Capital Steel Industries' Top 10 Metal Building Q's and A's

At Capital Steel Industries, we’re passionate about connecting steel building buyers with the contractors they need to safely and quickly complete construction.

Every year, we’re grateful to be able to provide these connections for hundreds of consumers, both private and commercial. Along the way, we’re often asked some great questions related to the design, planning, and construction of high-quality, durable steel buildings.

In the effort of continuing education for our contractor partners, we’re compiling ten of the most frequently asked questions about the steel building industry. Every quarter, we’ll be providing a new list of fresh questions, so be sure to check back again later.

#1: Are permits required for the construction of steel buildings?

95% of the time, yes, a permit is going to be required in order to start construction on a new steel building. However, this is not always the case. One example of when a permit is not needed is when certain agricultural buildings are constructed on private land.

As a general rule, it’s best to check with your local municipality to determine what the permitting laws are before agreeing to proceed with new steel building construction.

top 10 metal building questions answers

#2: Where do I get foundation or pier plans for a new steel building?

Most steel building suppliers are not going to provide foundation plans as part of a prefabricated steel building kit. The reason for this is because foundation specifics are going to vary from location to location based on soil type. Instead, you’ll want to locate a structural engineer near you who can evaluate the anchor bolt plan you’re considering and then develop a foundation plan that is most suitable to the building in question.

If you don’t know where to look for an engineer, start with your concrete supplier. They typically have at least a few reputable engineers on speed dial!

#3: What documentation should I expect with a prefabricated steel building?

Any commendable steel building supplier is going to provide engineering drawings, floorplans, foundation plan, and electrical wiring diagrams (if applicable) with any steel building kit. Some even offer 3D renderings or mock-ups of the proposed building.

#4: What type of foundation is necessary for a steel building?

Just about all steel buildings are going to require a concrete foundation for anchoring. However, in places where this is not feasible or desirable, a concrete pier system can work just fine. In these cases, it’s common to combine the piers with a concrete footing that runs along the perimeter of the building.

#5: How much can a steel building be customized?

You might be surprised to learn just how many different design options are available for a new, modern steel building. Add-ons like section doors, 3070 man doors, extra insulation, and light-transmitting panels can all be integrated into a final design that perfectly meets the needs of the customer.

The roof, siding, and window/door trim can be custom-colored. Exterior options like faux stone wainscotting can also be added. The opportunities are endless!

#6: Can a steel building be installed on an existing foundation?

Yes, assuming the foundation is large and deep enough (and in good enough shape) to support the building in question. To ensure this, it’s advisable to consult with an engineer who can conduct an on-site evaluation.

#7: Are anchor bolts supplied with steel building kits?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Many steel building contractors will install anchor bolts of their own at the time when the foundation is poured. Alternatively, anchor bolts can be specially requested at the time when the order for the steel building is placed.

top 10 metal building q's and a's

#8: Will I need help unloading the steel building shipment, or will the supplier do this for me?

Due to liability and insurance reasons, it’s strictly prohibited for the delivery driver to assist with unloading of steel building components. For this reason, we recommend lifting equipment and a crew of at least three workers to assist with unloading.

#9: Will I need any special connectors, fasteners, or other hardware to complete construction?

No. An engineered steel building is going to come complete with every nut, bolt, and steel piece needed to complete the job without requiring any other hardware purchases.

#10: How do I obtain a quote for a new steel building?

Virtually all steel building quotes are customized for the building being considered. There is no ‘one size fits all’ quote for a steel building of any dimension, although estimates are available.

Most steel building suppliers will want to know where the building is going to be built, how large it’s going to be, and what customizations are going to be added before they’ll be willing to provide you with a quote.