Starting From Scratch on Steel Building Plan

vision your steel building

It begins with a vision…

As we become seasoned in life, we recognize that changes are always preceded by some impulse to create.  Factory Steel Overstock understands this dimension of the human experience, and makes it our own purpose and passion to offer the public a means by which to take the dream to reality with minimal costs.  Enjoy the journey!

Next, Budget Considerations

budget considerations for steel buildings

Factory Steel Overstock makes metal building prices the simplest piece of the equation.  You will ALWAYS be given our true cost from the suppliers, and pay only a modest profit that You choose.   No matter your choice, EXPECT to remain under the market rates – guaranteed.

It’s great when you find us first, as this allows you to PLAN YOUR BUDGET assuming more for less.  Yet, we understand there are more considerations as you begin your steel building project journey.  Let’s have a look at each of the following:

  • Desired Design of Building
  • Site Research and Preparation
  • Foundation
  • Building Erection
  • Finishing Touches

Desired Design of Building

The steel building design of your vision seems to come into view concurrently with the site’s location.  Often, you can picture what you want, where you want it.  Consider the two altogether and imagine the size and shape which best meets the vision and purpose of the building’s use.  Ask yourself:

  • What width, length and height would be best? 
  • What roof pitch would I prefer for local weather conditions, as well as attraction? 
  • Will I prefer roof overhangs to shelter visitors and add to the aesthetics?
  • How will it sit on the property site to best ensure efficient use for workers and visitors and climate? 
  •  Where will the rollup door locations be best suited, and what preparations will be necessary for accessing them? 
  • Will a clear-span interior be necessary, or is it okay to save money for multi-span posts in the interior to support the larger sized building for lower metal building prices? 
  • Will certain building designs need to be pre-planned for anticipated future building expansion?  
  • What insulation types are bests for my size building, use and climate conditions?

Once you are clear on your vision, ask your broker if there are any changes to your design plan he/she could offer in order to cut costs here or there without compromising the integrity of your building.  Keep in mind that accessories are often lower in price at the time of purchasing the building, especially at Factory Steel Overstock where ALL accessories are our actual cost – wholesale – at time of building purchase.

Comparing Other Bids

When you have your building design plan and package completely in mind and in writing, shop around a bit.  BE SURE that you are comparing apples-to-apples when collecting numerous quotes.  Use the same building codes, accessories and specifications in each request, as they alter pricing.  

steel building prices comparisons

Site Considerations

You may think you’ve chosen the best location for your new steel building, yet, it is imperative to do a bit of research while you are in the preliminary stages of the project planning.  Avoidance of this research may be of consequence later on and incur more costs for repair and remediation.  Best to research well in advance of your foundation work and building erection.  Decide now if there are costs necessary in preparing your site, or would another site be better suited?  Consider:

people on job site for steel building

History of the Site:  Know the site’s history, as you don’t want any surprises to arise later on, such as buried toxins or underwater streams which may surface in the near future.

Do become familiar with the codes and regulations enforced in your area.  Again, it would be a shame to move forward with construction that had to be taken down due to code violations.  

For the most part, your ZIP code will reveal local building requirements at the time your broker generates the formal bid.  However, it’s always best to be educated about your local building department’s codes and adhere to them, or better.

Building Codes: Building codes are instituted in most towns in order to protect the public and its property.  Many requirements relating to buildings are covered by these codes, including types of construction, materials’ quality, floor loads, and allowable stresses. 

Zones: Restrictions of a building site have to be considered prior to building plans’ completion since they can affect the size and type of structure.  Ordinances regulate the size and use of buildings, as well as the use of the land you are considering.  Know the difference between Residential, Business, Industrial and Unrestricted, and how they pertain to your specific market area.  Be aware of off-street parking requirements, as well as access to the building site.

Utilities:  Finally, be sure to contact the local utility companies.  Connections to the water main, sewer, gas main and electrical service lines are important in the planning phase of your steel building.  Check with local utility companies to become educated about how these will play into your planning purposes.  Whether you or a subcontractor will be handling electrical, plumbing, phone lines, etc. within the building structure, the location of building in respect to the mains is part of the entire equation.

Building Accessories and Insulation

Consider in advance the accessories you would enjoy in your new steel building.  Again, they are less expensive purchased at time of building purchase at Factory Steel Overstock, as you are getting them at wholesale. 

Roll Up Door framed opening locations are cut during building fabrication, as the building must supply the structural loads and all is considered by engineering process and certification.  Walk Doors and Windows are field cut on your site and can be placed to your desire during building erection.   Take into consideration your local weather conditions, as wind-rated and insulated doors are a bit more expensive, but well worth the cost in the long-run and come standard in orders for high wind speed codes. 

