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Architects, Builders & Engineers

Essential Factors to Consider When Budgeting for a Steel Building

It is no secret that steel buildings are cost-effective in a long-term perspective compared to site-built wood or masonry structures. This is because they require little servicing, not to mention that they are highly durable and energy-efficient.

As with any other new construction project, however, a steel building can be expensive upfront.  This is due in part to the fact that each steel structure is customized based on client specifications. The overall cost can further go through the roof if some aspects of the project are not taken into account early on.

So if you are thinking of building with steel, it is crucial that you set a realistic budget beforehand. Doing so will ensure that your steel building will not become a money pit. Here are some essential factors to take into account as they can influence the overall cost of your steel building project.

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Size and design of the steel building

The size and design of your steel building will significantly take a huge chunk off your budget. So before work gets underway, have a clear idea of the total floor area, bulk or volume, and number of storeys that your building will have. Equally import ant is to visualize how you want your structure to look like both inside and out. Basically, the bigger the structure and the more custom-made elements that will go into it, the more expensive it will get.

Site issues

Prior to the actual construction of the building, the first step is to prepare the site. Depending on the existing condition of the site, a number of work have to be carried out to ensure that it is capable of supporting the weight of the structure and the loads that will be imposed on the building. These may include demolition (if there is an existing structure on site); soil testing; understanding of site restrictions; removal or adjustments of underground and overhead utilities; land surveying, grading, excavation and filling; and foundation laying, all of which could add up to the total cost of the project.

Basically, the more issues the site presents, the more it will cost to build on it. This is because foundation and supporting structures can be more difficult to build and it will take more people   to prepare the site.

Delivery cost and accessories or trims

Be aware that when you receive a quote from steel building suppliers, the amount they provide only pertains to the “shell” of the unit, which is made up of the primary and secondary frames. Unless otherwise specified, the quotes do not necessarily include delivery fees as well as accessories or trims (i.e. windows, doors, partition panels, etc.) that you will need to complete your building. So be sure to also take these things into account when preparing your budget.

Erection cost

Smaller steel buildings are a great DIY project for handy homeowners. With the help of a few friends and the use of common tools, they can be assembled in a matter of day or two. However, this is not the case with multi-storey steel buildings, which demand the skills of professional erectors and may require the use of specialized tools. As such, if you have a particularly large building to erect you have to prepare more money to cover all the work.

Contingency sum

A contingency sum is best set aside to cover additional costs that may be incurred for unforeseen repairs or site works. Simply put, it is the amount that you need to set aside for surprise expenses that may arise during the phase of construction.  A reasonable contingency to allow in your budget would be 10 to 20 percent of your overall budget.

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