Metal Building vs. Framed Workshop


Hiya folks, Getting the gears going regarding building a shop next year. I'm looking at something in the 900 to 1000 SF range. Aside from the cost of concrete, which is cheaper---going with a metal building (prefab) or conventional framing? I would do all the work myself regardless of which one I went with so am just curious to know from any contractors out there. I would probably forego the walls on a metal building as I will more than likely frame and stucco (or maybe use adobe) them myself. Thanks very much for any advice. Cheers, cc
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On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 03:00:53 -0700, "James \"Cubby\" Culbertson"
not sure where you're located but keep this in mind. With a metal building in the summer it will absorb the heat and hold it longer making it hotter to work in, and in the winter it will hold the cold like a freezer.

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I just did a comparison and my estimates (for materials only) showed about $6/sqft for post and beam woodframe and about $8/sqft for metal prefab with a slab.
After working in a post and beam wooden shop for years, I've decided my next shop will be a metal on slab. I have to be extremely careful about sparks in my wooden shop, so sharpening/grinding/welding/oxy-cutting, etc all have to happen outside.
Good luck.
Scott
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I think I will go metal if a concrete floor is cheaper than a wood floor. Personally I would prefer a wood floor over a concrete floor but IMHO the metal building will be much more maintenance free.
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Metal is cheaper and easier to erect. Here in So.Cal,the weather cooperates nicely for a metal roof. It would not be my choice in any case. They tend to leak and are noisy. You can insulate them for hot or cold but IMHO they still look cheap. If you are building a dedicated shop, build a wood building with a high ceiling and wood floor (over a concrete slab).
Dave
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Thanks folks for the insights. I hadn't really given much thought to the metal roofing capturing heat/cold. I live in NM and it get's pretty darned warm in the summer so maybe I should just stick with conventional building. I do plan to do this over a slab but am planning on pouring the slab such that I can put a wood floor in with a bit of space under it so I can run my DC piping. Obviously I'd have to find a way to mount the floor with easy access to the area below it. The metal building option just looks so much easier to do and for a one man show, would probably go up quicker. I seem to remember a site that compared different building methods' prices but haven't been able to locate it. Anyway, thanks very much for the advice! Cheers, cc
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[...]
Maybe build a green roof, with plants on it?

Whan kind of ground do you have to build on? Not all places need a poured slab, if the ground is stable enough by itself you can get away without concrete slabs.

One way of easy acces: Build/Buy floor boards of reasonable size, like 0.5 x 1m, and put them on special levelable posts at their corners, AKA industrial false floor.
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How about concrete? It can be easily done yourself with premade insulated forms. American Polysteel is in Albuquerque www.polysteel.com
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Probably not a problem in NM but I will tell you from experience that a metal building has one BIG drawback. When it's cold outside and you heat up the inside, the ceiling gets condensation which drips all over everything. Oh, the other drawback is that you can't just pound a nail into a stud or beam or anything if you weant to hang something up.
FoggyTown
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Yeah, hence I am considering framing out the skin of the building with 2x's. Also considering adobe to match my surroundings but you can't just pound a nail in there either! Cheers, cc
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It always suprises me, the low construction quotes you hear on the web. I'm finishing up on building a 24 x 36 barn workshop with crawlspace and full loft. I'm not finished and I'm reaching the $40,000 mark. $25 / foot. Most materials were bought pre-katrina.
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I am also amazed by low construction price quotes I hear on the web.
I am building a shop exactly the same size as yours with attic trusses for loft storage. I am figuring $35,000 to $37,000 with a lot of DIY. I am planning on seamless steel siding that adds about $5,000 to the cost.
I haven't seen much change in building materials prices post-katrina. I have seen prices go up 15% to 25% in the last five years or so.
Brian Elfert
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wrote in message

I may swing by there and ask a few questions. Hadn't even considered that. Sounds expensive though. Thanks Edwin! cc
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I'm told it is comparable to a stick built building, but the energy cost for heating and cooking is about 40% less. About 5% of all new houses are build that way.
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wrote in message

Yeah, I'm gonna give them a call one of these days. Right now, I'm just in the exploratory stage. I say it looks expensive due to the concrete. Concrete here has gone through the roof. I poured my own footings for an adobe wall this summer. I got the concrete for around $75 a yeard. Now it's up around $130-140 a yard. I believe they also make the "panels" where the interior concrete has already been poured. Trouble is then I need to hire a crane to set them....but they go up really quickly. A neighbor did that on an addition and the crew showed up in the morning and by nightfall they had all the walls and roof joists up. From an energy standpoint, it would definitely be the way to go! Cheers, cc
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On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 10:06:17 -0700, "James \"Cubby\" Culbertson"

Can you not just build a framed floor over a crawlspace? That to me seems to make the most sense, as you can run all DC and air compressor piping under the floor and stub up to the machines.
- Matt
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That requires either to move a substantial amountd of dirt or raises the floor to a level prohibiting easy roll in/out of stuff from the workshop, unless his building site is adequately sloped.
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On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 21:44:34 +0100, Juergen Hannappel

Well, aside from the excavation costs - which in NM I cannot imagine being much more than that required for the slab + foundation, it would seem to be a more logical solution...
plus, I hate concrete slabs :)
- Matt
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wrote:

Amen! Nothing's worse than wanting to add a phone line or something and having a concrete slab! I plan actually to install a wood floor system over a crawl space. I originally was thinking of accessing the crawl space from above but moving a few yards of dirt would make more sense to get a more generous crawl space.
I'm beginning to look more and more at these guys: www.miracletruss.com
Appears the building is metal but you can build the roof up just like a conventional roof (ie. no condensation or drips!). Cheers, cc
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Might find some advice in alt.home.repair also.
On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 03:00:53 -0700, "James \"Cubby\" Culbertson"

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