Metal building


Ok this may sound crazy or may not.
First of all, I live in a rural area. There are no covenants or restrictions on what I can do with my home, land, etc.
I've know for quite some time that most commercial offices are basically rooms built inside a metal building. For instance at a body shop, you would have the work shop and office under the same roof, but the office was just a room built inside the building. So on to my question.
Can you take that style of building, you know, the kind with large metal trusses and insulated walls like most shops, and build many rooms inside essentially making it a home?
I know the building itself is relativley inexpensive, and I can rent a man lift and put up the frame myself with a little help (helped assemble one). Would windows and doors be a problem? would the overal cost be to high? Any builing code problems? Financing problems. The list goes on and on.
I know that the outside does not have to be tin, we can used lots of different materials, but tin is not out of the question. There are several reasons I ask this:
Aren't most commerical buildings considered to be stronger?
Is there a cost advantage?
Is is possible to have access and crawlspace to pipes and such considering the floor plan is layed out to that adavantage.
once again....on and on and on and on....
I am not that worried about the looks. It would go in the middle of 15 wooded acres. The curb is gone so curb appeal is not as much of an issue. I just want a strong, well built house, that doesn't cost so much to build or maintain. Wishful thinking? Anything is welcome, except rudeness. Thanks!!
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Pole building homes are not new.
http://www.heritagebuildings.com /
DAGS, there are a bunch of companies.
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The answer is yes, no, definitely and maybe.
It really depends on the rules where you are. For me to tell you anything but what is in force and effect in YOUR location is wasting both our time.
Example:
The property owner next to me at my summer cabin put up a 20x40 metal building. He did it himself and with brother-in-law labor. No permits. No nothing. Electrical and everything. But, out in the woods, those kind of things fly where they might not in a subdivision.
So, check it out where you are at. Keep a low profile if you do it, and while you do it. Don't tell everyone. Ask around without being specific, as it may benefit you to get permits and permission first for such things as reselling the property, and nosy zoning compliance officers.
NOW ............. remember this, and I didn't tell you to do it, and will deny any knowledge if this does come up in the future ...................
What so many people do is build the shell. Buy a permit for a storage building or garage or crafts room, or some lame inconspicuous place to doodle around. Once it passes final, put up the walls, and all the things you want the way you want it. Beforehand, though, stub out the electrical (even if you have to put a plug on there) and say, "That's where my potter's kiln will eventually go." Or stub out a drain for a "mop sink". Who's to say that after they leave you rig up a sink or a shower or whatever. It's done all the time.
As long as the county gets their vig (%) ($), they are happy, and will probably never bother you again unless you draw the attention by doing serious business out of there, getting the neighbors upset, or making shine or meth in it.
HTH
Steve
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Thanks! I doubt I would have any problem whatsoever where I live. You'd be amazed what some folks live in in the sandy hills of North Louisiana. Thanks for the info.
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A friend and I have thought much about it, but never did. You won't have any weather delays after the shell is up. Few prying eyes to tell you, "that ain't how you do it" With a larger shell then your house, a garage is already there. Plus storage of....A house starts at $60 a sq. ft. and go up real fast. A steel building is $10 to 15 a sq. ft. slab included. Plus what you wish to add. Here in Tx, radiant heat is a real killer in the summer, with a second skin and air flow around your house, much of the heat in stopped. And you can work at your leisure, (maybe not a good thing), and still live under the roof of the shell. Tools and materials are not subject to theft.

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I've built large aircraft hangars and its quite common to add office space inside one. I've even seen a complete home built inside a metal building in a recent magazine, Fine Homebuilding or Remodeling (one or the other)
It must be properly insulated. I can't stress that enough. Moisture WILL form on the inside of the metal walls if they are not insulated and vented properly. This is not a big problem for a shop/storage/hangar environment but not to good for a home.
Windows and doors are not a problem. The must be installed with the proper flashing and sealants. (Sikaflex will be your friend - don't cheap out on this!) Metal building move more that wood/masonry buildings do. Plan for it.
Add extra chases for plumbing and electrical conduits.
Good Luck.
Dave
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I would check out this site http://www.metalbuildingcomparison.com . They have a lot of informative stuff on metal buildings that helped me out. They pretty much stick to the basics on metal buildings, or all you need to know when shopping for a basic metal warehouse, commercial building, metal barn... you name it - the basic types of metal building.
Teamcasa wrote:

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I have build a miracle steel building as a workshop and after doing so have started the plans to build one as a home. If you go to their website http://www.miracletruss.com/resident.html they actually have a section on residential. These people were a delight to deal with and could answer all my questions. With their wood on metal construction you can do anything for an exterior treatment that you would to in a traditional wood frame home.

