You have finally decided that you need a new building. Maybe you need a new office building as your business expands. Or maybe you really need to have that riding arena covered for your horses. Or your business needs to expand with a new manufacturing facility. Maybe you just want a nice unit or barn for storage and other projects.

You have heard that steel buildings are a great option. You've heard that steel building construction can save you time and money, that metal buildings go up fast, and since they are pre-engineered, there are no surprises. They come on budget and are expertly designed to comply with local building codes, making the building permit process easy. And you can make all the design decisions yourself. But where to start? It is not as complicated as you think,

Here are some steel building buying tips that will help the novice metal building buyer feel safe as a professional.

Call your local construction department and explain that you would like to construct a pre-designed steel building on your lot and give them the location. Ask if local building codes allow predesigned steel buildings. If they do, ask what the applicable metal building codes are. Remember to ask about "setbacks" and other code requirements that may prohibit the use of prefabricated metal buildings or any building for that matter in a given lot.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that building codes are standard. Often times, the steel building builder or supplier will provide code information based on industry standards for metal construction. However, there are no standard steel building codes that meet the building code requirements across the board. A reputable steel construction provider will ensure that the listed construction price incorporates all applicable building codes.

Verify the steel building provider with the Better Business Bureau and the Dunn & Bradstreet report.

Don't be afraid to talk in depth with your steel construction provider. Describe in detail what you want the building for, whether it is for a horse stable, church, warehouse, or manufacturing plant. Make sure the provider understands exactly what the end use of the building will be. The use of the building will influence many design decisions and, ultimately, the final price.

Know exactly what you want before ordering. Decide on the dimensions of the building you want to build, the width, length, and height of the building. Where do you want the doors and windows? What color do you want for the walls, ceiling and trim? Are there other steel construction accessories you would like, such as skylights, domes, gutters, and downspouts? Do you need insulation for the building? Don't assume that doors and windows, gutters and downspouts are included. Often times framed door and window openings are included, but not the additional doors and windows themselves.

Consider your options for the roof. Do you want a stitched roof or bolted roof system? A bolted roof panel is the most commonly used panel for metal building ceilings, and if installed properly it will provide many years of watertightness.

What about the roof pitch? The roof slope describes the slope of the roof slope. The standard roof pitch for pre-engineered steel buildings is 1:12. This is the most economical in terms of heating and cooling. Because structural steel frames are strong enough to support the roof, a steeper tilt is not required in most cases, although you may want a steeper tilt for aesthetic reasons, for example if you are building a church, or if you like the more traditional aspect of a steeper slope.

How about the color? Many steel buildings have Galvalume steel roofs, which are silver in color, and may qualify for the Energy Credit under the Federal Tax Code. Some metal construction companies have a roof color option, allowing you to choose from a variety of energy-efficient, silicone-polyester coated steel building colors that will save you even more on energy costs.

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Steel Buildings - Buying Tips