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Old 11-25-2006, 05:55 PM
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Steel building questions

Hey, All:

This is my first post. I'm in the planning/research stages of buying a steel building. It'll be smallish, 20' x 30' or so, and will be my workshop/garage. There will be 2, maybe 3, old British (i.e., small) cars in it, plus tools, etc.

I have a couple of questions for the group:

1) I'm in Florida. Can anyone recommend a steel building retailer in Florida or the Southeast?

2) I'll be having a concrete slab poured. Is a 4" slab good enough to hold a 20' x 30' steel building? If not, what's the appropriate thickness?

3) Anything major to look out for? They seem relatively simple.

Many thanks in advance!

Bo

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Old 11-25-2006, 07:32 PM
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I have had a 30X50 with 12 ft. walls steel building for 30 years now. I really like it. Steel buildings like everything else it seems come in Good, Better, and Best. It all depends on the type steel used for the frame....such as thin wall square tubeing frame....versuse heavy steel beams with purlins and rafters. Then what guage metal for roof and walls....then what the sheet metal is coated with etc. etc. The four inch slab would be ok if all that will be on it is some cars....but you really need a footing all the way around your slab. My slab is 8 in. thick with a 16 x16 inch steel re-inforced footing not only around the perimeter but also one down the center. It has severed me well...no settling and no cracks. Get in your yellow pages in your phone book...look under steel buildings call around, shop around, ask a lot of questions .
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:36 PM
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Bo,

We've had a number of discussions of steel buildings that might be helpful during your planning. Just enter something like "steel building" in the search function box at the top of the page and you should get a number of good threads to read.
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:40 PM
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Main thing in that area is wind loads so you need a heavier foundation to hold that building down..I woudl suggset a drop edge slab for that..

Look at some of the buildings that you dealer has installed to get a better feel for what he does..the dealer shouldhave some out there that you can look at..

Sam
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:49 PM
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one thing too think about is heat in your area, a metal building is hotter than wood, thats whey i went with a wood building in n c, i was also told that a metal building is colder in winter, thats my 2 cents
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:28 AM
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Don't really have any vendors for building but several of the majors (US Steel and others) ship any where. The floor will be fine at four inches, but if you plan on a lift in the future you might want to pour six to eight inches for the post. Of course if it is a monolithic slab it will be about a foot thick around the perimeter.
P.S. If you run in to a GREAT deal on a morris minor let me know!!!

Good Luck
Randall
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve t
one thing too think about is heat in your area, a metal building is hotter than wood, thats whey i went with a wood building in n c, i was also told that a metal building is colder in winter, thats my 2 cents
Steve t brings up a great point for a Florida location.

I'd look at getting the appropriate insulation installed and a 1.5 to 2.5 ton heat pump for air conditioning would be a must if you're planning on spending a fair amount of time out there.
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:36 PM
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a friend of mine just had a 20x50 or 15x50 steel building put up. i'll check with him about it. he has the tall one for rv's and he installed a lift. it has big rolling doors on both ends. heat wasn't that bad as far as florida heat goes. he just opens both doors and runs a big fan. he also had a temp controlled fan above the one door.

ps: i work outside so i'm use to the heat. it was hot but nothing like working out in the sun on a very hot day.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:24 PM
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What part of the state is Dover in? I know that down here in Miami-Dade county, that building wouldn't be allowed. There's a lot of talk about standardizing the building codes statewide due to all the hurricane damage. That being said, a friend of mine over in Naples had a HUGE steel building put up a couple of years back and had no problems with the storms.
Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:47 AM
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Bo,
Check out this site. If I was in the market for a new building I would definitely be looking at this one.
http://www.perka.com/
Also check out the insulation they offer at the bottom of the lefthand column. I have been looking at this stuff to insulate the rest of my shop. I went to a seminar last Saturday about this insulation and let me tell you it is impressive. It's a little more costly then 'glass but it is much more efficient and cost effective.
Mark
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:03 PM
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Thanks!!

