The Overall Cost of Erecting a Building
At first glance, wood is a cheaper building material. However, you should look at the cost of wood in construction beyond the surface. In the construction industry, you get what you pay for. Steel tends to be more pocket-friendly over time.
For starters, the amount of cash needed for repairs, replacement, and restoration for wood construction exceeds those required for pre-engineered steel structures. You might need to deal with rotting wood and warped elements throughout the lifetime of your wood construction.
On the flip side, steel structures tend to call for less maintenance, despite a higher initial construction cost. Even better, land that has steel structures tends to appreciate with time. Traditional timber buildings depreciate with time. This means that by building a steel structure, you will be future-proofing the structure’s resale value.
Structural Strength and Durability
Structurally, wood is incredibly tough. The problem is with its durability, especially when exposed to different elements like pests and climatic conditions. Pest and other insects could easily eat into wooden structures, ruining their structural integrity. It also absorbs moisture, which can lead to the wood drying out and warping.
Wood is not always consistent in terms of quality. There are several wood types from different regions, which can complicate quality assurance and the actual usable materials. While the initial cost of wood in construction is lower than the cost of steel in construction, the lifetime cost is higher. You will require spending a lot more repairing damages and making renovations than you would for steel structures.
These pre-engineered steel garage buildings are designed to be formidable against natural elements like hurricanes, earthquakes, heavy snowfall, flooding, and high wind. As for pesky insects like termites, steel is resistant to the. Structurally, steel is considered the strongest building material on earth aside from exotic metals like titanium.
The different steel structures tend to be screwed together, which results in connective joints being much stronger than wood structures secured with nails. It is also resistant to fire, unlike wood structures. There are ways to further make your steel structure more fire retardant.
Unlike wood, steel constructions require a concrete foundation and floor. Some people don’t like the fact that this adds some extra costs to the construction project. However, you don’t always have to use a full slab. All you need is some concrete piers at each column to fulfill design load requirements and provide proper structural stability.
The piers also provide above-grade connection and load-bearing capacity to ensure the posts aren’t subjected to decay and moisture. This aspect gives pre-engineered metal building clear-span capabilities. The intricate details of the foundational requirements will trickle down to the building’s application and its location. All this will add to the commercial construction cost, however, it’s offset by the overall durability and strength of the building.
Construction Time Frame
The wood construction materials arrive at the construction site as raw lumber. The onus is on the construction team to dedicate their time fabricating and cutting the lumber to create the building’s framework.
All this is done on-site. This means that you have to spend on labor costs since it takes skilled labor to frame and cut the wood to size. You also need to consider drilling holes for electrical work.
On the other hand, steel structures allow you to save both time and money. For starters, you can get steel building kits shipped by steel construction companies to the construction site for easy erection. The steel construction industry has evolved so much that it offers software for designing and fabricating steel structures meet that are in line with your expectations.
Such software will allow you to prevent potential problems and roadblocks before erecting the building. It slashes the time needed to wait for steel frame design.
You need to apply a new coat of paint to your wood structure every four to seven years to maintain it. The roof might also need replacing after a decade and a half or so. As mentioned earlier, wood structures can warp, crack, rot, and more, which could lead to requiring expensive remedies.
Prefab metal building has minimal lifetime maintenance. Steel will not rot, warp, or split as wood does. You also get a substantial warranty for metal roofs and other components, with some warranties extending up to 50 years.
Steel tends to be lighter than wood, meaning that there will be fewer cracks in the building’s foundation. Lastly, since steel is incredibly resistant to elements and durable, it can earn you a substantial discount on risk insurance.
One thing that draws people to wood structured buildings is their traditional looking aesthetics. Wood buildings allow people to customize them to their specific needs and preferences. However, they need a high amount of upkeep to maintain, from paint to restoring the deteriorating aesthetic elements.
Contrary to the common misconception, steel structures have plenty of room for customization. In fact, there are people who have preferred wood construction to steel construction due to this misconception. You can choose a wide variety of aesthetical options when designing using wood.
Steel building software can help you design your building to your specific needs. You just have to feed it your specific interior and exterior components. There are multiple facades and veneers that can be applied to your metal garage buildings to fit your intended appeal. Best of all, the framework of steel buildings makes it expanding the structure in the future easy.
Wood will not transfer heat as easily as steel, which is a positive for wood structures. This implies that wood structures require insulation, evening out the savings in the energy efficiency and materials needed category. When they reach the end of their life, wood structures are often demolished, and they are sent to landfills.
In comparison, steel structures tend to be quite eco-friendly. For starters, it is possible to recycle steel multiple times without losing its structural integrity. You can use even the smallest waste parts to construct structures such as steel garages.
This reduces the carbon footprint the structure leaves behind. They are also quite energy efficient in design, from frames to metallic roofs. You could further increase the energy efficiency of your structures by installing equipment like solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and wind turbines.
How to Choose the Best Steel Grade for Construction
Not all steel is created equal. There are different steel grades to choose from, and the perfect one will depend on the intricate details of your project. Here are three aspects to focus on when choosing steel:
1. Corrosion Resistance
Stainless steel has made a name for itself by being quite corrosion-resistant. This is why it has multiple applications like medical, industrial, food, beverage, and construction. However, different stainless steel types have different levels of corrosion resistance.
The higher the amount of chromium stainless steel has, the better it is at corrosion resistance. Some of the best corrosion-resistant stainless steel types include austenitic, martensitic, and ferric stainless steel.
2. Flexibility and Strength
Choose a steel frame that matches the strength and flexibility needs of your steel structure. For instance, if you are building in a highly seismic zone, consider working with steel frames of the highest strength. As for flexibility, focus on how easy it is to include add-ons to the structure. It should be easy to do so without affecting the structural integrity of the building.
3. Brand and Certification
The brand and certification you opt for will impact the cost of your steel structure as well as its durability. For instance, when purchasing your steel building kits from a business with a great reputation, you don’t have to worry about issues with structural integrity.
If the brand is already certified, you do not have to worry about conducting your own individual inspection, lowering construction costs. Reputable, certified steel construction companies have plenty of online reviews that prove that they are reliable.
While the cost of steel in construction shouldn’t be the only factor you focus on, it also matters. You should look for pocket-friendly steel frames that maintain high-quality levels.
Best of all, there are many ways to lower the cost of steel frames without compromising quality. You can do this by ordering in bulk or pick standard steel frame sizes.
Steel Construction Provides Better Value for Money
While wood constructions tend to be less costly initially, steel offers a better lifetime value for money. You enjoy better strength, easier maintenance, better energy efficiency, and amazing durability. Use these tips to purchase the right steel for your project.