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  • Writer's pictureGabe Medina

The Buying Process : What it's like to buy a metal building?

So you decided that you want to build something. Weather it's a house or carport, garage or hangar, even a barn or arena you've got some decisions to make. As in any major decision in your life, you've decided on a rough budget and began a tirade through google trying to figure out what your options are. This is where you've decided to do it yourself or to get a contractor, architect or a handy friend involved. Be it brick, concrete, wood or metal, there's a plethora of things to consider. Time frame, material and labor costs, aesthetics, and much more. For whatever reason you landed at metal for the exterior of your project. Or at least you're curious as to what it would take to use metal. But where to go from here?

My name is Gabe and It's my job to walk you through Metal Material Direct's buying process. As daunting as building any major structure may seem to be, it's my job to make this portion as painless as possible. So I'm putting together this article to help answer the questions you may have.

The next few things to consider are the shape color and dimensions for your build. Rectangles have the crown when it comes to cost and simplicity. Most shapes are possible, just try and stay away from any angles that aren't right angles unless budget is second to design. If you work with an architect they will know the limitations of the material you want to work with. With regard to size, the bigger the building, the more it will cost - of course, but the lower the cost per square foot will be. For instance if you're going to be building a shopping center, for this case it's better to build long stretches of one building than to build many small buildings. Color is not only an aesthetic consideration but also a cost factor. Our color chart {link to come} will show that while we do have a large selection of colors and prints, they can change the cost of the sheeting so keep that in mind.

Start with trying out our 3D builder to help give you some ideas or a starting point.

The next step is to think about windows, doors, platforms and balconies. If you're building for a home, some of these will be critical to the layout of what you'll be living in so close consideration to natural light and flow. Garage doors, or inside/outside roll up doors will need to be laid out. Give yourself some room on either side of these so that you can get out of your vehicle or add some wall storage. In the case of commercial buildings you'll want to make sure that the ceilings near a door is high enough to accept deliveries. On our side we'll need to consider wind bracing {definition to come} on each wall. It will be more cost effective to give us a stretch of each wall to add this in without crossing over a door or window. If are building greater than one floor we have the capabilities to include balconies and platforms or lofts that will be secured by the strength of the exterior structure.

Gutters, trim, roof penetrations, and accessories are next on the list of decisions to be made. This is where most bargain builders/suppliers will skimp out or forget to get your business. When you realize that you need them, you'll end up spending more after the fact.

Now here's where we come in. You'll need to gather all your information and email them to Then I'll get started running it through our software to get you the best price we can.

We mainly use two forms of material. Cold formed is excellent and cost saving, but it's mainly for smaller structures that don't have large free spanning areas. Red Iron is known for it's greater strength characteristics, will span large distances, and generally thinner walled for smaller structures.

I'll use your address to tailor your building to any local building codes and wind and snow load calculations. I'll email you back a quote with a 3d render of your new building. At this point we can go over any changes you might have. Check and double check that any of your design decisions made it into the quote. While pricing around check with the other drawings to make sure that they included everything as well.

Once you're satisfied with the final design you can sign the quote and send it back with a 25% deposit this will lock in the price so you're not subject to any fluctuations that might occur between this point and the time of delivery. Almost always, the delivery date isn't very close to the time you get the quote. You'll probably still need to secure financing, the property, get quotes for all of your other building materials, layout your plumbing and electrical, pour concrete, and much much more. That is where the deposit comes into play.

Now that we've received the deposit, your building is sent to our engineers for review. They'll make sure the structure as a whole makes sense and that all the loads of the building are accounted for. If we need to make changes, we'll call you to go over them. Final drawings will be sent to you so that you can give them to local building and permitting department or your architect.

Now for delivery. If we're using Cold formed for your structure then you should call us for delivery 4-6 weeks prior to needing it. If we're using Red iron for your structure then you should call us for delivery 18 weeks prior to needing it.

If you're building it yourself or having a builder assemble your metal building you may come across some unforeseen issues. We're still here. We stand behind all of our structures and will work with you to our fullest extent to make sure that you have everything you need to succeed and are fully satisfied with your structure.

Now that you've had a taste of what it's like to work with Metal Material direct, take a picture and post on social media to let everyone know about your experiences, and where they can get a quality structure for their projects.

-Gabe Medina

CTO Metal Material Direct

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