Thank you so much, everybody, for your advice. I really appreciate it.

Kruzin Karl -- Dover's in the Tampa Bay area, sort of between Tampa and Lakeland, leaning closer to the Tampa side. I haven't checked with anyone official (that's my next step), but I've seen some buildings that are apparently designed to some sort of high-wind code or rating. We'll see, I guess. I cringe at the cost of something besides a steel building, although maybe a pole barn type building would hit the mark financially (but maybe have the same code issues?)
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:03 PM
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National Barn (http://nationalbarn.com/eastern/) is a good start for a pole building. I had one put up last year. They usually have a special 30x50x10 with a 10' or 12' sliding door and one walk-in door. Scroll down and click on their brochure on the left side of the page. Also check your local electric co-op magazine -- that's where I found the ad for mine. They should list the price for your area in one of those. Call and ask about their special 30x50x10 package if you can't find one. The brochure doesn't list any prices for the special package. I bought one of those in plain galvanized and added roof insulation since it's so easy to install when building and difficult later. Total cost was $8200, but I ordered it just over a year ago when steel prices started going up. It's another $1200 now (in a S.C. electric co-op magazine ad), and will likely be more when you add the extra framing for hurricane wind loads. But they do build to hurricane specs and the brochure has good comments about them from customers.

They won't change the size of the special building, but will do a few things for you. I had them put up just three sides and the roof (left one long side off) and leave the material for the fourth side. I also told them to leave the sliding door off and not install the personnel door, just leave it! That left the side open so it was easier to pour and finish the concrete floor myself. I just got back (I'm USAF -- building the shop for my retirement this summer!) from leave and framed the open side for two 9x8 garage doors, the personnel door, and a window. Cut 13' off one end to use for office and storage space. The old farm house I inherited is small so it was easier to build an office in the shop rather than add more onto the house (something that's already planned). The shop is only 60' or so from the house anyway.

There are a number of steel building manufacturers. www.steelspan.com, www.simpsonsteel.com, www.pioneersteel.com all advertise in Hot Rod Magazine. Pioneer and Steelspan use a "K-Span" type machine (http://www.tpub.com/content/construc...14045_291.htm; then use the back and next buttons near the top of the page -- not on your browser) to build with. There are foundation details on this page.

The ones most shops use aren't perfectly round though -- they have vertical or near vertical sides then curve over in one continuous piece. I worked with these while stationed in Korea (I'm USAF, strutural specialist). They go up fast, are economical, and withstand heavy wind loads -- especially the curved wall models. The disadvantage to this type of construction is that doors and windows can only be in the ends.

If you're using a more traditional framed steel building, the foundation doesn't have to be continuous. You'll need to get foundation specs from the supplier. To save costs you can have footers poured individually for each frame leg. These will need to be somewhere 24" square, 18" thick concrete with anchor bolts -- depending on the size of the building. Then you can pour a 4" floor at the same level as the footings, or over the top of the footings (make sure the anchor bolts are long enough to put the columns on top of the floor). You'll have to check local building codes to see if this type footer is allowed. Another type is to run a long continuous footer down each long side where the support columns rest. A four inch thick floor is sufficeint for up to 1/2 ton pickups. I'd use the fiberglass reinforcement that's mixed iin with the concrete rather than wire. Much easier to work with and plenty strong! I have about a 4.5" thick floor in mine.

The last building I put up (80'x130'x20' Butler Building in Korea, near the coast so it had to withstand typhoon force winds) used this type all the way around the perimeter. It used 4' square 2' thick load footers with a 16" wide 2' tall beam poured on top of the footers all around the building in one continuous pour. The footers were poured first with rebar sticking up in the center, then the beam poured. Your building wouldn't need quite as much as that one! Just the beam alone should suffice. We then poured an 8" thick floor inside the beam.
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