How Much Does a Residential Steel Building Cost?

  Posted on 9/14/2012
How Much Does a Residential Steel Building Cost?

When people think of the idea of a residential steel building, the unattractive idea of a facility shed comes to mind. Steel fabricated homes are not the first choice most have in terms of an idea residential structure. That said, there are some significant benefits to such a building if one can get over the aesthetic appearance. Residential steel building costs are one of them. These include:

  • Cheaper construction cost overall. The cost of a metal building follows a pre-determined plan, so the consumption of materials to build the home can be streamlined to just what is necessary to do the job. This cuts down on waste. The construction labor is cheaper as well since the building goes faster as discussed below.
  • Far easier and faster to build. All the parts a pre-built and designed to connect together, so there is far less fabrication on the construction site.
  • Environmentally friendly as all the metal can be recycled. The materials involved use far less in the way consumption and all the metal can be recycled if the home should ever be torn down.
  • Low cost of maintaining over time as long as the surface is kept rust-proof. Metal homes are essentially fabrications of steel, aluminum, and sheet metal. All three are untouched by pests or general exposure to the elements. Only moisture and extreme disaster wind pose a threat. However, with proper bracing and galvanization of the metal parts, even those risks become diminished or eliminated. The bottom line is, metal homes are far more impervious to pests, wind, and even moisture if treated right. 

As a result, metal fabricated homes will last far longer than those made of wood and stucco. Many such homes can also be warrantied up to 30 years. The average traditional home gets a 10-year warranty at best. After that point, traditional homes already start to see issues needing repair and replacement to keep the integrity of the overall home protected and functional over time.

So if the idea of a metal home is starting to seem attractive then the natural follow-up question comes up on how much such a personal home would actually cost in terms of steel building estimates versus that of a traditional home. 

First, it’s important to understand metal building prices will be dictated by the size of the home desired and specific options. So no exact figure will work for everyone. That said, the initial metric available is that metal building prices range from $20 to $40 per square foot. Fancier designs can cost more.

Second, since a foundation is needed to build on in any situation, a project cost has to add in at least $5 to $10 square foot for the base of the home. Additionally, insulation has to be installed inside the structure to keep the building warm and cool during the seasons, adding another $1 to $3 per square foot. Then, to avoid the shed look, various windows and doors need to be installed, which picks up another add of 15 to 25 percent of the total project cost. Finally, labor and materials can add another $15 to $30 per square foot to steel building estimates.

So, overall cost of construction when one adds up all the above factors starts to add up in aggregate. The basic, small 1,500 sq foot home will range $30,000 to $60,000. Double that size for a fairly good size family home and the figure is now $60,000 to $120,000. Build a large, expansive home of 5,000 sq feet and the cost gets up to $100,000 to $200,000. It’s all in the metrics and math for residential steel building costs.

In comparison, a traditional home price will swing wildly depending on the location and the neighborhood it is built in. In areas that are far out in the country or rural area, the homes could be as low as $160,000 in high cost states such as California. However, in suburban areas the price can jump up from $250,000 to $300,000 for a 2,500 sq foot home. So on cost alone, a metal home right from the start is going to be significantly less expensive overall. 

A metal home is obviously not home sweet home for everyone. However, for those who are willing to entertain the idea, the cost involved can be quite a factor favoring the option. If mentally a person can get around the false initial impression of living in a giant metal shed, the actual metal home can be rather impressive given the far lower cost involved versus a traditional home. It also can be a creative alternative for those who might be very budget conscious but still want to have a proper home as well.