Depending on what you want to use the building for, constructing out of metal has both pros and cons. For some businesses, the strength of a steel building might make it the ideal material, but for other uses, a metal building might not be the best option. Read on to learn both the advantages and disadvantages of metal buildings.
Metal buildings are extremely durable. They tend to last longer than other types of buildings. They will withstand termites and extreme weather better than other building materials. They are also not as susceptible to rot, insects, rodents, cracking, and mold. Because of how metal is so much more durable than wood, steel buildings will usually need less maintenance and cost less for insurance.
Steel buildings can be made with better insulating and heating systems than other structures, which makes them much more energy efficient. Types of insulation you can use in a metal building include loose-fill, batt and blanket, rigid board, and spray foam.
Loose-fill insulation is made up of fibre pellets or loose fibres that are blown in to the cavities of the building using special equipment. This type can be expensive, but reduces air leakage and fills corners better than other types. This type offers great sound barrier features.
Batt and blanket insulation is usually made of processed fibreglass or rock wool. Typically, the least expensive type of insulation for metal buildings, it has to be installed properly to be effective. Usually used in ceilings, walls, and floors, batt works best with a radiant barrier backing in steel buildings due to the lack of natural insulation.
Rigid board insulation is made from polystyrene, fibreglass, or polyurethane. You can cut it to how thick you want it, and can get anything from an R-4 to R-8 per inch. Best used for flat roofs, or as perimeter insulation in cathedral ceilings, on concrete slab edges, and basement walls. You have to cover it with 1/2-inch gypsum or flame-retardant materials if you use it in interior spaces.
Spray foam insulation is liquid and has a foaming agent and polymer that is sprayed into walls, ceilings, and floors. It expands as it is applied and turns into a solid plastic with air-filled cells. This type is great for steel buildings since it fills any spaces and although it is more expensive than batt insulation, it offers a better air barrier and doesn’t require caulking or other barriers since it’s airtight.
3. Quick Builds
Steel buildings take less time to build and since time is money, especially when it comes to construction, this makes it a huge advantage. Every day you spend building is another day before you can start using your building for its intended purpose. This means getting your build done a few weeks sooner than with a different type of constructions will save you quite a bit of money. You will also save money compared to a wood build since you won’t have to replace rotting timber year after year.
4. Best for Single Storeys
While you can build multi-storey steel buildings, most people tend to go with single storeys. Prefabricated steel buildings are typically all one storey.
In certain climates near the ocean, steel can be more susceptible to corrosion if you don’t use a corrosion-resistant steel. This type of steel requires special, routine maintenance.
Metal buildings cost more than wood buildings but on the flip side, they are less expensive than conventional steel and concrete buildings.