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The Costs of Constructing Commercial Steel Buildings

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As you are about to learn, there are a number of different costs associated with constructing commercial steel buildings. But these useful structures are very important to business owners and regular people in need of additional space.

To help you get a better understanding of these costs, and the reasons why people construct metal buildings, we will tackle the different types of commercial pre-engineered buildings and then we’ll dive into the estimated costs and additional factors that everyone should consider when building a structure of this type.

Types of Pre-Engineered Commercial Steel Buildings

Pre-engineered commercial buildings are very versatile structures that can be used for a wide variety of reasons. If you are starting a new business, or expanding your existing business, there are many ways that you could potentially use commercial buildings of this type.

A few of the most prominent examples include:

  • manufacturing facilities
  • industrial factories
  • distribution facilities
  • warehouses
  • commercial shopping centers
  • retail outlets
  • office buildings for corporations
  • educational buildings
  • medical facilities
  • places of worship

As you can see, pre-engineered buildings can successfully be used in a number of different ways. Every one of these potential facilities will cost a certain amount of money to erect and various factors will ultimately have a major effect on bottom-line expenses.

Next, we’ll consider some of the main factors that will have an effect on the amount that your overall project will cost.

Estimated Costs for Commercial Steel Buildings

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The only way to get hard numbers is to actually price prefabricated supplies, contractors (if necessary), and potential expenses associated with the region where you’re putting up the building.

To get a rough idea of the potential cost estimates, we will share some facts and figures that you can use to make your overall determination.

On average, the price you end up paying is going to be determined by the amount charged per square foot. And in most cases, you’ll have to pay anywhere from $16-$20 per square foot in fees.

On the other hand, you may end up purchasing prefabricated structures. The best way to find out how much of this is going to cost is to visit the website of the prefabricated steel company and fill out their online form to request a quote.

Or, if you feel more comfortable, you can call the company directly, let them know your plans, and have them give you a quote over the phone.

On the whole, you can use the per square foot method to estimate your expenses as long as you know the square feet of your future structure. But without this information, it’s going to be relatively impossible to figure it out ahead of time.

All in all, depending upon the type of structure you’ve chosen, your metal building could cost anywhere from $80,000-$350,000 just for raw materials and construction costs.

None of this is actually set in stone. Obviously, you can choose certain features that might end up making your expenses go higher. Or, you can choose to leave out certain features and amenities, and this could ultimately make your overall expenses much lower.

At the end of the day, it all depends on your needs, wants, and desires. So if you need more amenities than others, you can expect to end up paying more for the privilege. And if you need a bare-bones, stripped-down, commercial steel building, then your expenses are going to be less than the people who need all of the additional features and amenities mentioned earlier.

Are There Any Additional Expenses to Consider?

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Yes, unfortunately the estimate above is pretty much just for materials and construction expenses. But there are other things that you certainly have to factor into your thinking.

Let’s take a look at some other expenses:

Laying Your Foundation

When your erect a steel building, you will need a foundation to hold it up and keep it steady and strong. For the most part, when you lay a concrete slab foundation down, you’ll pay anywhere from $11-$15 per square foot.

And this doesn’t even count the cost for excavation.

Obviously, if you do the excavation yourself you aren’t going to have to pay anything for labor but you will need to buy or rent equipment to get the job done. And if you hire a company to do it, you’ll have to pay them whatever they charge for labor, equipment, and anything else that they factor into their pricing structure.

Building Permits

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Now that you are going to construct a commercial steel building, you can expect to have to pay for certain building permits in order to gain permission to put up the structure.

On average, you can expect to spend 2% to 3% of the total cost of your project in various permits. You’ll need electrical permits, building permits, and more.

Contact your local government to find out about all of the different permits needed to make the structure legal and above board.

Heating & Air Conditioning

Now that you’ve committed to constructing your commercial building, you have to think about what will happen after the building is complete.

Is it going to get incredibly hot in there? Or is it going to be really cold? Or will the seasons affect the weather in numerous ways?

Depending on your location, you may need to have heating and air-conditioning installed in this building. This is not going to be negotiable if you live in an area that is really hot or really cold.

If you do end up having to install heating and air-conditioning, your expenses will run about $6-$13 per square foot. This cost will cover the expenses of having an HVAC system installed in your commercial building.

Electrical Installation

The electrical installation is a different expense than the expenses mentioned above. The electrical is similar to the heating and A/C in price. You can expect to pay roughly $6-$13 per square foot.


Constructing a commercial steel building is a big project. But it provides many benefits over the long run. Use this guide to determine the costs of commercial steel buildings today.


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