You also decide that you enjoy the looks of roof overhangs, or other accessories.  Gutters and downspouts are less costly at this time as well, if your budget allows.

Insulation is more easily installed during building erection than at a later date. 

Revisit Your Vision throughout the Process

steel building ideas revisit your vision

Keep in mind that living from a vision-oriented mindset, we are open to expansion and new in-sights along the way.  In other words, ask yourself questions regarding future expansion of your business, service, or family.  Imagine what aspects of change are inherent down the road.  Do you foresee needing more space?  How might this affect the current steel building design, and in what ways can you pre-plan for later expansion?  Could it be that this site affords expansion, and if so what steel building structural requirements will allow for the most cost effective expansion alterations? 

Be sure to consult with your steel building broker regarding the best plan for future expansion of building if you decide to grow your structure on current site.  In addition, all Site Considerations listed above need to be considered in advance too.

Place Your Steel Building Order

Choose a company that has supplied you with all the pertinent information you need in a very transparent manner.  Visit our Why Choose Us page for what satisfied customers look for when they are shopping bids.

Site Survey, Grading and Excavation

Often times this action done in an earlier preparation stage.

Once you’ve done your homework and thoroughly understand all aspects of your site, it’s time to prepare the earth.  Survey the land to establish the boundaries of your plot.  Locate and stake out the building location, as well as the desired grade level of the land.  Your site should be rough graded, leveling the site to conform to the building grade, usually 6” below the final grade. The top layer of earth is saved to be spread over the area later for landscaping needs.  Once the site has been leveled, mark the exact location of the steel building according to the building plans once you have them from manufacturer after placing your building order.  

site survey and excavation for your steel building project

Dig out the land in order to prepare for the footings and foundations of the structure.  General excavation includes bulk removal of earth and rock to prepare for footings and foundation walls.  Retain  a sufficient amount for back filling, especially to secure the ground in sloped areas of construction, in order to attain the desired finished grade of the property.

Minor excavation with a pick and shovels, or small machines,  are used for fine-trimming trenches and footings just prior to pouring the concrete.

Know that excavations must be kept dry.  In some cases, existing ground water must be removed from the site by draining it into prepared pits or may require well points to drain water from various locations in the ground.  Check out regulations before any drainage system is installed as part of your carefully thought out preparation plan.  You certainly wouldn’t want to be cause for a neighboring property to incur unnecessary water issues from your drain off.


Your steel building must be built on a good, strong foundation designed to take the loads of the building.  The type of floor system and thickness both depend on what loads are to be resisted by the concrete.  Plans from the building manufacturer will be included with your purchase, noting these measures to be considered, as well as specific locations for anchor bolt settings.  Consider all of the uses of your building in these early preparation phases, as it pertains to the strength and design of your foundation work and communicate these aspects clearly to your concrete contractor.  Work with a knowledgeable concrete professional in your area who understands the requirements of the earth and weather conditions specific to your area.  They should know the type of materials, as well as their proportions best suited for the strength required.  

steel building anchor bolt template
steel building anchor bolt template
steel building anchor bolts

Anchor Bolts provided by other.

Proper placement of concrete, finishing methods, and optimum curing conditions, are all important aspects of high-quality foundation work – absolutely imperative for your steel building to maintain its own integrity.

See our Standard Accessories page for Foundation Engineering Services resource.

Building Erection Efficiency

The level of experience, direction, and fluidity of your building erection team will all effect your budget.  For example, when one group of workers are allowed to move forward on the next phase of erection concurrently, while others are finishing up a previous phase, time is saved.  Weigh out pros and cons of the number of employed assistance vs the time required. 

Tasks to be completed include:

  • Unloading the truck
  • Inventorying the materials
  • Organizing the pieces in a manner such that they are closest to actual erection location
  • Commencing and completing the erection process
  • Door installations

Correct machinery and tools must be used in the entire process, taking short cuts is never advised.  And always, always follow the plans provided by the  manufacturer.

steel building erection

Finishing Touches Post Building Erection

Plan in advance, best as possible, to what degree of finish your budget will allow.  Will you be finishing roughed in utilities, such as electrical and plumbing needs?  Will there be wall panels or alternative finishing desired?  What about the landscape surrounding the building?  Parking or drive-ways?  Entryway designs and coverings?

finishing touches on steel buildings

Decide whether to go with just the basics needed to support the flow of the general use of the building, or to finish to off completely including all interior finishes desired.

No matter what, your vision is certain to come together ultimately.  For best results, enjoy the journey.