, making them best suited for storage purposes and housing livestock. Furthermore, they are economical and can be built quickly. However, they may not be as strongly resistant to rough winds as other structures.

Shipping Container Homes:

These types of metal building homes are gaining rapid popularity at present day. These homes are fashioned out of old metal shipping containers in some instances, or are fabricated into a rectangle. These box-styled homes may be a deck with stairs, a single rectangle with windows, or they can be numerous levels or have multiple containers connected with each other.

This minimalistic trend is becoming so popular since it can be customized with stylish high ceilings, hardwood floors, and much more.

Straight wall:

A rigid frame structure, also known as a straight wall consists of upright walls with a clear interior space. The roofing can customized with different styles including single slopes, gable style, column and beam, lean-to-style or straight column.

Straight walls with clear space serve best to offices, small retail shops and other various business applications.

Columns vs. Clear Span:

In the architectural sense, a clear span is described as an internal structure that lacks any supporting pillars and provides bigger space inside the structure. The structure consists of straight walls however the roofing may be of different styles for instance one-way slope roof, single slope roof or a gable-style roof with a peak in the centre. Since there is no internal support, usable space tends to be much greater.

This type of structure is commonly suited to factories and warehouse where heavy machinery and forklift trucks are operated. Gyms, sport centers and aircraft hangars can highly benefit from such structure type. Because the interior pillars are absent, the exterior construction needs to be heavier as compared to beam or column structure. This constitutes to its high cost of construction.

Structures requiring less usable space can greatly benefit from columns. With columns as their supporting structure, the general construction costs way less when compared to clear span structures. Erecting and assembling the components are much easier and quicker. Column supported structures are best appropriate for resident buildings, retail stores and offices. However, they may not be the best option for gyms or aircraft hangars since a much extended interior space is needed for the machinery and aircraft respectively. Basically, with structural barriers, this option is not possible.

Common Types of Metal Building Homes Preferred by various industries:

Different types of metal buildings reflect different purposes and needs, however the most common ones are:

  • Agriculture- equipment storage, barns, equestrian stables)industry usually prefers barns
  • Retail (shops and stores) sector businesses prefer columns with straight walls
  • Residential (homes, sheds, RV storage spaces, workshops and garages) sector also prefers columns with straight walls.
  • Commercial (warehousing and distribution) industry favors straight walls or arch type with a clear span.

Metal building homes- Costs:

The price of a metal building is primarily influenced by the reseller; most of who are authorized by their manufacturers. These manufacturers allow the reseller to mark the buildings to any rate they desire, however, the market price is influenced by competition. The more quotes a customer gets the better they are able to discern a fair rate.

Taking rough estimates, a building size of 40 foot x 60 foot for instance, will cost a certain amount after adding up factors like the location and other accessories needed. If you are going for a Quonset hut or Straight wall, you can expect per square cost of $9, and a total of $21,600. Other charges will include the delivery fee (approximately %8 of the total cost) of $1728. Now add extra accessories like doors, windows and insulation (about 20% of $21000), giving an amount of $4320. All these factors should add up to $27,648, a good estimate of what to expect.

A shipping container will originally cost you $2000 on average, without having included any charge of beautification and other accessories.

Basically for metal building homes, the price can range from $5000 to $30,000 for a 40 x 60 shop structure. Further costs will obviously come from further accessorizing and beautifying the place, which will all depend on the buyer’s budget, needs and requirements.

Important Questions to Ask Your Metal Building Home Dealer:

Prior to purchasing metal buildings for, you need to settle upon the right size, configuration and components in order to best suit your requirements. A metal building dealer can very well assist you in this regard. However, choosing the right guy to be your guide is not always easy. It is therefore important that you stick to the ‘reputation’ aspect and deal with a professional who can really provide you with high quality service at a reasonable price. Following are some of the aspects that you need to clear out before finalizing the deal with your contractor.


Despite of the fact that metal buildings are quite durable, it is nevertheless essential to have a maintenance schedule prepared for the purpose of thoroughly inspecting the building and making related repairs. This should be done twice annually. If there is need for any repairs, additional construction or renovation, the building should be inspected without delay. Make sure your dealer agrees to this.

Building permits and codes:

When buying metal buildings, your dealer should make sure that the construction project is in compliance with the building’s rules and regulations. To get the permit, you will need to send a certified blueprint of the building along with a letter of structural assurance and building schedules.

Climate Considerations:

Climatic conditions require much consideration prior to choosing a metal building. See what adjustments your contractor is willing to make incase of climatic damages. For instance, where rainfall is more frequent, you can make a deal about the need to add an additional layer of coating for weatherproofing.

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Dealer Specialties:

Lastly, your contractor must have the required set of skills and capabilities in dealing with metal building construction. Find out about his previous jobs he has done, and thoroughly review the feedback of his previous customers.

Also find out the dealer’s reputation. A good dealer should be able to give you a comprehensive outline of all the costs and provide a schedule and time-frame to be followed. A cheaper bid is not always the best option, and it is therefore best to first compare the prices, quality, experience and reputation.