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building myself. I'm actually thinking of just using their truss's and metal roofing. For the walls and such, I'd use dimension lumber to build the walls, window openings, etc.... I intend to call them next week but thought I'd ask if you went with a full package or a partial package as I'm considering? I'm looking at probably 24x32 or so and would be erecting the thing myself so not sure if I can handle those trusses or would have to hire a crane. Cheers, cc
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When I called the manufacturer, they gave me a price for a "basic" package that included a couple of doors and windows. He then said to look on the price sheet if I wanted to vary from there. He also said that if I wanted to just buy components, such as just the trusses or just the wall sheeting that they do that all the time.
Now, that was the guy that I called. Might be different where you live. I think they just want to sell stuff, and they don't care how you mix it up as long as your check or VISA card flies.
Steve
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wrote

That's pretty much what I figured. I figure I'll get a price for the truss's and roof and then compare that to conventional stick/joist construction. I'd love to do a true timber frame but just don't think I have the time, or the design skills. Cheers, cc
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Some folks have been making homes out of used shipping containers.
    http://earthsci.org/education/fieldsk/container/container.html
J.
Brandon wrote:

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A friend and fellow furniture maker near me did what you asked . . . he built a steel building that housed both his shop and his home. In our county we have what I consider to be stringent building codes. The significant concession that my buddy had to do in order to satisfy the code people is to put the portion of the structure which was his house on a footing rather than a slab on grade. The building he built used wood posts, wood trusses, steel skin. I also built a new shop last year on my rural property. It's not my home, but I don't see why it couldn't have made a nice home with adequate design and construction considerations.
The finance question is important. My friend did not need a get a mortgage so it was not an issue for him, but I strongly suspect that if you need financing, it will be tough to appraise well for the loan. Banks don't like the unconventional.
Rick http://www.thuderworksinc.com
John wrote:

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Brandon wrote:

Are you _absolutely_ sure? Some areas have county-wide zoning ordinances or city jurisdictional zoning may extend several (as in like 3-4) miles outside city limits (I don't know how they do that, but it's the way it is here--fortunately, we're 1/2-mile the other side of the line.) Also, there may be state statutes regarding some things that are health related, such as sewage. So, you need to do quite a bit of checking to be sure you've covered all the bases. That said, there are still places that don't have any of the above, but they're getting fewer and farther between...
...

Of course, you can do anything inside you choose, but as others have said, you'll have a whole lot more success if you select an outfit that does this routinely rather than trying to make all the modifcations on your own.

Yes, it can. The first one seems to negate the first statement of the post. If you are outside of any jurisdiction you can choose to blow off any code(s) you choose. Of course, there are reasons for the code provisions (other than the cynical view that they support the standards people and inspectors) so it makes sense to follow at least the bare minimums. So, there's the rub--how do you know if you're trying to serve as your own contractor of all the trades if you don't know the code? 'Tis a conundrum...
If you need conventional financing, yes, you may (probably?) will run into some problems if you're too far out of the mainstream. The key here is the lending institution is going to insist that the structure be something adequate that they have good likelihood of recouping their investment should you default. They're not going to be satisfied w/ a lick and a promise if you go in and ask for a construction loan--they're going to want to see what it is you're planning on building and they'll most likely ask who is the contractor. At that point, you've probably run out of much chance for conventional financing of anything other than the bare structure at best.
And, of course, unless you are able to be absolutely certain that you're going to be there forever, you need to consider what the likelihood of being able to at least get enough out of the property and building that you don't take a terrible beating when you need to sell it. A dwelling _too_ far from conventional and _too_ much like a metal barn isn't likely to be able to be moved very quickly and folks will have a similar problem as described above in arranging financing if they require conventional financing.
...

Your choice, but if you choose a foundation and crawl space instead of slab floor costs are going to go way up real quick. That's one of the reasons the cost is low. At that point, unless you're competent to do so yourself, you're going to need some help in designing the foundation and flooring joist system, etc., etc. And, of course, if you go w/ the slab, then there's the pita to deal with when eventually, something under the slab breaks. If I were ever to build a slab house or building w/ plumbing, I would at the minimum run service trenches for access to plumbing, drain lines, underfloor wiring, etc.

Well, the looks thing I addressed earlier. Sure, it's possible, but as noted, look into those firms who actually look at residential construction--it will undoubtedly look like more up front, but you'll undoubtedly save by the time you're done. You might also consider modular home construction as an alternative. The latter would eliminate virtually all the financial issues w/ lenders while the former could at least give you a chance whereas going in w/ the "plain building and finishing it yourself" approach is almost certain to get you nowhere w/ any lending institution.
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I can see some potential problems taking a commercial/industrial design and converting it to a home. .
Traditional banks like to finance traditional homes.
Fire codes (if you are concerned) differ for commercial versus residential homes. There may be issues with the methods of partitioning rooms, wiring, plumbing. Most buildings that you speak of are set up for exposed surface wiring and plumbing.
OTOH, some are designed from the beginning to be a home and should be more "friendly" to the lenders and inspectors. They are probably more expensive than you idea of a basic metal building.
http://www.heritagebuildings.com/steel_homes / http://www.kodiaksteelhomes.com / http://www.americansteelspan.com/residential.html
If I was building a house today, I'd use foam and concrete. www.polysteel.com or www.standardicf.com
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"Brandon" wrote in message

Given your location, no reason on earth why you can't, as long as you're comfortable.
An acquaintance did just that here, within the city limits of Houston. He's a bachelor, builds banjo's for a living, and his shop and house are all under the same commercial building roof on the same slab.
I also know many "weekend ranchers" who build the barn/shop first, outfit it with a couple of rooms, and live there until they get around to building a house ... some never do.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 8/29/06
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That's exactly why I'm wondering. An gentleman around the area built a building for his cars (a whole other story) and in one corner, he built an apartment. I know this from his son, but the old guy is kind of reclusive and eccentric, you know the type, so I've not been able to check it out.
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